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!

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!

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!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bountiful Blessings

We are indeed very blessed and very Thankful on this day of Thanks. So many are without... and we have what we want and need.

* DH has a job with a good company... while some are losing theirs.
* We have a cozy and comfortable home, as some are homeless or in foreclosure.
* We have the love of our friends and family, some have no one.
* We are currently having good health... I never thought I'd make it to 50!
* We have a few pennies to our name... more than some people, who have none.
* We have many things... cars, computers, tv's, household goods... while others have lost things due to fire, flood, other acts of God, or homelessness.
* We enjoy the companionship of animals as pets... some have lost their pets due to circumstances beyond their control.
* We have the love and blessings of our Heavenly Father, whom we know intimately, trusting in him for all things, knowing he is also a God of restoration, a God with a plan and a purpose for our lives.

On this day of Thanksgiving... we at the home of Armstrong... are feeling very blessed and loved by our Father above... and wish you the same gifts that we have received.

Blessings to all...

ps... Happy birthday to me!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Feeling Very Blessed.

Here we are... the big day before Turkey Day... and I know that everyone is busy with prepping food and doing last minute shopping and errands. I don't really have much to do today as we were planning on DH working in Philly today and not being home until very late due to traffic. He got diverted north about halfway thru his day, so he will be through with most of the traffic when his day ends.

I woke up at 4:30 this morning. I could not go back to sleep. I got up and read, played online games and packed a huge lunch for DH. I wasn't feeling all that well... just the usual heart palpitations and pressure from my medications. I did manage to fall back to sleep around 7:30 and slept til 9:30. I woke up groggy. I wanted to stay in bed. I puttered around and did some reading. I was still in my jammies when the door bell rang! It was Janie from the flower shop, delivering me a beautiful fall arrangement from my wonderful next door neighbors for my birthday! I was so touched and I could barely believe it!

I've also gotten phone calls from friends today, as they start their Thanksgiving prep and needed advice on what to do at a certain step. Very fun and made me feel special that they would remember to call me about a cooking question! Oh... and then I remember that I needed to go to the post office... so off I went! Look what I brought back.... My sister sent this for my birthday! She knows that I love farm animals! It's just perfect for my little kitchen.

I also brought a second package home! It happens to be from Becky at Just Bee'n Me! I am feeling so blessed today. Thank you Becky for such a wonderful surprise package! She even sent something for my friend JB at the flower shop!

Inside this box was so many wonderful treasures.She sent a platter, 2 cute doilies, thank you notes, holiday mailing lables, a cute candle and holder, 4 brown glass leaf plates, a book mark, her cookbook and her calendar and a wonderful fall apron. I can hardly wait to sit down with the cookbook and find some new yummies to make for dinner! I feel very blessed this Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Family stuff

I am the youngest of all my siblings. And I have a different kind of family history. Let me break this down... it can be confusing. In my immediate family, there are 4 of us... I have 2 sisters and 1 brother. My brother and I are adopted, and we are biological siblings. My brother was placed in to foster care at birth, and when I was born 2 years later, the county asked if they could place me with him so we would not be separated. This family has been our only family since birth as they adopted us after the death of our birth mother. She had been ill with tuberculosis and hospitalized during both pregnancies.

We both learned that we were adopted quite early in our lives. We had some photo slides showing where we were taken for visits outside of the sanitarium and there are pictures of a lady behind glass with lots of tubes... that's all I really remember of her. Fast forward to a time in the late 60's, we had moved north to Mt. Shasta. My Mom had received letters from our half sisters from our birth mother's first marriage. They were curious about us and what our lives were like and wanted to know how we were growing up. The letters continued for a couple of years with pictures back and forth. In the early 70's, I was summoned from the neighbors house (where I spent most of my free time since home was a war zone most of the time) and standing in the driveway was the most beautiful, lithe young woman with long auburn hair and a soft voice. She drove a yellow mustang... and happened to be my oldest 1/2 sister, April. I was shy and didn't know what to say. Unfortunately, my brother was not able to be located, so he missed the visit. It wasn't too long after this visit, that home life imploded and my parents decided that they were divorcing. Once we moved, the letters stopped. My Mom was unable to keep the correspondence up with all the stress of moving, and trying to tame 2 very angry, young teenagers and keep them in school while she went to work.

Just over 3 years ago, I had gone back to Washington for a visit. I spent a fabulous 10 days at home. I spent one evening down at my brothers house, and we had a very long talk out on his front porch. We discussed our two half sisters and where they were. We only knew their first names and knew that there was no way to track back with the letters as the letters were long gone.

When I came home from that trip, I went for an MRI and that test lead me on an oddessy of thyroid cancer and surgery and treatment. Everything with that lasted about 5 1/2 months. I had gone for my last scan in early April and given an "all-clear". I called my brother to let him know the test results. He told me that it was "funny that I called this morning." I asked him why and he asked me if I was still enrolled on As it happened, yes, I was and recently as 2 months ago, updated my profile. He asked if I got email from the website, and I said, "Yeah... but I usually delete it." He told me to go and look real quick. There was an email written to me from April... she and Adonna, our other half sister had been thinking of us and wanted to find us and they were interested in knowing if we wanted any contact.

I wrote back as fast as I could... and she answered really fast...and phone calls were quickly made. We all emailed, called and talked back and forth for days. Finally we decided that we needed to meet... and once my doctor gave an all clear to travel, we set a date and made reservations. We all flew to Texas where Adonna lives... and we spent 5 days doing nothing but talking and sharing and piecing everything together. We all brought pictures and photo albums and scrapbooks. It was very surreal and very wonderful to see other people who looked like us. I saw real pictures of our Mother for the first time. When her senior and my senior pictures are side by side... you can see that I look like my mother.

I write this tonight, as I just got off the phone with my sister April. We talked for a good 45 minutes. She is going to send me a footed candy dish that once belonged to our mother. She asked me if I would like it... and I got a little choked up at the thought of having something that belonged to my mother. I am about to turn 50... and for the first time in my life, I am going to own a true piece of my family history. I am so excited and pleased about that.

I also want to say... my other 2 sisters... have been good sisters. They have taken good care of Mom. We have all had our own issues in dealing with adoption, blood ties and family history. One sister has always been extremely gracious and generous, the other one, has taken some time and some deep prayer and healing to be the kind of sister I have wanted. My brother, remains the same lone wolf that only talks to me... he does not open up or share with our family sisters very often. I live 3000 miles away, and know more about his life than they do and they all live in the same town.

All I can say at this moment in time... is I am grateful for family... I am grateful to have a blood tie and I am grateful for the legacy of adoption and being lucky enough to have my brother in my life. And I am grateful for the internet... and how technology has become as advanced as it has. If you think back to say... 1977, the year I graduated, would you have thought any of this would have been possible?

The bounty of the farm market

We went up in to the Poconos this past weekend... and as we were headed to our destination, we passed a farm market. We knew that we would stop on our way back. It was fabulous and we can't wait to go back in the spring.

Here's a picture of our bounty... cauliflower, broccoli, turnips, brussell sprouts, grapefruit, farmers cheese, homemade breakfast bread and scrapple made in Lancaster. We've had the brussell sprouts and they were so yummy and DH has had some of the grapefruit. They had a dairy case full of yogurt and raw milk... and they were sold out of fresh homemade sour cream.

We are thinking of going down to the Green Dragon on Friday... but it will depend on the weather. It's hard to know what's happening elsewhere... since we live in the valley... it can be quite different just a couple of miles away.

It is the week of my birthday... good wishes and blessings are starting to come in.... and I have told DH that I have everything that I could want for my birthday... I have a loving husband, my sweet Nolli-dog, and our own place to be... (I know that I am who I am...) and I have so many wonderful blessings.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Unwanted text messages

We all have things in our past that we would like to change or do differently. When I was single, I was in a ladies bible study that I dearly loved. I made some good friends from that study. I even found my last roommate from that study. We really only knew each other within that group, but when I needed to move, she offered me a room in her home as her youngest daughter was going to be gone for the summer. We hit it off very well... until my intended DH entered the picture.

My roommate said she had bad feelings about my DH when he had been picked up on a body bond on child support... which only means the judge wanted to see him... and nothing else. He had a $1000 encumbrance on back child support... and I had it and paid it. We had only been dating for 6 weeks when it happened. He gave me back my money the next day. And my roommate told me that I should not have helped him. But I am getting ahead of myself here.

We had a mutual friend from this bible study... her name is Jane. This person has had some serious hurts in her life... and I have tried to support her and be a friend. (She has lost jobs and family and good friends because she has a chronic issue of lying.) She started thru a period of depression... and after many calls and text messages asking her to go and get help and go on anti-depressants... I had enough of the "I don't care anymore" thing... and recognized it for what it was... wanting attention. I decided that I didn't want to feed into that anymore... I had called her twice and left messages and had gotten no response. So... I decided that I was done and wasn't going to play that game.

About 3 weeks after that decision... my roommate asked me if I had heard from Jane lately. I told her that, "No, I hadn't, I called her twice and got no response." That was all I had said. My roommate went on to her own Tuesday study, and I went on about my business. I later got the first of many mean and nasty text messages from Jane. I have never answered any of them. I have ignored her messages. When word got out that DH and I were going to get married... the messages increased... she wanted to come to my wedding. (And I was being rude and ignoring her... DUH!) She even sent me a text message at 2 am on my wedding day... knowing it would wake me up!

She has called me names... insisted that I was a liar, that I was a nasty person and now I am two faced. These messages always come at night or early in the day. I want to be able to block her... but you cannot block a number on a cell phone. And I should change my number... but it's my number and the people that I want to have it... have it... with the exception of Jane... who I am wishing had never had it!

I haven't been in touch with certain people from my old church... and when I think about it... I am in contact with almost all the people who were at our wedding. I received a "forward email" this week... entitled Tequila and Salt... and one of the lines of the email said... when someone you know hates you for no reason, it's likely that they want to be like you. I can only believe that is what is happening in this situation. I have the one thing that Jane craves and desires... a husband who loves me for me. He doesn't see my outside... he sees my inside and that is what he loves... and respects, because he knows that I love him with all my heart. So for now, I will continue to ignore the text messages and try to not let it hurt my heart. My friend N. told me, you know who you are... and it's not what Jane is telling you. I do know who I am... I just need a thicker skin!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Today, I woke up with one killer headache. I am a bear to be around. DH gave me a little cocktail of pain relievers... and I am now upright, but light and loud noise still bother me. I have finally eaten something... and I am in need of hydration. I think I will try and make myself a large, ice-cold glass of diet Pepsi. (And don't even ask how many typo's I have had while trying to write this post!) I'm headed back to the dark and quiet confines of my bed where I hope that DH will occasionally check on me, give me back and neck rubs and then leave me in peace until I can emerge as his happy and loving wife again. See ya tomorrow!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Another Craigslist adventure~

I loves me some Cragis list! We have found some wonderful buys on Craigs list and today was about the best find ever! Let me first give a rundown of some of the items we have purchased from people who utilize that site. Several years ago... before DH, I had need to purchase a new bed as the "boyfriend of 3 years" had decided not to be the "boyfriend of 3 years." So... I went on to the site... did some searching and found a wonderful pillow top queen size mattress and box springs... for $125.00. Little did I know, it also included a frame and pickled pine headboard, and delivery for that price!

In moving to PA... we did not have any dining room furniture, since I had sold my table and chairs way back in 2002 before moving east to cut down on the freight bill. My hutch went back to my sister since it had been my Mom's. We went on the website, just to see what was out there... and I came across a maple hutch, that almost matched the one that I grew up with. We acquired that for $100, it also included delivery!

We then started to browse for a table... and we looked on and off for awhile. And one day there was a listing for a beautiful trestle style table with butter knife carving on the apron. We immediately called on it and it became ours! This time, we had to go some distance... up in to the Elk Mountain area of the Pocono's to get it. It turned out to be a wonderful drive and it was a peak fall color when we went. On the way back, we stopped for a bite of lunch and came across a farmer's market. We bought wonderful produce and baked goods that day. We've even gone back once more and have stored away both bell peppers in the freezer and Yukon Gold and Baby red potatoes on the sun porch. Oh, and we only paid just $100 for the table.

We have been browsing, looking for chairs to go with our table. Each time we looked, we had just missed out on something that we liked. Well... last night I found a listing for 4 dining chairs with padded seats... for $25! I called this morning and the lady said they were still available. I told we would take them and be there around 11am. They are maple!!!! And we got them for $25! And on the way back home... we hit the Pocono Farm Market...(yes, in 20 degree weather with a strong wind!) We got us some great produce for the coming week! We bought fresh brussell sprouts still on the stalk, cauliflower, broccoli, turnips, grapefruit, fresh made farmer's cheese, scrapple made in Lancaster and homemade breakfast bread... all for $23.00. We feel like we hit the jackpot... and it's both amazing and sad that we found the market open and that we won't be back until the spring. I will be posting pictures of our delightful finds soon... once we get the chairs set up in the dining room!

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's Friday!

And what a week it's been. We've been out the door 3 out of 4 nights this week. Last night we stayed in and cooked a nice dinner together. It was yummy good and even Nolli got some of the steak and veggies. I laughed at DH as I put his favorite steak sauce on the table and he never opened it. He said he couldn't add to perfection. (I so love Johnny's Season Salt... it's good stuff and I have to order more, it's not available out here.)

I am hoping that DH gets home at a fairly reasonable hour... but he has to drive down to Pennsburg to pick up his supply order from his lead tech. (He's been within 20 minutes of our home and refused to bring it here.... *insert flash of anger here!* We may be going off to Stroudsberg to pick up some new chairs from Craigslist. I also love what I find on Craigslist. It's always so fun and it's almost a game anymore... (lookie at what I found, think we can get it?)

I am waiting for some new confirmations on Facebook... and I do enjoy that! (It's true... it's very addictive!) This is the last peaceful weekend before the craziness starts for Christmas... and I am wondering if there will even be any craziness this year, given what has happened to the economy. I called VZW this morning and got my name changed on my wireless bill, finally! I also discovered that we are due to upgrade on Dec. 29. I sent a text message to a former teammate and asked her what she felt was the best of the new phones out... she has yet to answer me. I am hoping that she is still working and just busy, and not one of the people that I have heard have gotten laid off. I was on an online employment site and found that they have a position for a store rep CSR... so, I may bite the bullet and apply. If I do apply... I know I will get it, based on my experience alone! Time for me to get my errands done... I'm in search of my cable bill... since we don't get mail service here... sometimes the mail gets left in the car by accident. It's a little crazy sometimes when you go to the post office and you have a huge stack!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Staying Home

It's Thursday evening... and I awaiting the return of my DH after another long day of work for him. He has worked over everyday this week. And every day this week, we have had errands to do after he gets home. We have rushed out the door as soon as he gets out of the shower and dressed. Finally... tonight, we are staying in and having a home cooked dinner. No fast food, no sandwiches... a real dinner on plates with silverware. Doesn't that sound nice!

I took lunch over to the flower shop for JB and I today. I made one of my kitchen sink salads... you know... one that has all kinds of goodies in it, that as you begin to eat, you find little surprises. It was good and filling and JB was so appreciative of it. She was going to open a can of soup for lunch... and she enjoyed it very much. We had good conversation in spite of many interruptions, which is a good thing since business has been very slow in the past month. She actually took several orders for delivery... so that is a good thing for her job security.

On the way home, my neighbor R was taking out his trash... and let me know that he had been laid off today. So sad and scary... I told him not to let the landlord know until he absolutely has to... and I called my friend from back home who has a beautiful clothing shop... and she said it gotten very slow for her... and she is also a little frightened as she doesn't really have a cushion right now. I would hate to see her have to go out of business... especially since I know her taste and that she has wonderful things... I am going to lift her up in prayer that she will be blessed and be able to continue with her business.

Time to go and get my dinner started... I am looking forward to being snuggled in for the night... it's also been very cold this week, snow showers and squalls, flurries and up to 2" tonight... it's been in the 20's and down in the teens at night... brrr!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Emergency Roadtrip!

My DH came home from work a little later than normal and he had a rough day of it. He was covered in dirt and filth and was so tired. As he was getting out of his work clothes, he stated that the air hose nozzle that we had purchased from Harbor Freight broke near the end of his day. He stated that he didn't know how he going to get through the week without a nozzle at the facility he is servicing. I piped up with the fact that it's warrantied and we can return it... and that I would drive. He instantly cheered up and hurried into to the shower.

I had remembered that the last time he had to return something, the customer service person told him that everything is returnable if it breaks and that there was a store closer to us than the one up in Dickson City. So.. out the door we went to find this other store. I love my Verizon Wireless service and VZ Navigator. We popped the address in and had our turn-by-turn directions both ways. After we did our shopping, we were starving and decided on going to Quiznos for dinner. It's been over 6 months since we went to a Quiznos and there isn't one anywhere near where we live. It was soooo good! I went with a cesaer chicken salad with tomatoes and red onion. Ohhhh... the dressing was just so good, and I forgotten just how good it was! DH had a mesquite chicken sub and some broccoli cheese soup. We felt like we had feasted!

There was a fabulous Hallmark store in the same shopping center. It was a really big store and we went in and looked. Oh my goodness.... there was so much to see. I haven't seen a shop with so much product in it.... and they had tons of stuff. The Thanksgiving gift lines were beautiful and if I had some extra cash this week... there were more than just a few things I would have wanted to bring home. Wonderful platters and serving dishes and sweet decor to tuck away in little spots. And the Christmas things... we were having a ball at looking at it all. I was so enamored of the wreaths and angels and things I could give as gifts. I definitely made a mental list so that when I am ready, I am going to find my way back there. And some of the shops on that side of town... I definitely want to go back and explore some of those shops along Wyoming Avenue. (Can you tell that I had fun getting out of my little village?)

We hustled back home and made it in the door by 10 of 9. We still needed to walk the dog and it was 29 degrees and the wind chill brought it down to around 15. I had to run over to my neighbors, I picked up some stuff for her at Harbor Freight... and 5 pack of scissors and some Gorilla superglue. Her scissor handle broke and the last 3 times I was in the shop, she was gluing it back. She was thrilled with her surprise! It was a fun little road trip and DH was so happy that I had remembered the return policy and all that jazz and that I had offered to drive. We had a wonderful evening and it felt so good to do something a little different and bring some joy to my man who does so much for me!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What I Am Thankful For!

There is so much to be thankful for this year! Where do I start?
  1. My Darling Hubby.... he has changed my life so much and I am so Thankful for him!
  2. My Wonderful Puppy... he has bonded with my Hubby and they are so sweet together.
  3. My little cottage and that we have most of our things unpacked and are enjoying life.
  4. My great neighbors... they are really wonderful people! Thanks JB for bring me movies to watch!
  5. The fact that I can blog and my DH supports me!
  6. I won a contest over at "Just Bee'n Me... I am very excited about that!
  7. I'm thankful that I am making it to my "milestone" birthday! I can't believe I'm turning 50 on Thanksgiving Day. I never thought I'd make it to 50, being a 2-time cancer survivor. It always amazes me what God brings us through and blesses us with!
  8. And because it's my birthday... DH told me to make reservations for Thanksgiving! I did, and I am excited that we are going for dinner. I will still make some stuff for later in the day, and some dessert too. But I get to go out for Turkey Day!
  9. That DH is continually blessed with work and that we are richly blessed by our Heavenly Father. We are daily grateful and daily thankful for what we have.
  10. We have the love of our families, even though they are far away from us.

That's all I can think of for now... I am very certain I will come up with some other things.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pondering my Ability

DH and I have been married for 5 1/2 months now. We were traditionalists in our romance and did not cohabitate during our courtship. When we moved here... most of our things had been in storage for over 3 years each. As I unpacked some of my things... I had told him of a time when I had my own crafting business in the 90's to supplement and even be a sole source of income at times. Dear DH wants me to become artistic again and pick up a paint brush. I don't have many samples of my work left, as I have sold or given away many pieces that I had. He would like for me to set up a work space in the guest room and start to work again. (I think I need some serious practice for a while!

So, here are a couple of examples of things I have painted in the past! I painted a series of these pots as gifts for my sister for her deck as a birthday gift.

This second piece was painted for my kitchen and entered into a painters contest and I won first place at the state level... (I don't have my blue ribbon anymore.) I have a couple of other pieces scattered around the house. I may take some pictures of those items for another post. I just don't know if I should start painting again or just leave it in the past as a former talent.

On other news... I have another job interview tomorrow. It's much closer to home, only 8 miles versus 50 miles. We have had snow flurries all day and I am glad that I didn't have to travel so far in such blustery weather. Oh... and I need to thank my DH for the two photos... his work camera takes much better pictures than my little Nikon camera.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Date Night

We went out two nights in a row for dinner. Friday night, we went to our new favorite Chinese restaurant... got the same table and the same server. She is such a kick in the pants and she did remember us. We both had the same thing... Cashew Nut Chicken and the best pork fried rice ever. We ordered a side of boneless BBQ pork... that was sooo good and came with a side of teriyaki sauce. I will have to refrain from placing a large order of that next time we go!

Last night, it had been such a rainy, windy day... and I was wanting mexican food. We were just going to run up to the top of the hill and go to Taco B(h)ell, but I wanted chips and salsa. So... we ventured out to a little cantina up on the west side of Hazleton (the big town that lies east of the valley we live in.) We weren't too sure about what we found, at first. It was located in the midst of a residential area, on a corner and the outside lighting was out. We went past it at first, went around the block and came back. We found a place to park and followed a party of 5 inside. The first thing we were asked was, "Do you have a reservation?" DH replied that we had looked them up on the Internet... they said it would be 20 minutes for a table. When you enter... you come in to the bar area directly. I asked if we could just sit at the bar... and the bar tender said that, "Yes, of course you can!"

That was a really smart move to do so.... the service was great. He took the time to find out about us and that we were new to the area. The food was good and just enough for us. DH ordered a beef Cantina Burrito and I ordered a beef Tostada and a cheese Enchilada. It was yummy... and after I took off the olives from the enchilada, DH finished that. We had pumpkin cake for dessert... it came with both whipped cream and ice cream. (Oh, and the chips and salsa were really good... we had seconds on those!) Our dinner check came to $25.00 for all the food and drinks and dessert. We will definitely be going back... and we will make reservations.

And when we came home.... we pulled into the parking pad to see our resident doe and her half yearling slowly walking across the grass to the bridge to go back into the woods. Not sure if someone put out dear corn or apples... but they usually don't go up towards the road like that. We sat in the car and watched them feed down by the water... I love where we live and it was a great ending to our date night!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Weather Report!

It's only 3:45 and the rain and fog have come in to the valley so thick and heavy that we have to have the lights turned on. Our backyard is full of standing water and the stream is now a fast flowing river behind the house. DH made it home a couple of hours ago and said the fog was so thick up on turnpike that he could only see about 40 feet in front of him. Glad he made it home okay and I'm glad that we don't have any running to do today... cuz I'd have to go wading to get to my car. It's been a great day to stay in and watch some of my favorite movies like Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Steel Magnolia's on TNT. Having left-over cashew nut chicken and spring rolls is a bonus too!

A Quiet Morning

Normally, on Saturday mornings, we will do one of two things.

1. We will sleep in and be lazy, followed by making a yummy breakfast together.


2. We will sleep til 7:30 and then get up and go out for breakfast. followed by doing errands or going on a little adventure... either picking up something from Craigs list or taking a drive.

That's not what we have going on today. My DH had to be up early to finish his paperwork and get on the road to deliver it to his lead tech to go into the mail pak for his office. (It's all stuff that he could mail himself or fax in... but the lead is controlling and insists that it be included in his packet. Grrrrrrr!) So, DH is off to drive 80 miles to drop paper work and uniforms off... and to get his oil changed in his work truck.

I didn't sleep well last night... I didn't feel well during dinner, so came home and tried to relax. I feel asleep early as I often do these days... but woke up at midnight, wide awake. I plunked around on the computer for over an hour when DH came looking for me. I decided to try and go back to sleep... and after DH gave me one of his fabulous backrubs... I was out like a light! I woke up again at 4am. I just got myself a drink and went back to bed. Then of course, DH had to get up early, so that good snooze only lasted a little while. I think I will just crawl back into bed and have my favorite breakfast of peach yogurt and whole wheat toast with some apricot preserves and little bit of juice. it's rainy and windy today... so I think that is the best place for me until my DH returns from his trip south.

Friday, November 14, 2008

What a Smart Boy!

Since moving to our little cottage, DH and Nolli have had a dear and sweet bonding experience. DH had not had a dog in the home for many years. (He can sometimes become very "Monk-like" with cleanliness and order.) Anyway.... because it can be an ordeal for me to take the dog out, DH will often take him for his walks. I have worked hard on giving signals to Nolli for his boundaries and where he can and cannot go. DH... hasn't really picked up on it, but the dog knows where he's suppose to go anyway.

Now... Nolli, given that he is a mixed breed, has most of the endearing traits of both the Jack Russell and the Cavalier Spaniel. He also has some of the not-so-endearing traits as well. He can jump like a Jack, race like a Jack and he sticks his tongue out like a Jack. On the Cavalier side, he can be very laid back, and he has the tail and the cute little ear tendrils that they have. He also can be very stubborn and very blind to what you are trying to teach him. We have on more than one occasion, had to go back to the basic principles of obedience. (I once had hopes of having him become a working therapy dog... but he wouldn't pass all of the tests.)

Recently, DH has decided to try and teach him to either "give him paw" or "shake". He's been slowly working at it for about 6 weeks. Last night, while I was resting and Nolli was lying beside me, DH was working at the desk. I sat up to get a drink and Nolli took off like a shot. He went to where DH was working and got his attention, and proceeded to "give him paw." What a riot! He wanted to have a treat... and knew that he could get one if he would shake his paw. I guess it has to be his idea, cuz I tried it this morning while DH was getting ready for work and it wasn't happening for me!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Gray Day in the Rain.

Yep... that's what we woke up to.... that and some good wind too. They say we will have a mild day tomorrow. I hope so. And they say we are going to have snow next week. But in the midst of this gray day... I went to the flower shop. I had to show my friend "JB" my new hair cut and color. Finally... someone got it right and I look normal again! We sat and chatted and she and her sissy shard their lunch with me. We had such a cozy afternoon, sharing about movies, past experiences and even sharing haunted and haunting stories. Perfect for a day like today. She did have some customers while we there, so she did have some work to do. Things everywhere are slowing down and the flower shop is no different.

I came home around 2:45 and got busy being domestic. I have made a casserole for dinner tonight and it is the oven as I sit and type. I'm doing a take on 3-bean soup, making it more of a casserole with smoked sausage, bacon, ground beef, onion, butter beans and Bush's homestyle baked beans with brown sugar and bacon.... add some seasonings like spicy brown mustard and a little catsup, some parsley, garlic and onion powder, season salt and coarse ground pepper. Yummmmm... it should hit the spot on this cold, blustery night.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The last good day...

While I was getting dinner ready tonight, the news was on... the weatherman informed us that this was the last really good day we will be having for quite awhile. We may (or may not) have good weather on Friday, but before then, we will have much rain and wind. They also did the forecast for snow this winter. They have fore casted a snow fall amount of 72 inches... (ummmm, that's 6 feet!) most of which will fall from mid-November through January. We won't see any real mild weather until mid-January when we will have a moderate warm weather sandwich which get re-buried by mid-March snows through April. They stated that they are fairly accurate in their predictions and have been within inches on the forecast in the last 5 years. (Great! That's just wonderful! Yeah... I know I live in Pennsylvania, but I don't have to like the snow forecast!)

I tried to have a quiet day... but DH was having a rough day and made several phone calls this morning. That normally isn't a big deal, but every time he called, the phone was at one end of the house and I was at the other end. I ended up having to meet him with his wallet, he had left it in his jeans from last night and was very pre-occupied this morning as he left. Poor guy! I ended up getting my errands ran and got to the post office to find a little envelope from my niece and her writing project from school. (She had called me a month ago, needing my address for her school project.) It turns out it's for a magazine fundraiser... so DH and I decided we would each get a new subscription to something to help her out. It's always hard to pick just one each, but in light of the fact that I am not working... I don't want to spend too much money. On that note... DH noted that I am so much more relaxed now that I am not having to rush around trying to balance everything. It's been a really long time since I had to work, keep a home and take care of a husband. I was much more relaxed at stuff when I was just taking care of myself and I didn't have a commute. I wish I was still working at the college, that job was very conducive to married life!

Oops! I missed a day!

I forgot to do my post for yesterday~ I got sidetracked! I did stuff around here in the morning, and went to the flower shop just after 10. My neighbor was so excited to see me! And when I told her that I had resigned and wasn't going back... she did a little dance! I hung out there for a good 3 hours or more. We chatted and talked and shared. It was so much fun.

I came back home to eat some lunch after 2 and do a few more things around here. I took Nolli out for a walk and we stopped back in to the shop so my neighbor could see Nolli and DH had come home during that time, so he came over too! We had a nice little visit and off we went so she could get the shop closed.

DH got showered and went with me to get my hair done. It was nice to have him there and help give me a perspective on what I was trying to achieve with my hair. We took my photo album so she could see what my hair had looked like before we moved here and it got all messed up with a bad hair cut and and even worse highlight job. I walked out of there with a darn good hair cut and a good highlight job. It's not as blond as I wanted, but it's not orange... and it will get lighter the next time I go to have it done. It's nice to finally be established with someone locally that I can build a relationship with about my hair and hair color!

That's all I've got for now.... I got DH out the door, and I am hungry. I need some breakfast, I was so tired last night, that all I fixed for myself was a sandwich for dinner. I tried to watch tv... but I fell fast asleep at 8 o'clock!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday Crapshoot...

After a long weekend of contemplation and analyzing the new job with the 50 mile commute, the cost of the company benefits, the price of gas, and the feeling that the system I was going to be working was never going to be an easy thing for me...I had yet another meeting with my team leader and my project manager. We decided that I would give it to the end of the week... I went back to my desk and prayed about it while I worked. I never really got a sense of peace... and by the time my training session came around at 3pm, I was pretty much done. I resigned.

And in resigning... I had to go to Human Resources... and talk to the director. I did give some good feedback, that the system being not user friendly, could stand to have a decent training manual written for how to do posting on it. That, if in fact it was a project that was going to be long term, that it would be extremely helpful to do a detailed booklet with screenshots that would help you if you got lost or had a brain freeze. (I hate that I would get lost in all the steps just to use a credit and apply it.) I had to write a brief resignation letter... and turn in all my books. I felt badly that I only lasted 7 days... but the training system just sucked!

When I got home tonite.... another company had a message on the machine that they would like to schedule an interview with me... so I will call them tomorrow. It pays less... but has good benefits and is local.... like no more than 10 miles away! It's call center stuff... and I can do that in my sleep... and the shifts are 9-5:30, 10-6:30 or 3-11. We know what I am going to choose! Let's hope that I will get those hours!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Finally! Some down time!

I can say quite proudly, that I took it easy today. We all woke up at 3:30 this morning and all had water and potty breaks. Then we all climbed back into bed and slept quite soundly until 7:30. My body clock went off again, and I knew I needed my medicines. But I still climbed back into bed after that and snoozed and watch tv. I think I finally really got up after 1ish... and still didn't do very much. I have a pot of chili on the stove, we did move some stuff around in the basement... and we are looking to have an easy time of it this evening. This is the way it is for me when I expend so much energy like I did yesterday. Even DH said I was falling asleep and exhausted while trying to get anything done after 5pm, yesterday. I am feeling a little more rested. This week, I have a hair appointment coming up that I am very excited about. And we are going to try and get more done in the 2nd bedroom and get the rest of my clothes sorted out and put in totes to go downstairs to the loft area of the basement. Progress is a very good thing!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The work never ends...

We were up early to get all of our errands done today. I had wanted to get to the holiday bazaar that I had seen advertised at the flower shop and post office. I had the day right, but not the time. So, we went for a little drive and then in to town to our new favorite breakfast spot. We had a nice breakfast, leisurely enjoyable and filling.

Then we came back to the village for the "Holiday Bazaar". It turned out that what I had envisioned (a crafters Christmas bazaar like back home) was not what we found... it was nothing more than a glorified flea market full of unused or unwanted white elephant items. I did find a cute little snowman figurine, a tapestry pillow, and a universal bluetooth headset. We spent a total of $3.00 for our items. I know that the things I was looking for, will be found at either Zanolini's Garden shop or at Country Folk up in Nescopek. I want a new wreath, some small artificial trees for the porch and the bathroom, and I'd love to find a primitive snowman to go out front by the front door. We shall see if I find those items in the coming days.

After that disappointment, we went on to finish our errands. We did 6 loads of laundry, John got his hair cut, I made an appointment for Tuesday for mine, and we did grocery shopping to the tune of $177.00! And I still don't have everything I need. We used our 5 tote bags and it filled all five of them... that's like $40 a bag... remember when we would gasp at having to spend $20 to fill a paper bag???

Anyway, we had to bring all that stuff up stairs. We were both weary after that. We had to clean out the fridge to put our new stuff in it... wash all those dishes from the fridge, and then make something to eat for dinner. Clean up dinner, and then get all the laundry put away and get the bed made so that we can fall into it... exhausted and weary. I know that I feel just like that... and DH, he's already in bed sound asleep. I plan on doing very little tomorrow, maybe some vacuuming and dusting, hem up some slacks, read all my benefit paperwork... and hopefully get a nap somewhere in the midst of all that nothing-ness!

Friday, November 7, 2008

I survived the week...

I cannot believe this week has flown by so fast. I am so glad that the weekend is finally here. I managed to make it to work everyday, even though I wanted nothing more than to stay at home. I even managed to be on time in spite of a couple of late starts on leaving.

Tonight, we headed west on the interstate, over to the Columbia Mall. I had to take my ring in for repair. Lucky for me, DH purchased lifetime insurance on my ring... and it's going to take almost 3 weeks to have a fractured diamond replaced and my band repaired as it is cracked as well. (No, I didn't do anything to it, even if implied by a customer that I was excessively rough. He had no idea that the ring had to be sized twice... )

We were going to go out for dinner after, but DH couldn't decide what he wanted, and he really wanted to be home in time for his favorite show, Ghost Whisper. So, it was fast food and back on the road... we did make it home in time, because I happen to fly low!

I am working on a meal plan for the next week and the accompanying shopping list. I need to get the grocery shopping done, get hair cuts, and get all the laundry done. I would also like to go to the Methodist Church bazaar in the morning, and maybe go for a drive towards Bethlehem to check out HomeGoods and find a Chipotle for some good grub! (I've waited long enough for that... I haven't had Chipotle since the end of June!)

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I am glad that this day is almost past. I didn't sleep well last night. I kept waking up... and not being quickly fall back asleep. I got up to get the day going... and what I had planned on wearing didn't pan out. I pretty much lost my "cool" right about then as I needed to be out the door in 5 minutes.

Dh tried to help me out.... and that ended up aggravating me even more. When I finally found something to wear, I pulled out of the drive way a good 6 minutes late. I was mad, angry, and I didn't want to go to work. I hit the interstate and pushed the metal... and cruised at 90 for quite awhile. I made it to work with 5 minutes to spare. I also cried for 40 of the 50 miles I drove. It was a tough way to start the day.

I also had to "train on application to acct's " today. It's a crazy system, the training consists of showing you, ummm... maybe 2 times, and you are suppose to get it! I don't... and I don't like feeling like I am stupid. I am hoping the other trainer that I am going to work with tomorrow helps me get thru this. I don't want to have to "quit" because I am too stupid to do the job. I felt awful all day... and it wasn't until I put in one of my cd's that I finally started to feel a little better, but it took til the 6th or 7th song.

When I got home, the phone rang and my neighbor was calling about needing to borrow an extension cord to do her leaves. She came over to get the one I had in the craft room. She brought me a beautiful pair of birky clogs that she bought last year and can't wear. They fit me perfectly... what a wonderful and unexpected blessing. DH and I went out for dinner and then did a couple of errands. I am still having a hard time adjusting to going to work everyday, and I know Nolli is having the same issue. I hope that I don't have another meltdown like that for a long time. Fatigue still plagues me... and I am looking forward to the weekend... and that I can wear jeans to work tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's Hump Day...

and I am so glad. This is day 4 of a new job... the training continues and so does the beastly drive. We are still deciding if the job will be worth it with the cost of gas and wear and tear on the car. We will weigh it out... for now, it still remains the means to an end... extra money for Christmas, the furniture, filling the oil tank, paying the IRS off. Yep... those seem to be the priorities for now... oh.... and getting Nolli's vet visits done!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Just a Quick Stop!

Well... it's the big day... the day we will change history and the face of our great nation. DH and I just got back from the polls... it went very quickly and it took us a total of 6 minutes, from the time we left home, parked, signed in and actually voted! It feels satisfying... and it's good to know that we are a part of democratic process and exercised our right to vote!

We are both tired... I'm just ready to put on my jammies and crawl into bed to find something to watch that isn't election returns. I will check on them when I am ready. It's only about an hour until the polls close here. As the title caption states... this is just a quick stop today!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Day 3... Wow, I'm tired!

This was a crazy Monday. We fell into bed last night... but it was a hard night's rest. Poor Nolli got on the bed and needed to consoled as his little left paw was hurting him. He could not settle down, even after giving him 1/2 a baby aspirin. I finally had DH take him outside for a walk at 1:30. I crashed after that... and I ended up keeping DH awake with my restlessness. He ended up going into the living room for awhile. He finally came back to bed at 2:30. I then woke up at 4:30ish due to a wretched hot flash, dire thirst and a full bladder. I went directly back to bed only to have to be awakened again by the alarm at 5:40. I should have just stayed up... but I slept hard in that hour! Poor DH set his alarm for 5:50 to sure that I would wake up... he really didn't sleep much last night.

So... I was out the door by 6:45 and on the road. Got to Clarks Summit early... and went to McD's for a biscuit and a pop. I hit the office parking lot15 minutes early. I worked hard all day... and hopped into the car at 4:02 to begin the race home. Going home is a lot like driving on the autobahn, only there are semi's and slowpokes that move into the inside lane that are NOT going the same speed. It's crazy way to drive home... but for certain... you won't fall asleep trying to get home like that!

Anyway... I managed to get a decent dinner on the table by 6:30... I did Hawaiian Meatballs, seasoned rice and a vegetable medley. It was great... DH enjoyed it and we had leftovers for his lunch tomorrow. Half of his lunch is now made and I only have to make a couple of sandwiches for our lunches tomorrow. Yippee! (I know, this is a bit mundane. But then that is my life! Simple but full of love, and we are happy!)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Day 2 of the Challenge

I'm getting a late start on doing a post today. We were kind of lazy today. The "dog body clock" went off rather early this morning. He jumped against the side of the bed to wake us up to go out. It must have been an urgent need, as he rarely ever wakes us up. After he came up, we tried to go back to sleep... but I couldn't do it. So we watched tv for a while, got hungry and we got up and made breakfast. As I am known to do... I get freezing cold rather easily, and after breakfast, I crawled back into bed to get warm. I went out like a light and slept until noon! I never do that!

We did watch a dvd of a movie that I saw last year when it was released. It's just as good the second time around, "The Bucket List" with Jack Nickolson and Morgan Freeman. DH had never seen it... and he laughed and laughed... we both really enjoyed it. We ended up getting sidetracked this afternoon tho... I love Discovery tv... and managed to get DH interested in Trauma, Life in the ER series. (I think that's what it's called, I don't remember!) It was a 4 hour series, and DH really liked it. We ended not getting out errands done until after 6 tonight, so dinner wasn't until after 7. We both have things that need to be done to get ready for work tomorrow. I still cannot believe that I am back to work... and that I have such a commute! It blows my mind... and I am wondering about logistics in the months ahead. Nolli needs to go to the vet and he needs to have a couple of procedures done. I know that it will take a least 2 visits for all of it. I also need to see my doctor and in January, I will need to have my annual thyrogen study done... that will be a total of 4 doctor visits... one for consult, 2 for injections, and 1 for a blood draw. I only hope that work understands that these things have to be done. DH told me tonight, that if it gets to where I can't handle the drive and the pressure, that he would completely understand. God's got it under control... I have to keep trusting him that he has it worked out for me. (That is always such a struggle to do... why is that?)