Friday, December 31, 2010
Actually, I would have missed it, because I wasn't scheduled to work this week. But my sweet female coworkers have been having some tough breaks this year...as in bones...and surgeries, and such. They've both had both this year. Just this week one had one, and one had the other. So I worked yesterday and today, and had to leave home earlier than I usually do to open the office.
I started out driving in the dark. This morning's drive was a foggy one. At 7:01 a.m. I sensed, rather than saw, that it was less dark. At 7:14 a.m. there seemed to be another almost imperceptible swell. After that the light crept delicately forward. And as I was approaching the edge of town, the sun was burning it's way through the dark and fog as an ember melts through snow.
It was a gift. A finale. It was a fitting way to celebrate this ultimate morning of 2010.
I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
This is my pencil cup at work. In case that sticky note on it is too small for ya, it reads:
"Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." C. Northcote Parkinson
Truer words were never spoken!
What is it about going back to work after having some time off? Exhausting! Today was long stretches of boredom, interspersed with intense periods of effort. And what law of nature makes the phone stay silent for an hour and then multiple calls come through all at the same time?
Thank goodness tomorrow is a short day! What a whiner I am. :)
I think I'll change the sticky note on my cup to read, "Wackadoodles make the day interesting!"
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Please try to ignore that big post in the middle of the first photo...and the window mullions in the second.
This is the playscape that was in the backyard when we bought the new house. Every time the girls come over they ask if they can play on it. And every time I explain that Papa needs to do some work to make sure that it's safe enough to play on.
And we'll have to convince the current resident to share it, of course.
He totally cracks me up when he sits up there.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Well, last year I went minimal with my goal for the new year. This year I think I will see how I do with a running list to mark items off of as completed. Some of the items are not meant to be achieved within this calendar year, but I'm adding them anyway to keep them in mind.
1. See the northern lights.
2. Take a walking tour in Ireland.
3. Print, frame, hang six of my photos.
4. Compile some of my blog posts into book form.
5. Read the books that I can't believe I got out of school without reading: Of Mice and Men, Animal Farm, Catcher in the Rye.
6. Get the piano tuned.
7. Convert old vinyl LPs to CDs.
8. Empty. Every. Last. Box.
9. Replace the tile floors with hardwood.
10. Be a hospice volunteer.
11. Go to Maine.
12. Make effort toward routine aerobic activity for improved health, mobility, balance.
13. Stretch daily.
14. Get around to ordering that 'Conquer Procrastination' self-hypnosis CD. Someday.
15. Learn to make bagels.
16. Hand quilt Rita May's quilt.
17. Compliment at least one person every day for a month.
18. Send more snail mail.
19. Sell unused craft items on eBay.
20. Research deer-resistant xeriscaping for front yard.
That ought to keep me busy for awhile.
Monday, December 27, 2010
I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. Ours was busy, as they tend to be. We had out-of-town guests starting last Monday. The last one left this morning. I think I overdid it a bit with all the unpacking beforehand, and cooking and baking during their stay, as I am in dire need of a visit to my chiropractor this afternoon. But it was totally worth it. This was the funnest holiday in ages!
I didn't go all out with the decorations this year. Understated may have been the theme. I loved how the photo enlargement turned out after I mounted it on a canvas. It will stay up through the winter.
I enjoyed pulling out an old Grandma Moses print that had belonged to my great aunt. I popped a red charger behind it to give it a bit more presence.
I even loved it when I was a bit too slow getting the tree topper on, and Jared gave his beloved Rangers' cap the top spot.
Hmmm...time to start thinking about New Year's resolutions.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
I'm still trying to get settled in. Things are a mess. I've managed to lose track of several gifts that I am hoping against hope to find by the 24th. A friend from out of state called and said she may come next week for a day or two. And we invited my mother-in-law to spend several days with us over Christmas. I've warned her that perfection is just not in the cards.
Oh, and speaking of cards, I haven't addressed a one.
I did order an enlargment of the above photo as part of my mantel decoration. Which I will assemble as soon as we finish painting the living room. Why, no, it hasn't yet been begun. But the kitchen has been completely painted, and it is beautiful. Love the new color!
Two more days of work, then I have two weeks off. Maybe I'll make a little more progress then.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Back in September I received a very special package in the mail. It contained my absolute favorite preserves...fig. Well, I refused to use them for just our everyday toast. So I've been saving it for something...well...special.
I thought Thanksgiving might be the right time, so I bought a baguette and a really good bleu cheese with the intent to make some crostini appetizers. Uh...Thanksgiving dinner preparations got really busy, so I decided to forego the appetizers.
Since we had a late lunch/early dinner today, I got hungry a little while ago, and I remembered that I had all the ingredients to make an extraordinary snack. So I just enjoyed a fabulous plate of fig-and-bleu-cheese crostini with fruit. YUM!
So, dear LB, I am sorry to be so long letting you know just how wonderful your gift tasted. But please know that it was because it was just too special to squander on a PBJ.
It was sublime!
Friday, November 26, 2010
photo credit: movie ad
If ever I identified with a fairy-tale heroine, it was definitely Rapunzel. My mother was never keen on my having long hair, but as soon as I was old enough to take care of it myself, I would go years without cutting it, and I would brush and brush and brush.
Kasey and the girls found themselves with no males at home today, so they invited me for a girls-only movie matinee. We went to see Tangled. It was really enjoyable. Beautiful artistry (though I do find it a little disconcerting how lifelike the animation can seem at times) and a wonderful story, of course.
The humor was truly laugh worthy...those pub thugs...loved them! The music was really good, and I kept wondering if it had been a stage play before it was made into animated film.
Took me back to my favorite school field trips ever, when we would line up class by class and walk over to the local college auditorium (my elementary school was really near the college, other schools in town came by the busloads), where the drama department would put on wonderful productions of fairy tales for the entire school system. I wonder if they still do that? I hope they do.
But as for the movie, I'd say it got four thumbs up from us!
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Another task done ahead. Yea me!
When it comes to the holiday dressing, we stand in the cornbread believers' section.
Usually (in previous years...when I wasn't moving) I bake cornbread whenever I make soup in the fall. Then I save the leftovers in a zipper freezer bag, and by Thanksgiving I have all the cornbread I need for stuffing. This Fall has been pretty warm, so I haven't made soup very often. And I really wasn't into filling up the freezer just to move it. So baking some fresh was in the cards.
Tonight, after a simple dinner (bacon and eggs), I threw together a double batch of cornbread and popped it in the oven. An half hour later, it comes out of the oven all hot and golden sweet. It is now crumbled and air drying...ready to become dressing. Yum.
Now if I can just keep Carey out of it...
Monday, November 22, 2010
I love this roasting pan. Love the tray at the bottom with the folding handles to lift out the bird. It's ingenious and sturdy, and probably a lot older than I am. I inherited it from a much-loved former neighbor. I always think of her at the holidays when I roast the turkey.
Thursday we will be having Thanksgiving dinner here. I've been trying to undertake the preparations in manageable increments. I'm not aiming for perfection this year.
Last week I went to the grocery store, and bought a frozen turkey. In the past, I have taken the turkey out of the freezer the prescribed 3 to 4 days ahead of the holiday, only to find it still partially frozen when the day arrives, to the point of busting my knuckles trying to free the legs from their wire harness. So I decided to just store it in the fridge instead of the freezer, so that it could be thawing and ready to roast when the time came. Well...it thawed quicker than I expected. And today it crossed my mind that by Thursday it might have been beyond its prime. So I went ahead and roasted it this evening. I'll just have to carve it tonight, and reheat it on Thursday. Like I said, I'm not aiming for perfection this year.
There are yummy smells wafting through the house tonight! It does more to put me in a holiday spirit than anything has so far, and I'm feeling a sense of anticipation. Since I have to go to work in the morning, I had better go get busy with the carving and storing.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Well, on to the story then.
Awhile back (sometime in the past year) I found this really 'interesting' piece at a thrift shop. Really not my usual style. It was sort of an antique-y gold. And while I usually go for things with simple lines...this didn't have a simple line on it. But something about it spoke to me. So I picked it up and looked for the price. Hmmm. No price. I took it to the front and asked what its cost might be. For the lack of a better answer, the guy quoted me the grand price of $1. For a buck, I could handle it being a little 'different.'
I did manage to take a 'during' photo, so here's your first glance at it.
Hey, those empty IKEA shelf boxes are great for laying open and spray painting on. (And no, I'm not through assembling shelves...if I were, I would be showing you those! ) Ignore the little lamp in the corner...that is another story for another post. Oh, but I forgot to get a before photo of it too. It was actually a sort of soft medium green with painted gold trim...the two of these items made quite the pair.
So here is my $1 sconce...all crisp and white against the newly blue walls of the children's guest/play room. I'm not sure yet how I feel about it. But it will stay for awhile. I have a few more projects in mind for that room, so I'll show you more of its surroundings in future posts.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
So we are living with small islands of order in a vast sea of chaos.
Exhibit A: Order...the pantry.
As pantries go, it is pretty small. But since I haven't had a real pantry since I moved out of my childhood home, I'm very happy with it. The plan is to keep most of the staples in glass jars. (I have a lot more glass jars...somewhere...I haven't found them yet.) Boxed rice mixes, seasoning pouches, etc. are in the basket on the left...teas and hot chocolate are in the middle basket...and cloth napkins are in the basket on the right. The white containers on the floor are for recycling.
Exhibit B: Chaos...the office.
What can I possibly say? We went to IKEA last week, and bought shelves. I started putting them together today.
It could take awhile.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Today was my first day back at work. I was looking forward to getting back to some routine, and it felt great. The drive took about an hour and fifteen minutes (one way)...not as bad as I thought.
There's still lots of work to be done around here, but I hope to be back to blogging with greater regularity. Sorry I've been gone so long.
Monday, October 18, 2010
I am sporadically busy, but we have made what seems like very little progress in the moving. Carey was called in to work on his days off, so we put off the major move and instead have been driving over a pickup truck and SUV load at a time (an hour plus each way might I add...I know, I know...very inefficient way to get it done). The furniture should go next week in a BIG truck.
So what have I been doing? (That is a rhetorical question, and I do not wish to hear any guesses. I mean it Kelley. Ix-nay the ark-snay.) I've been turning on electricity to the new place, and seeing about moving the telephone/internet service. I've been making sure that both places are adequately insured. I've been picking out paint, and preparing to start painting later this week (at least behind where the refrigerator and washer/dryer will be installed next Monday, so we don't have to move them out again after installation.) I have been going through stuff and trying to pare down. I have carefully moved every single Christmas ornament, bulb, garland, and bough from their home in the guest room closet here to the guest room closet there...and it all fit!. I have been making myself lists of things that need to be done (but not quite yet), and lists of ideas that seem ingenious at this moment, but I'm afraid will be forgotten tomorrow. I have even made myself a list of ideas for future blog posts.
Oh, and I've taken a few photos of the old place...the miniature horses that the new owner has put on the land here (see photo above)...the flora and fauna that I will miss.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Today was spent at the new house. The previous owners left it very clean, but you know there are just some things you want to clean yourself anyway. Jared climbed high and low cleaning inside cabinets and drawers all over the house. I vacuumed all the floors, and spent an inordinate amount of time figuring out all the light switches in the house and labeling them. Then I went around putting sticky notes on the walls where the large furniture pieces will go, in case I'm not there when furniture is unloaded.
new dining room
I came home and took a couple of Advil. This moving thing gets harder every time. I didn't even work that hard today, but the constant standing was torture. Thankfully there is a window seat in the dining room, since we haven't taken any chairs yet.
new laundry room
The laundry room (above) is quite possibly my favorite room in the new house...built in cabinets...a huge sink (out of sight to the left)...rods to hang laundry over the washer and the sink...large enough for a freezer. The washer and dryer will be in the far left corner, near the door to the outside. All of our large appliances will be staying with the sold house, so we will be having to purchase a new washer and dryer, and a refrigerator and microwave for the kitchen.
Tomorrow I have to really push to try to get things done on this end. The moving starts Monday.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
1. Current packing zone: game cupboard and toy closet.
2. Finally! Last Friday we closed on the sale of our current home, and yesterday we closed on the purchase of the new one. Yea! We'll start moving about Monday.
3. I yearn for the moving process to be over and for a whole day to spend with my nose buried in a great whodunnit.
4. Someone told me today that I set myself up for stress by talking about it. Funny. I bit my tongue, but I really wanted to say that if more people (her) felt a little stress once in a while, then less of us (me) would have to feel a lot of stress! I'm a detail person. So sue me.
5. I love tea cups and coffee cups, but we don't drink hot beverages much...when we do it's usually out of a mug or travel mug. When I open my cupboards and see all the cups (that go with three separate sets of dishes) sitting unused, it makes me feel kind of bad. Well this week I read a great idea to use them in a new way, and I am definitely going to use it in the new house. In a bedroom or bathroom drawer, place tea and/or coffee cups, and use them to store individual pieces of jewelry...necklaces, earrings, watches, etc. By using them for jewelry storage: 1) it organizes my jewelry making things easier to find; 2) it frees up kitchen cupboard space; 3) I get to see the cups daily and enjoy their new use, and; 4) they are still available to use any time I might need to return them to service in the role they were originally intended for. Win, win, win, win!
6. Diet downfall of the week: bagels.
7. As I am packing and trying to whittle down our possessions for the move, I am thinking about this post and laughing at myself a little bit. The old saying, "Be careful what you wish for," springs to mind.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
I have been packing books for what seems like forever--I don't mean hours, I mean days!--and yet I still cannot see an end to the job. Each time I tape up a box, I turn back to the shelf to find that it is still full. They seem to be breeding! It's very frustrating, and saps my drive.
The bookcase in the photo is one that Carey salvaged and refinished about twenty years ago. You have to understand that he is utterly opposed to painting wood. What is it about men and wood finishes? But a little while ago, he was walking through the room, and we were talking about where furniture pieces are going to be located in the new house. When out of the blue, he looks at this bookshelf and says..."I guess we can paint this." I could not believe it. I have never even asked, because I was sure I knew the answer. Hmmm.
I had better not be doing all this packing for nothing, as we STILL have not closed on the sale or purchase of properties. ugh
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Lentil Soup...recipe found here.
Soup weather is on its way! It's supposed to be much cooler and less humid in the coming week, so I am happily adding a couple of soup nights to the menu this week.
I love soup!
It is generally easy to make. So many are slow cooker friendly. It tastes just as good warmed up the next day. And it's my comfort food.
So I ask you...what is your favorite soup? And if you want to leave the recipe in the comments, that would be WAY cool!
Oh, and my favorite? Probably a very yummy Jalapeno Sweet Potato.
Friday, September 24, 2010
Wild turkeys! I went and grabbed the camera. The photos aren't great as they were taken through the windows so as not to frighten them away, but beauty like this deserves to be documented and shared.
This is only about half or less of the flock that wandered slowly by. Carey said that numbers of them kept flying down out of the oak trees where they probably roosted last night.
We see them periodically, but this is a larger group than normal. I'm glad they came while we were still here to enjoy them.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
...ah-gah-pey...noun: unselfish love of one person for another; brotherly love.
Nothing can lighten a dreary day and put a smile on my face like homemade fig preserves in my mailbox! I know they were made by the loving hands, and are shared by the generous heart, of a sweet and very dear friend.
Thank you, LB. You have no idea what a blessing this was today. I have to confess that I haven't been to pick up my mail at the post office in at least a week, so I apologize for the delay in letting you know they arrived safely...but of all those days in the past week, today was the day I needed a reminder of how blessed I am by the love that surrounds me.
Thank you...and know I give thanks for you.
Monday, September 20, 2010
My friend Kelley has a new job. (Yes, she of the snarky Facebook comments, but I love her anyway. lol) She is so happy, and I am so proud of her.
She has to swipe a badge to enter her workplace, and asked me if I would make her a lanyard for it. So of course I had to do this before I packed away all of my beads!
It turned out rather well, I think. And she loves it, so that's important too. I even included a few mood beads on it, so she can tell what kind of day she is having. :)
Sunday, September 19, 2010
This is my anti-anxiety medication of choice.
I have been so stressed. Both closings were supposed to be behind us by now, but neither has been accomplished. Delay in the sale of the land has pushed the purchase of the house back.
Melt in mouth.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Regarding the love-filled (albeit snarky) comment which you left on my Facebook wall: I absolutely do not need the Internet to procrastinate!
(See photo above.)
I really did make an honest attempt to get a quick start on the day. I showered and dressed, and then I started wondering if I would get a call from the title company to drop everything and come sign on the dotted line. So I decided to put on just a little makeup.
But then I wondered if anyone (besides me) really notices when I put on makeup. So I decided to do just half of my face and compare.
Then I thought I would send you a photo thereof, to let you know that the Internet is not the be all and end all of my entertainment / lack of packing progress.
But, of course, I thought that perhaps I should blog my results, so here I am back on the Internet. (See photo below.)
I have to go make up the rest of my face now.
If you rat me out about this to your father, you are out of the will!
Sunday, September 12, 2010
...pennies for my thoughts :)
It occurred to me a few minutes ago that I absolutely forgot to write seven thoughts on the seventh this month. I probably didn't have seven separate thoughts on the seventh, focused as I have been on just one thing. But I can't let this month go by undocumented, so here are seven not so random thoughts on the twelfth.
1. If you want to get some work done of a day, do NOT turn on the television! It matters not at all that you have never read Tolkien...or that you don't know what a hobbit is...or that you have the rare distinction of never having watched any sequel movies...if you are a TRUE procrastinator, the majority of your day will be lost following the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Tomorrow? Star Wars, The Godfather, Star Trek, Rocky, Rambo, Benji...?
2. If you eat your way through the pantry, you won't have to pack it.
3. If cleaning out the office/craft room was too overwhelming to tackle organizing it in the past couple of years, the thought of packing it all within the next couple of weeks is downright panic attack inducing!
4. Do I REALLY believe that I will use all of these craft supplies if I live to be 100?
5. Boxes, boxes; I need boxes!
6. I keep reminding myself that if you can't let go of something, you no longer own it...it owns you.
7. Fingers crossed, toes crossed, eyes crossed...pleeeease let the closing on the sale of land be tomorrow!
Saturday, September 11, 2010
But I got this fifteen-second video in an e-mail today, and it is SO simple and yet I can foresee using this 'skill' inumerable times in the future. Teach this to a child...they will love it.
A must see!
Friday, September 3, 2010
We are moving.
We'll be trading in our 100 acres for 4 acres...our house where most of our to-do list is done, to one filled with new projects...and to an area where the grandbabies are only about a mile away instead of an hour away.
Things have really been rolling rapidly. It's been a week since we came to an agreement on selling our home, and a few days since we found a great new one. We should be closing the sale on our property in the next week, and the purchase of the new property a few days after that. We are truly blessed that the buyer of our property is allowing us time to make the move without pressure to be out immediately. Still, we are not wanting to take advantage of his kind nature, so we will be very, very busy. Today I am starting the big packing event.
And because I know that some of you may have heard things recently that make you worry or wonder...Carey has not been at work this week...he's safe and sound at home, running hither and yon trying to get everything done yesterday. As if the house news isn't change enough, we are also waiting to hear about a new job that he interviewed for last week. (I know that sounds strange on the heels of the move news, but we are in an unusual category of people who can move without giving a lot of thought as to work location.)
Please keep us in your prayers.
ps: the new house has no front porch!
Monday, August 30, 2010
It is SO! DARN!! HOT!!!
Friday my plans got sidetracked, so I went down south with Carey on a very important day trip. Once we were done with the important stuff, we took a little tour around our old stomping grounds.
For years, every time I visit around this time of year, I wish I could take pics of the cotton crops sitting in the field waiting to be picked. This time I actually had the camera with me, and I even had a cooperative driver. But I'm still wishing I could have another chance at it. The sun was SO bright, it was difficult to tell what I was actually getting; and it was SO HOT that I just couldn't bear it for more than a few minutes. Our trusty old truck even started overheating, so one chance was all I was allowed.
These photos were taken in a field that had already been sprayed with defoliant. Most of the fields had already been picked. Huge truck-size bales (modules) sat covered in the fields, waiting for completion and delivery to the gin. The highways are all edged with white fluff that has flown off of trucks. It always seemed like such a shame that it goes to waste. My mother said that when she was young, families would walk along the roads and pick up the cotton that had fallen and sell it to the gin.
I love how the open bolls look like flowers.
Okay, Mr. Sun. You've helped the cotton burst forth. It's time to cool things down a little.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Two artists compete. One starts in NY and heads west. The others starts in LA and heads east. Each are allowed only one dollar and a backpack full of art supplies to start. They must rely on their artwork to beg/barter for food, lodging, and transportation. I'm not too clear on the other rules of the race. I think you have to finish within the allotted time (40 days) and raise the most money from your art along the way.
Quite fun to watch. I came in somewhere in the middle of their journeys, so I'll have to look for more episodes.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I am not superstitious.
Well, okay, I knock on wood now and then (usually my poor noggin). I spit when a black cat crosses my path. I try never to break a mirror.
But I don't believe that any of these things is going to effect any given situation. It's more of a habit.
And I am a creature of habit. I like my days to have a certain sameness. I find comfort in routine.
But we are up to some big-time changes around here. And I am feeling more than a little anxiety over it all. Not a bad sort of anxiety, but a sense of unease, nonetheless.
And I can't really talk about any of it! Because, you know, I might jinx it.
So cross your fingers for us, okay? :)
Monday, August 16, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
I garnered this sugary-sweet trivia from Cash Cab (love that show on Discovery channel). Runts were created when the manufacturer was looking for a neater way to package/market Pixy Stix. If you're not familiar with Pixy Stix, they are basically just drinking straws filled with fruit-flavored sugar, which you then tip up and pour into your mouth. It's one of those things kids love and parents hate.
The solution really upped the cute factor too!
Saturday, August 7, 2010
2. It is really wonderful to take them to a nice restaurant for lunch and have your waitress compliment their good manners.
3. It is fun to sit in a dark theater and be pleasantly surprised by how much you are enjoying a movie that the boys picked out. (Despicable Me) And it is really priceless to listen to your husband's laughter throughout...I think I've mentioned here before how much I like to watch him watch cartoons.
4. It is miserable falling asleep sitting up, and waking in the early morning with a bent neck.
5. It makes me happy to realize that in a little over a month, it will start cooling off some.
6. It is exciting looking forward to the next week off, and having a fun trip to Ikea planned during it.
7. It is such a blessing to have a hot shower and clean pajamas and a comfortable bed to snuggle into.
Friday, August 6, 2010
I loved Caroline's Friday Five this week...favorite 80s movies. That was possibly my favorite decade for movies. I couldn't limit myself to five, so I'm listing eight movies from the 80s that I have watched and rewatched, and I cannot possibly surf past them if I see one playing on TV.
When Harry Met Sally - 1989
favorite scene: the dinner where they're trying to fix each other up with their best friends.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off - 1986
favorite scene: the parade, definitely
The Princess Bride - 1987
favorite scene: the battle of wits with the Sicilian...inconceivable!
Sixteen Candles - 1984
favorite scene: the grandparents answering Sam's phone
Baby Boom - 1987
favorite scenes: finding out her well is dry...'I'm tired of being yupped and noped by you guys...another five thousand...aaaahhhh!' ...and then regaining consciousness in the vet's office, 'I wasn't going to put you to sleep or anything.'
Local Hero - 1983
favorite scene: every single one!