Wednesday, December 31, 2008
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!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
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!
Monday, December 29, 2008
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!
Sunday, December 28, 2008
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!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
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!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
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!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
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!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
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!
Monday, December 22, 2008
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!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
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!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
The stream behind the house is starting to ice over!
The storage shed across the stream.
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!
Friday, December 19, 2008
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!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
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!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
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.
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!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
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!
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!
Monday, December 15, 2008
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!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
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!
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,
Saturday, December 13, 2008
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!
Friday, December 12, 2008
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.
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.
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!)
Thursday, December 11, 2008
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.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
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!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
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!
Monday, December 8, 2008
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!
Sunday, December 7, 2008
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!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
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!
Friday, December 5, 2008
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!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
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!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
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!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
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!
Monday, December 1, 2008
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!