Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I have definitely figured out my back problem... it's a combination of cold weather, moving storm fronts, like low pressure systems and having to lift the garage door open and closed along with pushing and pulling the vacuum cleaner around. So... I need to stay warm, have DH get the car out for me in the morning if I need it, and have him help me with the vacuuming... I can do small spaces, but he needs to do the larger spaces.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
He let me sleep until almost 10. That was a good thing... but then he noticed it started to get cold in here. He checked the thermostat and it showed that it was colder than what the heat was set at... 66*. He went to the basement... checked the breaker box, it was ok. He went to the furnace, it was cold as was the hot water tank. He hit the reset button... it flashed a green color... but nothing happened. It is not firing.
So... here we sit with no heat. We called for service, and luckily, since it's new... it's under warranty. Now we wait... I hope they get here soon... I have all the candles I own, lit in the living room and the oven on low in the kitchen (On for 20 minutes, then it's back off until it cools down.) The living room looks like a shrine at this point... and I could dig out even more candles if I wanted to! Oh... did I mention that it's only 17* today and we have a good breeze, taking the wind chill down to around 9*! It's going to be an interesting day! At least it's on a Saturday and DH can handle the landlord and the service crew!
The service tech came around 1pm... we had a transformer go out. It's been replaced and we have heat again! And Hot Water!!! Yippee!
Friday, January 23, 2009
When round two came to pass... His family dynamics had changed. His father had remarried after being divorced for about 8 years. His second wife was a real dynamo... and if I had to guess, is probably a blogger these days as well. She brought a lot of life to the farmhouse, doing decorating and remodel projects, and always fun family weekends with lots of food and always a craft project or quilt project.
One of my last weekends at the farmhouse, before it all literally went south between "R" and I, was a girls quilt weekend. We all brought fabric, sewing machines and supplies... and we set to making quilt blocks to exchange. We had to make 8 blocks to share plus our own. I never got to put my blocks together and it went to the bottom of my sewing tote.
I recently unearthed those blocks... and it's fun to see what 9 women chose to exchange and how alike the blocks are.
Here's a closer look at some of my favorite blocks:
Remember when I said I went on a field trip this week... I went over the mountain to Nescopek to a craft and quilt shop.... to find fabric to put my extra quilt blocks together as a wall hanging. It's been years since I have quilted or done any real fabric design or craft projects. (Except for my slip for my wedding day, I haven't sewn at all.)
First, here is my quilt block... I made a total of 12 and gave 8 away.
Here's what I chose for sashing:
A medium green background with purple and lavender violets... very cute! And for my edge and backing, I chose an offwhite fabric with green and purple plaid... and it has a light brush mark background as well.
I am quite pleased with what I have chosen... and it should give me the motivation to get it started. I do need to either find (if I didn't sell them) or purchase a rotary cutter and ruled cutting mat. It will give me something to do in the coming few months when it's too cold and dark to do anything but stay in... while I dream of doing flower pots and garden beds full of flowers. (I'm also thinking of doing some Trompe 'Loeil this spring on the wall below the stairs for our outdoor area.)
Thanks for reading... be blessed!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
This is me and Chuck... I was his babysitter and mentor for a couple of years. His parents were a doctor and a former airline hostess. They would often have me over to do projects with the kids. I was always baking cookies or making bread or dinner rolls. They had a tennis court in the side yard and I loved to play on their court. I had a pretty wicked backhand in the day... but alas, even then, my knees took a pounding.
This is me about 2 years later. I had moved back to California and was working in the school district at the time. My best friend and I had gone up to Cougar Flats, just below the old ski lift area on Mt. Shasta. It was early Fall and it was a rather cool afternoon. We had brought her kids up to play and have a picnic. (I also remember the jeans I was wearing... they were Levi's comfort bend over bellbottom jeans... they only had an inside seam. They were extremely comfortable and very flattering to the backside. I loved them very much!) I also remember my yellow down jacket... my brother was always stealing it from me... back then, he was as thin as a rail and only outweighed me by maybe 10 pounds. From the back... you had to look twice to tell us apart if we had coats on that went past our butts. It's quite interesting for me to also remember how I felt about my body image, and that I felt fat in those pictures. (I wish I had that body now!)
Anyone else have any blasts from the past that they care to share?
Thanks for reading... Be blessed!
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Savory Baked Onions
4 to 6 onions
1 small zucchini, quartered and sliced
1/4 c slivered almonds, rough chopped
1/2-3/4 c diced onions
1 clove garlic, minced
8 oz. ground beef
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 T. A-1 steak sauce
2 slices of white bread, cut into bread crumbs
1 tsp Oregano leaves
salt and pepper
2 C. Beef broth
Peel onions, cut off tops and root end, remove onion layers, leaving 2 or 3 layers
Dice up 1/2 to 3/4 cup of onion
Brown ground beef and then drain well... add small amount of oil to pan and add onion, add zucchini and cook until translucent. Add almonds and lightly toast. Add garlic and continue to cook for 30 or 40 seconds. Add Oregano leaves.
Place ground beef in mixing bowl, add sauteed ingredients and lightly mix.
Add bread crumbs, cheese and A-1 sauce... mixing lightly. Season with salt and pepper.
Place onions in casserole dish, fill each onion cavity with stuffing mixture. Add additional cheese to top if desired. Pour beef broth into bottom of casserole dish... bringing broth up at least 1/3 of onion. Cover with foil, loosely... and bake 400* for 1 hour.
It turned out really well... I served it with a tossed romaine salad and Asiago dressing and some crusty french rolls. It was perfect for a cold winter evening. We were satisfied but not overly full from dinner. DH loved it. Oh... and all the rest of the onion that was removed... I diced up and put some in a ziplock in the freezer and some fresh to use this week. (We all use onion as a base for most dishes, so it's a shortcut for another day!)
I also went on a little field trip over the mountain today. I went to a small craft shop that has a fairly large selection of quilt fabric. I will post more about that tomorrow. :)
Thanks for reading... If you try my recipe... let me know! Be blessed!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Anyway... I was glued to the TV set, like millions of other Americans. It was fun and cool to check out Facebook and see the status updates that many of my friends and former coworkers were making... some had the opportunity to attend the inauguration and the parade. That's so exciting. And of course, knowing that had we been in Maryland... we would be going through the traffic nightmare that everyone who lives or works near the 295 parkway, Route 1 or I-95 were enduring as well. (I told DH that he would be having a heck of a time if he needed to go to Beltsville today.)
I must say that I am fascinated with Michelle Obama even more... she was very beautiful today and I also loved the dress she wore for the Neighborhood Ball. I have a soft spot for chiffon and organza. The first dance... was WOW... & *HOT*. It was romantic and you know that they are a real team and he loves her. It's wonderful. And it makes me proud of my own husband, cuz he openly loves me like that.... and I think it's going to put husbands everywhere on notice, that romance, respect and partnership is where it's at... and they had better step it up!
Back to the emotional part... I still felt a deep sadness for the Bush family. I know that they are going back to private life... but we as a people (and the media as well) could have been a little more gracious. The Obamas were very gracious... first with Michelle and her red ribbon boxed leather bound journal... and also the President Obama taking the time to thank "W" for his years of service... very gracious and classy.
I am weary... can tv watching actually make you tired??? I did go over to the flower shop today. J was very happy for the visit and we discussed the inaugural as she listened to it on NPR. It was nice to visit and discuss presidents. J told me that when she was 10, she saw Kennedy come to her town to campaign, and didn't realize until he was elected, who she actually saw! I have only had the experience of seeing Clinton come to our small town, way back when, when they were doing a whirlwind bus tour on the west coast. He spoke at our little parking area in our downtown core.... it was crowded... I got a better view as they left town on the bus... I gave my ticket to a coworker who was a German national... and had decided to become a citizen and would be voting in the election for the first time.
Anyway... this whole piece is not just fluff... I remain on the fence... I will watch and see if change is really going to take place. I will be supportive, but cautious. I really hope that the change we will experience is change for the good of the nation... and not just change for the democrats in office... who have been taking alot already and really only want to leave us with the change in our pockets.
Thanks for reading... Be blessed...
Monday, January 19, 2009
I am fascinated with the Obama family, and Michele in particular. I am also feeling a little bit of sadness for the Bush family. I am trying to remember if there was as much fanfare 8 years ago with the change in administration, not that it matters. But, I still feel bad for them as they leave office... and that no one has ANYTHING nice to say. (Hey, I understand that he has the lowest approval rating ever. And that we are still at war in Iraq. And... And... And...) Yeah, he's a lame duck... but lets put the rocks away and let them go into the sunset, nicely and with some dignity.
Well... I will be watching tomorrow. I do have to go out... but I will try to go after the inaugural and parade. Not much else is happening here. We are finally into double digits for the weather, and I actually went out with the dog, and noticed that even with the snow from yesterday, the driveway has melted off and Nolli was able to stick his face down in the snow and it wasn't icy! Ah... the joy of little things!
*** UPDATE *** The DH took me out to the store tonight! I don't have to leave the house tomorrow except to walk the dog... and maybe go to the flower shop for a visit! And.... Welcome, Lisa... she's a new follower as of today! I hope she decides to stick around and read my silly stuff! Oh... and I redeemed some of my rewards points... I've got 2! 2! TJ Maxx/Marshalls gift cards to go shopping with!!!! WoooHooo!
Thanks for reading... Be blessed~ See ya 'round the tv tomorrow!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
I have been searching for a comfy little sofa or loveseat to go in our sitting room. We currently have two wingback chairs and an antique wicker rocker in there. I went to Craigslist, to a different region than I normally shop... and found a listing for 2 loveseats. One was perfect in shape, size and color... and in price! (It was only $50!) I was elated, to say the least.
I contacted the seller... she was waiting until her husband came home on Saturday night from a business trip. So we agreed that Sunday would be the day!
I called her this morning... and she told me they were going to keep the love seat that I wanted. The other one she had listed was still available. (It's burnt orange.... I was a teenager in the 70's and I had my fill of burnt orange, harvest gold and avocado green in that decade... No, Thank you... I'm not having it in this decade either!) I am heart broken. And will be... for about 2 or 3 days. Then I will gather up my courage, and look again.
On a happier note... we got 3 more inches of snow last night. I'm seriously thinking of asking DH if we made the right choice in coming up to this neck of the woods. We could go back to Maryland, but then I'm not sure where we would live in relation to his company. (And I could go back to work for my previous company... but. do I really want that? (I don't think so...) So... ummm... case closed on that idea!
Ok... on with the rest of the weekend. I am going to be making some potato soup for dinner tonight. That is the only thing I can say is definitely going to happen... that and the snowplow guy will be by!
Thanks for reading... be blessed and warm!
Saturday, January 17, 2009
I convinced DH to take me up the hill into town. (Not the little village where we live, but into town... where there are multiple shops and stores.)
We first went to the Salvation Army Thrift Store... I hadn't been to this one yet. I didn't find a single thing I couldn't live without. It was very organized, but it had the look that things went out as fast as they came in. I was on the hunt for some furniture... but they really didn't have any... just a couple of sofas in the window and one blond bedroom set from the 50's. I was hoping to find a little bookshelf or maybe an occasional table. Nope... Nada!
Then we stopped off at Ollie's Discounter. I haven't been to one of those stores in a very, very long time. (If anyone from the Pacific Northwest is wondering... it's like Yard Birds or Sunbirds.) I did manage to find a new small lampshade for the lamp on my kitchen table for $2.99! And I was able to stock up on a few jar candles for the living room and computer area. (We enjoy burning candles at night... for both ambiance and the radiant heat given off!) I also found a few items for scrap booking and a new book to read... Robin McGraw's book, "Inside My Heart"... I am looking forward to reading that in the coming week ahead.
After that, we did a few errands... like stopping at the local market for the few things I can't get anywhere else but there. And the post office and the bank. We have another little field trip coming up tomorrow... and I will remember to take my camera with me so I can share the trip!
We are trying to go through things and get a little more organized in here. We both have things that need to go to the basement... and I have lots of things for a yardsale... and more things to donate to Goodwill or Planet Earth. Our goal is to have things pared down to where, when we do make purchases... they have a place to go. I know it's all a process... and I know that I of all people can be a bit of a hoarder. (DH on the other hand... is also a huge hoarder... but he has a habit of holding on to things that really shouldn't be held on to anymore! Yeah... it's junk, and he even says so!)
That's all for now... Thanks for reading! Be blessed and stay warm!
Friday, January 16, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Saturday, we tried to sleep in. It didn't work... the A.H. called very early to ask a very stupid question. DH was able to go to sleep... but not me. I was wide awake. I did fall to sleep for about 20 minutes... and A.H. called back again. Grrrrr!
I stayed in all day with the exception of taking Nolli out two or three times. He loves the snow... and ran and ran and ran... dragging his nose in the snow and throwing it up in the air. His whole face would be covered and all you could see was his eyes and his nose. So silly and sweet... and it's one of the things that we love and adore about him. He even made his own version of a snow angel... what a lovely puppy!
DH did go out once... he walked to the bank and the post office. He was gone a total of 15 minutes and was able to take advantage of the break in the snowfall. After that... it was "total chill time" for him. His back has been bothering him... hurting in his lower lumbar area and even giving him spasms. I've have done my own doctoring on him... it's helped some, but we both think it has to do with low pressure front from the storm affecting both of us and our arthritis. Yuck.. it's heck to get old!
We've tried to stay as warm as we can... we have a few days to go before our fuel delivery and we are trying to keep as warm as we can and still conserve on oil. We are lighting all our candles and we both have been baking and cooking up a storm (no pun intended) to keep the center of the house warm. I think we will need to put additional plastic up to keep the heat where we need it. The next few days will be a trial for me... to stay warm.
DH is going to be working tonight... He has a client that needs work done, but they run their system very late every day... so he is going to do it when no one is around. Hopefully, they will have the roads clear by the time he has to go out... at 11pm! That is dedication to his job and our family. It will be hard for me to try and sleep without him. That is Sweet Sunday Love... love for his family... and I appreciate all that he does for us.
Thanks for reading... be blessed!
Friday, January 9, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
When I get stressed... the cold issue increases for me. I was very stressed last night... in hearing that my brother and his family are going to ride out the flood at home after being asked to evacuate. They did it last year... because they only had a 5 minute warning. This time, they came around very early door to door and asked people to leave. They brought some of their appliances and cars up to my sisters. What really stressed me was that my brother dropped his phone into a puddle... and there is no insurance on it. He's on my brother-in-laws plan and he would have to purchase a new phone at full price... or maybe with a 20% discount. They have had their phones for a year. I told him to go on ebay and buy another one to replace it and I would take him through how to activate it when it came.
I'm off track here... that was One stresser for me. The other is the fact that several people that I love and tons of people that I know are going through a tough night and day, waiting for the rivers to do what they will to a sweet little town that is still recovering from a 100 year flood from last year. I was up til the wee hours of the morning, on facebook and on several other websites, watching the river gauges and praying. I finally had to quit around 3ish sometime.
DH knew that I was stressed... and he quietly got up for work, dressed and filled his lunch box without waking me or Nolli. He even left me the sweetest note about it. I did wake up at 6:30, and he was long gone. So, I walked Nolli and we went back to bed to watch the early morning news. Because I was so cold... I stayed in bed until 11 this morning trying to rest and get warm. Tonight, we are trying to relax... I'm trying to stay off facebook... I want to see pictures and I have a friend that works at my old church... she's been taking pictures of the Skookumchuck River all day. If the river goes as high as they think it will... this is gonna be a bad one!
I'm exhausted... thank goodness for leftovers for dinner. DH is such a good man!
Thanks for reading... Be blessed! ~Suzanne