Flowers, obsessions and where in the world is my family?

I’m still being spoiled by flowers being delivered every two weeks from The Bougs; my birthday gift continues to give. (seriously, one of the best gifts ever given by my thoughtful husband, and there has been plenty)
These arrived two weeks ago today. They made me think of cotton candy, which made me think of going to the fair, which made me want a corn dog and a dental cleaning.

This is what is left today and I have another batch of goodness coming via fed ex today. Not bad for two weeks, huh? 

Speaking of flowery stuff. For Christmas, my sweet MIL and I put this together. It was her idea and creativity, she just let me get my fingers in the dirt as well. We were going to hang it in a tree but decided to let it rest on an old plant stand and we set it in my butterfly garden.  The plants are not just potted in/on the top of the basket, they’re packed all around the sides. Like my waistline, It will fill in more and more as time goes on.

C’mon in, the doors open. 
It started as one of these coco coir lined baskets.  I love it so much that it’s a borderline obsession; I tend to it daily, pulling off dead flowers, making sure it’s getting watered evenly and that it pretty much feels good about itself. 
You know how it’s nice to have the whole-fam-damily together in one place? Or at least in one county? The Busy Bee family is all sorts of spread out and it feels weird to me. 
Lolo is at school in VA,  (which I’m getting used to now) 
Linds is in New Zealand, (2 more weeks left of her four-week trip) and the 
Coach has fled to the Abaco’s Islands in the Bahamas for a quick trip. 
I’m feeling a bit of wanderlust in me too….think I’ll head to Target today. Damnit, I’ll not be left out. 

You can ring my bell anytime.

On our last night in Mexico, they held a beautiful dinner and awards presentation in the Zen area of the resort; jungle-ish as opposed to beach-ish. The Coach and I were so impressed by the event planners’ set-up. Yesterday, this had been an open grassy area where we took a picture of the entire group of attendees via drone.
Then on this night, it was a gorgeous setting with a huge tent, lights, fabulously decorated tables; we were both thinking “wedding for Lolo”. 

Although, it’s more ‘over the top’ than she wants; we loved the ethereal feel with all the greenery, white stemmed flowers and floating lights and candles everywhere.

Shadow much? 

They had these ‘ring bell for champagne’ signs in the cocktail area before you entered the dining area. I was all ‘ring for what? I don’t even like champagne, but I do enjoy an activity’!

HOW flipping clever is that? There were champagne angels behind the wall that handed out glasses after you rang the bell.
I need this, but for wine
and in my family room.
Of course, I’d have to replace the bell too often because of wear and tear.

It was a great end of our long weekend. Until next time Mexico!

Casa again, Casa again, Jiggity Jig.

We not only survived our convention/getaway to Riviera Maya, Mexico, but we had a fantastic time. 
Our business was invited to this event which was hosted by Cosentino (Quartz stone tops) for the top 100 dealers in the USA.  It was held at a five-star all-inclusive resort. We’ve never been to an ‘all-inclusive’ anything before, aside from a cruise we took as a family about 14 years ago (never again) so we didn’t know what to expect. 
Our room was quite awesome, as was the entire resort. There’s a little splash pool on the patio next to the perfect chaise lounge-for-a-nap-spot. 
Each night they hosted a dinner/event for the whole group. We ran into these guys; not sure what they really were. Mythical Aztec dragons? 

It was really windy for most of our stay, and Suz’s thin, fine hair doesn’t do wind well. That was my only complaint really and I had to whip out a clip or bobby pins quite often.

You could pop into any of the wonderful restaurants whenever you felt hungry. (most had dress codes for dinner though; no beachwear, shorts or flip flops at night)

When I think of Mexico, I think of chips & salsa, tacos, and margaritas. While you could find some of those things, the restaurants were quite gourmet; somewhat fancy.
Also, you could ask for room service 24 hours a day.
Want a glass of wine and some snacks at 1:32 am? Just give them a ring and it’ll be there within 10 minutes. Ya know, that could be dangerous for me. Well, I was most likely asleep dreaming about mythical dragons at that time, but you know what I mean.

I opted to have breakfast in the room each day because, mornings.

I ordered my regular fare; eggs, a bit of toast, coffee and fresh OJ. It always tastes better while wearing PJ’s. 
I was pleasantly surprised to see that they also added some dessert for me. Dessert after breakfast? 

Turns out, that was not the chocolate mousse cup that I suspected it was.
Refried beans in a tortilla.
Well played Mexico, well played. 

*no one got sick; it wasn’t even a thought at this resort. (unlike our last trip to Cabo)
* I was not kidnapped; not even an attempt was made.
* I didn’t do any shopping because we didn’t have an inch to spare in our suitcases. *sigh*

I’ll share a bit more from our fantastic trip later.


Hasta La Bye Bye

The Coach and I are heading out on a little adventure for the first time this year. I only add the ‘adventure’ part because you never know what could happen. Life is unpredictable and we’re going to a place that we’ve never been to, but other people have been there, so I’m sure it will be just fine.

It’s a challenge for me to actually leave the house for a minute trip because I’m a bit of a slave to this place and its inhabitants. Aside from the dogs, I have many, many cats.

My Monarch cats have just about eaten me out of house milkweed and home milkweed. It’s actually a good thing I’m leaving because it’ll take some time for my weed to grow back; I said NO to more caterpillars. Sorry, Mother Nature. 

My milkweed production needs to amp it up; my eleventythousand plants are mostly nubs.
Ok, maybe just ONE more little caterpillar?

I took this video a few days ago; I’ll never get over how cute these guys are and it takes ALL of my willpower to refrain from hugging them because, well, then they’d be dead.

I become giddy when I see them sharing AND especially when they’re being so resourceful by eating the actual stems and not just the leaves.

I gave them each high fives.
Just kidding. They have way too many hands feet for that and I don’t have all day; I’ve got to annoy my husband by overpacking my suitcase because I never know what I might want to wear and because I really loathe all of my clothes.
Ok. I really just loathe the way my clothes are fitting lately.…but still, I’d overpack either way.

I can’t believe I said Giddy up there. Is it 1952? 

We have a great housesitter {so, don’t even think about trying to steal my dogs or Christmas storage!} who not only gets to tend to our sweet pups, but she gets to release butterflies almost daily while we’re gone. Plus, I give her actual money too.

I am a giver.
And a complainer.
Shocking information.  
Enjoy the rest of your week; I’m thinking we’re going to have a lot of downtime on this trip and I plan on getting in some good reading; books, blogs, minds, as long as we have good wifi.

Will I blog about our trip? Most likely.
That is after we’re able to get back into the US of A and crossing my fingers that I’ve not been kidnapped, held for ransom, then given back again when they realize I have to eat every 2 hours or else I’m hell on wheels.

*Feverishly packing snacks*


The one where we didn’t fall in Charleston.

The Coach and I had a nice little getaway to Charleston, SC this past weekend. The trip was labeled “Coach’s belated birthday” trip because I’m into labels.

This is one of our favorite places to visit. It’s not terribly far for us; a little over an hour flight to Atlanta, then a 40-minute flight to Charleston. Once there, we don’t need a vehicle because it’s a great walking city and also, Uber/Lyft.

We had no plans.
How fun is that? Living by the seat of my pants. Whatever the heck that means.  But, I was thrilled to actually wear pants instead of shorts. The weather was just perfect! Sweater weather! I’ve been reading about that, and I finally knew what the people meant. Good hair days too; way less humidity.
I was in hair heaven.

We had some lovely meals. {shrimp and grits are my jam!}
Leisurely walks.
Window shopping.
And just sitting in the hotel when we felt like it and watching whatever on the boob tube.

When is the last time you walked through a cemetery? These are really old (1800’s) and quite serene, weedy, flowery with gobs of butterflies.

But, it’s all serene and pretty until you come across a crypt that is partially open.
*shiver* Do I see a bony hand coming up? 

The Coach and I were mesmerized by all the ginormous oaks. “Ours will look like this in 100 years.”
{No sign of hair heaven in this pic}

Probably our least favorite thing about Charleston is the lumpy, bumpy, uneven sidewalks and roads. 

In our family, the family of weak ankles, this is treacherous.
I’m happy to confirm that neither of us fell the entire weekend.
Stumbled? Yes. But no actual ‘I’ve fallen and I can’t get up’s.

I take it back, I did have ONE place that I wanted to visit. Bitty & Beaus coffee shop.

I read about it a few years ago and I was in awe. It’s a coffee shop that employs individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Coach and I stopped in for an iced tea and some great conversation. It was such a sweet part of our day; nothing better than spending time with exceptional peeps. They have three locations in the South, and if you ever have the chance, you should visit.

It was a great time away and we enjoyed ourselves immensely.

“Hmmmm, where should we go next?”

That’s my travel agent right there….he’s already got a few plans for us in 2020; no moss growing under our feet.

I hope everyone had a sweet weekend as well.

A quick little getaway to Nashville to see some awesome people. #Hope4Hopetown

A few days after hurricane Dorain hit the small Abacos islands of the Bahamas our friend Patrick Davis was working on fundraising. These small islands get very little support from the Bahamian government. I HOPE I’m not going to shock anyone, but the government is crooked.
Yes, I’m speaking of ALL government, but today we’re focusing on the Bahamas.
FYI: The Hope 4 Hopetown fundraiser is 100% legit; I can vouch for Patrick Davis and the Coach is also on the board. Ain’t no one less crooked than these guys.

Anyhoo a minute after the fundraiser was in motion Patrick threw together a ‘once in a lifetime’ music event at the Ryman Auditorium.
He had a sold-out show booked, advertised and sold out in 10 days at the beloved Ryman.

I have some great videos and photos of the amazing artists; Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Randy Houser, Jamey Johnson, Lee Brice, Kristian Bush (Sugarland), Charles Kelly (Lady Antebellum), LoCash, Florida/Georgia Line, James Otto and many more.
It was perhaps the most amazing night ever. Sorry Coach, our honeymoon was so long ago.
*snicker snicker*
I had sad tears.
I had happy tears.
Much like my high school days.

Hey, I recognize that guy.

Jamey Johnson and Randy Houser

 Dierks Bentley

 Charles Kelly from Lady Antebellum. At one point he motioned for one of the back up singers to come and do a duet with him. It was great. At the afterparty I spoke to the young lady and told her how great she did and she said: “I can’t believe I was up on stage with all of these amazing artists, I was freaking out inside!”

 Florida Georgia Line-Not my favorite band, but they were great to be there supporting.

 Our sweet friend Wyatt Durette singing Toes in the Sand that he wrote with Zac Brown.

Did anyone watch the show Nashville? I keep meaning to…anyhoo this is Charles Esten of that show who also sings. 

Have you heard of Hootie and the Blowfish? 😉 Here is Darius Rucker and Mark Bryan. They just finished their American tour last week and are heading to Europe for another tour. Our friend Patrick Davis is opening up for them for a few shows. The Coach asked if I wanted to go. 
Umm. No. Can we please stay home for a while? 

If you’ve ever listened to country music, you’ve heard this amazing song. Perhaps my most favorite country song ever. 
We’ve heard James Otto (he wrote the song about his Grandfather) sing the song many times, but this was our first time seeing Jamey Johnson (who cut the song recording) sing it. They were amazing together. 

 And how about these rock stars??

It was such a fantastic weekend, but man, when we arrived home on Tuesday night, we were done. Done like dinner. We met some amazing people who are like-minded doing a lot of good stuff for our Bahamian friends. Made some more connections. The Coach and I have a big surprise arriving in a few weeks….you’ll never guess what it is. 
This weekend has been us catching up on all the stuff we’ve been needing to do for the last month. 
Wishing all my peeps a great day and weekend. 

The last time I checked in everything was just hunky dory.

We thought hurricane Doian could possibly be a problem for us in SW Florida, but it wasn’t.

However, it was a HUGE problem for our beloved Abaco Islands, Elbow Cay,  Hopetown where we love to go in February for the annual weeklong Songwriters in Paradise event. 
Ya’ll, they took a direct hit from a category 5 hurricane. I know you’ve seen the news.
Devastating. That little island was not built with current hurricane standards; they were so vulnerable.

Our friend Patrick who founded the event was on the phone to the coach even before the storm hit hoping to start coordinating help for the wonderful people there.
It’s been a busy week trying to get things together. What do they need? How can we get it there? 
It looks like the group can get items to the island this Sunday…..finally.
The Coach and friends are smoking 1,000 lbs of meat Today for a Saturday delivery across the state with a Sunday delivery directly to the Abaco Islands. It’s been some work trying to coordinate getting the food and then finding large freezers and then transporting the next morning. It takes a village.

{The worker bees were in our driveway at 6:15 this morning}

Also sending vegetables and power banks to charge cell phones.
One of my dear longtime friends is donating $1,500.00 worth of solar power banks for people to charge cell phones. Imagine not being able to connect with your family and friends for a week or so? 
Anyhoo….were praying for all of these people. Many lives were lost on the nearby island of Marsh Harbour. Devastation.
In five days Patrick’s Hope4Hopetown website has collected over 290K. People do care.

{A shining light in all this is that the beloved Hope Town lighthouse is still standing proudly} 
Hopetown and all the the Bahamian islands will never be the same, but from what I’ve seen/read they are resilient and working on getting their lives and islands back in order. 

Praying that Dorian is kinder to those now in her path.

Wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable weekend doing something kind for someone else.