Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The end of 2008

I laid in bed last night and thought about this past year for quite a bit... I guess with everyone posting about their own year-in-review it was rubbing off. I tried to remember what I did last new years eve... I went to my church New Years Eve coffee house. It was a fun time with my (now-ex)roommate and our mutual friend, Jane. I got lots of hugs and well-wishes from so many friends at church. I do remember that I didn't want to be out at midnight... so I went home and got in to bed with Nolli, to help keep him from freaking out at the noise. (It wasn't too bad.)

January brought hurt and change... my Dad passed away. My brother and I never got a chance to say good-bye to him or tell him one last time that we loved him. We had planned a conference call for Saturday evening after I got home from work. He died on Saturday afternoon while I was at work. I thought I was ready for it... and it still devastated me. I had to leave the floor at work... I couldn't go on.

The next day, was the day that I was introduced to Ham. I went to church... and he was there, sitting with my friend Mary. She waved and I sat in front of them... and when the praise band began to sing "East to West"... all I could do is cry. My friend Nita came back to where I was and just held me and let me cry. I was sure that Ham thought I was a total basket case. I went to Mary's after church for breakfast... and sat and talked to Ham for over 3 hours.

After bereavement leave and talking to Ham on the phone... we agreed to go to coffee house that Saturday. We had a good time and decided to go for coffee at Double T diner. We actually decided that we wanted to go out on a real date... and we made plans to go to the theatre in Annapolis to see the Colonial Players in the round. Our first official date was January 22nd. It was great fun and we knew by the end of the date that something special was going to happen. It just had magic and chemistry. I don't think I will ever forget that night.

In February... that is the magic month for being employed at VZW. They reward quite nicely for a year of hard work. At the end of the month... is when Ham was taken from his job on a bodily attachment bond to see the judge about child support. He wasn't arrested... but since he had gone back to work, he still needed to re-institute his support. He went missing for 3 days, as I had no idea what had happened and there was no answer on his cell phones. I finally called his boss and learned what had happened. It was Wednesday morning that I drove to the county seat where he use to live to pay $1000 in back support to release him. It was a deciding factor for him in who I was as a person, and for me as well... as he payed me back that day. (My roommate was very upset with me for posting "bail for him"... and our friend Rob said it takes a special kind of woman to do that after only knowing him 6 weeks.)

March went by in a blur... Ham was out of town a great deal during the week. He was up in Northeastern PA for all that time. Work progressed well for me... and we spent as much time as we could together on the weekends. Ham had a court date in March... and all went as we expected... pay more money and stay on course.

April was the beginning of yard sale season. I tried to hit a few yard sales when we could. We also went back to court... payed more money and stayed the course. We also went up to Greencastle to go antique shopping with Mary and Randy. We had a delightful time. And we knew that we were shopping for things to go in our new home and for our wedding... we were planning for August. Ham's company wanted to transfer him to NE PA... we knew that I would be going with him... and I wasn't going to go unless we were married.

May became the month where we started to put it all together. Ham's company decided that they wanted him in NE PA as soon as possible. We knew we weren't going to make August for a wedding date. We went to Dale's for Mother's Day for a family bbq... Dale asked what we were going to do... and offered to let us use his back yard for our wedding. His girlfriend Gwen had moved in and was more than willing to help us. We set the date for a Sunday... June 1st. We had 3 weeks to pull it all together. We managed to get it more or less done by then... it was more about the commitment we were making than the ceremony anyway. It didn't matter if I had a "dream dress"... and it didn't matter that I didn't have an engagement ring... I was going to have a beautiful diamond wedding band instead.

June 1st was the big day... and it was wonderful. We had some funny things happen, and only 1 or 2 not-so-funny things happen. But we were married, happy and planning for a great future. Once we were married... Ham had to leave to go to work in NE PA... and I was left to figure out the rest. My roommate became a wicked little person and made my life hell... but it was only for a few weeks. I quit my job in mid-June and proceeded to pack up everything, put it in storage, board the dog... (that nearly killed him) and head out for NE PA to search for a place to live. Ham was in negotiation with his company owner for his transfer... it was a very stressful time. But the main objective was to get settled and start our life together.

In a tearful morning... (I was staying with friends of Hams,) the wife was being less than gracious... I set out to drive north and find a place to live. I did find our little cottage from a sign posted on a tree... and I made arrangements with Ham and it became our little home the next day. That was the last Friday of June. I drove down to Maryland on Friday and met Ham... we started loading up and on Saturday, went to pick up Nolli from the kennel. He was so sick and skinny... I knew that it would have been just a couple more days and he would have been in some very serious trouble. We finished packing up and headed north... we stopped at the friends house long enough for me to get my suitcase and we were on our way to our own home.

July... we were settling in... Ham still had a couple of weekends to get his stuff moved. He made one trip with the company highcube to get his belongings from where he had been living. The next weekend, the company paid for a moving van to get the rest of his stuff out of storage from Waldorf... 3 weekends in a row... going back and forth to Maryland. We did it... it was worth it... and we were so very happy to be together.

August... we just got used to living in our new cottage and figuring out how it all was going to work. We met our neighbors, we were learning how to get around... and we enjoying the local hangouts and farmers markets... and we fell in love deeper... and became more of a family than ever.

September... we went to Connecticut to visit Ham's family. It was our first long road trip... and one with Nolli too. We had a fabulous time... I got to meet most of the family... and we even found time to do yard sales, antiquing, go to the county fair, have ice cream at one of the best places ever, and have a family bbq on Labor day at the farm. It was heaven. We also went to our fair in Bloomsburg at the end of the month... it was pouring rain...and it was so much fun to go through all the exhibits.

October... we enjoyed our first fall in the Poconos... the colors were breathtaking. We went on several little craigslist adventures... and saw even more of the state we were living in. I started this little blog in October... and have enjoyed it so much. I also went back to work... but the drive ended up being too much for... 50 miles one way thru a couple of mountain passes. Ham understood how stressful it was for me... and supported my decision 100%.

November... was actually a semi-busy month... getting ready for the holiday... making plans. I also turned 50... it was a wonderful day... spent with my beloved Ham... at a beautiful restaurant having a fabulous meal. And we started to decorate for Christmas that weekend.

December... with our first Christmas, was all that we could have wanted. We both so appreciate being in our own home. We appreciate that we can be who we are and do what we want and have to answer to no one else for what we do in our home. I can cook... and Ham is the only one in the kitchen to hover... and he hovers as he wants to help me and be a part of what I am doing. We can start projects and leave them up while we are working. Our messes are our messes... and it's ok if stays a mess for a couple of days. I am ready to put away all the holiday things and enjoy our little cottage the way I set it up when we first moved in... We will have changes coming in the weeks ahead, and I am excited for that. I continue to pray for God's blessings upon us, and for guidance for the right job for me. I also continually pray for His Hedge of Protection around our home and our vehicles and for Hams job and his safety and traveling mercies. We have been richly blessed and I wait with great anticipation and humbled hopes of what God has for us in the coming year.

Thanks for reading... be blessed!
~Suzanne

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Nolli ~ Sweet Puppy Love!

Today was just a regular Tuesday. We got DH off to work and then we just chilled out... doing our regular stuff around the house. It seemed like a mild day... the wind had settled down and there weren't any huge gust's blowing the roof off. If I didn't know what day of the year it was... I'd swear we were in early spring... except for no leaves on the trees.


There is no real trace of snow on the grass... and just the big piles from when the snow plow came by.


Since it was such a nice day... I brought Nolli out to play in the sunshine and go to the post office with me. There weren't that many spaces open to park when we went... but I found a place to park with an empty space next to us. I left Nolli in the car... he was sitting in the front seat on top of my Aigner bag. I ran into the Post Office... and when I came out, someone had parked next to us and I could hear her telling the crew in her SUV to look at the dog.


As I walked across the parking lot... the lady who owned the SUV came walking toward me... I told her, "His name is Canolli." Her whole face lit up... and she exclaimed, "What a cute name for such a cute dog!" When I got to the car... there he sat, on my bag... with his tail wagging to beat the band. He was so happy to be recognized!


Tonight, he was so sweet and charming. He waited in the hallway until after we ate our dinner to see if there were any good things that we had saved for him. I made a simple supper of chili style hot dogs and Georgia Cracker salad. I swear that little guy knows the difference between a simple dinner and when I really cook something good. DH had worked outside today... and where he was, he had a good wind. He was weary from being cold all day. He put on his pj's and curled up on the bed right after dinner to get his legs warm and relaxed. Sweet little Nolli jumped up with his Dad and snuggled up to his legs. So sweet!


It touches my my heart so deeply, as Hubs has never been one to have an indoor pet, let alone one that can get up on the bed. He adores that Nolli has bonded to him... and they are so cute together.

He's such a sweet little guy... look at that face!

I got very lucky when I found this little guy at the animal shelter. He was only a 7 month old pup at the time. He is very loving... and his only trick is that he can shake for a treat. He does walk pretty well on a leash and understands sit, stay, and heel. I don't know that he would pass obedience training to be a therapy dog.... altho he would make an excellent therapy dog.



When he gets tickled, he sticks his tongue out... there is just a hint in this photo. And if you look on the right side of his nose... he has a little spot that is heart shaped. It's one of my favorite places to kiss him. (I am so crazy about this dog!)

Thanks for reading... be blessed!

~Suzanne

Monday, December 29, 2008

Mundane Monday

It is a mundane Monday, for sure! DH has gone back to work after 4 glorious days at home. We celebrated the Christmas Holiday with food, gifts, fun and friends. I am so wanting to take down the tree... but I am waiting for 3 Kings day, or 12th night.... and it's already trying my patience. With DH gone to work... I am feeling bored and lonely today. I miss talking to DH and laughing about silly things.

Altho... since he has gone back to work... I'm not constantly in the kitchen. When he's home... all I do is cook and wash dishes. I get tired very easily of doing that... I can handle doing 2 meals a day... but when it becomes 3 meals and a few snacks... that's just way too much! I do try to keep several things made up to make it easier. I always have lunch meats and cheeses on hand. I almost always have hard boiled eggs and egg salad made up as well. I have a couple of home made cheese balls done up too. I haven't done very much in sweets, as we both have a huge sweet tooth and don't need to constantly feed it.

On other topics... I had someone become a follower today... and then tonight as I came back on line to welcome them... they had vanished! (Hmmmm... was it something I didn't say or do?) I did check my visitor log and see that someone from Mossyrock was reading! Hey! How are you!?! I know that y'all have a ton of snow! Haven't been up your way in several years.

I'm figuring out what I need to make for New Years Eve. I think I will do mexican food... maybe just my homemade tacos and chili cheese dip for later. And of course on New Years Day, I will make some black eyed peas for wealth and prosperity. I saved my ham bone from Christmas just for that! (I may even make some cornbread!)

Poor DH... has to cover the entire region this week... lots of hours and not any overtime! Booooo! He hasn't even taken a shower yet, in case he gets called out before bedtime. Nolli dog was a bed-muffin again all day today. He is not acting entirely right at all... I hope it's just a phase. On a facebook note... Jules~ the wedding pics are beautiful and Jessie looks so happy! It was good to see pics of Jake being happy too!

Thanks for reading... be blessed!
~Suzanne

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Lazy Bed-Muffins... That's Us!

After having such a full day on Friday... we have been having a lazy weekend. We really did nothing yesterday... as we both felt a little strange, both of us had neck aches and joint aches. It seemed like a little bit of the flu for both of us. We took Tylenol and drank lots of liquids. We both felt much better when we woke up today.

Today, our main project was to take all the bagged clothing we had gone through and actually get into the donation boxes at the top of the hill. That was a huge accomplishment... and it felt good not to think about needing the tax write off for it. After that... DH worked on getting some things down into the basement that needed going from the porch. And he hung up some little Christmas gifts that we received. It was an easy peasy kind of day. This week, he will be on call for the entire territory as his assistant manager will be taking this week off. I am hoping that we will survive all that has a possibility of going on!

I am hoping to get a couple of projects done in the next few days... as we will again be spending a 4 day weekend together. (I do better when I get some things made ahead!) And I hope to have a few pictures to share as well.

Thanks for reading... be blessed!
~Suzanne

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Road Trip Review

Since moving to our little village, there are certain things that we once took for granted. Having the pleasure of having a Homegoods or (2) Target(s) in the neighborhood. And we also had a Chipotle Grill close to where we both worked... I often ate my lunch at Chipotle and they knew me and what my order would be when I walked through the door. One of the managers always comped part or all of my meal. I seriously had a crush on Chipotle.

We've been up here for 6 months now. DH often goes down to Philly and there are 6 or 7 Chipotle stores down in that area. I haven't had any good mexican food since we came up here and have wanted to go down to Chipotle for quiet awhile. Yesterday was that day!

We took our time in the morning... being lazy bed bugs for most of the morning. We got on the road a little after noon. We went down to Bethlehem to check out the Homegoods store down there. It was a huge store... but it was also a combo Marshalls/Homegoods. They had a huge lamp section and a fairly good bedding section. Their Christmas and Holiday stuff was super picked over. I was also hoping to find more of the serveware to match the piece that DH gave me for Christmas. We spent a total of $65 and 1 1/2 hours there.

Then it was off to find the Chipotle! We drove and drove... for a whole 'nother hour before we made our way to North Wales. It was a huge shopping center across from a mall. And that center also had a Marshalls and a Homegoods!!!! (DH offered to let me go into that Homegoods... but I was too hungry and tired to shop.

We went into the Chipotle... and it was beautiful! It's not a real big store... there was no line, and we went about placing our order. DH mentioned to the girl on the line that we drove 100 miles to come have burrito bowls... she was a little blown away. When we were at the cash register, she mentioned it to the m-o-d that we drove 100 miles... and he was so jazzed that we came that far, he comped us our entire meal!!!

The food was just as good as we remember it to be! The guacamole for me... was sheer heaven. The chips were fresh and salty... the chicken and the two salsas I love were... so yummy and good. The manager came by twice to check on us and asked about where we lived. We told him that there is nothing this good in our area and that we both had lived and worked near a Chipotle and it back a way of life for us that we really missed.

Needless to say... we went back after finishing our meal and ordered two more bowls to go... along with more chips and guacamole. And the manager comped us on the chips and guac. As soon as I got home last night... I went to the website and left a rave review for Jeff and his store!

It was a fun road trip and I am certain that we will be making our way to North Wales again when I need a Homegoods fix and kill 2 birds with one stone! (DH... you are the best!)

Thanks for reading... be blessed!
~Suzanne

Friday, December 26, 2008

We're Off!

Hubs has the day off. The shop is closed... and if he does get a call... it will be double time. We are off on a day trip. I love Home Goods and there isn't a real HG store close by. Hubs has been promising me a trip to the one down in Bethlehem. So... we are going to find some of my favorite urban haunts. HG and some Chipoltle for a late lunch. I am very excited about this. We had thought of going to Green Dragon... but it's a little too far to go for being on-call. Let's keep our fingers crossed that he won't get a call until after we are home again.

Hey... anyone care to share what wonderful things you were gifted with over the last 2 days? I'd love to hear about it!

Thanks for reading.... and be blessed!
~Suzanne

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

We have had a very blest and bless-ed day at the cottage. We have been surrounded by the love of our family and friends. Even though our family is spread far and wide, we have felt their love. Our good friends from the flower shop made our holiday very wonderful with their fellowship and caring warmth.

DH and I are feeling closer and more in love than ever. And my best friend Liz called me and sent me a text of her gorgeous shiny new 2 ct diamond engagement ring! (That thing isn't just a diamond, it's a headlight!) So, soon we will be making plans to head to the Virgin Islands for a wedding. Our Christmas was simple... and that's the way we wanted it. The neighbors have talked me into leaving the tree up until 3 kings day or 12th night... I will leave the tree... but some of the santas are gonna be taking a nap soon!

I think we are off to visit Green Dragon tomorrow... we shall see. It depends on if DH needs to spend another day in the company of Microsoft to get his system to work.

Oh... DH just came back in from walking Nolli... he had the biggest smile on his face! His hand was behind his back. I said... please put down the snow ball... He said... say thank you God... and handed me a $20 bill that he found out in the snow in our front yard! Wow! Merry Christmas!

BTW: DH surprised me today... he shaved off the moustache and goatee he's worn forever. He gained a good 20 years of age back and lost 15 pounds on the way. I think he will be growing it back... cuz I don't want anyone to think he's with his mother!

Thanks for reading... be blessed!
~Suzanne

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve

It's been a crazy time in the last 36 hours here at Sugarloaf Cottage. John had to go hither and yon yesterday... and then had an emergency night call at 9:00 pm. (That night call is a blessing!) He was out for 5 hours... and he made it home just as the ice storm moved into the valley. When we woke up this morning, it was really nasty out. DH's supervisor called and said the roads were really bad where he was as well... and they would be having an emergency snow day.

That was okay... but then the supervisor called and said that one of the U*P*S sites was having an issue... so out the door went my husband. The only good thing I can say is... it's moved from freezing rain to straight rain, weather wise. It's Christmas eve... and I don't know when he will be home. (But at least it's not a Philly site, he was suppose to work down there today.)

We are pretty much ready for the holiday.... and I am doing some last minute baking. I have more cinnamon rolls to do for gifts and for us. We are looking forward to being together for the next 4 days. We are also looking forward to the New Year and what God has in store for us.
Merry Christmas to all... I'm heading off to the kitchen now!

Thanks for reading... Be Blessed!
~Suzanne

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Little Christmas Letter...

I received this cute Christmas message from a good friend of mine from Maryland. It made me laugh so much that I knew I had to share it! Some of these wishes hit very close to home for me these days! Here goes!:

Merry Christmas To My Female Friends

If I were ol' Santa, you know what I'd do
I'd dump silly gifts that are given to you
And deliver some things just inside your front door
Things you have lost, but treasured before.

I'd give you back all your maidenly vigor,
And to go along with it, a neat tiny figure.
Then restore the old color that once graced your hair
Before rinses and bleaches took residence there.

I'd bring back the shape with which you were gifted
So things now suspended need not be uplifted.
I'd draw in your tummy and smooth down your back
Till you'd be a dream in those tight fitting slacks.

I'd remove all your wrinkles and leave only one chin
So you wouldn't spend hours rubbing grease on your skin
You'd never have flashes or queer dizzy spells
And you wouldn't hear noises like ringing of bells.

No sore aching feet and no corns on your toes
No searching for spectacles when they're right on your nose
Not a shot would you take in your arm, hip or fanny
From a doctor who thinks you're a nervous old granny.

You'd never have a headache, so no pills would you take.
And no heating pad needed since your muscles won't ache.
Yes, if I were Santa, you'd never look stupid
You'd be a cute little chick with the romance of a cupid.

I'd give a lift to your heart when those wolves start to whistle
And the joys of your heart would be light as a thistle.
But alas! I'm not Santa.I'm simply just me
The matronest of matrons you ever did see.

I wish I could tell you all the symptoms I've got
But I'm due at my doctor's for an estrogen shot.
Even though we've grown older this wish is sincere
Merry Christmas to you and a Happy New Year

Thanks for reading... Be Blessed!
~Suzanne

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ohhhh... It's so cold!!!

The whole nation is in the deep freeze right now... but I had no idea of just how cold it can get here in our little valley! We woke up to 1* degree and a wind blowing briskly... making it feel like -20*. What's worse.... was that we were due for our heating oil delivery this morning... and I turned the thermostat down to 50* to conserve what little bit of oil we had left. It gets cold in this house really quickly... and I am wondering what they used for insulation. (I ordered oil last week, but the soonest they could come was today.) DH said that we had burned through the last 1/8th of a tank like it was nothing! If it keeps up like this... we will burn through the oil we just got very quickly.

Needless to say... I can't be at the computer too long... it's too close to the south window and when the wind blows... I can feel the breeze! We will be putting plastic up on the windows when DH gets home. I do have both sets of drapes pulled to try and keep the warmth in... but it's like a small bandaid on a cut that needs stitches. I just checked on the outside temp... we're up to 17* degrees and with the windchill... it feels like it's 1* degree. Brrrrr!

Lucky for DH... he's working in a heated building today. And Nolli-dog is a total bed-muffin... he hasn't moved since he came back in from DH letting him out this morning. (Smart dog!)
That's all I've got for now... I'm going to crawl into bed for a little bit and warm up til DH gets home.

PS: DH did a quick check of the windows tonight and discovered that the storm windows in the living room had not been pulled down! Yikes... we wasted a lot of heat! But NOW we are set for the winter and should see a lot less heat wasted. We still have a couple of other things to do and we should be a lot warmer!

Thanks for reading... be blessed!
~Suzanne

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Nothing much today....

We don't really have all that much going on today at Sugarloaf Cottage. We both managed to stay up way too late last night. We both spent time cooking and cleaning for various meals. We both spent time on the internet. And we both watched a couple of old movies. Needless to say... I still woke up at 5am... the storm hadn't started here yet, so I tried to go back to sleep and gave up at 8:30. The snow had started by then, but we only got a dusting of 2 inches this time.

We have gone back out for groceries... (DH seems to eat a lot more when he's home.) And we have moved some furniture upstairs. My ankle is throbbing and swollen as a result and I am thinking it needs to be immobilized with my Bledsoe boot. I know that if I do that... it will eventually heal and I will be able to do more.

So... no baking for today. I will attempt it tomorrow. This afternoon, the storm has cleared, the sun is out and it's actually quite pleasant out. I was out in just a heavy winter sweater on with jeans... and I didn't really get cold if I was out in the sun. They say the winds are going to be coming in soon... 40-50 mph winds! I'm ready to just stay in and be quiet for now.

Thanks for reading... sorry I don't have more today! Be Blessed!
~Suzanne

Saturday, December 20, 2008

On Ice


The stream behind the house is starting to ice over!



Thursday night... we went out for dinner and then on to work on getting supplies for the winter storm and Christmas gifts. It was a pretty good haul. We got everything we needed to complete the Christmas Box for the west coast part of the family. DH helped me get what we needed for his Dad and Grandma. I got Nolli's gifts, too! It was very cold but clear... you could tell by the air that a storm was coming.

Once we got home and put all of the stuff away... DH went to get warm and relax in front of TV and watch our favorite show... CSI. Nolli, on the other hand, decided that he needed another little walk. So... off we went. I got as far as the front door. As I stepped out on the little snowman doormat, it has gotten repositioned over the main doormat and I stepped on the very edge. It was enough of an edge to roll my right ankle right over and pull my lateral ligament. It hurt pretty bad. I walked Nolli as far as the front yard, leaned against the garage entry door and waited for him to get done.


The storage shed across the stream.


I managed to hobble upstairs and put myself into bed after that. I tried to stay off of it yesterday. I didn't do too well at that at all. Between trying to get the Christmas box done, get DH out the door on his call, answer the phone a bajillion times, and make dinner... I was hurting pretty bad last night. This morning... my ankle is purple and red and swollen. I have been trying to keep it on ice as much as possible. I had such great hopes for today. I was going to bake a ton of goodies. I wanted to do cinnamon rolls and chocolate cookies. I wanted to do some homemade almond roca candy... yeah... well, what I want and what I get are always two different things!

It's okay... I have DH home all weekend to help me and maybe... we will attempt to try it tomorrow. Right now DH has decided to bake some toll house cookie dough that is in the fridge.

As far as weather... it's very pretty outside. We have another storm coming in tonight and will add another 5 inches of snow on top of what we have now. DH worked down in the garage today... moving his stuff down to the basement so that I can park in the garage now. That's exciting to me... to park in the garage. (I'm trying to remember when the last time I could park in a garage was.... when I lived on Silver St... back in 94-98! oh my!)


It's time for me to get back on the ice and elevate my ankle. Let's hope that I can get some good things accomplished tomorrow and remember to take some pics in the process!


That's Nolli running over the ice covered snow to investigate a pine cone that fell.

Pictures were provided by DH! Thanks, Babe, for your help and support in all that I do!
Thanks for reading... Be Blessed!
~Suzanne

Friday, December 19, 2008

Done and Gone!

The snow is done and gone for today... (they say we'll get hammered again on Sunday.) We got around 8 inches of snow and then freezing rain on top! My Christmas Box for my family was sent off today as well! That's a story all of it's own... but here's what happened first!

DH was going to take a snow day today. The storm was to begin between 6-9 am... and to last about 12 hours. Even the weather maps on TV showed that this was gonna be a doozy! We talked about it and figured that if he had to take vacation time, he would lose his overtime, but his life and safety is worth more than any money we would lose. Well... a snow day for him was not to be!

We were busy this morning... DH was tracking his hours and his counts and doing paperwork while I was busy getting all the gifts for my family taken care of and wrapped. I got everything done and placed in the box. DH went to the basement and got the bubble wrap and plastic air bag padding... he got it all wrapped up and we taped it up. I got it addressed... and then his phone went off. Yep! He got an emergency call for U*P*S and had to change to get on the road.

Now... this is happening in the middle of a REALLY BAD snow storm... And the site he had to go to was at a higher elavation and it was 50+ miles north... right in the heart of how the storm was tracking.

He called me from the road several times on the way up... there were sooo many accidents... and many big rigs that were jack knifed all along the way. He finally got there after an 1 1/2. He did his repair work... it took about 5 minutes to fix the problem and he was back out the door.

His trip home was fraught with problems. For one thing... he had to go up hill to get back out of the industrial park he was in... and he couldn't get enough traction because he had to slow down for some kids who were walking in the middle of the road and refused to move. Once he stopped, he couldn't get going again.

As I helped him get ready to leave this morning... I packed him a lunch with extra beverages. I also had him take the snow shovel and a container of salt melt with him. God works it all out for us... because if he hadn't had the shovel and salt... he'd still be trying to get off that hill.

His trip home took him almost 4 hours. He was exhausted from having to literally shovel his way up the hill to get back to the interstate. His trip back down the interstate was again fraught with too many accidents to count. But on the bright side... he did manage to get my package sent while he was in the U*P*S facility. It cost us an arm and a leg to send... and it's going fricken ground! It will definitely not make it for Christmas... and more likely it will be New Years!

Once he got back home... he needed a good 45 minutes to de-stress... and then it was out to the driveway to finish shoveling what didn't get plowed out. I had parked my car to the side and they plowed around it. DH took Nolli out with him and they played and romped while DH shoveled. Nolli just loves the snow and he can run forever in it if you don't slow him down.

We had left over French Onion soup tonight... it was just perfect after all the cold and worry and frustration. I am hoping for a good night's sleep... I managed to trip last night while taking Nolli out and rolled my right ankle and pulled my lateral ligament. I am mobile, but hobbling around and need to use my cane again. ( I so didn't need to injure that knee right now... it's the one they want to replace... and I'm not ready for that.)

Tomorrow, I hope to do some baking... I hope to make some dinner rolls, a loaf of bread and a couple pans of cinnamon rolls. I also want to make a couple of batches of Christmas cookies too! Sounds like a lot of baking... I really do need sleep to do all of that!

Thanks for reading... Be Blessed!
~Suzanne

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's on it's way...

Hmmm... Christmas cards are on their way. And SNOW is on it's way. But my gifts... are still waiting to be finished wrapping and boxed before they will be on their way. I am s-l-o-w at this Christmas stuff this year. Mainly because I cannot decide what I want to do and what I am giving to my siblings this year. And let's not talk about John's side of the family... I am really struggling with that!

So, tonight... it's off to finish getting what I need to wrap gifts. And pick up a few supplies, not that we really need anything. (It's just a tradition to run out and get milk and bread and toilet paper!) I hope that I can keep up the pace I need to get all of this done. And just think... I will have to brave the snow tomorrow to get to the post office! That should be fun.... I may have to walk to it though!

Btw... I have done all of this wonderful stuff on less than 4 hours of sleep... the sleepless monster has found me and I cannot seem to stay asleep! Arrrrgghhh! I, so want to put on my jammies and just crawl in and stay there. Soon... very soon.... I am going to take a day... and sleep. Turn off the phone, ignore the computer, put in the ear plugs and done the sleep mask and Sleep!!!

I did go to the flower shop today. While I was up, not sleeping, I decided to make some lemon bread. It turned out quite well... I added lemon yogurt to the batter and it made the bread very tender. I took a few slices over to the girls so they could enjoy some while they had tea on their virtually non-existent afternoon break. They never stop and they NEVER sit down. (That just makes my back and my feet hurt just thinking about it.) I took Nolli over for a visit... he ate lemon bread during tea time as well... perfect little gentleman.

Oh.... must go.... can't finish this post, cuz it's time to go! DH is outta the shower and dressed!
See ya all later!

Thanks for reading, Be Blessed!
~Suzanne

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Boomerang!

After having a couple of nights where my sleep cycle was all screwed up... my cold is back again. It hit hard this afternoon... and I am so not needing to have a cold right now. It seems that lately all I ever say is that I am sick!

I made seafood chowder for dinner, based on an old WWII recipe that my Mom used to make for us. It's a soup that I have made for friends over and over again, and they all love it. I've added celery and thyme and basic seasonings to it to enrich it. (And extra butter and cream, I cannot help myself with the butterfat!) It's perfect for a snowy day and doesn't take a lot of time.


Pacific Chowder

1 onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
3 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp thyme
1 T. parsley
1-2 tsps salt
2 lbs potatoes, diced
3 cups water... enough to cover potatoes
1 can tuna, drained
1 can creamed corn
1/2 bag frozen corn niblets
1/4 to 1/2 pound of small bay shrimp. I use frozen and thaw it in hot water before adding.
2 C. milk or half and half

seasonings: onion powder, garlic powder, season salt, pepper, 2 T. sugar, salt and pepper

2T. water and 2 T. flour mixed into slurry to thicken if needed...



Melt butter and olive oil in dutch oven or 4 qt stock pot. Add onion and celery, thyme and parsley. Once vegetables have soften, add diced potatoes and water and salt... adjust water to cover potatoes... I use kosher salt as potatoes will take it up as potatoes cook. Bring potatoes to boil and cook til tender... 10- 15 minutes depending on dice.

Add tuna, cream corn and corn niblets, slowly bring back up to temperature... then add shrimp. You could also add minced clams to it, just drain off the juice to keep the flavors mild.

Add 1/2 and 1/2 and season to taste with seasonings, add slurry to thicken, be sure to let it cook a little to avoid uncooked flour taste.



I served this to DH tonight and he loved it! It was a hit!



Oh... I did manage to get most of my Christmas cards done today... inspite of my cold. And I heard from my best Friend, Lizzy today! She didn't tell me that she was moving! :-O

Thanks for reading... I hope you try my chowder... Be Blessed!
~Suzanne

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Holidays!

I think I remember saying that I was going to post more pics of my decorations on here... and that seems like it was about a week ago. (my poor brain can't even remember a week ago... waahhh!)

So... let's see what I can dig up!


This little angel is sitting out on the porch coming into our little cottage.

And this little trio on the right was added to my collection of snowmen this year by DH!



This little angel has had the honor of being a tree topper in her past. Not this year, she has a place of honor sitting in my antique wicker chair, right next to the tree. The pillow she is next to has the word "Winter" embroidered on it with the "i" being a snowman.






These 2 guys are sitting in a bookcase... I placed them together for the picture. The snowman face is actually mache` and has a smaller snowman face that nests inside. (They got a little warped when we had our furnace go out this summer... hot steam everywhere, mold and mildew, aghh! It was bad.)


Here's the face of one of my favorite snowmen... his name is "Snowy" and it's embroidered down his scarf... he holds a snowball in one branchy hand and a bird in a nest in the other.


Here's a group shot of the group I have in the north window... (sorry about the candle still on in the window! sheesh!)





That, my friends is the end of pictures for today. I need to stop procrastinating and really do some Christmas stuff.... like cards, and sewing! And figure out what I am going to be serving DH for dinner tonight... I know that he is working some overtime today.

Thanks for reading... be blessed!

~Suzanne

He's a Keeper!

One of the things that I have wanted since moving into this little house was an area to do sewing. I thought we would set up something in the guest room. DH installed a desk in there and has been using that room for his office and computer repair station. (btw... he got his old computer repaired and up and running after over 2 weeks of working on it! He will soon be adding a network hub so he can transfer all of his work files on that computer. I have no idea what that means.)

Anyway... on Sunday, I thought he was working on his computer stuff while I worked on my post. I heard noise, but I thought he was just going through some of his boxes of stuff. (We each are trying to pare stuff down, condense what we are keeping, and hopefully moving it to the basement.) He called me into the guest room to go through a box of first aid supplies... and on the way in, I noticed something had been moved.

He set up a sewing area for me in our bedroom. He pulled my tea cart from off the porch area, set my sewing machine up on it, and added a swing-arm floor lamp and his desk chair. He's amazing and I hope to finally get a little busy in there in the next couple of days. I have projects that I need to get done... and I didn't want to set up the machine on the dining room table and have it scratch the table top. I want to add a couple of shelves and some other little things to that area to help me feel creative. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful man!

Thanks for reading, and be blessed!
~Suzanne

Monday, December 15, 2008

An Old Memory

While I was out and about this morning... being a domestic goddess, running errands and doing laundry, I remembered something from the second Christmas I was married to husband #1, Mr. B. Our first Christmas was stressful as he was in Toms River, NJ going to C-school in the navy and I was back home in Weed, CA at the time. He did come home for 2 weeks, and let's just say that his Mom did most of his shopping for him. (I won't go into the hell he put me through for the next 6 months.)

After the 6 months of hell... we moved to Virginia... Norfolk to be exact. When we moved, we could fit everything that we owned into the back of a Chevy LUV pick up with a canopy. We lived in a 3rd floor walk-up apartment in an old Victorian house. 1 bedroom and an attic living room and a quaint kitchen with an area for a little dining table. Our kitchen had attic ceilings too... no real cabinets to speak of, and I remember hanging my pots and pans and utensils from hooks we put into the ceiling.

I don't even think we had a real Christmas tree that year, because they were so expensive. I remember decorating our Norfolk pine tree with very simple satin bulbs that were very light weight and inexpensive from the exchange. I went to the exchange with my little budget and list of what I was going to give to my then husband and being excited about wrapping it all up. My then husband, Mr. B had his own budget and I thought he had a list. I remember he came home and made me stay in the living room while he wrapped his gifts for me. I was so excited... and one gift was in a rather large box... and we played 20 questions... animal, vegetable or mineral? Is it bigger than a bread box? He wouldn't tell me where he had shopped... he said he went to the mall and to the exchange... and he wouldn't answer any of my questions when I tried to figure out what he had bought me for our first Christmas alone together.

We continued to play the 20 questions game... and every time I asked if it was bigger than a bread box... the answer was "Keep Guessing!" Finally Christmas eve came... and in my family, we open gifts on Christmas eve. So we began to open our gifts. I remember that I bought some nice pj's for Mr. B and a couple of polo shirts, and some good cologne and some fishing gear. When it came time for my gifts... I opened some dollar store trinkets, some really cheap cologne, (Tabu... yuck!) and the biggest gift of all... a bread box! I looked inside, thinking that he had wrapped something else in the breadbox... but there wasn't anything else. I asked him if he was shopping for his mom and got the gifts mixed up. I later found out (like 20+ years, after we were divorced) that he had taken the money that was saved up for Christmas and went out with the guys for a night of ill repute.

It took a few years for him to overcome the "breadbox Christmas" and he did learn to purchase more appropriate gifts for me. But in the end... what ended our marriage was his little habit of having a night of ill repute with the guys on the ship.

All this to say... I don't care anymore about breadbox Christmases and it's such a gift to know that I have a wonderful husband who is so open and honest and shares his thoughts and feelings and his hurts and concerns. It's nice to lay that breadbox memory to rest and to know that I won't ever have to endure that again!

Thanks for reading... ~Be Blessed!
~Suzanne

Sunday, December 14, 2008

More Sweet Sunday Love~

I have had a sweet Sunday afternoon... DH has taken VERY good care of me. I had gone into the kitchen after writing my post for today because my head started to really hurt... and I figured it was the start of a caffeine headache. I figured a diet Pepsi was the ticket to some relief. (I didn't have any caffeine at all yesterday.) So... I had my glass, filled it with ice and poured in my beverage. Then I decided I needed to make a sandwich to go along with my drink.

I pulled all the makings of a good Ham and Swiss with some pepperoni on the counter. Because my head was throbbing... I went to reach for something and didn't even see my tall beverage glass full of ice and soda on the counter. I knocked it all over! I had soda and ice in all the small canning jars I use to store things. My wonderful DH heard me and came running to the rescue. I was trying to clean it up.. but he took over. He made me go sit down and he made me another soda and my sandwich for me! What a goof I am!

I shared my sandwich with Nolli and decided I needed to go and climb into bed as I was cold. (I get cold really easy and getting into bed with my wonderful electric mattress cover does the trick! If you don't have one... it's like getting into a cocoon! ) Anyway, I took my diet soda with me and went to set it on the coaster on my night stand... and darn if I didn't knock that over too! Again, that wonderful man came to my rescue and cleaned up the mess for me. We laughed so hard my clumsiness! I also had DH bring me some medicine to get my blood pressure back down so I would be a little more normal... (what ever that is!) Two drink accidents in about 5 minutes time!

Once the medicine went to work and I could feel the haze lift off of me, I got myself pulled together. Then I went to town on making French Onion soup for dinner. (It was what I had planned for last night and takes about 2 hours to do.) The onions were very sweet and caramelized so wonderful... the whole house smelled so good. I served it in sour dough bread bowls topped with swiss cheese and broiled and some shaved Parmesan. DH loved it and had 2 extra servings with all of his bread. I couldn't finish all of mine... but it was yummy, hearty and filling. Here's my recipe... sorry there aren't any pictures... it's too complicated for me today!

French Onion Soup
Heat in a soup pot over medium-low heat until butter is melted:
3 T. butter
3 T. olive oil
Add and stir to coat:
5 Onions... peeled, halved and sliced top to bottom is thin slices
A generous pinch of dried Thyme
Cook and stir occasionally, watching so onions don't burn or scorch over medium heat. As soon as the onions start to turn brown, 10-15 mins., reduce heat medium-low and continue to cook covered, and keep stirring until onions are a rich brown color... about 40 minutes.
Add 1 clove of garlic, finely minced, let cook for 30-40 seconds.
Stir in: 4 T. chicken stock to deglaze pan. (You can use sherry or port here.. no more than 2 T. and let it cook off.)
Then stir in 4 cups of beef stock, bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes, covered.
Season with 1 to 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 to 1/2 tsp pepper

To serve in a bread bowl... I get sour dough boule's at Walmart bakery... using a serrated knife... gently slice in to bread at an angle all the way around the edge... when coming to the end, slice up and it should take the center up into a cone. Place bread bowl on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven (400 degrees) for about 8 minutes. Take out of oven and turn oven up to broil.... ladle soup into bread, top with swiss cheese and put under broiler for a few minutes to melt cheese. Top with shaved Parmesan.

That's what we had for dinner... the soup will serve 8 if you use oven proof ramekins.

Thanks for reading! Be blessed... and have a Sweet Sunday Love evening!
~Suzanne

Sweet Sunday Love...

It's been a sweet morning here at Sugarloaf Cottage. With all the work we did yesterday in the damp garage... I woke up sick. I have another yucky, wracking cough because I didn't wear a mask while I was in there. (I am very allergic to mold and mildew.... I will spare you anymore details!)

My Sweet DH knew that I struggled for sleep last night... so again, he let me sleep. It also meant that we missed church again. (Sorry, Lord.) DH made me breakfast and brought me juice and he walked the dog. How lucky am I? When I think of gifts for this holiday season... I cannot think of a thing that anyone could get me... I have all I could ever want with this sweet wonderful man who wants to take care of me. So... that's what will go under our tree this year. Nothing but love. Sounds a bit like Pollyanna... but it's true, I don't want anything this year. God has blessed us... and we are grateful.

That reminds me of my favorite prayer ~ The Prayer of Jabez. It's found in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10. It's a simple 4 line prayer that has been very meaningful to me. It reads as this: "Oh that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain." And God granted his request.
I have prayed this prayer daily in the last 3 years, and it is amazing to see the blessings that God has poured out upon me and now upon DH. God does love to bless us all... and he loves it even more when we ask him to bless us. I am so grateful for the riches of His Kingdom and all that he has blessed me with.

Thanks for reading... BE BLESSED on this Sweet Sunday!
~Warm Hugs and sunday Love,
~Suzanne

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Late Saturday Post

No... I don't think it will be the Saturday Evening Post. (I'm not up to that caliber!) It's been a funky kind of day around here. Someone didn't close the living room drapes last night, and when I woke up at 7-ish... it was too light for me to sleep in. I got up, did some reading and puttering, ate a little breakfast and decided that I had a rippin' headache and went back to bed. I did walk the dog first.

I don't know when DH got up... he was very quiet about it as he knew I didn't have a great night last night and knew my head hurt. I slept until almost 1~ something I don't often do. DH had a great time while I slept. He raided all the goodie drawers. When he told me what he ate for breakfast, all I could do was laugh and be glad it's not my middle it's going to go to. He ate almost a whole box of Mallomars and some chips, and he finished off all the salted peanuts in the shell. And he drank orange juice so it qualifies for breakfast. (*burp!*)

I had planned on getting some specific things done today... Nope! Didn't happen. But I did go down to the garage and work with DH on going through some of the boxes of (big pile of crap) stuff he brought from storage when we moved here. It was a good thing too... as we have discovered a water leak (not certain how or where it's getting in) and he had some tools and work supplies that got pretty wet. We unearthed tons of stuff from his ex-girlfriend that she did not ever bother to claim. I have a ton of stuff to put in the planet earth boxes now! Anyway... while we were working... it was not too bad down there. But as soon as the sun started to set, both Nolli-dog and I got cold. I sent him upstairs around 5 and I stayed down there working until 6. then I cried "Uncle" as it was too cold to do anymore. (It was only a mere 23 degrees~)

So, we cleaned up because it was too late for me to make what I had planned on doing for dinner. We went out for some good chinese food at our favorite place. We had cashew chicken and pork lo-mein. It was so good... can't wait for the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. That, my friends, has been my day. I did score some great stuff to put on e-bay as I was going through the ex-g/f stuff that will put a very small dent in the amount of money she owes DH. But we're not going there!

Thanks for reading... I need to go and get some more stuff done so I can go to bed at a decent hour and maybe go to church tomorrow. Be Blessed!

~Suzanne

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Follow up from last night...

Well... last night was a little exciting and fun. We really had fun going out to investigate all the water and noise. It was definitely a moment to remember of making a memory together.

We were suppose to wake up to snow this morning. Because we live in a valley... what weather happens in the valley can be very different than just 3 miles away. Within just 30 minutes of getting my darling Ham out the door to work... the snow began to fall. I went out to take a look around at 10-ish. The river from last night is now back in it's banks and the mud really isn't there.



The picture on left is the north side and the picture on the right is the south side by the road. In the left picture, you can see the stream. Last night the water was up past the shrubbery. Now, you'd have no idea that it ever happened.


Along with everyone else... I have do have a pic of my tree to share.



And some pics of a few of my snowmen... they are scattered all through the house, but I have a grouping on my old steamer trunk that I love:


I love the face of the little lady on the right side~ she is just adorable!



And here is a little Victorian rabbit caroler that sits on my hutch~ she was made by a coworker from when I worked at the college. She's been around awhile now.




And here are our stockings.... hung in the dining room area because I liked the way I could look at them every time I walked by... one for each of us... mine is needlepoint, DH was added this year, and Nolli's had his all of his 5 Christmases with me.



I'd love to post more pics tonight... but Ham came home early from work today and he is starving to death. So I am off to the kitchen to find some grub for him.... I actually have no idea what we are having, I really thought he'd be out on the road or be really late. I am glad to have him home safe and sound on a night like this. (Btw... it's a full moon and is suppose to be spectacular! I might have to go out later and see if I can see it!)
Thanks for reading! Be Blessed!
~Suzanne













Thursday, December 11, 2008

Current Weather Report-grab your swim fins!

We have had a nice cozy evening here. DH made it home from all of his travels by a little after 5pm. I was a little concerned because he ventured north this morning in the midst of an ice storm. He went up to Scranton and afterwards, came back to work in Humboldt, just down the road. After that, he traveled down the PA turnpike, which is at a higher elevation, so he was in the wintery mix of rain and sleet.

After dinner... we kicked back and just watched tv and did work... hearing the rain outside. DH even took Nolli-dog out twice during the evening. About 10:45... I had gotten into bed and DH came in to finish the tv show he was watching... and I commented on the rain, asking if what I was hearing was rain and ice mixed. He raised the window blind and looked out... to see our little stream had become a huge raging river!

We donned our rain gear and I grabbed my umbrella and we headed out the door... to be greeted by another raging river coming down our driveway and right across our front door! He ran to his truck and pulled out his big powerful flashlight so we could really see what was going on. Yep... the stream is a good 10 feet out of it's banks just north of the house. We can't even get to the bridge. We walked around to the back... it was deep and flowing fast past our feet. We walked up the driveway to the road and went to check out the bridge at the street level... we have 3 different drains that come together at the base of the street bridge... It's no wonder there is so much water in the yard.

We came back inside, glad to know what the noise is... glad to know that the garage is okay. Glad to know that even with water in the basement, we don't have anything down on the floor to worry about. As we came back upstairs, DH said, "Who says you can't have fun walking in the rain at night!" He was right... we did have fun splashing around and investigating all the water run-off. I will say that I am more than a little worried about having a skating rink out there in the morning, we are due for snow tonight as the temperature drops. It's funny... as I sit here and listen, it's gotten quieter, the rain must be passing. I guess it's time for me to go and get warm again and let Nolli-dog know that Mom and Dad really aren't all that crazy, no matter what he thinks! Also need to make sure our coats are hung right to get dry by morning.

Thanks for reading! Be Blessed.
~Suzanne

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Late Nite Run

Poor DH was not feeling good last night. He kept saying his throat was sore. I kept telling him to take sudafed or mucinex. I don't know if he did or not. When I finally went to bed last night... he was miserable and not able to sleep. So... off on a midnight trip to the "great Wal" as it is the closest store open that late. I took Nolli with me... he was up for a road trip.

It's kind of fun to go to the "great Wal" at that time of day. I rather enjoyed not having any crowds to contend with. And it's also interesting to see who works the late shift to stock and what is being done at that hour. I now know that green section of the produce aisle gets completely redone and cleaned. The baking aisle is also restocked, as are the canned goods aisles.

The pharmacy section is a ghost town. For the very first time since I moved here, I was alone in the pharmacy section. I was able to read labels and decide what I wanted to buy without having to move or try to jockey into position to get what I wanted. It was divine! I grabbed both Tylenol cold and sore throat medicine and Sucrets's lozenges. When I made it back home and doctored up DH, it was about 30 minutes for him to be sound asleep. I think I finally made it to bed around 2am. (Yeah... I took a nap today and am very behind.) I woke up groggy as did DH, but he felt a little better. I am feeling better... I have a little bit of sniffles and my voice is back. I am hoping we are both healthy again by the weekend.

Just as I fell asleep... the winter storm we were expecting let loose... I don't think we were to have thunder, but that's what it sounded like when the rain let go... it was very loud and woke me up, even with ear plugs in! It's been rather warm since yesterday and I am enjoying it.

Time for me to get going and try to stay motivated to get some cleaning done. I need to move some boxes too. I already have a handle on dinner... doing a simple meal of kielbasa and au gratin potatoes done in one dish with additional herbs and onion, and steamed broccoli on the side. That takes no time at all... I can throw it in the oven and keep on working til the timer goes off. DH likes it and it's easy on me.

Thanks for reading, be blessed!
~Suzanne

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It's Still Holding On!

I woke up with NO voice this morning. I haven't sounded this bad since I did the iodine-free diet for 2 weeks to prepare for my nuclear ablation on what was left of my thyroid tissue. I took more sudafed, and really hot. hot shower, lots of Vicks (btw, Puffs with lotion and Vicks really rocks!) and drank a ton of water. Finally, I sound a little like me, as long as I don't get choked up.

I ventured out to the flower shop. I wish I had taken my camera with me. They finally got their poinsettia delivery... and they are so gorgeous. I will try and take a few pictures tomorrow if I can get out. My uncle Ray on my dad's side, married into the Ecki family that raises many of the poinsettia stock that is sold around the world. He and his wife traveled extensively in the 60's and 70's for the family business. When they finally decided to retire, they went to Switzerland for their golden years. They had 2 sons, Rob and Duane. I am certain those 2 boys have also amassed a great fortune, along with what they inherited and who knows where they are living these days. My memories of them, were that they both worked at Disneyland during college. (Again back in the 60's!)

I'm sorry that I don't have any pictures to add on today. I am having an issue with one of the settings on my camera and all my pictures are coming out blurred. So... once I sit down and fiddle with the settings, hopefully I will have something from my Holiday collections to share!

Thanks for reading. Be Blessed!
~Suzanne

Monday, December 8, 2008

Soooo Cold!

I am still fighting off the nasty little sore throat and cold bug. The temps today don't help it any. It was 15 degrees at noon today. I took my own temp to see what was going on.... and I had a sub-temp of 97.1. Yep... that means I've got some good crud going on. Way back in high school, when I would get sick with a sore throat and strep... or when I had mono, I would have a sub-temperature. I've been drinking as much as I can... but it's not easy. Glands are slightly enlarged and tender... but we will see if it cycles on it's own or if I will need to take antibiotics.

Hubs had local work today... and was ahead on his counts and go to come home about 45 minutes early. That was nice, but he also didn't eat lunch today... which meant he was starving. So, I climbed outta bed and thru something from the freezer into the oven, made instant mashed potatoes (which I doctored up pretty good - bacon bits, sour cream, cheese and diced red onion) made some homemade ranch dressing and had DH cut up some fresh broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and celery. That was as close to a dinner that he was going to get from me. It wasn't too bad.

DH has to go back out to work tonite... traveling about 40 minutes north and the job will take about 3 1/2 hours minimum. Tis the holiday season, and the big two delivery companies need their belt systems to run properly so that everyone can get their packages on time. Yep... that's what my husband does... he keeps it all working so that Big Brown and FE air, ground, and hd can get it all loaded on the truck.

I'm headed back to bed... I may get me some ice cream a little later on... and check to see if anything is happening out there! Leave me some comments, 'kay?

Thanks for reading, and be blessed!
~Suzanne

Sunday, December 7, 2008

All About Me Scattagories

Scattagories... Tag, You're it!

Who do you look the most like in your family? That would be my brother and my nephew Brandon... and just recently (2 years ago), I discovered that we look like our birth mother!

Do you like your handwriting? I did... but the more I keyboard, the worse it gets. I need to practice!
Do you prefer pants or skirts? At home, I wear jeans. At work, it would be skirts
Smooth jazz or rock? Rock...
Do you have kids? 2 step kids and 1 in heaven
What is your favorite lunchmeat? That would Ham off the bone... yummy and good
If you were someone else, would you be friends with you? Heck yeah!
Are you sarcastic? I can be when I'm trying to be funny
Are you good at telling jokes? I can be if I don't rush it or get too tickled by the punchline!
Do you cry easily? Yeah... went to the living nativity and cried all the way through
Do you have your tonsils? well... had em out when I was 4, but the left one grew back!
Would you bungee jump? Yes... I have!
Who has been your favorite President in your lifetime? President Reagan
What is your favorite ice cream? That would be chocolate moose tracks
What's the first thing you notice about people? Their eyes and smile
What is the last movie you went to the theatre to see? Sex and the City... right before we moved and I needed some sanity in all the chaos
What book are you currently reading? Something by Debbie Macomber
Who do you miss the most? Being able to talk to my Mom on the phone
Shoes or barefoot? barefoot
What color do you prefer, red or blue? Blue or Sage Green
Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? Hubs
What was the last thing you ate? Homemade mac and cheese with ham
What is your least favorite feature? my feet
What do you listen to? Mostly Christian Contemporary
Favorite scents? Roses, vanilla, peony
Hair color? Eye color? Blonde these days/ green
Favorite sports to watch? Don't really watch any sports these days
Scary movies or happy endings? Happy endings!
Movies that make you laugh or movies that make you think? BOTH
Who is your newest favorite singer? Michael Buble, esp. "Sway" and "Everything"
Do you have a special talent? I can cook and bake

If you want to play along... leave me a tag so I can see!
Thanks for reading, and be blessed!
~Suzanne

Hang on to your hats!

Holy Cow! The wind is blowing strong and hard... it's 26 degrees and with the wind chill... it's down to single digits. We had a gust that shook the whole house! I was sound asleep and it woke me up. Poor Nolli-dog doesn't want to go out at all.

Yeah... that's right, I said I was sound asleep. Cuz I woke up this morning looking for a water hose to put out the fire in my throat. It's swollen, red and burning. DH decided to share his wonderful sick germs and I now have his yucky stuff~ bleehhh!

We are going to attempt going to the living Nativity here in the village. It's the least we can do since they are willing to be out in this cold weather and we can stay in the car and not pass any of these really great sore throat germs to anyone else. We are trying to do some of the community things here when we have the time.

I've only got one more favorite ornament to show you all:


This one that a friend sent me because she knows I have a snowman collection. It's a rusty tin heart and has a spring loop. So sweet and cute! I may share some of my santa and snowman collections in the coming week.
Thanks for reading, and be blessed!
~Suzanne

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Update...

It's Saturday night... and I managed to get errands ran with DH. We got back around 3:00 and walked the dog. Even though it was 25 degrees with a nice wind chill of 18 degrees, we enjoyed our outside time inspite of feeling pretty yucky. Nolli had a great time and was so energized by all the running and sniffing he got to do! It was rather nice to spend that time all together and greet some of our neighbors as well.

We had a simple dinner of spaghetti and garlic bread. The sauce was some I had made a while back and froze. It tasted really good after being cold and not feeling good. After dinner... Nolli needed another outside break... and we were in the midst of a nice ice storm. So... DH put out the salt on our walkway and the side area for the garage.

After... DH started to feel worse with his headache and sinus stuff... so off to bed with hot tea and lots of honey. He took more medicine and slept so hard that when he woke up, he thought it was the next morning instead of just 1 hour ago. We've been snuggled in under all the cozy quilts and covers... being Disney geeks and watching HSM and HSM2. That always cheers me up. I don't think we are going to make it to the Living Nativity this weekend if things stay the same. So, it's off to walk the dog very quickly and then I am headed back under the covers to snuggle in for the rest of the night.

Thanks for reading... Be Blessed!
Until Tomorrow...
~Suzanne

I've got it too!

Ham... my wonderful husband, has been sick for the last 2 days. Today... I woke up with his wonderful bug. "Just run me over with a big truck and leave me in the ditch to die" is how I am feeling.
We have errands to run today, I was planning on going to the Holiday Home tour in our little village, and I really wanted to tackle some projects around here. Not today... and maybe not tomorrow either. I will manage to drag myself to the store to buy honey and lemons and maybe a frozen entree so I won't have to cook later. But it maybe that I stock up on chicken noodle soup and just stay in bed.

And to top it off... I had Ham bring up my sewing machine from the basement. I wasn't paying attention to where he put it... and I banged my already compromised knee on it this morning. I don't trust my right knee for anything right now. Ouch!

That's all... I apologize for wasting your time as you read my drivel and complaining.

Just to play nice... here's another one of my favorite ornaments:


This little ornament is made from purple heart maple. It was done on a scroll saw and is one piece. I can honestly say that I did not make this... I don't have the patience it took to do all the drilling and cutting with such a small blade. I would have snapped the blade and the wood... and then it wouldn't have been in one piece.
Thanks for reading, be blessed.
~Suzanne

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday...Finally!

Is it me or has this been a really LOOOOOONG week! I just can't seem to get it together. I think both Dear Ham and I are coming down with a cold. He felt bad last night and woke up congested. Poor guy, went to work anyway. He had a local job in the industrial park here, which is a good thing! He called me at noon and said he was heading up north. I told him to stop by and get some medicine... I had a good Sudafed concoction that I had picked up at the drugstore. He came by and took 2. He called like 15 minutes later to tell me about snow he had run into... he already sounded better. He didn't sound congested at all. Me... I've just got a little case of sniffles and a bit of a hacky cough.

I made Dutch Babies for dinner last night... DH had not ever had them. He loved it! I will move that one up to my quick file for dinner... I decided to run to do grocery shopping early today, it started snowing... really hard. So I headed into town, but by the time I made back out of the store... the squall had stopped. We may have some accumulation this weekend... and they say it's not going to warm up past freezing this next week. I guess our little heatwave this past week is finally over. (It was in the low 40's during the day all week!) Time to go and get busy in the kitchen, I've got sandwich stuff to make (using left over smoked turkey) and beverage containers to fill.(tea, lemonade, powerade). Still need to get all the stuff I bought yesterday put away and start on my holiday projects.

Thanks for reading. be blessed!
~Suzanne

Thursday, December 4, 2008

What To Do...

After a two week period of having only 3 hours of overtime... we are feeling the pinch. We have been praying continually for God's blessing in providing work and Dear Ham has had his 40 hour work week. All of a sudden, his contractors don't want any overtime... and his company has said no overtime for planned maintenance jobs. That takes a big bite out of the budget. This week has been better, with 2 days with over 2 hours OT each and 1 night call of 2 hours Double time. That has been a real blessing.

I have been pondering what I am going to do... I don't want to go back to work. But I really need to do it... and I could go back to work for VZW in the store. It would mean that I would have shift work, no set days off and work anywhere from 9am to 9pm. (I've done my years in retail and I don't really want to do it anymore.) There just isn't any thing out there that will pay the wage that I am used, except VZW. All I can do is keep putting it out there and praying that God will show me what and where. I know that if I apply... that it will happen quickly.

I also went shopping today... I wasn't going to spend a lot... and I ended up spending more than I had planned. How does that happen??? I picked up a few items for gifts, items for making some gifts, and a couple of things we needed to finish decorating. I managed to spend over $100! I hate spending that kind of money right now... but I know that God will provide and he will bless us for giving what we have given. (I also think that what ever I don't use, I will return anyway.) I guess I need to better plan what I am shopping for... I forget that I am trying to do budget stuff and let the matter of my champagne test take over. I am so guilty of that! I hope that Ham will forgive me for my overspending today.

Now, on to the ornament of the day:


This little birdhouse is made from cardboard and hand painted by me when I first started out. It has fake snow on the roof and a decorated gift bundle under the opening and a glittered heart above it.

Thanks for reading, be blessed!
~Suzanne

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

One of Those Moods...

I can't seem to get myself in gear. It's too early for the "Winter doldrums"... It's not even winter yet! I did get a little rest yesterday... and then went to the flower shop in the early afternoon. I only stayed for a little while... I got really dehydrated and knew I needed to head home and even had trouble with seeing what was below me. I drank an 24 oz iced diet pepsi in no time at all. I felt weird for most of the rest of the day... hoping that what ever it was, would pass.



I managed to stay up until 11:30 so that I would sleep... and I slept really good! I heard nothing until the alarm went off at 6:15. But I got really cold after DH went to work... so I climbed back into bed and slept hard until 9:45. I have so many projects that I need to do... but I just can't seem to get started on them. I need to move my scrap booking table out of the living room and into the bedroom. I need to set up my sewing machine and set up a small sewing center, as I have mending to do and projects to start. I have boxes to sort through and send to the basement. I have closets that need to be reorganized... but I have no desire to do any of this. It's as if my motivation went and took a vacation and left me here, all alone with no direction of what to do! This feels like I need a good visit from my Mom... and that's not going to happen, oh dear!



Ok.. enough of my whining and not focusing on what needs to be done. I am hoping that DH will help me get some motivation. And with that being said... here's another one of my ornaments that I have unearthed:



I fell in love with this Father Christmas as I was painting him... and I adore how the natural grain and knots enhanced his beard. He's 6 1/2 inches long and his arms are wired on. I've had him since 1994. I should have made more of him when I was painting... I'd so love to have several more of these fellows hanging on my tree.

Thanks for reading... Be Blessed!
Suzanne

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Night Owl!

That was what I was last night... I could not go to sleep for anything. Part of the problem was as I settled into bed to go to sleep, I suddenly developed a dry, wracking cough. And when I coughed, I shook the whole bed! Poor Ham, there was no way he was going to be able to fall asleep if I kept coughing! I had also placed a fairy lamp in the kitchen above the sink yesterday and had left the light on intentionally as a night light. It projected too much light into the hallway for me... as I also have a little fairy lamp in the bathroom as a night light. Also playing a factor is that the Christmas Tree is up and I haven't pulled the living room curtains shut to keep the street light out as well. (I need to sleep in a dark room for some reason.) I was up and down twice, playing on the computer and once, Ham came looking for me. It was a very short night when I finally went to bed and now I am very tired.



I am going to try and go to the flower shop today. I don't know if I should... the wind is blowing and with the new development of a cough, I should stay in and try to rest. I don't need to be out and about, only to get myself really sick with a respiratory infection right now.



As I said in my last post, I am going to be sharing a few of my favorite Christmas ornaments... here is another favorite:



This little mitten ornament is hand wired with a little heart dangling down and the snowman has a gingham scarf. He was handmade as part of a series by me... and his carrot nose is painted on. To have such talent again!

Thanks for reading!
Suzanne

Monday, December 1, 2008

December... It's Here!

Well... The Big Month of December is here. That means many of us are going to drive ourselves over the edge with all the things that "must be done" in order to have a happy holiday. We, here at house of Armstrong.... are doing our best to keep it as simple as possible. We do have the tree up and the lights are strung in the front windows... but we are not going to decorate the outside or hang outdoor lights.



Being that it is December First... it's our 6th month anniversary! We have been married a whole six months... and it's been blissful. We are happy and contented and I am grateful to have someone who loves me no matter what. I cannot wait to see how we will be in, say 6 years??? I think we will be as blissful as we are now... because we work at it everyday... and I married one amazing, forgiving and loving man!



It's been great fun for me to unpack and put up Christmas decorations that I have not seen in years. It's also been fun to add to my collections... Ham has been very sweet to me and loves to find me special little things to add to my collection of snowmen. I also have a small Santa collection. I have a few things that I will be sharing in the next few weeks. A while back, I posted about my painting skills... and as I unwrapped some of my ornaments, I came across several that I have made. (During the 90's... I didn't sleep much and I started a crafts co-op that was pretty successful until the market became too saturated.) Anyway... I am going to be showing some of my ornaments and parts of my collections during this holiday season... I hope that you will come back to see what I have done. On that note, here is my all time favorite Christmas Ornament... made back in 1995:



It's a Santa postage stamp! It's not much bigger than 2"x3"... but I love it and I hope to maybe make some more like that this year.

Thanks for reading!
Suzanne

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Weather Report

We woke up to an ice storm this morning. A thick, heavy coating of ice on everything. So, Ham and I are snuggled in for the day. We have plenty to do... Ham is working on his computer again, trying to get the correct service pak installed on it.

We sat down with Nolli-dog and gave him a good brushing with the stripping comb and slicker brush. Then Ham put him in the tub and gave him a scrub. I followed with towels and the blow dryer. He looks like he lost a good 10 pounds! He's clean and adorable and he smells really good!

I continue to work on decorating the tree and setting out my Santa and Snowman collections. I have a lot to do. It's been 3 years since all of this was out of boxes, and I had forgotten how much work it is to do all this decorating. I will be sharing some pictures of my different snowmen and Santa's that I have either made or collected over the years. (It was strange to find old ornaments from when I was first married... and realized the decorations are 30 years old now! Pretty soon they can be declared as vintage!)

Thanks for reading!
Suzanne

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Please... keep it quiet!

I am having a Thanksgiving Hangover... Black Friday for me was more about having a touchy gallbladder. I felt sick for most of the day, in spite of trying to get some projects done. And today... I woke up with a wall banging headache. Hubs and Nolli are walking around like mice with marshmallow slippers. I have taken a few Tylenol along with a few Excedrin migraine... and I am now upright with sunglasses. It is museum quiet in here. (We know something is going on, when I cannot get any food down... and I just haven't been able to eat.)

My DH has a new nickname... He loves me so much and is always concerned when ever I don't feel good... but he can hover... (as in helicopter hover!) And today, he was so concerned about me and trying to help me... he reminded me of a hamster... trying his best to get to everything all at once. I started to laugh and he asked me what I was laughing at... so I divulged the hamster helicopter idea, which made him laugh. So... DH will be forever more referred to as "Ham". He doesn't mind... and I like the nickname. He's a good man, that guy of mine!

And Thank God for spellcheck... this wouldn't be fit to post without it!
Thanks for reading!
Suzanne

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Rare Lazy Friday

It's Black Friday... and I am certain that most of the people we know are out shopping. We are not Black Friday Shoppers. I did that once... got some good deals, but never really got into the whole mad, early crush. Oh... and the lines? Forget it! My good friend Danners and I went out one year... and the line at the store we were at started at the back of the store and went around the whole side of the store to the front... on both sides! We shopped in shifts... one of us would stand in line while the other one went to look at stuff and bring it back to our place. We would scoot everything along. I don't know if I want to subject DH to that... although if it were important to me, he'd play along!

So... we slept late. We made a nice breakfast... snuggled back into bed to watch some tv and then finally got up to start on projects. I managed to get the tree out of the storage trunk and get it put together. DH had to work on the lights since it's been so long since the tree has been used. (At least 3 years.) Today... DH got the lights put up in the front windows and the tree awaits decorating. All I have managed to do is get the Christmas Wreath on the front door! Yeah... I am pathetic and lazy! DH has retired to his office to work on his old computer and see if he can retrieve some old documents from one hard drive to another. (Too much for me to figure out... he really rocks at IT and computer stuff, along with all the other great skills he has!)

All that I really have to do of any great importance is go to the grocery store. (My home away from home when DH is off for any amount of time... how many little comments will I have in parenthesis??) So... with that being said... time to go and finish my list, check my face so that I won't scare anyone, and head to the market. We are going easy for dinner... burger dip sandwiches, salad and waffle fries.

Thanks for reading!
Suzanne