Friday, February 27, 2009

A Sweet Surprise!

I was out and about this morning... trying to beat the rain and wind storm that the weather forecaster said was coming. I didn't make it. I was almost done... and stopped at the discount market to pick up a few things that we can save money on... like butter for $1.99 lb and my favorite cookies that are $2.69 at one store and a whopping $3.99 at our local village market.

So... the down side of that... was that I did get caught in the rain... and I had my matching Vera Bradley umbrella with me. And the wind came along... and broke my matching umbrella!!!! I was soooooooo NOT HAPPY!!!!

So... onward I went... knowing that my $29.00 retired umbrella was toast... and that I was going to have to stop at the Post Office... cuz I haven't been there since, ummmm... Tuesday?

I expected to have the normal amount of stuff... but there was a little yellow tag! It was a package pickup tag! And it didn't say I had to sign for something! (Darn IRS!)

I went to the window to see what I was going to get... because I haven't ordered Anything in weeks! It was a little package addressed to me... from my Sister! She never does things like that! I was so surprised... and I love what she sent! I know that we have at least 4 more weeks of bad weather coming... and I am going to use these like mad!!!

Look at this!!!!

Two of the most adorable hand crocheted caps that can be worn as berets! I love these! I can hide my grown out roots... since I can't seem to find someone who can color my hair correctly!

And I added a couple of pins that have been sitting in my jewelry and accessory drawers~~ and they are soooooo cute!

I could have used these this morning to cover my rainsoaked hair
and spared the entire village of having to look at me!

It incredibly sweet and unexpected and I know that tomorrow, when I go out of the house to do errands with DH... I am wearing one of these! (And it's funny... the more that I live here, the more back to nature and "crunchie granola" I become! (Can you be crunchie granola and still be a cottage-style junkie?) Right down to my rag wool socks and birkies... trudging off with my shopping basket full of green bags to carry it all home! I don't even think too much about my old life... the one with brands and labels and "designer stuff" that I thought I had to have. I think this one is going pretty darn well... if I do say so, myself!

Thank you, Dear Sissy for such sweet gifts! I love them and love that you thought of me!
Thanks for reading... be blessed!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My Dilemma

I have been looking for work... everyday. And there are a few things out there that I am very qualified to do and lots of things that I am "overqualified" to do. No one... in this area... wants to hire me!

So... I have been reviewing the 'ole budget... and the one thing I can see that would help... (this makes me want to cry just thinking it...) is to give up my cellphone. Gasp! Gahhhhhhh! .... slow... deep... breaths....

But really... I don't need a cell phone if I never go anywhere.
DH... he does need his! He uses his to call me to let me know where he is or when he will be home. He uses his "navigator" ALL The Time!

Me... I occasionally talk on it... but I mostly just play Chuzzle on it now. Only 2 or 3 of my friends ever call me on it. It would probably cut our bill to more than half.... and that would pay for a lot of groceries. I haven't even talked to DH about it yet.

I am overdue to renew my contract... I could do the upgrade to the really cool phone that DH has wanted from when I worked for the company and let him take my number... or we could go ahead and change it to a number up here.

Then, when... not if... but when... I go back to work, we can add my line back on to the plan. Oh... yes... that pains me a great deal. I haven't been without a cell phone for a very long time... except for that first year that I moved to Maryland... I've had a cell phone for over 19 years.

I guess I just need to keep praying about it... and wait up on the Lord. (And we all know I don't always wait so well... )

Thanks for reading... be blessed! (Keep those prayers a'comin'!)


Wednesday, February 25, 2009


We love salad at our dinner table... and we eat them on a regular basis. DH likes all the extra stuff I throw in... and it makes for a filling salad. But... DH has a food allergy... and it's to Soy. Most salad dressings have soy oil in them... go ahead and read the label... there is soy in it! (Mayo also has soy in it as well.)

We do eat bottled dressings... but DH does have to take an allergy tablet when doing so. I even have a little vial of them on my key ring for when we go out for dinner. So... I pulled this recipe out of my memory... it's one that I love and it's very tasty and fragrant! Lemon Basil Vinagrette!

Here are the ingredients... very simple to make:

Juice of 1 Large fresh Lemon
1/4 C sugar or 2 or 3 sweetener packets
1 tsp dry basil leaves
1 tsp miced garlic (You can use the minced stuff in the jar!)
pinch of salt
cracked black pepper
1/3-1/2 C olive oil

(If it's tart... add a little more sugar)
Place all ingredients into a small jar, cover and shake to emulsify.

Chill for about 1 hour before using to bring out flavors and pour over salad greens!

It's great on chilled romaine and a little Parmesan cheese!

Thanks for reading... be blessed!


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I've been Craftin'!

Once upon a time... very long ago, in another lifetime.... I use to have my own business. It was a crafting Co-op... and I had a couple of wood workers, a few dried flower people, a few antiques, some quilters and some decorative painters... that would allow me to fill several different booths at various gift shops and crafting malls, where I could "merchandise things" and it gave me time to paint and do a few things that I liked. (It was also the later half of the decade known as "Suzanne rarely ever slept.") I did pretty well... until the market became so glutted that I felt I couldn't continue. I stopped painting... sold most of my art supplies... and then I moved to a whole 'nother place and really didn't have the space or the time.

Fast forward to now... I do have a little bit of space. I do have a little bit of time... I don't really have much left in the way of art supplies. But I did uncover a really cool box of stuff left over from catering a wedding rehersal dinner before I moved. In it contained... ummmm.... 10 hydrangea candle rings that I used on the tables... (with some great hydrangea placemats and napkins) and some other cool stuff.

My wonderful DH took me to Wilkes-Barre... to get a few things to make some great little projects to decorate our house with!

Here we have (an over-exposed) Hydrangea wreath that I hot-glued this afternoon. I love how it turned out and it will be a great addition to our guest room.

I found this little broom in the bottom of the same box. The ribbon and flowers were also in the box... I had once fashioned these as tiebacks for a living room window... now they adorn this little broom to hang in the funny little spot between our door and the closet door.

And lastly... this vase was from Valentines Day when DH gave me flowers... and I really loved them... and I found some great silk tulips and a few other things to do an arrangement for my dining room table. I will eventually show them on the table, after I get the rest of the things put away from my projects. It was great fun and it's nice to know I still have the "eye" for design altho I see some "tweaking" that needs to be done on this vase arrangement.

Now, I guess I need to break out the paint brushes and buy some supplies... and see where it leads me!

Thanks for reading... be blessed!


Monday, February 23, 2009

I Get So Amazed!

We are always praying for work here... either continued work for DH (his work is contractual) or work for me... (and I have yet to get a nibble on anything I've applied for.) Today, DH came home and said that Big Brown just signed a contract for him to do all their planned maintenance for this region for the next year! That is wonderful news, since we moved here for him to service that specific company and region... (we were told there were signed contracts when we moved, but they never signed....) So, now we can breathe a little easier and Praise God for his blessing.

And... tonight when DH came home... I needed to go to Wilkes-Barre again. So, he was ready to go... and I said not without showering and getting cleaned up. We did our errands, came home, and while I fixed dinner, he walked the dog. We ate... and I was getting things ready to wash, and he was doing the floor for me... and his phone went off. He has an emergency night call... and it's not in his region... so he has full travel on top of the repair call! It's going to be a long night for him...(and an expensive night for F-Ex Philly) but the 8-9 hours is going to be a real bonus for us! God knows what we need... and he does provide.... I get so amazed at how it all works out. All I can say is... How Great is Our God!

I'm off to get in my jammies... and cuddle up with Nolli. I am going to watch The Bachelor tonight... cheesy, I know! But I have to hear everyone dish... and I want to see Trista and Ryan!

Thanks for reading... be blessed!

Simple Woman's Daybook, February 23rd, 2009


Outside my window... it's partly cloudy and cold.

I am thinking... about how I can't wait for DH to get home tonight.

I am thankful for... a warm and cozy house.

From the kitchen... there are good left-overs for dinner... (mac and cheese with onions and bacon! And pulled bbq pork!

I am wearing... jeans, spring green long sleeve scoop neck t-shirt, and matching socks

I am creating... a new wreath to hang in the guest room

I am going... finish the guest room tonight... I hope!

I am reading... back issues of Coastal and Cottage Living... Cottage Living going under makes me sad.

I am hoping... that Liz and Gary will be coming up in March.

I am hearing... the wind across the south side of the house... and traffic.

Around the house... Nolli is sleeping near my feet, and there are a few things to put away.

One of my favorite things... is my tulip arrangement on my dining room table.

A few plans for the rest of the week: to keep looking for work, and to get the rest of the house cleaned and polished.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Thanks for reading... be blessed!


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Where Did That Come From???

We've had a busy day today. We had a late supper after doing all this crazy stuff! And then we settled down to watch part of the Oscars.

I always have my cell phone with me... and I usually play Chuzzle while I watch television... cuz I am addicted to it! Before I started to play the game, I went ahead and checked my email from my phone... becuz I can! I had one new email... and it was from a product review site! Asking me to do a review on my site?!? It was for something really stupid and when I told my DH about it, he was dismayed about it... he sweetly reminded me that he feels that this blog is really just our online journal... about our life. (He so gets me!)

Just so y'all know... my sweet DH took me to Wilkes-Barre twice this weekend to get craft supplies. He also went through my boxes in the guest room and found our extra wedding invitations so that I could complete a page in our scrapbook... and then carried all that stuff down to the basement for me. We are very close to getting our guest room done... and of course, he's right there with me in making all the decisions of how it's going to look. That is what I call some true Sweet Sunday Love... complete with him taking the dog for a walk after dinner!

Thanks for reading... be blessed!


Saturday, February 21, 2009

We Have It!

We have a serious case of Spring Fever over here... It's sunny outside...

but still very cold. But... it's got us moving....

and nesting...
and cleaning...
So... off we go... to get as much done as we can while the mood is good for it!

Thanks for reading... be blessed!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Weather Report

Yesterday... we had a little bit of everything around here. I would look out the window and it was sunny... so Nolli and I (well, me, cuz his is built in) raced to put on our coats and go outside to play for a few minutes. Then it would turn all cloudy... the wind would come racing up... and it would either start to snow, sleet, rain or all 3 at once! Yuck!

My DH finally made it home after an 11 1/2 hour day yesterday. He was soooo tired. He went straight to the shower... and then sat in his chair to work on his paperwork and notes. I made hin take a break at 6:45 to eat and he went back at it on the computer until 9. That's a long day!

Nolli did get to go to the flower shop... he's been in a great, playful mood.

I think he had a case of the winter blues!

oh.... the night before, I made chicken noodle soup... and gave him a small bowl as a treat after he ate most of his dinner. He cleaned out the bowl! So, last night, I heated up some leftover soup for him... and added that to his kibble. (I took care not to give him any onion) That silly dog at the whole thing... so I gave him seconds... and he scarfed that down too! He was so happy and silly after that.

When DH took him out last night... the wind was so bad... that it blew both of them across the grass as they stepped out the door. I'm glad it was DH that took him... if it was me, it would have knocked me down... and I'd still be out there, laying in the yard, trying to get up!

The wind is still blowing like crazy... around 30 mph. I have things to do... but I may stay in and not do them!
That is the end of the weather report for Sugarloaf Cottage... (back to the news desk... j/k!)

Thanks for reading... be blessed!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Quiet day...

That's what I am having today... a quiet day. I have tried to keep the tv off... and tried to get some rest. While it is a blessing that DH has had 2 night calls this week... it does take it's toll on me. (I don't know how he does it!) Both times, the calls came in around 9 pm. The first one was only 3 hours... but last night's call was for 5 1/2 hours... meaning that Hubs didn't get home until after 2 am... and he had to be up for work by 6:30. I only slept in 2 hour increments last night, and I am feeling very groggy today. Like I said... I don't know how he does it.

DH, before he met me... had a very precarious life... not life style... but precarious due to the people that came in to it and how it affected him. He is very protective and loyal by nature. His last girlfriend... was not a very good person... he had no idea of all of her past, until it was too late. By then, they had moved to a new house in the city... and the job that she wanted and was the reason they moved, soon ended. Because she was bi-polar, and started using drugs. DH got very use to having to stay up for days on end to keep the riff-raff from stealing every last thing he had.

He tells me of stories... how she would bring people in to the house... and she would have drug parties upstairs or down in the basement. That when he left to go to work... he didn't know what would be gone when he came back. And that he didn't know what he found that wasn't there when he left. It was awful for him... and it was a hard and costly mess to get away from. He still gets calls on his work phone from her drug dealers... those are listed as DNA... Do Not Answer... because you cannot block a cell phone number like you can a landline number.

So... tonight, when he gets home from work... I will let him clean up and crash... we will have leftover homemade chicken noodle soup... anything that is "pressing" can simply wait for now. Like I said... the night calls are really a blessing... and we know from whom all blessings come!
We are blessed with a simple life... and that there is no chaos here ( and we work hard to keep it that way!)

So... there are no funny pictures... no photos of the cute dog... just my words,
Thanks for reading! Be blessed.

**** OK... this must be a BUMMER of a post... Sorry! I will do better next time. (Did I give y'all too much real life info? Just keeping it real... come on, everyone has a past! And some can be rather "colorful" or "precarious". Just be glad that I didn't write about my brother or his ex-wife, trying to raise 3 little boys so many years ago. (Trust me when I say that it was extremely crazy and chaotic!) I have lots of gray hairs from that time in our lives! ****

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

This was fun!

I totally borrowed this idea from another blog that I read... I love this and I could expand on the idea quite easily.

Questions for you: Food Edition!

1) Think about the best meal you ever ate in a restaurant. What was the restaurant?

2) What is your favorite kind of cheese?

3) What is your favorite varietal of wine?

4) Have you ever eaten foie gras? If so, did you like it?

5) What is your favorite flavor of potato chip?

What are your answers?

Here are mine:

1. My most favorite meal is a tie... the first being a meal that was at a corporate awards dinner in Portsmouth NH... the restaurant was called 71, set in an old church. The food was amazing... and I had steak dijonnaise that was wonderful... with the best steamed shrimp ever. And to tie that is The Melting Pot... it's fondue... nothing more needs to be said!

2. We are cheese eaters at this house... but if I'm gonna splurge... I love Emmenthaler Swiss or Gruyere`. We eat a lot of colby/jack for grilled cheese too!

3. I don't drink wine. (I can't... no thyroid!) But if I did... I like a good champagne cocktail. I mostly drink diet pepsi or lemonade.

4. Yes and Yes... it was at the same corporate dinner... the chef really knew what he was doing... it was so flavorful and rich... not a lot of people ate it... but it was really good!

5. My favorite potato chip is Utz Honey BBQ. I love those... sweet and smoky! Hubs likes the crab chips they do as well... I can't eat those...

That was fun and I can't wait to read what your answers will be!

Oh... it's snowing here... we are going to get around 3 inches today, more tomorrow and on the weekend too. I'm ready for winter to be done. On a personal note... please keep those prayers a'comin! I have applied for several jobs... and need one! Please join me in seeking what God wants for me to do. Thanks!

Thank you for reading! Be blessed!


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

One of My Favorites

I love good comfort food... but then, who doesn't! I am a huge (let's not go to the weight thing) fan of things like homemade macaroni and cheese with a ton of bacon. I also love french onion soup... which I have posted here before. And I do like a good dessert... and bread pudding is one of my favorites, because it's so easy to do!

Here's the ingredients you'll need to make this... Sugar, 3 eggs, 1 pt of 1/2 & 1/2, 1 loaf of cinnamon raisin bread, 1/2 a stick of butter, cinnamon and vanilla. Additional 1/2 cup of milk is not shown.

Start by slicing bread into a thick dice... I like it rustic... so I usually do it in a 3 x 3 dice...

Place your bread into a casserole dish.

Next break your eggs into a mixing bowl and begin to beat them until they are nice and thick and creamy... then add your sugar... beating it in a little at a time.
Melt butter... I do it in the microwave, and let it cool slightly...

Add 1/2 and 1/2, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and butter... beating to combine.
Pour into casserole over the bread. Let is stand for about 10 minutes.

Place casserole in to another baking dish... 9x13 or 11x15... and pour hot water into the other dish to create a ht water bath...
Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Bread Pudding

1 loaf cinnamon raisin bread
2 C. 1/2 and 1/2
3 eggs
1 C. sugar
1/2 stick melted butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup milk

Cube bread into rustic cubes... place in casserole dish
In mixing bowl... beat eggs, add sugar in small additions to make sure it's incorporated,
add milk, 1/2 and 1/2, vanilla, cinnamon and melted butter... beating well to form creamy custard base.

Pour over bread...let stand for 10 minutes... Place in hot water bath and bake for 1 hour.

Sorry, that this isn't a tutorial... I tried, but blogger didn't want to download some of my photos. That was very frustrating! But at least I can show you a finished product. It was so good... that we had dessert first last night! =)

Thanks for reading... be blessed!


It Makes Me Crazy!

This morning... we took Barbie, my Malibu into the dealership to be serviced. It seems she's developed a seepage around a seal under the crankshaft. (Sounds like a girl problem, right?)
Anyway... I drove her up there, with DH following behind me. The only time he used his turn signal was when we were getting into the left turn lane in front of the dealership! Yep... I'm telling and tattling!

When we left the dealership... we had a "discussion" on using turn signals. He insisted that he uses them all the time. I insisted that he does not... and regularly does not use them when he drives my car with me in it. That just drives me crazy!!!!!! (yes, there are 6 exclamation points... that's how crazy it makes me.) I told him that not using turn signals is the a telltale sign of a poor driver. He used the "excuse" that he has a psychological hangup about using them around me! HOGWASH, I said!

He didn't speak to me the rest of the way home. And when we got out of the truck... he looked at me and said, "I still love you." My reply... "Love has nothing to do with safety issues... but then it does! So you can be mad at me all you want... Cuz I'm right!"

That's how this Tuesday morning started off... We both need more sleep... (he had a night call last night) and on top of it... I walked into the living room when we got back from taking the car to find Nolli dog sleeping all cute on the sofa. (He's not allowed to sleep on the couch.) BUSTED!... That's what I told him, quietly... just "Busted"... and he jumped off... with his little tongue sticking out, looking so cute!
I will be back later today to share one of my most favorite comfort foods... it seems that yesterday was about comfort foods for me. DH said he didn't like bread pudding... he doesn't like banana pudding either, because one of his aunts always seems to use the worst stuff when she bakes... (and he gets so grossed out.) So, I made my version of bread pudding for him. He loved it! See y'all in a little while!

Thanks for reading... be blessed!


Monday, February 16, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, February 16th, 2009...

Outside my window... it is sunny and bright with just a few high clouds.
I am thinking... of all the things I would like to accomplish today.
I am thankful for... God's provision and for my hardworking husband.
From the kitchen... there are a few dishes in the sink. I need to sweep and mop, too!
I am wearing... my favorite long white cotton gown and my soft blue cardigan... and bare feet!
I am creating... a finished mending pile!
I am going... to the pharmacy today... I keep forgetting my medicines.
I am reading... "Dear First Lady"-a historical look at archived correspondence through out history.
I am hoping... for God's guidance and favor.
I am hearing... traffic going by on to Main street.
Around the house... Nolli is sleeping in the middle of the bed still... and there is some basic chores awaiting me!
One of my favorite things... having the laundry all folded and put away... slipping into bed with fresh linens... brings me back to childhood with my Mom.
A few plans for the rest of the week: to continue to clean and cook... visit the flower shop, maybe do some baking.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...

I wish I had these planted in my yard!

Thanks for reading... be blessed!


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Kindness for Sweet Sunday Love

Today was our day to do all the things that we didn't get to yesterday~ that would primarily be a.) laundry and b.) groceries. Before we did that... DH made me a great breakfast of bacon and and scrambled eggs. (He's such a sweetie!)

We got everything together and started out... we timed it perfectly, there were very few people in the laundry today. So... we were done in about 2 hours! Then we set off to do grocery shopping. We decided to go to a discount grocery that wasn't too far from where we were. We went in... and did a fair amount of shopping... and got it all packed up in our own bags and boxes.

As we came out to our car... there were several others leaving and a few cars waiting to get parking spaces. The gentleman who parked next to us... offered to take our shopping cart. He was so nice. And as we were getting the last of everything put inside the car, an older lady approached us and asked if we were from this area. I said that yes, we were. She told us that as she was trying to get out of her car... a lady in a very expensive car pulled in next to her. She was trying to pull her car door close to her as she got out of her car... and the other driver wouldn't wait and hit her car door. She was now locked out of her car and her purse and cellphone were also inside. (The other driver was upset that she may have scratched her car!)

She asked if we would mind taking her across the valley from where we were to a turn around near her house. Of course... that was no problem, we just needed to move a few things around in the back seat. We took her over to her home... she said she had a spare key to get in and would call her daughter to come and get her. She was so appreciative and wanted to give us gas money... of course we said NO... not necessary! It was nice to be able to help someone out... and have it be like the old days... when you didn't have to be concerned about safety. (I think it was because DH and I were together.)

We've had a great day... we got tons of things done in spite of the fact that I was awake last night from 2am to 5am. I finally made myself something to eat... and once my stomach was full and I got warm... I finally went to sleep until about 9ish. Of course, DH tried to be as quiet as he could.

Thanks for reading~ Be Blessed!