Always fill out a card that comes with a product that you buy… Recalls are a bummer…

A friend of ours came to town for a visit… I made lasagna… we were starving… *DING* ahhhh, time to take it out of the oven, woohoo!! It smelled wonderful… I reached into the drawer and grabbed a few hot pads, opened the oven door, reached in and grabbed each handle with a hot pad and WHOOSH! What??!!!!!! The handle from the lasagna pan broke and it spilled down the front of the door of the oven (inside)… Immediately Ken DeWaard (what a guy) said, IT’S FINE, JUST SCOOP IT BACK IN THE PAN… Fred was wonderful… If it were anyone but those two I probably would have had at least a brief, ahhhh, “moment”, but Ken’s next words were… POUR HER A GLASS OF WINE… that was funny to me. Really, I don’t get that worked up. But, I WAS hungry… I scooped it back in and we ate out of the side that didn’t break… then tossed the rest. I should probably always have a pizza in the freezer or something… what else would I say? Can I offer you a bowl of Raisin Bran? ha… If you own a Giada lasagna pan from Target – there is a RECALL! Take it back…. No one got hurt or burned, the stove is just a disaster…

This is why you always fill out a registration card (if there is one… there wasn’t for this):

Broken handle… pan used three times...
Broken handle… pan used three times…

The result… (this is after a few cleanings, yes, really!)… this looks better than real life… believe me!

I mean… Really??? Ugh...
I mean… Really??? Ugh…


O N E   Y E A R   A G O…       And… I’m back! (2012)

T W O   Y E A R S   A G O…   Basil Shrimp with Feta and Orzo recipe!

Catch you back here tomorrow!


My other half… the sweetest man in the world… truly the love of my life…


Frederick Stroud. My other half… the sweetest man in the world… truly the love of my life! Yep, those statements all describe my husband! He’s the nicest guy with the biggest heart.

Love at first sight… and today is his birthday!

         Happy Birthday to you!!

Happy Birthday to you!!

         Happy birthday de-aaaar Fre-eeeeed!

Happy Birthday to you!!…

         …and many more!


Oh, how I love those blue eyes and that gorgeous smile! Happy Birthday Fred! Wishing you the best birthday ever! xoxo, me


O N E   Y E A R   A G O…      Happy Birthday to the love of my life!

T W O   Y E A R S   A G O…  Woohoo! To the love of my life… it’s your day!

[charlie photo] Waiting for a carriage??

Fred and Charlie – Charleston, SC

Is Charlie waiting for a carriage to come and pick him up? Is he on stage? I’m thinking it’s more of the latter, although he would be too thrilled if a horse came by to visit him! This was taken on a hot humid day downtown Charleston, SC… we are all looking forward to fall/winter/spring! No complaints about the cold from me! This has been the best summer since I moved to Charleston in 1989… amazing! Windows open two days in August, and again today in mid September… that NEVER happens!

Woohoo, grateful for the small things! Have a great day… Catch you back here tomorrow!


O N E   Y E A R   A G O:  Featured Artist… Nancy Rhodes Harper!

T W O   Y E A R S   A G O:  Our Favorites at Trader Joe’s!

“I do” or shall I say… “I did”…

fred barbara first photo 1991
First photo taken of us at my sister’s house… 1991!

Twenty one years ago today I said “I do” to the sweetest man on Earth, my husband, Fred Stroud. I remember that day well! We were so excited to get married, we didn’t want to wait for an evening wedding… we were married at noon on a hot August day. We had a beautiful wedding in Summerville, SC – we left the reception on the way to the John Rutledge House Inn (Charleston, SC).  It was such a treat to spend the first (luxurious) night in Charleston!

John Rutledge House Inn Balcony, Charleston, SC [image]
John Rutledge House Inn Balcony, Charleston, SC
After we checked in and put our bags in our room we had family meet us at the inn to sit out on the veranda. Spending time with my husband and family at the most beautiful inn was such a treat! As was the breakfast the next morning… we had slept through it and there was a knock at our door, they brought us breakfast in bed… it was scrumptious and so beautifully delivered. Something I’ll never forget!

John Rutledge House Inn Suite [image]
John Rutledge House Inn Suite
I swear, if this isn’t our room it was one very similar… When the bellman was showing us the room, he told us to “feel free to walk around the hotel and enjoy the beautiful art work, such as the piece above the mantel“… it was a piece that my dad had painted!!! He snuck down early that day and asked them to hang the painting… what a wonderful gift! Here is a photo of it… it’s not a good one… reflections make this a tough one to take a photo of… so disregard the reflections, and the fact that I had to crop off the frame, this is a watercolor by my dad, Joe Fidler… (frame cropped to get it somewhat square, sigh…).

Painting by Joe Fidler
Painting by Joe Fidler

From the moment I met Fred I KNEW he was the one. There was something about him. We clicked. Is it cliche to say that we’re soul mates? Well, we are, I can’t think of any other word to describe it. He is an amazing man, and I pray that I am as wonderful a wife as he is a husband. Something tells me I got the “lucky end of the stick”… ha ha…

Fred, 1992 - I love this guy!
Fred, 1992 – I love this guy!

Here’s to you Fred! You’re the best! I feel so blessed…

Charlie and his dad... Fred!

Catch you back here tomorrow!


O NE   Y E A R   A G O..  You see this man? He is the love of my life!

T W O   Y E A R S   A G O…  The great escape on our wedding day… 19 years ago…

The new walkway… pavers have been moved… in progress!

fred and pavers

I know! Isn’t he the most gorgeous man? Sweet too! Lucky me! This was hour 500 of pulling up/digging out old pavers, and creating a new pathway to not upset our live oak tree’s sensitive roots… We want that tree to thrive, so this is what “we” must do! I showed you where we started last week in THIS POST. Look at him… smile on his face. How wonderful is that?

pavers before

I had already raked some leaves into the old pathway just to keep the beast’s feet clean (Charlie/Jack Russell) but you can see where Fred started pulling out old pavers that were put down over ten years ago… To recap: the reason we’re moving this walkway is because the large roots are uprooting the pavers in many areas close to the tree. Upon further investigation I read that it was a bad idea to cut the tree’s roots (or even put down pavers so close to a tree), so we re-routed…

In process...
In progress…

Tomorrow… the unveiling, you won’t believe your eyes! Catch you back here then!

Happy Birthday to the love of my life!

There is something about becoming comfortable in your own skin. In my opinion, turning 50 affords you that luxury. A luxury you say? Yep, a luxury! By age 50 you’ve become your own person who can be happy with the little things in life, you don’t worry so much about what others say and do. You learn that it’s not WHAT YOU HAVE it’s WHO YOU HAVE BECOME. It’s a lesson that can’t be learned in your 20’s, 30’s and even 40’s. I think at age 50 the lightbulb goes off and you finally ‘get it’. We are grateful for our health, thankful for our family’s health and blessed to have each other. Life. Is. Good.

Fred is the sweetest husband in the world. I wanted to spend lots of money have a big party to LET HIM KNOW how much I love him, how happy I am that he’s finally as old as I am (hee), I wanted to CELEBRATE HIM… BUT… I also want him to be able to retire one day, so I have restrained… (IT. WASN’T. EASY!) Bless me, hee!

Now here’s a photo of a kid who loves his cake! A kid, who is still a kid at 50 and STILL loves his cake. He just doesn’t eat it often, but when he does, he gets this big brilliant smile, oh how I love that smile!

I know I’ve posted this photo before, but I love it, and I love you Fred! Hope you have the best 50th birthday ever, and here’s wishing you FIFTY MORE!!

H A P P Y  B I R T H D A Y ! !

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Woohoo! To the love of my life… it’s your day!

Fred on Monhegan Island...

Don’t you just love this photo?? It was taken several years ago, our first trip to Maine, Monhegan Island to be exact. If I were to give this photo a title it would be INNER PEACE. Good one, eh? This is one of our favorite places in the world. I think we are destined to become island people… all of our favorite places are islands. On our first trip back from Monhegan, sitting on the wharf waiting for the Laura B. all I could say is that I didn’t want to leave. Not in a “I don’t want to leave because I’m having too much fun” kind of way, but more of a “this is where I belong and it’s difficult to leave” kind of way… We both felt that from the first year our feet hit the ground. While in Maine you just feel so content. So happy. So relaxed… It’s life… The way it should be…

Back to the reason I started this post…

WOOHOO FRED!!!! Happy Birthday!! If I could give Fred one thing for his birthday it would be  a trip to Monhegan, although the season is over, the inn is closed and let me just say… WHERE WOULD WE EAT? Ha ha… So Fred… I wish you the happiest birthday ever. A year full of happiness and no worries, I am blessed beyond belief to be your wife. I love you so much!

Catch you back here tomorrow!