Friday, January 30, 2009

Red Dye #40 update...

I went out last night with DH to run errands with him. We took Nolli dog with us. We had to drive about 35 miles north to Harbor Freight so he could replace some broken equipment for his work truck. While we were out... we decided to stop at the "golden arches" for some dinner so that I wouldn't be cooking dinner at 7:30.

I normally get a double cheeseburger, and only eat a few french fries. Because we had Nolli with us... and he loves chicken nuggets... I got a #10. (That has 10 nuggets, so I could split it with him.) When asked about any sauce, I chose the hot mustard, not even thinking about Red Dye #40 and how it would interact. By the time we got home, I was in an ever deepening flush, along with itching that was gonna make me go insane! I guess there must be some yellow dye in there that has decided to make my life miserable.

Needless to say... I took some Benadryl... but I was still itching by bed time and took an second one. I did not wake up until 11 this morning. I remember the alarm going off... and DH getting out of bed... and that's about it. The redness has dissipated and there is only minimal itching. So... now, my new hobby will to read every box label I have and see what I can and cannot eat! Who knew! I guess my Mom's wish for me to eat only whole foods is about to come true... now all I need is a job that pays me a ton of money so that I can afford to shop at Whole Foods or Wegmans... those guys are expensive! Although my little market here in town, they do have an organic section... and for the most part, we shop along the outside edge of the market anyway.

Thanks for reading... be blessed!


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Not My Friend

I have discovered along my journey, that certain things are no longer my friend... since I no longer have my thyroid and had nuclear ablation to cook any remaining cells. (You go on a iodine starvation diet... and it does all kinds of strange things to your body. Iodine is very important to your system and is stored in your thyroid and allows you to have a voice, for one, and to keep you from being constipated for another!)

Nuclear ablation is simply heavily irradiated iodine, that goes directly to any remaining thyroid cells and kills them. Iodine comes from sea salt... so I can no longer tolerate having shell fish. I love going to Red Lobster for all you can eat shrimp... those days are gone!

I have recently filled some of the candy dishes with Valentine's candy. DH has a sweet tooth and loves it when I have little dishes of candy in strategic spots through out the house.
I have been a candy corn lover for years and bought some yummy "cupid corn" while I was out shopping this week. I usually only have maybe 2 or 3. Last night, while we were watching the news... I probably ate way more than I should have... like 13 or 14.

I knew that some things that are naturally red, will affect my face. But now, I know, for certain, that RED DYE #40 is one thing that I need to avoid at all costs.
My whole face is covered with red blotches and markings from petechial hemmorage. I look like I should be a strangulation victim! So... now that's one more thing to be added to the list of things to avoid for me. Really... I shouldn't be this red... not even with a sun burn!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's True!

I have become a "Chuzzle" widow. Last week while we were out and about, I pulled out my phone to play my favorite game. I find that if I play a game while DH is driving, it makes for a much more enjoyable trip. (Sometimes he scares me!)

We also went out to Red Robin for an early dinner/late lunch. I pulled out my phone and played a couple of times, once while we waited for our appetizer and then once when near the end of the meal, DH excused himself from the table and was gone for about 5 minutes. He was interested at what my score was... I had reached level 14 by then and had never gone that far in the game before.

When we got home later on... he went straight to the computer and began to play the game online. Heaven help me... he has gone online every single chance he has gotten! Last night, he offered to help me with dinner. There was about 8 minutes where I didn't need him... and I discovered he was sitting at the computer playing Chuzzle. And he stayed on the computer, playing the game... all evening long. I told him that if I find him like that again... and not spending any time with me... he was gonna be grounded from the computer! (Who knew my little addiction would spread to him!)

Thanks for reading... be blessed!


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I know... It's only the end of January...

But Come On Spring!!!

I am so ready to get out and walk... and I am so ready to look for planter boxes and start planting flowers. (Yeah... that can get to be an expensive little habit of mine.) And I want to do Trompe L'oeile on my wall... and I also want to have a huge yard sale. (Today, J even told me she wants my help to do a yard sale... combined, on our parking pad or our side yard. WooHoo!

I'm ready to have my heating bill go down. I am ready to be able to open my windows and get a soft breeze... and air out my winter blues!

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.

As for my winter blues.... I will just have to wait on the calendar... and maybe, just maybe, pick up some spring bulbs to put on the porch to cheer me up. I love hyacinths and narcissus...and tulips... yup... I am ready for spring. (I'm going to ignore Ground Hog day... maybe.)

Yeah, I think my problem of late is that I have SPRING FEVER.... along with PA. Cabin Fever... and that I miss my friends from Maryland and my friends from Washington. (Maybe I do need to get a job.... ) Please, Internet friends.... pray for this crazy woman!!!

Thanks for reading... be blessed!


Monday, January 26, 2009

My Heavy Heart

I love facebook... and I love that you can view your friends friends and network or reconnect. For the past few days... my heart has been racing and then heavy. I will think of friends from the past... look them up, and sometimes actually find them and reconnect. It's exciting.

Then there are the ones that I hesitate on. Actually, one in particular, has weighed very heavy on my heart. She was a very close friend during the 13 years that I lived as an adult back in my hometown. We were always there, together... doing things when we could, having very different lives, all the while maintaining a friendship. She saw me through a couple of bad break-ups with boyfriends. She was always up for lunch if she could fit it in... or for breakfast on a Saturday. In the fall... we did our annual "pillage of the village" where we would cut hydrangeas to dry for Christmas projects. When I went home in October of 2005, we had a great time visiting and catching up. I thought I had my friend back in my life.

When I came back from that trip... I received a call from my doctor about an MRI that had been done before I went on the trip. It was the beginning of what was to become my second bout with cancer. I waited and went through the diagnostic process, and had the first surgery. When I went back on Feb, 14th for my post-op release, that was when I found out that I had cancer and would be going back into the hospital in 2 days for further surgery. It wracked me to my very core... I was to meet another friend in Maryland for lunch that day... and I had to call her and tell her I wasn't going to be able to make that lunch... I was in tears and wouldn't be able to hold it together. She understood and prayed for me.

During the next day and a half, before I went back to the hospital... I called people, made arrangements and tried to stay focused on my needs and what needed to happen. My closest friends were very supportive and I knew that God had a plan and purpose, and I was to stay as still as I could, in the palm of his hand and know his peace. He brought me the people that I needed, the food to sustain me and the grace to allow him to work and give him the praise through all of it. My daily prayer is and was the prayer of Jabez.

But back to my friend... I called her... I wanted to let her know what was happening and that I would be ok and that I would appreciate her prayers. That wasn't what actually happened. When I began to speak to her... and I told her that I had been diagnosed with cancer again... she abruptly interrupted me with, "Suzanne... it's always something with you! Let me call you back later on tonight, ok?" I said ok... and hung up the phone. I never heard back from her again.

It's been over 3 years since that phone call. A great deal has happened to me since that time... each thing has been a blessing and has had God's handiwork written all over it. I so want to call her and tell her that she's missed some amazing blessings... and that God continues to bless me as I honor him and give him praise for all he has done and seen me through. I know that I cannot be the woman that I am without the love of my Heavenly Father. I know that having the marriage that I have is because I chose to wait on God and not settle. (It was hard, but it was worth it.) I want to share with her... that God has done healing in relationships, he's restored family and balance to my life. He's given me my long lost sisters and enlarged my territory, just like Jabez. And even in the midst of having cancer again.... it was a blessing! Yes... I said that... it was a blessing... because they also found another undiagnosed problem that was able to removed and allowed me to live a healthier life.

So... what do I do... do I try and reconnect with her on facebook? Do I pick up the phone and leave her a voice mail? Do I try to send her an email to her work address? I don't know... I am uncertain. I will wait upon the Lord and see... maybe I am going through all of this, just to write it out and let it be a blessing to others. I will stand upon the word and wait...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sweet Sunday Love

I am in Ouch Mode today. I have good arthritis in my spine... and with it being sunny weather the last few days, I am feeling the cold, Arctic blast in my back today. (Although, it may be because I dragged the vacuum cleaner around yesterday.)

So... today, I am moving at a snails pace... and my sweet husband is having to do things he normally does not have to do... like the laundry, or making lunch. I have to keep this short and simple, if I sit here too long, the spasming starts. (And that is not pretty.)

So, I hope you enjoy your Sunday... and that you have someone to care for you and let you know that they love you.

Sweet Sunday Love...

Thanks for reading... be blessed.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I woke up at 3:30 this morning... DH had a very restless night and kept waking me up. Not intentionally... but I could not take another bump in the night, so I got up. I read and puttered on the computer. I heard the furnace kick on a few times. About 5 am, I went back to bed, exhausted and certain that DH was finally in a restful sleep and I could go back to bed.

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

Quilting Party

Way back when... like about 10 years ago, I was on my second round with an old boyfriend. We had planned on getting married during the first time around. He had a lot of issues... and we parted ways. He came from a large family... and we always had fun when we got together.

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

A Blast From the Past!

In the midst of boxes... and there are still quite a few of them... I came across a box of photos. I don't often go looking at the photo's from when I was a teenager or when I was first married. (The photo's of when I was married the first time... don't always evoke good memories.)
I came across 2 that I am going to share with you today.... the first is the one I spoke of yesterday. As a teenager... my church youth group would go on annual beach retreats. I have fond memories of falling asleep in a tent, listening to the crashing sound of the waves. We would go down to the state park near Westport... and body surf, play volley ball and soccer, and play games in the sand with the sunset. And we ate a ton of food!

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

My Take on the Recipe

Right now on the Internet... there are several tutorials for a recipe that I like. Baked Onions.... are super yummo! But most of the recipes call for mushrooms. I love mushrooms... but the DH does not. So, I've made a savory style recipe for Baked Onions. Most recipes call for the onions to be done as a whole onion, and having the inside scooped out. I have no patience for the classic take on it... I cut them in half and simply removed what I wanted.

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
olive oil
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

Thoughts of the day...

It's been an exciting and emotional day for me.... I am one of the right side of the fence that happened to support our former President. I didn't always agree with his policies or politics, but he was the Commander-in-Chief and I respected him. (I think it has to do with his respect for his parents, and I admired them as well.) I am pretty sure that it all comes from the years I spent as a "Navy Wife" and knowing that the president is the boss of all it!

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 Can't Help It...

I am glued to the tv set. I watched the Today show... and then I had to watch The View. I did manage to get a few things done today... but life stopped for Oprah. Plain and simple... I had to watch... I've never been big on politics, but after all, this is History in the making. This is Real Life Change... happening before our very eyes.

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

Dashed Hopes

We have been on target for a Craigslist Adventure since Tuesday. I am often on the website, searching for a good deal. Many things in our little home are from Craigslist.

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

Field Trip

It was nice and sunshiny this morning. It still showed 8 degrees on thermometer this morning. I just had to go out and do something other than clean or cook and do dishes... or I was gonna lose it something fierce!

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

Bundle Up, Baby!

I am officially a house hermit. It's too cold for me to go outside. I cannot do it! We did go out last night to get groceries. (Gahhh! It was $300 by the time we were done. Ouch!) I just want to stay in and huddle in bed with a certain little white dog!
If I didn't already feel the cold... I wouldn't believe it! I don't remember if I've ever been this cold, except for maybe one year when I lived in Virginia... over 25 years ago.
On a happier note... when it's this cold... we eat lots of comfort food! This is my version of Mac and Cheese... chocked full of sweet caramelized onions and thick bacon crumbles. Along side of Savory Chicken Tenders... coated in kosher salt, pepper, herbs de Provence and sesame seeds. Add garlic laced green beans... and it's a hearty, yummy meal... alas, it's not anywhere near diet food!
That's all of I've got for now... I have also been fighting insomnia for the last 4 days. Now that it's so cold... I feel the lack of sleep deep in my bones. I am going to go and bundle up... and try to sleep away the aches and pains in my joints and my head ache as well!
Update: My poor DH made it home tonight late... he had to stop at a rest area and take a nap, poor guy. He is not feeling well and has a pretty good fever going. I have a feeling that I will be up and down during the night with him, trying to keep him comfortable and hydrated. I did manage to get some dinner down him before he crashed tho!
On a chilly but funny note... I actually went out this evening to walk the dog. (I know, I said I wasn't leaving the house... but DH is sick!) My crazy little dog loves the snow... and he went up to the front yard... where it's shaded and has good cover from trees... and stuck his little face in the snow to play. He loves good powder and loves to bury his nose and then throw it back and send that powdered snow everywhere. Then he takes off running and flings himself into the drifts. It's so funny and cute, even if he does make a muddy mess on the stairs when he comes back in. (On a side note... I don't think at my age, that I could ever fling myself into a snow drift and think it's fun!)
Thanks for reading... be blessed, and warm!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Guest Photography

We are in throes of Winter... and the frigid Arctic air is once again making it's way through Pennsylvania. We've had a pretty good amount of snow and ice. (I personally don't care for snow and ice that stays around forever... I'm from the Pacific Northwest... it rains and then we are rid of it!)

My DH was out and about today... he was to go to Philly... was within an hour of his destination and was re-routed to Scranton... 80 miles north of where he had just driven! As he was approaching that destination... he was again re-routed in Wilkes Barre... 20 miles west.

He did his work at the requesting facility and was routed over to Hometown. That's west again and just south of where we live. He drove 180 miles round trip to work locally. (Whew!)

While he was driving... he decided to stop at one of his favorite spots on the interstate and take a few pictures of how frozen, frigid and icy it is right now. Behold his handiwork:

This is just 5 miles north of here... and the trees are covered in ice... and the sun has been shining for 2 days.

This at the beginning of the last summit before you come down into the valley we live in.

He loves how the ice is frozen into the rock... and how the ice was actually blue in the sunlight.

He loves nature and he wanted to share his admiration of God's Handiwork with you all...
I think it's pretty cool that he wanted to share this on my blog! He's a great man!
Thanks for reading... be blessed. (And warm!)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What a Difference...

A year makes! Today marks one year ago that I met the remarkable man that is my husband. He has made this year of my life... wonderful, happy, safe and secure, blessed beyond belief, supported and deeply loved, filled with laughter and adventure.

We met at church... and not on the best day of my life... I was hurting and sadden by the death of my father the day before... whom I never got to say the words "I love you and I forgive you." (That's a post for another time.) And my dear friend Mary introduced us... and we went back to her house after church for breakfast and conversation. The conversation has never stopped. This man... let me talk... and listened with great intent. This man, was not boastful, this man was humble and yet self-assured in who he was as a person and a christian.

That first day... as we sat in the dining room at Mary's... began a deep and true friendship, sparked with chemistry and a deep understanding of knowing that if we wait upon the Lord, that he will be faithful to answer our deepest desires of our heart.

It had been 2 years before at my bible study, that our leader had given us a simple 3x5 index card. She told us to write down the desire of our heart, that it would be prayed over... and simply placed back into our bibles... and not looked at again. Ham and I had gone to coffee house once, and then to the theatre when we knew that this was something special.

I awoke in the middle of the night... I had to find my bible... I opened it up... and it opened to my favorite verse, Jeremiah 29:11-14. Nestled next to that verse, was my 3x5 index card. On it were these words, written in pink ink~ "I long for a peaceful, secure loving relationship ~ I surrender this & give it you, Lord." It was all I could do to not pick up the phone and call Ham. I waited. When I saw him that next morning, on the way to church, I told him that I had picked up my bible... compelled to read it during the night... and what I had found inside. He quietly smiled... and told me that he had prayed that God would show him a sign, if I were the right woman for him, that I would talk about reading my bible. (It's not something that I ever really talk about, and he was wondering if I did read it.)

We both got huge goosebumps after that... because we both had confirmation that this was what God had waiting for us. We just needed to be patient and wait upon him. (That reads for me... no more trying to design the hand of God, just relax and let God do what he will do.) We've had other confirmations... and we know that God does have his hand in and on this marriage. We aren't where we are because we chose to go here... we are here because God chose for us... and we were willing to surrender to His will.

Happy Anniversary... of the day we met... the one that changed me forever~ Dear Ham!

Thanks for reading... I hope that I blessed you!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Mundane Monday

We had a different start to the work week. DH went to work last night for a client that needed several repairs to a conveyor line but they run everyday until 11pm. So, to meet the clients needs, he went to work last night at 11 and worked overnight. I had a very rough night last night.

I couldn't go to sleep right away. I did some reading, I played games online. I made myself a snack, hoping it would make me sleepy. Finally... at 1:40, I was sleepy and manged to find my way into bed. I was cold anyway. I woke up at 5:30 this morning... hearing someone talking on a cellphone. I couldn't fathom who was outside at that time of day with the kind of freezing temperatures we have. But it was enough to make me disoriented and unsettled. I finally fell back asleep... and then DH came home from work at 7:30. I got up and helped him stow away his things and went back to bed with DH after he got cleaned up. I was awakened at 8:45 by the door bell... it was the oil company... coming to do their delivery 3 days early. I gave up!

I puttered and did quiet things so I wouldn't wake DH. He got up at 11:45 to start on his paperwork and the several phone calls back and forth with A.H. We've had lunch... I've walked Nolli... and the cloud cover has come back and I am going to close the drapes to keep the heat in... I can't believe how fast it gets cold in here when the sun goes behind the clouds. Actually... DH said it's snowing again. This is going to be a tough week for me... please pray that our heat holds out til Thursday... and I survive being cold. I keep adding layers... but it doesn't seem to be helping me right now. (Darn Thyroid - or lack of it!)

It's nice to have DH home today... and we are going to work on some simple projects, once I get warm enough!
Thanks for reading... be blessed!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sweet Sunday Love

It's been a cozy weekend, here at Sugarloaf Cottage. DH came home from work kinda early on Friday and we were able to get several things accomplished before the snow came. He took me to the store to stock up for the weekend. He also moved all my storage totes down to the loft in the basement.

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

I am Officially Hooked

Ok... that sounds bad. And it is! Way back when I was working for a "certain wireless cell company"... one of my team mates was always busy on her phone. (We were all busy on the "company phones"... I'm talking her personal phone.) She was a team mate when we were on a different team and sat near me. When we went to the "team we loved"... (meaning we adored our supervisor who was really very hands-off unless you really needed her, which is a great trait in that arena!) we were able to have adjoining work spaces!!! (Miss you much, Kase!)

Anyway... one day, we had a blue-moon kind of Saturday. That means call levels were waaaaay down, and we were in code blue... which meant that we could all go off-line because service levels were so low. (That means there weren't enough calls for all of us, but they didn't want to send us home in case something were to change.) We were encouraged to catch up on training modules, or work through follow-up issues. Since my team was pretty much caught up on all of that... we pretty much just hung out on the floor and visited. It was pretty fun getting to know people from other teams, that you work around but don't get to really interact with other than saying "hi" everyday. Kasey, on the other hand, was at her desk... with her phone... and she was playing a game.

I'm not a gamer... I'm of the age of "Pong" and Donkey Kong" and am really so over that stuff. I didn't care for Atari or that kind of thing. I thought it was a waste of time after I turned... 23!?!

That's not to say that I don't have a pogo account, cuz I do. I play a few things on pogo... mostly first class solitaire, sweet tooth or poppit. I've had 2 accounts on that site... the first one, I had over 1 million points and then got locked out somehow. On my new account, I am standing at 354,685 points in about a years time.

Back to Kasey... she was playing Chuzzle. It looked cute, seemed easy... she let me play a little on her phone. I wanted to download it to my phone... but, NO... it wasn't available for download. I was not happy... I really wanted that game.

I do have the game downloaded several times on my desktop for the "free trial" but have never bought it for my PC... something I will soon rectify. (I think...) One day, Ham and I were sitting at the laundry mat, cuz he still hasn't fixed the washer in the basement... and I pulled out my phone to browse what games were available. I went through What's New... and Best of 2008, through Top Sellers and Featured Games. Nothing there that sounded interesting to me. Then I went to Puzzle Games... and there it was! And before I knew it... I had downloaded that sweet game into my phone!

I am so happy about this... It will keep great harmony in my already harmonious marriage when we take road trips together and I don't want to see how Ham is driving. I can play it while we are watching one of Ham's tv shows that I don't care for, and still be together! (Yes... that means I can now take a "House" marathon or several episodes of "How It's Made.") I am addicted to this game... Thanks to Kasey! (Girl... you know I loves you and misses you!)

It only takes a little thing to turn it all around... and the world goes right!
Thanks for reading... Be Blessed!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

It's still cold and icy...

The cold and snow continued this morning. I managed to stay in and try to stay warm. One of the issues I have with living without a thyroid is that I can chill quite easily, and once I am cold, it takes time for me to warm up again. (Along with that, if I get too warm... I cannot regulate it and I get overheated. Rarely is there ever a middle balance to it.)

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