Friday, October 17, 2014

Four of my favorite things

At least currently. 
And in no particular order.

1.  Having my kids visit on non-holiday weekends. 
This really is number 1 on the list.  The others below can go in any order :)
My daughter has a long weekend for mid-term break from school so she drove home in nine hours.  It's been so much fun having her back!  I haven't seen her for two months and won't see her again until Christmas break, so I am enjoying this.  We spent afternoons running errands and I was soaking up the time with her.  I forced her to watch an old movie with me, Good Neighbor Sam with Jack Lemmon.  I loved this movie as a kid and haven't seen it in years.  She thought it was pretty funny too. 
I'll see my son at Thanksgiving and am looking forward to some time with him too.

2.  Pumpkin Pie chocolates from See's Candies.
Oh - My - Gosh!  I bought some candies for a friend and decided to get one of those to try.  WOW!  If you like pumpkin anything you have to try these.  I am not kidding!  This was one of the stops with my daughter just so I could buy some more.  Still so good.  Seriously, go get some.

3.  Being an empty nester.
I have to admit, I was a bit nervous about not having the kids home, but it's been really great.  Don't get me wrong.  I love my kids!  And as you read above, I'm enjoying the time with them when they come home. really has been nice not worrying about feeding them, where they are, cleaning up after them.  Hubby and I have been enjoying ourselves and I feel, two months into it, we've been doing a great job being just husband and wife with no kids. 

4.  Kettle Korn
Enough said.  But here's the great thing about this one.  I have a recipe to share.  My hubby and I went to our neighbor's home for an evening and they had some kettle korn and shared with us.  It was very good and homemade.  So not only did they share the recipe, we made two batches and they let us take one home.  So of course I've been making kettle korn almost non-stop.  It is so easy and I hope you enjoy it too.

Kettle Korn
3 Tbls oil
1/2 Cup kernels
1/3 Cup sugar
Salt to taste

In a stock pot heat oil and 2 or 3 kernels until they pop.  I put my stove temperature just past medium (I have an electric range).  Add the remaining kernels, stir.  Add the sugar and stir.  There will be a few clumps, this is ok.  I do stir a bit more then cover and shake on the stove top until popping is done.   Pour onto a cookie sheet and salt.  I use quite a bit of salt. 

Try not to eat in one sitting.  Good luck with that. 

What things you are enjoying right now?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Catching Up

What's been going on here, you ask?  Well, let me tell you (in no particular order).

1.  I/we are empty nesters!  Yes, it really is a good thing, so far.  My two kiddos (can I really call them that anymore?) are off to college.  My son is 5 hours away and my daughter is 9 - by car.  I am very excited for them and where they chose to go to school.  They are both at the right place for them.

2.  I think a daughter going to prom from the mother's perspective is practice, in a very small way, for her wedding.  We had to alter her dress.  Her dress was long and gorgeous!  She was able to get her hair and make-up done for less than half what is normally the charge at a salon.  And she looked gorgeous!

3.  Obviously from #1 and #2, my daughter graduated high school.

4.  We just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.  We celebrated by taking a trip to Maui!  Of course we left kids behind, duh.  What a great time we had.  I highly recommend snuba.  Snuba is a combination of snorkeling and scuba diving without certification.  We went on a snorkeling trip and with snuba you wear a weight belt and have a breathing regulator while your oxygen tank is floating above you with a 25 foot breathing tube.  The instructor took us around the bottom of the ocean and we were able to experience scuba diving in a very benign way.  Loved it!  Our condo was right up against the ocean and at times we could feel the mist from the waves.  Here's the best sunset view from our balcony. 
5.  Wind storm X 3.  We experienced three wind storms within 20 days of each other and they were all 10 days apart.  Our damage happened on the first one.  As we were watching the backyard we saw our very stable wood fence bow then break away from the fence and an 8 foot section was swept up and somersaulted in the air.  I now have a better understanding of the Wizard of Oz.  It was amazing to watch such force. 

Bye-bye fence.  Yes, it landed inches from the 14,000 gallon pool.  The two wooden posts you see in the picture are not from the fence but the neighbor's garden.  Our fence posts were snapped at the base.  After watching this damage we decided to look out front.  Oh no!  We lost four trees.  Two small ones broke and two very large ones came down - these were healthy trees.  The one in front of our yard snapped about a foot in the ground.  Not a single root was lifted as is normally the case.  Our pine tree dropped and clipped the neighbors rain gutters and fell across their driveway completely blocking off the garage. 
We also lost many roof shingles and many more were damaged.  The end result, we have a partial new fence.  We now own a chain saw.  Eight trips to the dump to discard of the tree limbs.  Our new roof is rated for 130 mile winds.  Let's hope we don't need to test that. 

6.  I missed my 30th high school reunion because we were dropping my daughter off at college but my three sisters and I did get to my step-sister's wedding.  We all came in from out-of-town (2 from out of state) and it was a great time with the girls.  Even took in a Mariner's game and saw Felix Hernandez pitch! 

7.  I tried eyelash extensions.  Love them!  But way, way too expensive for me to maintain.  Back to puny eyelashes.

8.  Even though football has started I still am watching every Mariner's game and rooting for a playoff spot.  Hey, when you name your dogs Spikes and Cleats you have to watch baseball to the end. 

I think I've caught you up on the happenings here.  Hope you all are well and would love to hear from you and what you have been doing. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

I am here

Yes, it's been way too long since I've posted.  Sometimes the everyday life takes all my time.  I've felt a bit overwhelmed, which surprised me.  Between work, son off to college, aging, daughter getting herself in order so she can go off to college this fall, and everything in between I feel like I am just barely making it. 

But after yesterday I had to post:


I can't tell you how excited I am to see the Seahawks win the Super Bowl!  I have been in a great mood all day (and I had a crazy long day).  Just had to shout out a bit yippee for the team.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Our house is done

At least the paint job is done.  Really, is a house ever completely done?

My dear hubby spent the summer, on his time schedule, scraping, priming specific areas, and cleaning the entire house.  He then painted the main floor, by hand - no sprayer for him, and two coats.  He also did all the trim in two coats too.  We did hire a guy to paint the top level.  I think that was money well spent since I didn't have to worry about the height and my honey's safety.  Let a pro handle that. 

Here's our two toned home we had for awhile before the painter came.

Now that the painter finished the job it looks so much better; and I'm sure the neighbors appreciate a completed house too.

On to the next project.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Now you see it...

Doesn't that look like a nice pine tree? (It's a White Pine, I'm told.)  It's a perfect size to block the view into the neighbors yard.  And to block their view into ours.  It doesn't drop too many needles either.  Look closely.  I have a worker in the picture.  Because......

The tree leans.  It's always leaned at the base and then grew straight at the top.  We didn't worry about it until two weeks ago.  We live in an area of town that is like a wind tunnel.  It can be windy everywhere, but when you get to our area, the winds increase and blows so much harder.  And this poor tree grew valiantly against the wind for about 20 years.  But as I said, about 2 weeks ago we had some huge gusts, 60 mph'ers.  The poor girl withstood the pounding.  Then a week ago we had close to 50 mph winds and I went to check on it.  The trunk near the ground was swaying.  I don't know much about trees, but I'm thinking if you can see the base of the trunk sway, that's probably not a good thing.  If she was going to drop it was going to be in the neighbor's yard, possibly clipping their roof and most definitely taking out that fence.  We decided we didn't want to risk it.  So after a few phone calls, we decided on a local tree cutting company and today they showed up.  It was like watching a dance; so precise.

The climber clipped on his spikes and had a rope around his waste and climbed a bit, cut the limbs he could reach, moved the rope up, climbed/spiked up, cinched the rope, cut more limbs, repeat.

Such precision in cutting the back branches.  He would make a partial cut, bend the limb back into our yard, then cut off completely.  There were two other guys on the ground pulling the limbs to the front of the house and running them through the shredder.
Off came the top.  I will tell you, I was saying a few prayers as I watched the guy climb up.  Prayed for his safety and that the tree wouldn't topple over.  They estimated it was a good 40 feet tall. As he descended, he cut through that trunk in 3 foot sections.

They came, cut and cleaned in about an hour.  It was actually quite impressive.  Now we no longer have privacy and plan to plant another tree(s) next spring.  Until then, we are exposed.

Now you see it.....

Now you don't.

I was talking with the owner of the company as this was happening and he said they shred the limbs and keep the trunk.  (We don't burn wood, so we didn't need it.)  All his guys have wood burning fireplaces so they take what they need.  The owner also gives some of the wood away to charity and also sells to low income families for less than half the cost of what is normally charged for wood.  That made me feel even better about choosing this company.

Have any of you had any drastic changes to your homes recently or plan any modifications before winter?

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A really nice day

Or a really nice weekend.

Last night my daughter was hanging out with her friends so my hubby and I went out to dinner.  It is so nice not having to worry about how the kids are going to eat.  I've decided a while ago that come Fridays I am not cooking.  I'll put in a take-n-bake pizza, but that's the extent of my Friday cooking.  We enjoyed an enjoyable night out - good food and drink and wonderful company.

Today we decided to go to our college's football game.  I forgot that it was homecoming, and our graduating years were part of the homecoming festivities.  We got to the game at half time and walked to the alumni area. Within a few seconds, I hear my name called and see a couple of gals I haven't seen in years!  Oh how fun it was to see these gals.  We exchange Christmas cards but that's about all the communication I've had with them.  And how pathetic, one of them lives in town here with me.  I spent the entire time chatting with them.  My dear hubby went to watch a bit of the game.  I have the local gal's email and really hope to rekindle a friendship with her.

I can't believe it's been just over 25 years since I graduated from college.  Oh my. I'm getting old.  But, my friend is my age and has kids that are just starting school where mine are just finishing.  I like the just finishing school kids better.  Next year at this time I will be an empty nester; and I'm OK with that.  Actually, I'm kind of excited about that. 

Our plans for tomorrow are to get to church then go to the traveling Vietnam Memorial that is in our city.  I never really liked history, but I sure do want to see this memorial because I am extremely patriotic and very military supportive.  My Dad was Air Force so anything that has to do with the military defaults as near and dear to me. 

To top it all off, we have have great sunny weather.  So with it being only Saturday night, I'm still predicting this to be a great weekend. 

How has your weekend been panning out?

Friday, September 20, 2013

One more hour

My baby (OK, so he's not so small - 6' 2+" and not too young - an adult, actually) is coming home for the weekend and will be here in about an hour.  I really didn't expect to see him until Christmas.  He doesn't have a car at college and I didn't know if there was anyone from our area at his school. 

Luckily, he met and made friends with another kid from our town and he even has a car. 

We received a call earlier this week from our son asking if it would be OK if he came home this weekend.  Are you kidding?  YES! 

I'm actually surprised as to how excited I am to see him.  Hopefully we'll get a few hours with him since there are a few guys from high school still in town. 

Either way, my baby is coming home this weekend and I am so excited.