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. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Darn those appliances

If you read the post below then you know we made it home after getting our dogs and a pizza.  Who wants to cook after 5 hours driving home?  Not me!  Problem was, the oven wasn't heating up.  Well, after 1 hour it finally reached temperature.  I'm quick - I knew right then and there we had a problem. 

I put the pizza in the oven and after the allotted time the top looked wonderful but the bottom was doughy.  Yup, we had a burned out heating element.  My very smart hubby suggested I finish cooking the pizza on the stove top.  I cut the pizza in slices and fried each slice so the bottom cooked.  Worked great! 

The next day, Sunday, I called Sears to see about getting a new heating element.  They were sorry but they don't sell those in the stores.  What??  Monday I called and ordered our part.  My worry was what should be a simple task rarely ever is.  One of our family motto's is "nothing's easy".   About 4 days later the part came.  I read reviews about how to install.  Again, sounded easy, but....
Luckily, it wasn't too bad.  We were able to get that installed in about 20 minutes.  Not to shabby for us.

Oven is working great.

On to the microwave.  Ugh.  About a week ago we tried to heat up some food and a loud pop was heard with sparks flying in the microwave.  Umm, turn it off - FAST!  Out comes the owners manual and looking up the warranty.  Of course, we purchased that bugger 1 year and 18 days ago.  The warranty was for 1 year.  Have I said ugh yet? 

I call the store we purchased it from.  "Sorry, we can't do anything for you since you didn't purchase the extended warranty.  You can come in and purchase a new one - we have 16 in stock."  Thank you, I'll try GE directly.  Why do appliances go out on the weekends?  On Monday I called and they were very nice and sent out a repair guy the next day to look at it - at their cost.  The hook that holds the tray inside burned and once that happens if you try to use the machine it will continue to spark.  He took out the plastic part and ordered a new one.  It works great now and thank you, GE, for taking care of my microwave 18 days after the warranty.  All it cost me was a few minutes on the phone. 

As of now everything seems to be in working order. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

And then there was one.

I now only have one child at home.  We dropped one off at college and now it's just the three of us.

I did exceptionally well, I must say, controlling my tears.  (I am a weeper!  I carry this family in the emotional area of tears since I tend to be the only one equipped with them.)

I took a few days off from work, we loaded, and I mean LOADED, up the car and headed off to take my son to college and then look at a couple of other schools for my daughter.  Dropping him off brought back so many memories of my college life.  So many fun times.  So many hard times, too.  But all a part of the transition from the comforts of home to eventually being out on my own.  I loved college and am excited for my kids to experience all college life has to offer.  I met my best girlfriend at school and of course the best part was meeting my husband.  We are about to hit our 24th wedding anniversary.  At 25 years we will be empty nesters!

Back to current events.  We got him unloaded, bed made, and off to the bookstore to pick up shirts and sweatshirts.  We barely saw him after that.  He got his books and took off.  We made our purchases and walked the campus.  Beautiful school with amazing views.  Met up with him back in his room to say good-bye and we were off for a three hour drive to visit a school for my daughter. 

No tears!

Next morning up and out to meet with the admissions counselor and walk the grounds of potential school #1.  Another beautiful campus.  I really liked the school and felt it was a perfect fit for my daughter but wanted to hear her thoughts.  She was feeling the same.  

Back in the car for a two hour drive to visit potential school #2.  A much bigger university, 14,000 students versus 1,000 from the school we just came from.  Very good school, another beautiful campus in a wonderful town.  I didn't get the personal vibe like the first.  My daughter liked it but felt it was quite large.  If she pursues the major she is currently thinking she wants to do, then school #1 would be the best fit - and she thinks so too. 

Back in the car for the last one hour drive back to the town my son is in.

Up the next morning to go to convocation for the freshmen and see him for the last time until, most likely, Christmas break.  We said our good-byes and prayed over him.  He told us he is looking forward to us leaving (brat :)) and my last "I love you" was a bit raspy from holding back a few tears as I got in the car.  But that was all. 

I am comforted knowing this is the school I believe God chose for him to attend.  We drove the five hours home, picked up our dogs, ordered a pizza and began to settle in as a family of three.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Waiting for my mom

My mom is coming to visit soon.  I can’t wait to see her since she lives a few states away.  I’m not sure when I’ve seen her last, it’s been too long!  She should be here in about a week.  Yippee!

Also plan to paint my daughter’s room over Labor Day weekend. 

This next week I will need to make sure my daughter has all her school supplies.  I have some but will need to do a bit of shopping before the year begins.

I’ll be busy this next week.

Technorati Tags:

Friday, August 23, 2013

Minor breakdown

I feel quite foolish.  I've been doing quite well, I think, with the realization that my first born is heading off to college.  To be completely truthful, I am excited for him to head off and discover life on his own; so to speak.  But....

The other day, just a few days before we were to take him to school I had a moment.  Totally out of the blue - but isn't that when "moments" tend to happen?  I am at the grocery store buying ingredients to make his favorite dinner, terriake chicken.  I'm making his last home-made dinner before we take off.  I'm OK with it.  I gather all my items and about to head to the checkout.  I end up taking the candy isle towards the registers and see his favorite candy on sale.  Perfect.  I'll grab some so he'll have some of his favorite in his dorm room.  Good plan, bad execution.  I almost lost it as I put the candy in my cart.  Go figure chocolate would bring a mom to tears. 

I gathered myself and made it to the registers.  Second round of holding back the tears happened when I put that darn candy on the conveyor belt.  Get it together, girl.  I managed to purchase my items and get to the car before the tears began to flow.  I sat in my car for a few minutes with tears streaming down my cheeks. 

As excited as I am to have my baby move on, it doesn't mean it's easy to let him go.  I am sure I will have a few more days of that, before and after he's gone.  But that is what my role of a mom is and I WILL get through it.  I'll look at it as practice for next year because I get to do it all over again when my daughter leaves next summer. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Yummy Marinade

I was searching my pile of recipes for a new dinner option and came across this one.  The family liked it - bonus!  Let me warn you, there is a lot of garlic and ginger, so adjust as needed for your personal taste. 
The recipe was for kebabs, but I think just soaking cut up chicken and then stir-frying would be perfect.  Then thicken with cornstarch and you should have a great dinner.

Garlic-Balsamic Chicken Kebab

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cub dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
4 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns (I used a few shakes of ground pepper)
1 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (I used minced ginger)
1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large red onion, cut into bite-size chunks

In a blender, combine all but the chicken and onion.  Puree until smooth.  Reserve half of the marinade and refrigerate it. Pour the remaining marinade into a large bowl or zip lock bag.  Add the chicken and onions, then stir to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for about 1 1/2 hours. 

Now you can either put the chicken and onions onto kebabs and grill or stir fry.  If doing kebabs, put remaining marinade in a saucepan and boil to condense and thicken.  If stir frying, add marinade after chicken is cooked.  Add cornstarch diluted in water to thicken and serve with rice.

I hope you enjoy. 
I found this recipe in our local paper a few years ago written by J. M. Hirsch.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


How have you all been?  It seems like we have been going non-stop but don't have much to show for it.  Ever have one of those days....or weeks?

The last couple of weeks have kept us going.  My hubby is working hours a day on painting the house.  He's painting by hand and we have boards that have grooves in them, so he has to use the paint brush for the grooves and can roll the flat; which means double the time to paint.  But it sure is looking great!  It took over 20 samples of paint to find the color we settled on.  Actually, it was one of the first we liked but needed to work through all the other colors to be sure.  Even when we decided on the color it felt more like we were settling on it and that it was the best of the bunch.  There was never a moment of, 'This is THE one!" feeling.  Now that it's on, we are loving it!  I am so happy with the color (it's a green with a bit of blue tint).  The more the house gets painted the happier I am that we chose this one.

There has also been a lot of tending to household items and getting ready for our son to head off to college.  We've been making many lists, one of the things I do which you can read more about here.  Trying to be frugal, we are using as much from home as possible (like towels, pillow, blankets, etc.).  We thought we were doing a great job by buying some sheet sets last fall for super cheap.  Come to find out, beds in colleges are twin XL, who knew?  I'm keeping those sheet sets for when my son moves into an apartment.  Plus it's been so long since we purchased them I am sure the store won't take them back. 

The gal that hit my husband and daughter finally had her day in court.  That had been pushed back multiple times.  We did not take her to court, the state did.  She was under the influence of Meth and had other drugs in the car and was an unlicensed driver when she hit them.  Plus she had been charged with a crime prior to our crash.  She is in jail for a bit longer and I do hope she can stay out of trouble when released.

We finished our softball season - didn't end well, but that's OK.  Just indicative of the way this year went.  Had a very enjoyable barbecue party after though.  That really is the highlight of the season.  The one takeaway we had for this year is we discovered a great new pizza place.  Hubby and I have gone back a few times and found a "keeper" for a go-to place for dinner. 

No big plans for the weekend.  My daughter is away at her friend's cabin and of course hubby is outside painting as I type.  My only plan is to tackle the laundry, dishes and clean up this filthy home since it's been neglected for the last couple of weeks. 

How about you?  What are your plans for the weekend?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Just Stuff

It's been a while since I've blogged so here is a bit of what has been going on in my life:

1.  We took a few days off and went to Palm Desert, CA.  Yes, we are a bit crazy to do this near July, but the rates were too good to pass up.  Check out the view from our hotel room.  Left just before it got to 117 degrees.  Good timing :)

2.  We've harvested some lettuce.

 Doesn't it look like we purchased these beautiful greens?  Yup, we grew them in our backyard.  I have to admit, I took a great deal of time of washing each and every leaf.  I am a city girl and proud of it.  Seeing a bug or two on my food does NOT appeal to me.  A few slugs were washed away (and garbage disposaled, for good measure).

3.  I am nearing the age of 50.  That just does not seem possible.  I don't think I look or feel 50, but I may be biased.  I'm not there yet, but very close.

4.  Saw my best friend today.  I am lucky to see her once a year.  She lives out of state but she has family near by.  We are only 5 days apart in age.  My youngest child will be a senior in high school; her youngest will be a second grader.

5.  Speaking of my best friend.  Her son is very creative.  It's been hot so check out his way of cooling off.

In case you can't tell - he put a liner in the back of a pick up truck and filled it with water.  He's lounging in an inner tube.  He also didn't like the school lunches so one day he cooked hot dogs on a Hibachi in the back of said truck.  I love that guy!

6.  One more best friend moment - we picked cherries.  They are sweet and yummy.  I plan to pit them and freeze most to put in smoothies.

7.  My "baby" heads off to college in just over a month.  I can't believe he's old enough to leave, yet I am so excited for him and all that growing up has to offer.

8.  Painting the house takes a really, really long time.  My dear hubby is meticulously working on the first level.  Slow as it may be, it looks so great.  After 20+ color swatches we painted on the back of the house we settled on one of the first ones we liked and we are very happy with the results so far.

9.  My toenail is broken too close to the bottom.  I stubbed it and now hope it can grow out before it comes off.  I keep polishing it hoping that will keep it on a bit longer.  Sorry, probably too much info, but hey, you never know what you'll get here.

10.  I am in a rut in regards to dinners.  Does anyone have any recipe ideas?

There you have it.  Anything interesting, or not, happening in your life?

Thursday, June 13, 2013


I can't believe my baby boy is now a high school graduate.  I can't express how proud we are of him - he's become such a fine young man, an honorable man, a smart man, and just an all around great guy!  We are very impressed with his dedication to school.  He graduated with honors - something my hubby and I didn't do.  He will be heading off to college in a few months and I can honestly say, as of now, I am very excited to see him go.  Not because I want him out of the house, but because this is what the last 18 years were supposed to be about: preparing him to become a self-sufficient man. 

Going away to college, while still a bit under mom and dad but in a remote way, is a great way to begin to figure out how to make it on your own.  Of course I will miss him, and his laugh.  But I am excited to see him grow into his own. 

For now, I will cherish the few months of him being home. 

Congratulations my son!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Look What We Did

We've been busy cleaning up the front and back yard.  After snowy winters I love the warmer weather and planting flowers.  This year we  cleaned up the vegetable garden and put in a few vegetable starts.  I hope they take.  I'm pretty sure we waited long enough so as not to have them freeze.  We missed out planting last year so we are excited to see how it goes this year.  We even found a guy on Craigslist who was selling his cow poop, I mean organic compost, so we got a truck load and mixed that into the dirt.   Here's hoping to a bumper crop.

During the winter my hubby and I decided to make some changes to the front yard.  We cleared out a section off the front walkway and laid pavers and put in a small patio.  We found a perfect bistro set at the home improvement store for a great price and we have instant conversation site.

            Here is what the area looked like before:

                And the transformation:
The final product:

We are loving this spot!  On the weekend we come out in the morning and enjoy our coffee while reading the paper.  In the evening we wind down from the day and just enjoy being together and the quiet of the late afternoon.  Notice, only two chairs.  Just for me and my hubby.

We also cleaned out an area in our backyard that had roses, but they were not good bloomers and always infested with bugs.  So instead, we put in planters and flowers.  I am very happy with the results here.

You can see my hubby's summer project - painting the house. He's done so much prep work with sanding and priming and today he is starting the actual painting.  It took us going through 20 color swatches (on the back wall) to finally decide on the color (which happened to be one of the original finalist -but we I had to work through all the options so as not to have any second guessing on color).  I'm sure our neighbors behind us thought we were trying to figure out how to make a checkerboard on our house. 

Anyone else have big summer plans?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

It's not about the numbers

Before the school year winds down I always like to get in a coffee at my house.  Actually, I've been able to have two since the beginning of the year.  Summer is off limits to official coffees, though I have no objections to meeting up with friends at a local coffee house.  I'll have one in the fall again, after kids are back in school. 

Each coffee starts the same: pick a date and send out the invite then decide on some snacks.  The date arrives and I wait, usually not knowing who will attend.  It's a fun guessing game as to who may show.  I've had close to 10 show and once no one showed.  And I love it no matter what.

Last week one gal was able to come.  I felt so special having her all to myself.  I love hearing her stories and she has this wonderful way of challenging me with thought provoking questions.  She is a deep thinker, something I am not. 

My previous coffee was such a blessing to me.  Three wonderful friends showed up (clarification: all those on my invite list are wonderful!).  I was able to catch up with a couple of the gals and find out some very significant changes happening in their lives and discover what their kids were up to.  We sit at the table, nibble on treats, sip coffee or tea and enjoy each.  The time files by.

This coffee was especially touching for me because my friend, who has been in France for a few years, was back in the states and made sure her schedule cleared to come to my coffee.  This was the first time the family was back in the states since they left so they were filled with appointments and time with friends and family - and my house was one of her stops.  I am pretty sure she was tired from her non-stop schedule; rejuvenated, but tired.  Little does she realize how much she encouraged me to see her and hear, first-hand, how life in France is and how their call to love the French as Christ loved her has been going.  If you'd like to follow her adventures of loving Christ and being a French church planter, you can at her blog, Four For France.

These coffees allow me to slow down and take in life with friends.  Something I need to do much more often.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


beautiful birthday hand painted elements    vector

A big shout out for super happy birthday wishes to my older sister.  I hope you are having a wonderful day!
I'm thinking of you and love you.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

1. Make a List 2. Review List 3. Complete List

The school year is winding down and it's a hectic time but somehow I always think, "this year will be different."  You would think after 12 years I'd have the end of the year figured out.  Oh, no.  I've been looking over the calendar and see all that needs to be done and accounted for. 

Side note:  I better enjoy this hectic time because I'm thinking in two years I'm going to be wishing for all this hectic too-much-to-do time.  It just dawned on me that once the kids are gone the end of the school year won't mean as much.  Tear drop.

Back to this year.  There is a lot going on.  Thankfully I'm a list maker.

Many people make lists.  I make lists.  Actually, I've been making lists for years!   I know some people like to make lists because they enjoy the cross-off.  You know, when they've finished that one task the line is drawn through the item.  I'm sure there is much joy to see the tasks being accomplished.  But that is not why I make lists.

My list making is out of pure need.  I need organization and this is my one way of keeping track of all I need to do.  I have a white board on the fridge and list out all activities for the week.  If I have a busy day, a list is made.  My list includes what needs to be done and then some.  Sometimes I have a rough draft list for the really busy days.  Then the final version includes all the tasks along with times I should be doing it.  Yes, I put in the time I want to begin the next item.  Here is what my list would look like:

1:00-1:40 Wal-Mart
        - Shampoo, milk, socks, light bulbs
1:45  Bank - deposit check, get $25 cash
2:00  Post Office
        - Mail bills, buy book of stamps
2:25  Home
        - Calls: Doctor, Newspaper subscription, order gift
        - Clean:  Dust my room; dust Living Room; Sweep kitchen; Dishes
4:00  Start dinner
Yes, I'm a bit of a nut.  But this is what works for me and I am so glad God made me this way to try to keep me a bit organized. 

Are you a list maker?  What does your list look like? 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Some random things I've been enjoying lately:

1.  Dave Ramsey.  He is on the radio when I leave work and I enjoy listening to his wise financial advise.  What impresses me most is his kind and merciful heart toward the callers. 

2.  Sunshine.  We have had some incredible days these last few days.  We hit 70 today and yesterday was one of the nicest Easter Sunday's we've had in years.

3.  Seattle Mariners.  Opening day for baseball today!  OK, yesterday a game was played, but today is the real opening day for the other 28 teams. 

4.  My Ninja blender.  That baby blends my smoothies like there is no tomorrow.  I love it.  Throw in some ice, yogurt, protein, fruit, spinach and juice and away I go for breakfast.

5.  The Bible series on the History channel.  If you missed this program I highly recommend renting the five-part, ten hour series.  There were some artistic liberties taken, obviously, but I don't think the integrity of the message was altered. 

6.  My small group.  We just finished studying why we believe.... the Bible, Jesus, Resurrection and other topics.  It was very interesting and affirming.

7.  The Amazing Race.  My daughter and I enjoy watching this show together.  I could never go on that show.  I'd lose any cool I had (which really is none) and show my ugly competitive side.  Plus, I over-think things all the time, which is not good if you want to do well on that show.

8.  My Starbucks app.  I recently discovered this app.  It keeps track of my gift card, my purchases and free items.  When I purchase I just show the home screen and the barista scans my phone and the charges are automatically deducted.  It was fun to go through the drive through and flash my phone and off I go. 

9.  The last few months of my son home.  I am enjoying the time with my kids while they are still home.  Soon enough they will be going off to college and moving on with their adult lives. 

10.  Bar-B-Q's.  With the nice weather we've been having, we had our first bar-b-q tonight.  Cheese burgers-yum.  I add all kinds of toppings: Gorgonzola cheese, peppercini peppers, red peppers and mix the hamburger with garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper.  Love them!

What has been catching your eye lately?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Not on Friday

I am not playing hooky; but I am home from work today.
My boss knows.
I have the NCAA basketball first round games on the TV in the background.  I LOVE this tournament.

I'm not home because I want to watch the games; well, I do, but that is not why I'm home.  My son has a bad tooth and we are waiting to leave for the dentist.  That - getting an appointment to the dentist - on a Friday was eight calls in the making (actually it was far more than that, I'm not counting the numerous calls I made and received the answering machine AFTER the time it told me they would be open).

Oh my.  Do not have to see a dentist on a Friday!  My son's tooth started hurting pretty bad last night so he would have to be seen today because we didn't want to wait through the weekend.  And really, why should we?  So I called his dentist and the recording told me they opened at 7:00 am.  Great.  Called a few minutes after 7 and called a few more times and every time received the answering machine.  The office is a block away, so we decided to drive over.  Maybe they forgot to turn off the machine.  Nope.  Nobody in.  As we left, I saw a girl walking into the building and thought maybe that was an employee.  Got back home and called again.  Yes, she was the worker, but didn't know how to reach the dentist and she was going to be the only one in.  After a few minutes she saw a note that had the on-call dentist's number.  OK, now we are getting somewhere.  I call him.  Nope.  He is closed and I can call his home number.  I call and leave a message.  (He did call me back about 2 hours later.)

I decided to call my dentist.  Guess what?  They were closed.  The recording said if I had an emergency I could call the dentist's cell phone.  I did.  He answered his phone.  He gave me a few names to contact.  He actually would have come in to see my son, but had previous plans and was leaving town.

I tried the first two names.
And - they - were - closed.

I called the final option he gave me.  It's the office next to his.  A live person answers the phone.  Yes, they can see him.  We set the time.  Oh, by the way, the office near you is closed.  We are located across town.  Do you still want to come in?  Are you kidding?!  You are the only ones open.  Of course I'm coming in!

So you now get to read about my frustrating morning trying to get into a dentist while I wait for our appointment.  I get so see a bit of basketball, my boss said to take care of my baby and he'll see me Monday (I have the best boss) and my son should be feeling better soon.

I hope you have a great weekend.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

I Splurged

When you see that title do you think dessert?  Or maybe a new outfit?  Or shoes?  Maybe something for the house?  The last option is close.  I did splurge but I don't think you will ever guess on what.  Get ready.....I splurged on.....hangers.  Yup.  I bought new hangers. 

My bedroom closet is a double size closet, with one end at an angle so we lose some valuable hang-able space.  It could be much smaller and I am truly grateful for what we have, but our clothes are crammed in that closet.  I like to hang most of my clothes (partly because we have only one dresser for the both of us).  Yes, I probably have other issues when I have so many clothes.  Let's ignore that for the time being.

Back to my cramped closet.  I can barely move the clothes to take out an item or put one back.  Take a look yourself.

Trust me - trying to push the clothes to the side to make room was nearly impossible.

I've seen TV promos for space saving hangers but was skeptical.  Really, just changing out hangers is going to give that much more space?  Ha, I scoffed.

I saw some of those hangers on sale at a local store so I decided to try a few, just to test it out.  There were only two packs of hangers left and I bought them.  I switched out the old hangers for the new and it did seem to give a bit of room.  Hmm.  Maybe there really is something to this.  I counted how many items we have (I'm only going to say it hit three digits) and went to the store's website.  There I found a good deal on the hangers and even qualified for free shipping.

They arrived last week and I switched out my hubby's clothes first.  Wow!  There really is more room.  I have more clothes than him, so my side will really be the test.  I switched out my side tonight and I can say I am impressed.  I can actually push clothes to one side and there is more than a fingers width of space. 

This was NOT possible with the old hanger!

I now want to get the pant/skirt hangers for the final items (those were sold out).  Not only do I have more room, but the clothes look so nice hanging on all the same type of hanger.  I think I had every type of hanger imaginable: wire, tube, clear plastic, nicer store quality with the sticky edges.  Now I have all the same style and my hanging items look so nice and neat.

Out with the old and in with the new.

 Now if I can only get the shoes looking so organized I'd be set.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Missed Opportunity

Do you ever look back and realize you could have handled a situation so much better than you did? 

I do.  Actually, I just did.

Here's the basics.  An opportunity came up that we were overlooked for.  It was completely out of our hands and our control, but consideration should have been given.  We found out we were never in the mix, though others had planned on including us.  Those others weren't given the chance to represent us.  This was a big deal.

So how did I handle it.  Not well, I have to confess.  I had anger, lots of anger (and tried to justify that it was righteous anger because we had been wronged).  I was frustrated, to say the least.  But mostly, my heart ached.  I ached for the lost opportunity, an opportunity that should have been.  The what if's and could have been's.  I admit, I shed a few tears. 

I knew God wasn't surprised by this.  I knew we were in His hands.  I knew this was such a small blip in the big picture.  I knew all this.  My heart didn't care and my emotions (i.e. anger) took over.  I didn't do anything stupid, but I sure didn't hide my feelings.  I also let a few others around me know how we were wronged and looked for support and confirmation that I was justified in my anger.

I always hope I can stand apart as different in this me, me, me world.  I hope I can show the grace and love of Christ through my actions.  But for about 24 hours, I acted like a whiny baby.  I asked God to forgive me and apologized to those around me for my behavior. 

Isn't the real test of who we are displayed in our response and actions when troubles (of any kind) come?  I have a long way to go.

This time we "took one for the team" and because of it we have prompted change.  I wrote a firm email (it was an appropriate email that I would write again today) and let those in charge know that they need to correct their process.  The response back was an apology and confirmation that they will come up with a more formal and better system for their nomination process.  Unfortunately, it doesn't help us, but it will help everyone else in the future so another family doesn't have to go through what we did. 

Next time I hope to keep it between God and me.  I can still shed tears, but I don't want to be the whiner I was.  If I need to take appropriate action to instill appropriate change, then I pray I will do it with a grace-filled heart towards those I need to address. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Live Fit

I'm motivated started working out again.  Since I know I could put together workouts, but don't and just winging it doesn't do it for me, I started following a 12 week program found at  You can find the one I've started here.  I've just began week 4. 

Here's what I have learned about the workouts so far.  I am feeling much stronger than I have in a long time.  This is a good thing.  I have been trying to eat healthier (not that I was real bad before, but trying to be a bit more conscientious).  This is also a good thing.  I haven't lost any weight.  This on the surface seems like a bad thing, but I do think I am burning some of the fat and converting it to muscle.  That's what I'm going with and that is a good thing.  Unfortunately, it must be all the inside fat because no surface fat seems to be smoothing out.  OK.  Too many descriptive words?  Well, it is what it is.  I did take measurements so after phase 2 I plan to measure again and hope to see some results that way.

The first phase (four weeks) is all weight work.  Cardio is added beginning week 5.  I think this is where the trimming down will come.  I am hoping!  I decided to add some cardio this week anyway.  Part of that reasoning is I purchased some new "running" shoes.  Actually, they are treadmill joggers.  I don't get out much.  This has helped inspire me to want to move again. 

Besides the workouts, the site also has recipes and I've made two of them:  turkey meatloaf muffins and pumpkin protein bars.  Here they are.

Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

Get Lean, Eat Clean
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray muffin pan with canola or olive oil.
  3. Mix all your ingredients together in one large bowl.
  4. Roll the mixture into balls and place in muffin pan. Muffins should be about the size of a racquetball.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes.
Makes 12 muffins.  (I was able to get about 18 from this recipe.  They freeze great and thaw quickly.  I warm up two and they are a great and filling snack.)

Serving Size:
Women: 2 muffins
Men: 4 muffins

 Pumpkin Protein Bars  These are SO good!
Pumpkin Protein Bars

Nutrition Facts:

Nutrition (without walnuts): 1 square = 47 calories, .7 g fat, 8 g carbs, 3.7 g protein
Nutrition (with walnuts): 1 square = 63 calories, 2.3 g fat, 8 g carbs, 4 g protein



  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Spray a 9 X 13 Pyrex dish with non-stick spray.
  3. Combine first 11 ingredients and mix well.
  4. Add the final 3 ingredients (4, if adding walnuts), and mix until incorporated. Spread batter into the Pyrex dish and bake for 30 min.
  5. Makes 24 squares.
Thanks, Jamie Eason for these great recipes.

I hope this gives you some snack ideas. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Oops! She did it again.

And I don't mean that in a good way.

Club volleyball has ended before it even began.  Last week, my dear daughter was hurrying to get to her meeting before school.  She parked, got her book bag and then reached back in to get her tea.  That's when she conked her head on the door jam and guess what?  Yup, she got her 4th concussion in less than a year.  What are we going to do with her?

We are NOT allowing her to play club volleyball, which is just starting up for the season.  This was going to be her last year and I was looking forward to watching her play at a higher age level and with stronger players.  I really love going to the all day tournaments.  Yes, they do get long sometimes, but I love the sport and enjoy watching the team play.  And I have made some great friends along the way. 

We have been telling her since the car wreck that if she gets another concussion, she will have to stop playing.  It isn't worth her health or her future for a short pleasure of volleyball.  She handled it great!  I told her she accepted that so much better than I would have at her age, and I honestly think I had the hardest time accepting this. 

We do believe this door is closing for a reason.  We may never know for sure why, but can trust that God has something planned, or a protection we will not need to worry about, now that she is no longer playing this sport. 

Now we move forward with weekends free and evenings available for homework.  And my dear daughter has grown and is better for it because of this abrupt change and her ability to handle it so well. 

2013 is starting off a bit challenging, but when is life NOT a challenge?  I really don't think I want to live a life where I'm not being challenged in some way.  But sometimes I'd like the challenge to not be so hard.