Life Part Two

The adventures of Fay and Bob as they move beyond the 9 to 5 life


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Greenville Newcomers and Greenville Woodworkers Guild meet

Bob and I had a wonderful morning.   We hosted 26 Newcomers for a tour of the Greenville Woodworkers Guild.   We brought about 20 items for “Show and Tell” so they could see what we have made and how we have progressed in three years.   We split the group into three sections and each section got a guided tour of the Education Center.   The pres. of the Guild also gave a brief presentation about the Guild.   Bob and I talked about how we got into woodworking and our projects.   Afterward about 14 of us all went out to lunch.

We heard many good comments about the event.   Many said it exceeded expectations and they were surprised how big it was, all the classes and training available and the complete selection of equipment they could use.   Bob and I also thought it went very well and it was a lot of fun.

You can visit the Guild on line at: http://www.greenvillewoodworkers.com/


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Jazz and wine festival and Lake Jocassee boating

Thursday we went to the Biltmore and Friday night we went to a jazz and wine festival fund raiser for the Ronald McDonald house.  It was outside in downtown Greenville.   Another perfect weather night – 70 and clear skies.  We brought our comfy chairs and got a good seat to watch the bands.  There were 6 wine distributers doing wine tastings, hor devoures and a dessert bar so plenty to eat and drink.  It wasn’t an inexpensive event so wasn’t real crowded.   I would guess a few hundred people.  One of the great things about the size of Greenville events is that we usually run into some one we know and also people are friendly so you can strike up a conversation with strangers.  Of course a few wine tastings help loosen people up a little.   That’s exactly what happened and we had so much fun with new and old friends.

The first group was the Furman Jazz combo with a singer. We were eating and drinking so they didn’t get our full attention but what I did hear I liked.

This jazz singer was fabulous.  She sang in The Color Purple movie.  Good stage presence and a great voice.

While the singing was going on there was a painter creating a painting.   Can’t say it is a painting I would hang in my house (especially not for $4000) but it was fun to watch him.  The painting is titled “The Color Purple”.

The headliner was a trumpet player and we didn’t like him as much so left after a couple songs.  We had already been there quite a few hours and neither one of us has a great attention span.   Best of all in 20 minutes we are home!

Saturday was a Newcomer pontoon boat trip on beautiful Lake Jocassee, one hour from us.  We drove with our good friends G. Ann and Al.     We were on this man made lake last fall.   It is 75,000 acres with 75 miles of shoreline and less than 15 homes so it is very natural.  You have this gorgeous lake surrounded by the tree covered mountains and it is full of tiny little wooded islands.  Parts of the lake are 400 feet deep.  There were 40 of us on 4 pontoons and we had a 4 hour boat ride.   We brought lunch and beverages along.  Once again the weather was perfect, 75 and sunny.  There are 15 waterfalls going into the lake.  We saw three of them and some of them were double waterfalls.  Here are a couple photos and more are at https://picasaweb.google.com/fchoban/JocasseeMay302011?authkey=Gv1sRgCNj1pr_yqc2sHg&feat=directlink

Sunday we powerwashed the screen porch and lower deck and got rid of all that yellow pollen.   It looks so nice.  Then we relaxed the rest of the day.


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Odds and Ends

It’s hard to believe that last week at this time we were snowed and iced in and today it was sunny and 60 and all the snow is gone. After a week or more at 20’s and 30’s this temperature feels really warm.

Monday was a trip to the dentist to get three fillings done, December was a new crown and February will be another new crown and another filling.

Yesterday was our monthly Newcomers coffee. This time it was at a beautiful club house for one of the high end developments. We had 65 ladies attending. I have been working on an intenet based bulletin board for members to use to sell or give away items, network for activities, etc. and I announced that to the group. I’m really pleased how it turned out. I know it will take awhile for it to take off but that’s ok. My job as technology person ends in May so the next person can take care of it.

Today I went on a Newcomers trip to Christ Church in downtown Greenville. It is a beautiful 180 year old historic church. We listened to a concert with their pipe organ and two flutists. Never been to anything quite like that. They have a different concert each Wed. during the winter. There were about 100 people at the concert, not all Newcomers. After that a soup and sandwich lunch at the church. We were supposed to have a tour of the church and cemetery but our guide had a family emergency so no tour.

Bob and I start our OLLI class tomorrow, early history of SC, and are really looking forward to that. We have had this professor before and he is very good. Next week we have a Chef’s Tour of restaurants in downtown Greenville and expect that to be a special event. We have had the tour guide give us three tours of downtown Greenville so know the history part will be good and the restaurants are the best ones in Greenville so the food sampling should be good. This Sat. we are going out for dinner to a seafood place with friends we met through Newcomers who live near us.

Bob didn’t feel so good the last few days so was glad to feel good enough to go swimming today.

Smoky has a new sleeping place we aren’t very happy about. He thinks it is nice and warm and cozy to sleep on the top of our stereo receiver. It has many vent holes in it and he blocks air flow and sheds fur into the device. How does he even find these places?

Sabrina was up extra early this morning but I started petting her and she went back to sleep from 5:45 to 7:45. I’m kind of tired today but my 2 hour nap helped.


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December kicks off with a very busy social calendar

December started with the annual Newcomers Holiday party at the Poinsett Club, an exclusive private club in downtown Greenville.   About 100 people attended and we enjoyed a nice lunch (crab cakes) while listening to a pianist play great music and watching a fashion show of models wander through the tables.   Even Bob enjoyed the fashion show.   I’m pretty sure he has never seen one that wasn’t models of lingerie!

Last Saturday we went to Cocktails R Us, a smaller group of about 20, so it was easy to talk with people.  Monday I went to get a crown for one of my teeth, not so much fun but on Monday night we had the Woodworkers Guild holiday party at the new guild.   About 300 people attended.   Check out the new place, the party and entertainment and the 2000 toys they made again this year for local kids.  Click to see party.

On Tuesday I had a board meeting/Christmas party and that night we went to the Boston Brass and Brass All Stars Holiday Concert at the Peace Center.  WOW.  I’m not a big fan of Christmas and just couldn’t get excited about going to the symphony to listen to Christmas tunes.   Last year we went to Manheim Steamroller and that was ok.  Lots of brass holiday music was just perfect.   They had a 12 piece brass band, 5 piece kettle drums, regular drums and a piano.  As a tribute to Dave Brubeck, one of my favorite jazz musicians, they took the famous Take Five rhythm and applied it to a traditional Christmas tune.   Very strange but fun.   The 12 days of Christmas was very, very good and the closing Jingle Bells left us feeling very cheerful.  And did I mention the tickets were $5?

Thursday the Nantucket Seafood Grill opened just for the Newcomers group for lunch and what a treat that was.   We figured this would be our best option for getting an affordable meal there.  The clam chowder and trout were excellent.  We also got to see about 10 beautifully decorated trees that are part of the Festival of Trees celebration in downtown Greenville.

Sunday afternoon we are going  to Centre Stage to see The Last Night of Ballyhoo.

The rest of the month is much quieter.  Wed. for my birthday we will go see Harry Potter and out for dinner on Wed. or Friday at High Cotten.  We will go when they have live jazz playing.  We are invited out for brunch on the weekend.  Also want to see the new Narnia movie sometime during the holidays.  Ordered Bob’s gifts on line and have a few to get in the mail next week.   Our gift list is very short.  Can’t forget to get some new toys for the kitties.  They actually wear some of them out.


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SC Upcountry Holiday Parties and Activities

Last Wednesday, a day where it poured rain all day, we went to the beautiful historic Poinsett Club for a Newcomers Holiday Luncheon.  The club, originally a home built around 1925, is stunning.   It is about 40,000 sq. ft, including two newer additions, a ballroom where we had our luncheon and three floors of beautiful decorated small and medium sized dining rooms.   What a mansion it must have been when it was built.   We visitied with our new friends and at our table had a lively discussion about all kinds of local issues.   The facilities definitely were 5 star.   The food was just average.

Monday night we went with our neighbors Vickie and Ed to the annual Greenville Woodworking Guild Holiday party.  There were a couple hundred guests there.   We had turkey dinner with all the fixings and then wonderful entertainment provided by the head of the John Campbell Folk School.    The school has 850 craft, art, writing classes every year.  Some for a week and some a weekend.   You can stay on site.   A very well educated historian, musician, storyteller and craftsman who told folk stories and played old folk ballad music.   Very Upcountry SC and charming.

For me the biggest part of the evening was to see the 1500 wooden toys that the members have made to donate to 14 children’s groups here in the Greenville area.  Is this impressive?

It was pretty emotional to see all these toys and realize the 4000 hours of work that went into making them and think about how many happy children will receive them.

There were many door prizes for the guests (wives).  Below are a couple examples.  I got a door prize but not one of theses, darn.   The man who made these helped Bob sharpen his new tools and taught me a little about wood turning.   He and his wife are so nice.

The bowls and ornaments are about 6″.   Guess what some of you will get for gifts next year?

On Friday we go to a special Cocktails R Us Newcomers party at a clubhouse in one of the developments and will have a band!  We each bring whatever we want to drink and a snack or dessert.   I’m actually getting some use out of the three dressy items in my wardrobe!

Saturday morning I have a neighborhood coffee party to attend and weather permitting I think Saturday afternoon we will go to see Travelers Rest Christmas Parade.  Sunday we will go to Easley (30 minutes) to see an ice carving exhibit (100 sculptures including an 8000 lb sleigh – that’s not a typo it is 8000  not 800) and then to Pendelton (another 30 minutes) to see Christmas in a historic plantation home, complete with Christmas little skits written from the information in old letters and diaries.  Sounds like pretty simple Upcountry holiday events.  Hope I can get some good photos to share with you.

My birthday is Tuesday and we might go to Asheville to see the Gingerbread Houses but more likely to downtown Greenville for dinner (have a discount coupon for restaurants there) and to see the Christmas Trees that light up downtown.   Supposed to be pretty.   Maybe a trip to a museum or art gallery in the afternoon.

Wednesday night we go to Roper Mt. with friends from Newcomers to see the Light Show there and after Christmas we go to see Hollywild Zoo 100 acre light display.   I guess we take a trolly through that area.

As you can tell there is lots going on and all of it is quite inexpensive plus we don’t have 3 feet of snow and sub zero temperatures to dress for.

Bob and I have been assembling 8 pens and pencils so as soon as he gets home with a part for the lathe we will start turning.   Wish us luck!   We have had a few mishaps already.


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How many people fit in our house for a coffee party?

Just a little of the yummy food people brought.

I hosted the November Greenville Newcomers Coffee at our house on Tuesday.  No one could remember doing a coffee in Travelers Rest.  Most of these get togethers are south of where I live so this was an opportunity to show off the northern part of Greenville.  We didn’t know how many people to expect becasue of the location and Thanksgiving coming soon.  Well, we had 50 people!    He hospitality chair has everything so well organized.  She provides big coffee pots, plates, napkins, coffee and arranges with 8-10 ladies to each bring something.   The only thing I had to do was get all our chairs out and iron a tablecloth.   It went really well and was a lot of fun. 

Of course Tanya saw to it that she was the star of the coffee party.   I expected her to go hide but she kept coming out to walk around and check things out, then go sit on the bed and wait for people to come pet her, which they did, and then decided she wanted to be a little cuddley fur ball and snuggled up on my shoulder during the short program where newcomers introduce themself.     All cat lovers melted when that happened. 

Bob did a great time helping me set up and take down all the chairs.   He hid in his workshop during the event!  Now his laithe and router table and air filtering system are in place.   He can’t sleep at night because he is so excited.  Still have the drill press to assemble and are waiting for the ban saw and table saw to be delivered.   Yes, you will see photos once he has it all set up.


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Halloween and Biltmore Again

biltmore_view

On Thursday, which was a beautiful day, we made the hour drive up to the Vanderbuilt Biltmore home in Asheville NC.   It is peak color and the drive was so beautiful.  This time we took the “Legacy of the Land” tour and learned more about how the home came to be where it is and what the family is doing to restore not only the house but the land.   It is impossible for me to believe that when this was built in 1895 the land had been all clear cut of timber and was pretty much useless for anything.   How far they have come!

Here is a photo of part of the gardens.   I also got photos of some beautiful orchids that I will post later.

fall_flowers

How about this for a very creative pumpkin turkey?

pumpkin_turkey

They were already starting to decorate for Christmas.   I think they have over 40 trees and a special house tour that tells about how the family celebrated the holidays.   That starts Nov. 6.   I guess by Thanksgiving it gets very busy so we are planning on going again the week of Nov. 16.

Bob is at an all day Woodcraft Store router class today. The link will show you other classes coming up and I would bet he takes some of those also.  Tomorrow he will start laying tile in the last bathroom downstairs and next week the plumber can install the toilet and sink.   Then we will tile the rest of the 600 sq ft space and put in the molding and then I have a great beautiful art studio that may someday become an efficiency apartment.

Yesterday I went to a Greenville Newcomers Spooktacular Pot Luck Luncheon and White elephant exchange.  It was at the Greenville Woman’s Club.   A gorgeous restored home.  I came home with a book on Chinese cooking for American kitchens, 1000 recipes.   I thought I did pretty good.  There wer about 60 women there, a few in costumes and many with fall or Halloween sweaters or clothes.   It is nice to be able to go to these events now and actually know people by name!

I am just puttering around the house today.  Nothing very exciting but relaxing.

Looks like Halloween here in SC will be cloudy with maybe a little rain and 65.  Last year we only got a few little trick or treaters.    The trees are still turning here.   As soon as the sun peaks out I will post a picture of the gorgeous color in our back yard.

Todays words of wisdom – Don’t eat all your trick or treat candy in one day!

Happy Halloween


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Wine Tasting and Fall for Greenville

The leaves are just now starting to turn.   The weekend was around 75-80 with some rain but not at a time that bothered our fun plans.   On Friday we went to  a wine tasting of the wines of Sonoma CA at the Northhampton Wines Cafe in beautiful downtown Greenville.   The city was starting to get set up for Fall For Greenville starting Friday night and so many streets were closed down.   We ended up getting their about 15 minutes late but still got to enjoy the lovely lunch, good wines and and exceptional speaker/owner.  They also have a very nice wine store complete with an excellent selection of cheese.   Somehow a few things made it into our bags!

On Saturday as part of a fund raiser for Greenville Newcomers we volunteered for 3 hours to sell wrist bands.  People get the wrist band and then can get wine and beer.  I checked a lot of ID’s.  We had the 11-2 shift so it was pretty quiet.  Fall for Greenville celebrates the restaurants of downtown Greenville.  In 8 blocks they have food from 30 different places.  You have to purchase the food.   Also a Wine tasting block and an Beer Garden and places for the kids to play.  Volunteering really made us feel a part of the event.  We had a great time as well as some yummy crabcakes, ribs and pumpkin cheesecake!  There were also 3 or 4 big music stages so you had live music everywhere.   We had a great band playing right where we were selling tickets.  Lots of rock and roll and Chicago music with plenty of brass instruments.

Sams Club provided meals for all the volunteers, of which there were hundreds and hundreds over the three days.  Thank you Sam’s Club.

volunteer


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Caesars Head Mountain, Lake Lure and Coffee Party

On Monday Bob went with the Greenville Newcomers Hiking Group for a 5 mile hike on Caesars Head Mountain State Park, about 45 minutes from our house.   He said it was a beautiful clear day and just the right temperature.   The park is about 11,000 acres and has a peak of 3200 feet and a 420 ft waterfall.  He had a really good time.

Enjoy the photos.

caesar_head

hikers

On Thursday we both went with again, Greenville Newcomers, for a pontoon boat ride at Lake Lure, NC.  It is a gorgeous one hour drive to that lake from our house.  The lake is man made in 1927  and surrounded by mountains. I grew up in the land of 10,000 lakes and many of them are breathtaking but this lake nestled in the Smokey Mountains is really spectacular.  The day was overcast but that just gave a feeling of  erieness.   You could definitely see wisps  of “smoke” in the mountains.  It looked like a film shoot from the TV show “Lost”.  This was also where part of the movie “Dirty Dancing” was filmed.   They do many weddings where the gazebo is.  After the boat trip Bob and 20 ladies went to lunch at Larkens on the Lake.    Both Caesars Head and Lake Lure are places I would bring visitors to.

lake_lure2

lake_lure1

lake_lure3

On Tuesday Greenville Newcomers had their Kick Off Coffee Party.  Bob came and took a movie of a cute skit we were in to introduce the officers and standing committees.   One of our big events this year is the play Wicken and so the skit was a play on that with Oz, Dorothy, etc.   Really cute.  The event was a huge success.  About 175 people attended.   Each of the 30 or so activity committees (hiking, bridge, golf, Cocktails R Us, Explorers, etc.) had a table to explain their activity and a large gift basket that people could bid on in a silent auction.  This year Newcomers will be supporting Safe Harbor. This event is one of several we have through out the year to help them.  Safe Harbor helps victims of domestic violence, providing safe emergency shelter, counseling, legal advocacy, and community outreach and education. A very worthwhile cause.  I was exhausted when I came home.  Many of the board at 6 p.m. went to the Greenville City Council to hear the mayor proclaim Sept. 15 as Greenville Newcomers Day!   Pretty cool.


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It’s been a very busy fun social week!

The last week has been so busy I haven’t had time to get my photos off the camera and write in my blog.   We have gone hiking on Caesar’s Head Mountain, toured historic Kilgore-Lewis home in Greenville, attended the Greenville woodworkers guild meeting and learned all about Minwax stains and finishes, took a boat tour on Lake Lure NC, started Tai Chi classes and helped with a huge Greenville Newcomers coffee.  Bob also has been swimming and working on projects around the house and I am visiting the massage therapist and chiropractor to try to get my ankle better.

I will show and tell more in the days ahead.

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