Exceedingly Mundane

tidbits of random nothingness


Boom Shaka-laka

posted by Stace

Boom Shaka-laka, now June is almost over! Good grief. My mom always told me that the older you get, the more time seems to fly by, and as I’m learning, she was right about that too. She was right about a lot of things. I wish she was here for me to admit that, sheepishly, to her. I observed the thirteenth anniversary of her death this past week. 13 years that I’ve missed my mom every day. And over a year since we lost my dad, good grief, I’m getting old.

OK, back to the topic. June mostly flew by. I had my follow-up appointment after my second surgery and got a good report, it all seems to be healing. I have one final appointment, a 3 month follow-up, in late September. Maybe most of the bruising, numbness and tingling will be gone by then. Either way, I’m no longer wearing the hose, I am no longer in real pain (just the aforementioned numbness, tingling and occasional shooting pins and needles stuff), and I am so tearfully happy to have it all behind me!

My sister Suzanne also had surgery in mid June. She had a torn meniscus (I don’t think I know how to spell that word!) in her left knee and had it repaired. Crutches and PT are in her immediate future. Tim and I got her a few days after her surgery and took her out to lunch, brought her here for a change of scenery and a shower, and to visit. Gail and I saw her this past week for lunch at Jason’s Deli and she seems to be doing better.

My mother-in-law and Tim’s Aunt Jackie both had colonoscopies on the same morning at a place near our house. I went to check on them and keep Aunt Sandra company. They both had a bad time, getting sick and vomiting, which I did not experience with the prep you have to do, drinking the stuff, and I felt so sorry for them. Thankfully, this type of procedure is over fairly quickly and I think they are both fine now. Good reports, no polyps and no cancer, thank goodness!

We went to Tim’s parents house on Father’s Day weekend. Tim helped Terry all day in the new store and I got to visit with Linda and Emi and also to help snap a few bushels (it seemed like!) of green beans. Tim was wiped out by the time we got home, about 15 hours later :)

Gail came last week and stayed with us. It was my “make-up” shopping day, as we called it. I spent 4 1/2 weeks mostly home, recuperating from the two leg surgeries and wearing those hot, ugly hose, limping around, so I didn’t want or feel like going shopping. So we made up for it this past week! We hit most of our favorite places like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Home Goods, Target and Steinmart. Maybe next time we can hit Belk, Penneys or Kohl’s, because I wanted to find some shorts and couldn’t find a single pair that fit. I did, however, buy 4 new tops (3 casual and one for church) and some jewelry. I got a few kitchen things like a set of 3 red bowls, new measuring spoons, a grill basket, some food specialty items, etc. Needless to say, we had a blast and I look forward to her next trip down to visit and shop! :)

It’s gotten really hot. We had to turn the sprinklers back on and run them this past week. Then, we got a good rain one night and I was hoping for more, but alas, just hot and dry. We finally hit 96 or maybe 97 one day, which is our hot summer weather, considering how humid it is. Tim is doing his norm, continuing to play a lot of golf, no matter how hot or whatever the weather is. The only thing that keeps him from playing is when he is at the course, a thunderstorm with lightning blows in, and they blow the horn to get everyone off the golf course. That’s the only reason he is at home and not playing golf these days :)

I don’t tend to blog about current events or hot button topics, so I’ll only remark quickly that I was saddened and grieved for our nation, with the Supreme Court decision that was handed down two days ago. Legalizing gay marriage is something I expected, but was holding out hope that it would not be the law of the land. It doesn’t change my feelings, I believe in God and in his Son Jesus Christ. I believe the Bible is His holy word and what we all need to live by, I know it is what I try to live by always. It is clearly stated in God’s word that homosexuality is a sin before God, so our nation legalizing it doesn’t change anything for me. I deal with this personally every day, but that doesn’t mean I love my sister or others any less.

Lastly, we knocked another place off of our to-try list. We went to The Gathering at Livingston today for lunch after church. Their Sunday blue plates are fried chicken and pot roast. We both had the roast and it was deeee-licious! Good sides, good cornbread and a nice new fun place to eat. I hope we go back again soon :) Of course, we have more new places to try, plus all of our regulars we love. Not enough time!

Not much to report on the tv,movie and book front. Tim thoroughly enjoyed watching the US Open and watching Jordan Speith win his second consecutive major. He’s anxiously awaiting the British Open in a few weeks, to see if he can keep his Grand Slam hopes alive :) We watched a couple of movies we’ve seen before and tried to watch Noah, with Russell Crowe, before deleting it about 6 minutes in. Too far off track for me. We’re back into Major Crimes and Murder in the First. Rizzoli and Isles is on the DVR, but we haven’t gotten to those yet, and I think Falling Skies returns tonight for the final season. On the book front, my reading is subsiding now that my legs are healing :) Let’s see, since my last blog post, I’ve completed “The Dance” by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley; “Mucky Streak” (Squeaky Clean #7) by Christy Barritt; “A Simple Faith” by Rosalind Lauer (an Amish book I downloaded from the library for something different); “52 Steps to Murder” by Steve Demarree and “Attracted to Fire” by DiAnn Mills. Well, that looks like more than I thought! LOL! Still, that was most of June, so not as many as I would have liked. Not sure what’s up next, maybe I’ll get off the computer and go find a good book to read!

Coming up this week, a haircut, then the big family reunion we go to every year on the Fourth of July. Fun stuff! :D


Kicked my Butt

posted by Stace

Well, outpatient surgery or not, the two surgeries I had to repair/remove/ablate (whatever!) the varicose veins in my legs were no easy feat. I’ve now had the second surgery (on my right leg) and while so far it is not as bad as the first one, the first leg is still giving me problems. It’s not completely healed and I’m wondering how long it is going to be before I’m healed and feeling well and well, normal.

Let’s see, since the last post, I’ve tried to stay busy. Staying busy helps the time go by faster, helps me not concentrate on my leg (or legs) bothering me, etc. Tim played in a golf tournament with Zack the Friday before Memorial Day. It was good to see Zack, and they had fun playing together, as always. They came back here late afternoon and ate the Chinese food I had fixed. Then Tim and Zack watched “American Sniper” that I had ordered as a happy for Tim. Tim ended up playing golf the whole Memorial Day weekend. All day tournament with Zack on Friday, twice on Saturday, Sunday after church and Monday morning (Memorial Day). The pain got so bad in my leg that I cried the whole morning Sunday morning getting ready for church. I nearly passed out in the shower and had to holler for Tim (poor Tim), but I thought I was going to pass out and hit my head on the tiles. I barely made it through church (one service Sunday because of the holiday), then we ran by Kroger for food. We ran into our neighbors (Bob and Chris) who are newly back in town after being gone most of the winter. They invited us for a cookout, and Tim went, but I did not. Once I finally made it home, I was in so much pain I broke down and took a Percocet and slept most of the rest of the day. Same on Monday, he was playing golf and then it rained, so I just took another Percocet and slept half the day away.

Wednesday, I got my hair cut and went to Sam’s for a few things. Thursday, was a quiet day, as was Friday. Tim offered to take me out on date night, but I still didn’t feel like getting ready and going anywhere. We ran through the drive though at the new Steak Escape that opened near our house and got sandwiches. We watched “The Butler” and had a nice quiet date night at home. Saturday, Tim played golf and I got industrious and made brownies for Sunday School. Tim’s mom messaged me and invited us for lunch on Sunday, so we went to his parents house after Sunday School and church on Sunday. Ended up staying much later than I planned, then we had to stop at Kroger on the way home at 10 PM for some essentials.

Monday morning, I got up and went to the doctor for the second surgery. I slept most of Monday, but I know that Tim once again ordered pizza (his idea of cooking a meal!) but this time I insisted on no bell peppers on half the pizza, LOL! Tuesday, I took more Percocet and tried to stay awake and start walking some. I’ve been wearing my Fitbit and getting a minimum of 10K steps a day, trying to help the leg and healing process. It’s now Thursday and I’ve walked at least 12K per day, except for Monday with no walking and 6700 on Tuesday, the 50% day.

I’ve also caught up on stuff on the DVR and been reading some good books. We are now pretty much out of shows, although next week Major Crimes and Murder in the First start back, and I think later in June, Rizzoli & Isles returns. We still have AD: The Bible and American Odyssey on Sundays, but otherwise, our weekly shows are gone for the summer. Tim has golf every week and I have some cooking shows and The Chew that I record. Let’s see, I’ve read a medical book (Code Triage by Candace Calvert), one recommended to me by Linda that was really good called Miranda Warning (by Heather Day Gilbert) and now I’m starting the first Crittendon book by Creston Mapes, called “Fear Has a Name”. Very good book! I downloaded one from the library (one of the Jack Reacher books by Lee Child), so Tim would have something to read in the doctors office. On my first surgery, he finished reading “Killing Lincoln” that he started 2 or 3 years ago, LOL! I doubt he’ll finish this one on my Kindle before the two week limit at the library, but maybe he will. He doesn’t have a lot to watch either, except golf and the NBA Finals do start tonight (Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors). Mostly, he plays golf every day and doesn’t get in, changed, supper eaten and settled until after 9 PM. He doesn’t have a lot of time for tv or books :)

This weekend will be busy. Tim plays in a charity tournament in the Delta with Don and Jerry, so we will go to Gail’s house after work on Friday. Hoping I do ok with her stairs and shower! Mobility is still an issue for me, but this second time is proving to be a bit easier than the first. This leg had less damage, less bulging veins, plus, I keep telling myself — I know what to expect now!

Now, I need to get busy and start researching Hawaii trip ideas. I am not going through all this pain and agony for nothing! I’ve told Tim to plan to take us to Hawaii next year for our 20th anniversary. At least I can wear shorts now :)


One Down, One to Go

posted by Stace

I’ve survived the first of my surgeries and although I was led to believe it was a walk in the park…. believe me, wimpy me has decided it is NOT as easy as they said :) However, the doctor and nurses were great, I had good drugs and Tim (poor Tim) did his best to take care of me the first day, when I was totally out of it, and the next day, when I was still recovering (yesterday, Tuesday). Bless his heart, Tim doesn’t have a big streak of empathy or a caregiver personality, so when he sees me hurting, he tries humor first, and when that fails to work, he gets upset with me. He tries, but I have a high bar and he just can’t get there with the “rub some dirt on it” mentality that he employs. :) Anyway, today was supposed to be “return to your normal routine” day, but I’m telling ya, I’m nowhere near 100%. My leg hurts, everything is tender and swollen and hurts. It hurts to sit down, it hurts to get up, it hurts to walk and even worse, it hurts to lay flat in the bed and try.to.sleep. The compression hose, heaven help them, while they are impossibly hard to get on, are my only lifesaver. I can’t put weight on my leg without them on. With them on, I’m able to hobble around and at least try to resume some form of normalcy. And whoo baby, am I hobbling! I look like a 90 year old woman, wobbling around and trying to walk :D

I have another week and a half to recovery from the left leg, then I go back for the procedure on my right leg. I’m looking forward to being past both of these and having everything healed and healthy and not hurting or tender. Maybe then my summer will be spectacular! :)

In other news, Tim is ready to get back to playing golf. He played on Saturday, but Sunday was a rainy day and he didn’t get to play. Monday he had to stay around to keep an eye on drugged up me (doctor’s orders), so he didn’t get to go. He did however get a new golf club delivered (which I have no memory of seeing, although he said he showed it to me, haha!) and hasn’t had a chance to play with it yet. Tuesday is the day his golf club closes for maintenance, so he’s raring to go today. We have the Survivor finale tonight, which I’m looking forward to, quite a bit. Dancing ended last night (Rumer Willis won) and The Blacklist and Person of Interest and most of our other shows have finished for the season. It will be time to catch up on the DVR and then maybe watch some streaming shows.

We went to the grocery store on Sunday after church and I tried to stock us up with easy to fix food, like scrambled eggs, baked potatoes, salads, etc that Tim could fix for me while I was out of commission. Instead, I got Chick-Fil-A and pizza (full of bell pepper, which I refuse to eat!). Someone took advantage of my drugged up state to order HIS favorite kind of pizza, LOL! I’ll try to fix something that is healthier the rest of the week and maybe the weekend. Not sure yet what we are doing for Memorial Day next Monday. I will probably get Tim to grill some burgers or hot dogs. I had him do some brats last night, since I had sauerkraut left in the fridge from a pork chop and sauerkraut recipe I made last week.

Nothing else exciting really going on… hope all is well out in blog land :D

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Mother’s Day Weekend Recap

posted by Stace

Well, I survived another Mother’s Day weekend. It’s always my least favorite day and weekend of the year, and if I had my druthers, I’d probably crawl in bed on Friday morning, pull the covers over my head and not come out till Monday morning. But, I have a incredibly spectacular mother-in-law who I love like a mother, so I get out of bed for her :)

Let’s see, Friday I ran a lot of errands, including picking up Tim’s suit at the cleaners and getting 10 bales of pine straw. Note to self - 10 is a good round number for pine straw bales at the new house. We could get away with 4 or 5 at the old house, but this one has a much bigger yard and more flower beds. We fluffed up what the landscapers put in last fall and added to it. More than 10 will always work, but for posterity’s sake, 10 is a good starting number!

Tim offered to take me out on date night, something we are doing less of living in the new house. Mostly because… a) he plays more golf, including Fridays after work and b) it’s easier for me to cook and c) we are not that close to any restaurants. Living out in the boonies is a bit of an adjustment :D Anyway, there’s a nice restaurant on the grounds of his golf club that is separate from the club dining facility. We went there Friday night, to the Mermaid Cafe and had a great dinner. Tim got fried catfish and I got pan sautéed redfish. It was delicious and nice to know we have such a good restaurant close by. Saturday morning he played golf and had lunch at the clubhouse with his golf buddies. I made food for Sunday while he was gone, and after he got back and rested a bit, we worked in the yard. Saturday night we had some beef stroganoff that I had been cooking all day in the crockpot. My Tim, though, insisted on mashed potatoes rather than egg noodles. Silly boy :D

Sunday was Mother’s Day and we went down to Mount Olive to see his mom and grandmom. It was great to see everyone again, having just seen most of them the weekend before at Brittany’s wedding. We stayed much later than normal, visiting, and then headed home. Watched some tv and then Elizabeth came in from the Delta, and spent the night with us.

Now it’s Monday and back to some semblance of a routine :) The next few weeks, I’ll have to alter my routine and cleaning and laundry schedules somewhat, to accommodate the two leg surgeries I’m scheduled to have. I keep trying to prep Tim for taking care of me, fixing food, etc, but he seems unconcerned about being prepped. He keeps saying, I can just go to Sonic and get you something :) Unfortunately, I don’t want 3 meals a day from Sonic!

Oh, and besides the pine straw, one more detail for posterity - I believe this is the longest we’ve been in years before turning on the air conditioning. I turned it on briefly Saturday night (5/9) and then turned it on when we got home Mother’s Day afternoon late. I think the extra insulation we added when building this house, plus the high ceilings, are helping. It was nice to have that break on the electricity bill too!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!


This Week…

posted by Stace

This blogging stuff appears to be harder than it looks!

Another month has gone by with no post from me, and even though we’ve been busy and had lots of fun things for me to blog about, I don’t seem to be able to get it down. I do keep trying though :)

Brittany and David’s wedding was this past Saturday. Hard to believe that she was in diapers when Tim and I got married and now she’s off and married herself. She was just a beautiful, stunning bride and they seemed so happy, so we had a great time at the wedding. Outdoors, and we were both pretty sweaty and melted down by the end, but it was worth it.

Sunday was busy, church and Sunday School, then we went to Corner Bakery for lunch. Tim offered, so I accepted. Then, he said as we were sitting down waiting on our food… “I really don’t like the food here”. So. I guess we’ll go to Dickie’s next time, his favorite place! I do love their food, and places like Corner Bakery. I love Newks and was glad to see posted on Facebook their new soups for the spring and summer. And just yesterday, they announced that we are finally going to get a Panera, down in Ridgeland. I can’t wait for it to open! Tim tolerates these kinds of places, but really doesn’t like them. Me, well, I LOVE them!!! :D

Sunday afternoon, he went to play golf and I caught up on some stuff on the DVR. My shows are piling up, with everything else going on. Sort of looking forward to several of ours shows ending (Survivor, etc) and the rest going on break with their season finales. But then again, I will miss them and be looking for more fun things to watch!

Monday, I did some laundry and housework and got outside for a while to help Tim wash my car. I can’t remember the last time we washed a car together, it has to be over 10 years or more. Tim had gotten in the habit of taking them through the drive-through car wash. But this house is bigger, the driveway is a lot bigger and we are further away from a car wash place, so apparently I talked him into it! It was a lot of work, but fun, and I enjoy doing things with him. We cleaned that puppy inside and out - tires, rims, bumpers were blacked, leather was Armor-all’d and protected, everything vacuumed, all glass cleaned. So it’s clean and sparkly now. Today, Wednesday, we did his truck and it’s equally as squeaky clean. I felt I needed to blog about this because a) it’s been so long and b) it’s a remarkable event and c) I’m hoping it happens again soon!

Tuesday, I cleaned bathrooms and ran errands. Normally, I go to Kroger on Tuesday, but this week I had something to return to Walmart, so I grocery shopped there. And proceeded to spend 3x what I normally spend at Kroger! So, I think I’ll be going back to Kroger soon :) To be fair, I got other stuff, like makeup and toiletry stuff, and I did get a lot of meat, so that’s why the bill was higher. I also dropped Tim’s suit off at the cleaners (read Saturday’s blurb, it was dirty and sweaty from the wedding) and picked up some photos I had printed at CVS. A Mother’s Day happy for Tim’s mom :)

Today was more housework, three loads of laundry and washing his truck. Tim is playing golf this afternoon, then having to work tonight starting at 11 PM. I imagine we’ll sleep in a bit tomorrow morning :) We had been walking this week. We walked 4 miles Monday, 3.3 miles Tuesday, but when the alarm went off this morning, he said he didn’t want to go! Oh well. I have 2 surgeries coming up soon on my legs, so my walking days are dwindling for a while anyway, until everything heals.

I need to go back and blog about April and other stuff going on… let’s see - how about some highlights?!

- planted flowers and herbs (just basil, brought everything else in pots from the old house) in April in pots in the back yard. Still not planting in beds, they are just clay with construction trash and need lots of work

- saw 2 movies - The 50th anniversary showing of the Sound of Music (with Gail and Elizabeth, SO much fun!) and the new Avengers movies, Age of Ultron with all the Bargers. Fun times and movie popcorn at both!

- we got our belated anniversary presents - Tim got a new driver (golf club), a new hybrid (golf club), new golf shoes and hats (noticing a trend?!), and I got new porch furniture for our screened-in back porch.

- we had a Sunday School party in April at a new members house and had a good time and Tim went the next morning to see Zack play in the regional golf tournament, but he didn’t make it to nationals. He’s doing good though and about to finish his freshman year of college

- we had a minor earthquake about 4 miles from our house, a 3.2 (which we didn’t feel, in the car) and a second one we did feel, a 3.0, last weekend. Weird! My first earthquake!!

More stuff going on, but that’s the high points. I’m ahead of my schedule for reading, and will soon pass what I read ALL of last year, so I’m happy with that. Currently reading “Always on my My Mind”, #4 in the Christiansen family books by Susan May Warren. A bit bogged down at the moment, but hopefully will get back in the swing of things. Shows we are watching: Dancing (me), Gotham and Following (Tim), all the NCIS shows, Person of Interest, Survivor, Blue Bloods, Blacklist, Grimm (Tim) and a few others. He really enjoyed the Masters on TV in April (always on his Dad’s birthday weekend) and he watched the match play last weekend, along with the NFL Draft. Gotta get ready for football season and get some new Saints players!

Ok, maybe that catches me up a bit. Hopefully can get back in the swing of blogging, and maybe post some pictures too! I tend to do that on Facebook and Instagram and not here any more :(

If anyone reads this, whew, you made it! Hope you are having a great day! :)


Now it’s April!

posted by Stace

Well, I apparently didn’t do very well in March, blogging only once. And now I’ve blinked or something and the long month of March is over and April has begun.

I don’t really have anything to blog about. Must be why I went so long without putting up a post of any kind. Let’s see, a few of the high points of March:

* I had a dentist appointment. Still sliding by with no problems, just a cleaning and an appointment to come back in 6 months.

* We had a little bit of company - Tim’s buddy Tony came with his mom, as they had an appointment in Memphis and wanted to stay here to put them a bit closer (still quite a drive, but shorter for them). I fixed supper for everyone (lasagna, texas toast, salad). They got up and left before 4:30 AM, so they didn’t get the traditional breakfast at our little B&B :) The good news is that we got a report a bit later that the appointment went well, and there was no sign of the cancer in Ms Ina’s eye that the other eye doctor reportedly found, which is why they sent her to a specialist in Memphis

* I attended a bridal shower for Brittany and David at Tim’s parents church. We went early and I helped set up a bit, although Amanda did a very neat movie theme and did the brunt of the decorating. I do better being told, put this there, sit that there, mix this up just like this, etc. I’m not a party planner or decorator by any stretch of the imagination :). Anyway, it’s hard to believe that a month from today, Brittany will be getting married. When Tim and I got married, she was still a baby in diapers! I’ve always told Tim that I always felt so blessed that his nieces and nephews never knew a time when there wasn’t an Aunt Stacy with Uncle Tim. My nieces and nephews were all grown up when Tim and I got married, so they’ve had to get used to him as teenagers and young adults.

* We went and helped a lady in our Sunday School group with some handy-man and electronics stuff at her house (well, obviously Tim did all the work, I just visited and played with her dog!). She’s a recent widow, having lost her husband in January. The more I read my Bible on a daily basis, the more I realize how important it is that God compels us to help the widows and orphans :)

* I went once with Tim and walked 18 holes at his golf course. Got a lot of steps on my FitBit that day! I won’t go when it gets so oppressively hot, but I try to go once or twice a year in the spring or fall when the temps and humidity are more bearable

* Tim took me not once but TWICE to my favorite Chinese restaurant! We came home with leftovers both times, which makes Stacy a very happy camper :D

* I got my hair cut and setup an appointment for a few days before Brittany’s wedding, so that timing worked out well :)

* Gail came and we got to go shopping, which is our THANG :) Also met David, Elizabeth and Suzanne at Majestic Burger for supper that night - Gail and I split my favorite, the grilled mahi-mahi burger. This time we tried the greek fries, which I was just slightly disappointed in. They were basically their regular fries with some greek seasoning barely sprinkled on. I was hoping for feta or something on them!

* I read 7 books in the month of March, I’m ahead of schedule on my reading plan at GoodReads. I might revise it later in the year. Books I completed in March: Firewall by DiAnn Mills, Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado, The Frontiersman’s Daughter by Laura Frantz, Scum of All Fears (Squeaky Clean Mysteries #5) by Christy Barritt, Claudia, wife of Pontius Pilate by Diana Wallis Taylor, Dark Justice by Brandilynn Collins, and Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden. I enjoyed each of them!

* We are mostly watching our regular tv shows. Seems like we might have seen one or more movies, the only one coming to mind right now is one I recorded off tv, Million Dollar Arm, a Disney movie with Jon Hamm.

* I’m trying to walk a bit more, now that the time has changed and mostly because it’s warming up a bit. I do enjoy walking in our new subdivision, but it is hard sometimes to walk by myself, the motivation is never there. I’m not walking every day, but a few days is better then the none I was doing over the winter :)

We have a semi-busy April coming up, with a particularly busy weekend this Easter weekend. We are going to attend Suzanne’s re-affirmation ceremony at her Episcopal church Saturday night, then get up early for our regular sunrise service at our church Easter Sunday morning. Then we’ll head down to the family get-together we go to every year for Easter. We have Tim’s dad’s birthday in April, as well as a crawfish boil to go to. The farmer’s market near our new house opens up late in the month so I’m hoping to go check that out.

Hope all is well out there in blog-land!


Now it’s March!

posted by Stace

Another two weeks have come and gone and still no blogging on the home front. It must be boring around here, not a lot to blog about! At least February is gone and March is here!

We’ve had some company the last two weeks. Our niece Elizabeth who teaches history at the high school nearby (not the closest one to our house, but still fairly close) has come and stayed a few days both weeks. We’ve had “bad” weather for our part of the country, really cold, chance of sleet and icing and hints of snow, although we never got any snow. Suzanne has also come over to visit one day each of the last two weeks. Once when Liz was here and then this past Friday. Suzanne very graciously brought us some homemade soup and cornbread, and brought me the soup tureen that matches my china from our grandmother. She had just the one piece and I was so glad she came and brought me that one to go with the rest of my set! Now, I just have to find a cabinet to display my grandmother’s china and crystal in. I’ve had it over 25 years and have never been able to put it out. Still it sits in Rubbermaid totes (upgraded a few years back from the boxes and barrels my dad had packed it in for me, all those years ago).

I’ve done a lot of cooking, for two weeks straight. We went out to eat catfish at Penn’s (we tried the one in Canton, probably the original place) two weeks ago and I’ve been cooking non stop since then. With Elizabeth here 3 nights each week, I have been doing a lot more cooking :) Let’s see, we’ve had:

Mexican night - tacos, beans, chips and salsa and guacamole; Sausage dogs with crash potatoes and caesar salad; chili, cornbread and salad; Meatless night (greens, black eyed peas and cornbread for Tim, wild rice and fruit for me); two different panini nights (one with ham and cheese and one with roast beef); Roast, mashed potatoes, cheese bread and roasted brussel sprouts; Breakfast food two nights (spinach and feta omelets, toast and fruit one night and egg mcmuffins, grits and turkey sausage the other night); Lasagna, salad and texas toast; and some semi-chinese one night (Fried rice, egg rolls and egg drop soup).

I was rewarded (or rather, I asked to be taken out to eat) last night with date night! We went to Signa’s Grille and enjoyed a nice meal out. Tim got the swamp burger with sweet potato fries, and although I usually get a great salad there, I splurged and got a grilled shrimp po-boy with sweet potato fries. I should have taken a photo of our food, it was really good!

Tim is at Terry’s today (Saturday), helping with the store. I’m headed down to meet everyone in Magee in a couple of hours for supper at Berry’s Seafood. I stayed home today to catch up on some things around the house. I did 3 loads of laundry, cleaned off everything on the DVR except the last of Downton Abbey (maybe tomorrow!), made homemade cinnamon rolls for Sunday School and packed up my Winterberry winter dishes to be stored away till Thanksgiving.

We’ve had cold weather for most of the past two weeks and some sleet and freezing rain, although we missed the snow (I think Gail had 4 or 5 inches last week!). I’ve enjoyed hot tea, spiced tea, hot cocoa, coffee, bundling up by the fire, reading books, watching tv. It’s supposed to start warming up now and this coming week, they are forecasting rain every.single.day. I think spring is coming! The time changes this weekend. Tim is uber excited to get in more golf, so he is happy about it. Me, I prefer the shorter days, dark nights and cold of winter. I know, I’m weird. But I’ll enjoy spring and summer and look forward to next fall and winter :)

We had a squirrel saga a few days ago. I chronicled it mostly on Facebook, so will just highlight here. Tim went to play golf Wednesday after work. I thought he would get 9 holes in before dark, but he only got one. On hole #2, he said some squirrels charged him, and the two babies ran into his golf bag! He spent the next hour trying to get them out, back to their momma who was hovering off to the side. He finally gave up, walked back to his truck with his golf bag, golf clubs and 2 squirrels in his bag. Came home, and we spent another 30 minutes trying to get them out. We left the bag on the front porch for two nights and one day, and nothing, squirrels still sequestered in the bottom of the bag. On the second full day (Friday), he tipped the bag upside down and left a space for them to get out. It took most of the day, but they finally came out some. One ran back inside when Tim went out, and he slung and heaved and threw that bag up and down till the dazed baby squirrel finally came out, scared and dizzy. He jumped on my screen on the window and hung out a while, then limped off to hide under the pine straw. We left to go eat supper and go to Sam’s and when we came back, there was no sign of either of them. I wonder if they are ok and how much they miss their mother, who is 5 miles away on the golf course!

Been reading some good books, started a podcast and listening to some good music lately. Will try to update again soon!


Ketchup aka Catch-Up

posted by Stace

Let’s see, time for another catch-up post! I suppose it’s a triumph for me to try to blog every week or so, that’s a lot better than trying to blog every month or four. Ten years ago (GOOD GRACIOUS, it’s been 10 years!) when I started this blog, I blogged every day. But those days, sadly (or perhaps happily!) are gone.

Last week, Gail was here Thursday night through Saturday. Elizabeth came over to eat with us Thursday night (we made fajitas and had a smorgasbord of leftovers). Gail and I went shopping on Friday (I bought some fabric crosses for the front doors for Easter, a new black & white scarf, some food, including ditalini and pappardelle at Big Lots of all places). We came back and picked up Tim, who had to work a bit late, then headed to the airport to pick up Don, who had been to a Valley conference in Nebraska all week. We stopped to eat at Logan’s out on Lakeland on the way home. The guys had steaks and Gail and I got shrimp dishes and I think it’s safe to say that we all ate too much free bread :)

Saturday morning, Don and Gail got up early to go out to Katelyn’s first soccer game of the season, then we all met for brunch afterwards for an early celebration of Gail’s birthday. We tried to go to Another Broken Egg, but as expected (a: it’s a weekend b: it was Valentines Day), they had an hour and a half wait. So we met Gail, Don, Kathryn, Jeremy, their kids and Elizabeth at Corner Bakery for brunch. Kathryn took a photo of me with her kids, whom I love and adore, can you tell?! :)

We visited for a while there, then all walked over to Menchie’s for frozen yogurt. After that, we tailed Don and Gail over to Miskelly’s to look at furniture. After looking at lots of things there, we went to Lowe’s and bought new porch rockers and also to Kirklands to get a few art things for the walls (one clock, since I LOVE clocks, can’t have enough).

New rockers for front porch:

A few new things for the walls at the new house, this is going to be a SLOW process, I’m *SO* not good at any form of decorating :D

Sunday was church and Sunday School. We had the last sermon in the series “First Things First” in church about prayer, and tackled the tough subject of homosexuality in Sunday School. We came home afterwards and had leftovers and hung out all afternoon watching tv (Tim is still working on binge-watching The Walking Dead and I cleaned up some cooking shows and watched an episode or two of Downton Abbey).

This week was fairly quiet. I’ve happily entered my yearly “hibernation” mode where it’s cold and dreary outside, I don’t have anything pressing to do most days, so I’m totally content to stay home, cook, clean, watch tv, read books and sit by one of my two beautiful fireplaces in the new house. I only got out on Wednesday, to get my hair cut and colored, to swap out Walking Dead season DVD’s at the library for Tim and do a big run of weekly grocery shopping at Kroger. Every other day, I was happily ensconced at home.

I did do a fair amount of cooking. I made a homemade pizza using my new wooden peel I got for Christmas, makes it a lot easier to get the from-scratch pizza onto my hot cooking stone :) I did some tilapia, roasted sweet potatoes and greens, a new Pinterest pin for crockpot pork chops, a new Pinterest pin for an orange chicken (supposed to be Chinesey but not a good success, I won’t make that one again). We have a fair amount of leftovers, so I haven’t had to cook for the last day or so. Always nice :)

I read a couple of really good books this week: Dirty Deeds (#4 in the Squeaky Clean Mystery series by Christy Barritt) and Deceived, #3 in the Private Justice series by Irene Hannon, that I got on Kindle loan from the library.

Nothing else exciting going on around here! Today (Saturday) has been quiet as well. Tim went to practice at Lake Caroline for a couple of hours before the rain starts, and I made a loaf of banana bread to take to Sunday School. This past week has been really cold - the Northeast is getting dumped with snow again and we’re having colder than normal temps, in the 40’s for highs most of the week. We’ll have a slight reprieve for a day or so, temps in the 50’s and 60’s, before we go back to another 4-5 days of highs in the 40’s. I’m burrowing in and enjoying every bit of it. I know a long hot summer is coming, where it will be unbearably hot and humid, so I plan to enjoy my fires, blankets, slippers, sweats, hot tea and coffee as long as humanly possible. That’s me, a hibernating happy bear :D


Snippets from the past week

posted by Stace

Time for another quick weekly update, along with some snippets of what is going on around here :)

Since my last blog update…

1) NEW HOUSE: We filed for homestead exemption on the new house. Always glad to get chores like that out of the way. We’ve requested a new escrow analysis from the mortgage company, so waiting on that to see the updated (higher) payment on the house. Sigh. I do LOVE this new house, but I also miss those days of living debt free at the old house, which we had paid off early.

2) WEEKEND: Had a busy weekend last weekend - I did a lot of baking and cooking on Saturday (made another batch of potato soup in the crockpot, then tried a new recipe for donut muffins to take to Sunday School). Tim practiced golf on Saturday and played on Sunday, since we were having a bit warmer weather. Kathryn and Jeremy had a date night on Saturday night, so we got to hang out again with Katelyn and Sam! I fixed them cheese pizza and chocolate chip cookie bars, and we had fun hanging out with them and teaching them to play Parcheesi :) I think board games are mostly forgotten these days with all the digital media. They both brought iPads to play with, but I think they really enjoyed playing a board game with the old folks instead! :)

3) TV: Tim is in the middle of a “Walking Dead” marathon. I had gone to the library over a week ago and gotten him the first two seasons, which he binge watched in less than a week. Yesterday (Wednesday), I went back to the library and got him season 3 on Blu Ray. They didn’t have season 4 available, so he’ll have to wait on that and hope that it’s back in next Wednesday. In the mean time, we’ll start recording the new ones on the DVR for him. I will not watch with him, but that’s ok by both of us, LOL! Meanwhile, we’re busy watching shows that keep piling up on the DVR (Person of Interest, Blacklist, State of Affairs, Blue Bloods, all 3 NCIS shows, Sleepy Hollow, Grantchester, which I enjoy but I don’t think Tim does, The Mentalist (which I’m so ready for it to end, 3 more episodes), and many more. I’m nothing if not a TV hound :D

4) BOOKS: I’ve been reading some good books lately - have recently finished “The Queen” by Steven James (Patrick Bowers #5), Traces of Mercy and the follow-up Finding Mercy, co-written by Michael Landon Jr and Cindy Kelley, Christmas at Rose Hill Farm (a spur of the moment library download, not sure why I’m reading Christmas themed books in February!), and have just started Dirty Deeds (Squeaky Clean mysteries #4) by Christy Barritt. That’s my free Kindle Prime download for February. I’m trying to be better about getting one book per month as part of our Prime program. I went several months last year where I forgot and could have gotten some good books for free.

5) COOKING: After eating leftovers from the Super Bowl most all of last week (did I mention it was a MEAT FEST?!), I’m back to cooking. And trying to do some healthier foods. Tim is back with his P90X every day at lunch, and determined to eat healthier, so that makes things easier for me. Let’s see, so far this week I’ve cooked:
Weekend - crockpot potato soup, donut muffins, chocolate chip pan cookies
Monday - grilled chicken, oven potato logs, oven roasted radishes and a sun dried tomato/artichoke quinoa
Tuesday - baked brown sugar salmon, salad, leftover quinoa
Wednesday - crockpot chicken caesar sandwiches, fries, roasted asparagus
I think tonight we’ll probably have fajitas, beans, chips and salsa. Easy!

6) TODAY: Today is the one year anniversary of my father passing away. I was there with him, by myself, at the hospice place, having no idea that he was so close to being gone. What I considered then an awful thing, I now look on as a blessing. I realize now what a blessing it was to be there at the end with just my Daddy and me. I still miss him every day, and my mom too, but I’m trying very hard to be ok with it. This day is hard, but I’m trying to do things I enjoy and remind myself of the happy things, and not look on the sad ones. So, today I’m staying home, and puttering around the house, and watching tv, and looking at old photos, and scanning some in of my dad and family (boy, I forget how long to takes to sort through photos, scan them in, size and crop them and save them to my computer, very time consuming). Tim surprised me and brought me home breakfast (again, second week in a row!) from Chick-Fil-A, after he finished his Bible study with the Band of Brothers mens group at church. Such sweet things from him really make my day :)

And lastly
7) VALENTINES DAY - this Saturday is Valentines. Last year, we were planning a funeral, but either way, it’s just not a holiday we celebrate much. When I worked, Tim used to send me roses or flowers, but that is sort of useless now that I’m at home. We no longer go out and eat, neither of us like crowded restaurants and long waits, plus we eat out regularly on date night anyway! I ordered me some dark chocolates, which came the other day, so that will be my Valentines day present. Poor Tim, he may not get anything! :)

Hope everyone is having a great day!

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Monday/Weekend Update

posted by Stace

I blogged briefly at the end of the last post about the plans for the weekend, which has now ended. It’s Monday, the second day of February, and if years past are any indication, I know this month will just FLY right on by :)

We had a great weekend. Tim and I went to get gas and buy a cartful of items at Sam’s Club for the Super Bowl party. We stopped first to visit Jackie and Beth at the old neighborhood (and return a tool Tim had borrowed before we moved). Beth was out running errands, but we were glad to catch up with Jackie. We went to eat at Krilakis, after first going to Cazadores, our favorite Mexican restaurant. In days, months and years past, we could walk into Cazadores and almost immediately get a table. We pulled into the parking lot, and I told Tim, man - it looks really busy! He’s like, nah, it’s a big place. We could barely squeeze in the door, and would have put our name way down on a list, so Tim decided not to wait and we went up the street to our favorite Greek place, Krilakis. Tim got a gyro burger this time, with home cut fries (lamb meat on a hamburger bun as opposed to the regular pita) and I got the Greek salad with grilled redfish fillet on top. Delicious! We got ribs, hamburger meat, lots of buns and other items at Sams and headed home.

Saturday, I started making stuff for the party. Tim left after lunch to meet Zack at Patrick Farms to play golf. Zack played really well, and Tim… did not. He was very good natured about it, but I know it’s hard for him to not score well. I got the potato salad and brownies made, and all the stuff for the crunchy slaw. Tim came by to pick me up after golf and we again tried to go to Cazadores. Zack swung by the campsite where his girlfriend Kelli Grace and her family were camping for the weekend. Zack and Kelli got there first, and Zack said there was a ton of people waiting and their name was on the SECOND page of the wait list. We haven’t quite figured out what’s going on with our favorite Mexican place - obviously the word is out and we’re not the only ones who like it! We wanted to swap out the propane tank for the gas grill anyway, so we went to El Potrillo next to Walmart. Food was good, but I don’t like their salsa. Not as good as Cazadores! LOL! Zack and Kelli came back to the house for a while to visit, before Zack left to get her back to the camp grounds.

Sunday morning, we all got up early for church. Zack went to get Kelli, then we all rode together. This was the Disciple Now weekend for the youth at our church, and the program was different. They had a band in for the youth weekend, so they played rather than our regular music and choir. They had the speaker from the weekend, Jeremy Kingsley, speak instead of our pastor in our sermon series. The second service had the last session for Disciple Now, with about 700 teenagers, so I hated that Zack and Kelli missed it. Instead they went to the early service with us and then to our Sunday School (with the old folks, I kidded with them). They were really great about it and we really enjoyed them going with us. After that, we stopped for ice and then headed home to start party preparations.

I did more food, Tim started the ribs in the smoker and made up a couple dozen hamburger patties, and then when Tony got here, they started on the sausage and chicken wings on the grill. Lots and lots of meat! I posted some pictures on Facebook, but I forgot to take one of the food :( Here’s one I did not share on Facebook:

We had a cold front move through and had a couple of periods of rain, but thankfully it wasn’t bad while the guys were doing meat or anyone was trying to come in or out, so no one got drenched.

The game was a good one, close, and thankfully we didn’t like either team so we were not disappointed! The Seahawks made a bad call at the end and instead of scoring and winning the game, they threw an interception and the Patriots ended up winning. Whatever! I thought the commercials were more sad than uplifting, and everyone but me liked Katy Perry at the half time show (I just don’t like her that much and I thought the show looked like an Olympic themed opening, but at least she was clean and it apparently was pretty good). I didn’t watch much of it, by half time I was ready to start putting up food and cleaning up a bit. I can’t just leave things in a huge mess, you know :)

Now, it’s Monday and much colder, high today probably only around 40 degrees. I’ve been cleaning like mad today, heavy deep cleaning after the party and so many people here. We have a fair amount of leftovers, so I will get a couple days break from cooking, yippee!

A few more random thoughts on this Monday:

* We didn’t get to watch the return of “The Blacklist” last night, it was about 9:45 when everyone finally left and Tim was raring to start it, but I was tired and wanted to read and get some sleep. So I owe him that episode tonight :D

* Finished up a good book today, “The Tutor’s Daughter” by Julie Klassen and will be starting on the next Patrick Bowers one by Steven James, “The Queen” later tonight. Looking forward to that!

* I am now 3 episodes behind on Downton Abbey. Hope to get to at least one of those this week!

* About 5 weeks until the time changes and Tim probably starts back playing a lot more golf

* We need to get our homestead exemption filed on the new house. I’ve had the paperwork out and we just need to pull everything together and find a time to go to the courthouse and file, but that requires a block of Tim’s work schedule, so that has to be worked out. Hoping we can get that done this week.

* I imagine I’m in quite the minority when I say that I have absolutely no desire to go see the new Fifty Shades of Grey movie that comes out around Valentines Day. I didn’t read the book, don’t want to, and certainly don’t want to see the movie adaptation from it. Of course, I don’t watch any R-rated movies, but this one is so far outside my realm of possibility, it’s just ludicrous! Ok, got that off my chest!

Hope everyone had a great weekend and will have a blessed week ahead!


January, The Second Half

posted by Stace

Let’s see, the second half of January is proving to be about as busy as the first part :)

We’ve had three funerals so far this month… I think I mentioned in the previous post about losing both Tim’s cousin’s husband (Perry) and my brother-in law Don’s mother Margaret. And now we’ve gone to one for Bobby, a guy from our Sunday School group at church. Been a tough year so far…

We had our annual homeowners meeting for the new subdivision on the 14th. The dues keep going up every year, things are not being done the way the residents want, since the builders/developers are the only ones on the board and make all the decisions and decide how the money is spent that is collected from each and every homeowner. It was very eye-opening and we learned… a LOT! Apparently, they say now that the dues will hold steady for at least a year or two, and within the next year or so, when the last houses are built and sold in this subdivision, the developers will turn over the board to the actual people who live here. Sheesh.

We had a family get-together at our house on the 17th, for Tim’s dad’s side of the family. Two of Mitchell’s siblings didn’t make it, Uncle Hilton and Aunt Annie Myrle, and we hated not seeing them. Tim’s parents, brother Terry, Emi, Lazarus, Brittany and David came, (Mark and family didn’t make it), Aunt Judy, Candy, her daughter Brooke and her two kids (Peyton and Aubrey), Jan and Steven and their boys (Justin and his girlfriend Keily and Turner), and Pat and Carl and their kids (Megan, Emily and Tyler) all got to come though, so it was great! We hadn’t seen everyone in a while and it was great catching up and visiting with everyone :)

Mitchell and his sister Judy who did come to the get-together:

After everyone left, I cleaned up a bit, then Kathryn and Jeremy dropped off Katelyn and Sam for us to hang out with while they attended a party. We had such a great time! We pulled out a bunch of puzzles and sat at the island and played with them for hours! We did s’mores in the fireplace (note to self: Even if Katelyn and Sam SAY they want more than one s’more, they won’t eat but one, LOL!) and generally had a great time :D

I shoved the camera in Tim’s hand and asked nicely for him to take a photo with me and the kids, since, in looking back through iPhoto, there are very very VERY few pictures of me:

Now I know why, I really don’t take very good pictures, but at least this one is tolerable, LOL! :)

OK, let’s see…. Tim is in another spate of working at night on the weekends. So far in January, he’s had to work three Sunday nights (starting at 11 PM) and one Saturday. One of those Sunday nights, he didn’t get to bed until 4:30 AM, which really messes up his sleep and work schedule for several days after that.

We had a funeral visitation for Bobby from church last Friday night. After that, we went to a fairly new Chinese restaurant (we had been once before and Tim loved it, I liked it ok) named Fortune and had dinner. Tim got spicy Mongolian beef and I had sauteed shrimp (first time I’ve ever had shrimp with the heads on). It was cold that night so we got a huge bowl of egg drop soup. It was delicious :)

We finally saw “Unbroken” at the theater this past Saturday. I had read the book over the Christmas/New Years holiday and knew that it was going to be hard for me to watch. It was actually easier than I thought to watch, still hard, but it helped that it was sort of broken up between his earlier times and Olympic running with all the war stuff. Tim wants to go see “American Sniper” next, and I know I will not be able to go see it. First, I have a rule about not watching R-rated movies (which no one seems to understand and accept, although Tim tolerates it from me), I don’t like to put that garbage or violence or language or sex or whatever into my brain and life. Even though we’ve heard great things about the movie, I just can’t do it :( Poor Tim!

Let’s see… I made a loaf of monkey bread and took to Sunday School this past Sunday. I’m trying to bake and take something every 2-3 weeks. Everything so far has been sweet. One of the guys in our group keeps saying he is going to bring sausage and biscuits, so I don’t want to “steal his thunder” and bring that. I need some ideas of other stuff to take and make (I’ve done cranberry bread and monkey bread so far). It can’t be like a hot casserole, since we do things out of order, we go to church first and then Sunday School, so I have to carry the food into the sanctuary (another class meets in our room while we are in church service). Anyway, really enjoying our Sunday School group, as well as the sermon series we are having at church (Still on “First Things First”).

This week has been fairly busy as well. Tim worked Sunday night, then had to get up early Monday morning and go to the doctor. He got a good report though, so that really helped. He was really expecting his blood pressure to be up again this year and the doctor to prescribe him medicine, but it was good and he came out without new pills :) I cleaned house all day Monday and made a new recipe for crockpot potato soup. Tuesday, I did a lot of laundry and more cleaning, and our neighbor Bob came over and brought me a beautiful daffodil (we had taken him some homemade soup Monday night, and he apparently really enjoyed it, LOL!). Late Tuesday, Gail came to the house in time for supper. I made turkey piccata, roasted veggies, tried roasting radishes (Success!), mashed potatoes and a new recipe for a crockpot cherry cobbler. It was all really good! Wednesday, Gail and I got up and went shopping all day - two different Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Sam’s, Target, Walmart along with lunch at Chick-Fil-A. We came home and met Elizabeth, and Tim who had gone to play golf, and we all ate some of the leftovers in our fridge. Elizabeth stayed and visited a while and Gail spent the night and left early Thursday morning. Tim got up at 5:20 for the first meeting of the big men’s Bible study at church, called Band of Brothers. He really enjoyed it! Me, I’m such a light sleeper that I had a hard time going back to sleep, so I wasn’t fond of getting woken up so early :(

Photo from this week, the daffodil our new neighbor brought over, it’s already drooping and starting to look withered - any tips on keeping daffodils inside in a pot? I hate to kill the beautiful thing with my horrible black thumb that I have with plants like this! LOL! :D

We’re having unseasonably warm weather across the middle part of this week. High’s in the 60’s for a couple of days, and right now, it’s 73 degrees and sunny. I imagine Tim will play golf again today! He’ll start getting spring fever soon and once the time changes in early March, he’ll be playing most every day of the week!

Got a busy weekend coming up - we’ll go food shopping Friday night for the Super Bowl party we are having Sunday. Zack is coming to play golf with Tim on Saturday and then stay this weekend (his girlfriend Kelli Grace and her family are camping at a park nearby). Then, we’ll have most of Tim’s family and Tony here on Sunday. Can’t wait! I don’t care a whit about either team, in fact, I dislike both teams pretty much (Seattle Seahawks vs New England Patriots). So it will be nice to visit and not worry about the outcome of the game, LOL!

Hope everyone is having a great day! :D


In Search of a Monday Meme

posted by Stace

Or any meme for that matter! They used to be all the rage out in BlogLand, but they appear to be very few left. And of the ones I have found for Monday or any other day, there are always questions that don’t apply to me, or else I would be answering the same thing every.single.time. So I guess I’ll stick with regular blogging and see how that pans out :)

Speaking of blogging, I’m coming up on my TEN YEAR anniversary of my blog. Hard to believe, but when I go back in my archives, I started in February of 2005. Good golly Miss Molly, where did the time go? I’ve taken a lot of breaks, but find it’s a great way to keep up with what is going on with us, so I keep coming back.

Ok, back to the original topic, today is Monday. We are zipping through January, hard to believe it’s already almost half way through the month. Today is a grey, bleak day. It rained some yesterday and quite a bit last night, but had mostly ended this morning. Tim had to work last night, for about 3 or so hours until the wee hours of the morning. He started a new fitness challenge at work, to log steps walked with a pedometer, so he wanted to go walking at lunch. Yippee! First time he’s walked with me in at least a year, maybe two. I showed him the route I had mapped out in the new subdivision, and we had a nice long walk during his lunch hour today. That makes me all kinds of happy :)

I’ve got some ham and bean soup in the crockpot today. I tasted the beans a while ago and they were still hard as a rock. I guess I’ve added too much salt, got old beans from the bin at Whole Foods or something, because I soaked them all night long and threw them in the crockpot this morning. I guess we’ll eat leftovers if the soup doesn’t turn out.

We had a busy weekend. We went to Greenwood for the funeral for Don’s mom Margaret on Saturday. It was nice to see Trent, Grayson and Henry though, since we missed seeing them at New Years. Just a really sad occasion though :( We stayed to eat and visit, but the church ladies ran out of food, so we stopped at Sonic and picked up fast food on the way home. After we got home, I made a loaf of cranberry bread to take to Sunday School. Sunday was busy with Sunday School, church and going to Kroger afterwards. After that, I cooked lunch (pepperoni crescents, really easy and so not healthy) and then Tim took a long nap and watched the NFL playoff games. I cooked supper, thereby breaking my rule that I don’t like cooking on Sundays :(

Currently weather: as stated, grey and bleak

Currently reading: Rachel by Jill Eileen Smith

Currently watching on TV: the new Agent Carter … I need to watch Downtown, I’m already two weeks behind, but don’t seem to have much time lately for catching up on the DVR

Currently Cooking: ham and bean soup today, potato soup later in the week, winging a couple of days

Week Ahead: have to take Suzanne to the airport, get my hair cut, make a run to Sam’s for food for the family get-together we are hosting this Saturday, take Tim’s suit to the dry cleaners and a few more errands. I’d much rather stay home, but these things have to get done!

And a photo from the weekend, I made a new recipe Friday night for a skillet chocolate chip cookie cooked in a cast iron skillet. It was DELICIOUS!

More next time, hope everyone is having a great day!


Frozen Pipes!

posted by Stace

I wasn’t going to blog again this soon, but this one had to get documented!

I thought when you had a new house, you didn’t have to worry about things like pipes freezing! Wrong. At our old house, we never had the pipes freeze, not in the 21 years that I lived there. We never had to leave faucets dripping or had a burst pipe. But, we had a different kind of water heater and different piping (apparently… I’m learning a lot today!) at the old house. This new house has a tankless water heater in the attic and instead of copper pipes, it has some kind of flexible pvc pipe, but they are exposed, so they freeze. I just got back from an emergency run to Home Depot to buy pipe insulation, and hopefully Tim can wrap more pipes in the attic tonight. Then maybe this won’t be an ongoing problem. It was really weird, when I woke up, some things worked and some things didn’t. Two showers wouldn’t come on, and one would. The hot would not come on in most sinks, but the cold in a couple. Tim had left several faucets dripping last night, and that seemed to help some. Also, I think he had wrapped a few pipes a couple of months ago, I know we bought some insulating things a while back, probably before Thanksgiving. Anyway, it took till 1:45 PM this afternoon for the last one to thaw. I hope they don’t freeze again tonight, or again for that matter :)

To be fair, we’re having extremely cold weather. Last night, it dropped to 13 degrees here, which is inordinately colder than normal. Today, the high is supposed to only be 33 or 34 degrees this afternoon, and so far, at 4:00 PM, it did get to 34. I was out this morning going to the doctor and it’s funny how much warmer 34 degrees feels compared to the 16 it was when I left the house!

I’m glad to have THAT doctor visit over for another year. I just have to hear back from the tests and I should be in the clear. Most of my bloodwork and numbers were really good - blood sugar, HDL/LDL, cholesterol were all good. My blood pressure was slightly elevated, 141/80, but I’m chalking that up to the pipes freezing and me being rattled all morning trying to get things done here with hardly any water. LOL! :D

Later, gaters!

8:00 PM UPDATE: Well, Tim got up in the attic after work and it was very slow going trying to wrap the pipes with the insulating sheaths I bought at Home Depot (it seems to be the way the plumber guy did the lines in the attic, he is very upset about how it was done). He was very frustrated, both with work and the water/pipes issue, so he declared he wanted to go and get rolls of insulation and try that. So, we went to the new Schlotsky’s and I got treated out to dinner (I had a california avocado flatbread and he had chicken and dumpling soup and half a sandwich, it was good!). Then we got more insulation, and now he’s back up in the attic trying the rolls. Fingers crossed! Already below freezing again, 26 degrees, so things could start freezing again :(


So Far in January…

posted by Stace

Let’s see, we are seven days into the new month and new year. So far, we have…

* shoved all the Christmas decorations back into the attic. I haven’t mentioned it before, LOL, but we have a great new house. And that includes, a great big ole attic! It’s MUCHO larger than at our old house and a ton of it is floored, giving this packrat a lot of places to stash things. And, Tim loves his bigger garage, we got the extra third bay so he’d have places to store all his tools and guy stuff.

* went over to my sister Suzanne’s and Tim hooked up some electronics for her, helped her with computer and printer stuff, hung some stuff for her, etc. Just your basic 8 hours of free manual labor, LOL!

* in getting ready for Church Sunday morning (yippee, new sermon series entitled “First Things First” focusing on prayer and nice shiny new Sunday School books, that always makes me very very happy!), Tim got out the iron and ironing board to touch up his shirt. And proceeded to drop the iron on his foot. His toe was very sore for a couple of days and he hobbled around for a day or so, but it doesn’t appear to be broken and is healing now. Thank goodness!

* I took my sister to her colonoscopy appointment yesterday. Which required me to get up at 5 AM, which is not something I either like or enjoy. :) The things we do for the people we love. So, after we got her taken care of (Starbucks run for her right after, nothing for me, then a baked potato delivered to her later in the day, since she needed to eat something and not just sleep), I ran a lot of errands. I’m back to working on getting new stuff for the house. Fun! See photo below for one of my purchases :D

* We have two funerals/visitations to go to this week. Tonight, we go to one for Perry, Tim’s cousin Fannie’s husband who passed away. And Saturday we go north for Margaret’s funeral, my brother-in-law Don’s mother. She had been in ICU for over three weeks, and the family finally decided to take her off the ventilator. Margaret was wonderful woman and a vibrant, loving, joyful, thoughtful member of their family. I have been blessed to know her for over 40 years and she will be sorely missed.

* I’m trying to get back into reading. More on that in another post. Doing my first-ever chronological read of the Bible.

* This time tomorrow, I should be a happy camper. I have my annual check-up with THAT girlie doctor (had to reschedule from December, my appointment rolled around when I had the sickness and was running fever). I’m always happy when it’s over and I don’t have to think about going for another year :)

And finally, a couple of random photos, since I have my shiny new Mac and am back able to post photos:

I finally found some cute new baskets yesterday for my mudroom openings!

And, my old Kindle keyboard died back in October 2013, after a faithful daily use of four years. I ordered a new Paperwhite that night, but never got around to getting a case. I just got this one in from Amazon, it looks like an old book, I love it :D

And P.S. That last photo looks blurry but I am just too lazy to go retake the photo, size it down, transfer it over and try again. Gotta get a move on!


December was a blur

posted by Stace

December went by in the blink of an eye!

After we were both sick at Thanksgiving and I was basically down for the count the first week of December, I spiraled into a mild panic about getting everything done. But Tim was right (as usual), we got most everything done, and it all worked out okay. :)

Tim took off his one day early in the month and we knocked out most of the shopping. He’s great about getting most of the guy gifts, and then trying to help me with all the girls. We stopped for lunch at his choice, Raising Cane’s (fried chicken strips, delicious but not overly healthy, a fairly common theme for us in the month of December, LOL!) I was able to start wrapping after that, along with all of the gifts I had ordered from Amazon. The carriers (UPS, FedEx) have finally learned where we live, and we are no longer missing deliveries like we did when we first moved here (so many packages didn’t make it and were returned, with UPS saying, address unknown; the down side to being in a totally new area and street). We had two Christmas trees this year, but I only wrapped presents and stuck under the new 9′ tree in the keeping room. We sent out cards, but seem to get fewer and fewer every year. I guess people just don’t do cards as much as they did a generation ago. I baked cookies and made treats and took to all the new neighbors. We had a great Sunday school party a week before Christmas - great food, great fellowship, had fun playing charades and singing Christmas carols.

We had our traditional three Christmases - one with Tim’s family on the Saturday before Christmas, one for ourselves (first in the new house!) on Christmas Eve and then with Gail and family on Christmas Day at her house. Tim and I got up on Christmas Eve, had our once yearly Christmas sticky buns and coffee and juice and then opened our presents to each other. Tim got some gadget-y gifts from me like a bluetooth car code reader, an iGrill mini, and then golf clubs he picked out. He got me a beautiful charm bracelet, a gold long tiered necklace, some earrings and this shiny new MacBook Pro I’m typing this blog post on!. After we finished our presents, we had Suzanne over to hang out and have our meal - Tim grilled ribeyes for him and Suzie and I had a nice piece of salmon, baked sweet potatoes, salad, and some acorn squash. We went to the early Christmas Eve service at church and it was candlelit and just beautiful. Suzanne came back after her early service, and even though it’s tradition for me to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Christmas Eve, Suzie had just seen it (for the FIRST time) a few days before, so we watched my other favorite Christmas movie, I had just watched it the day before, “The Bishop’s Wife”. We missed my Dad a lot this year, my first without my daddy and my first without both of my parents. I don’t like being an orphan :(

A couple of photos… Tim plopping out our sticky buns:

Sticky Buns

Tim with his new bluetooth code reader for the vehicles:

Bluetooth reader

Stacy’s new wok (that I bought and wrapped, because I had no idea I was getting a Mac!):


Tim with his new golf clubs (Taylor MC irons):

My new Mac!


And my new charm bracelet, Tim picked out every single charm for me! So sweet :D

Charm Bracelet

After Christmas, we stayed busy but nothing spectacular. I did my annual day after shopping, stocking up on paper, bows, etc and also picked up a few decorating items for next year. I still need to get a lot of things for the house, both for everyday decor and for seasonal decor. We are still just using everything from the old house, and a lot of it is 15-20 years old. Yikes! I both love and get frustrated by trying to find things for the new house. I’m not Martha Stewart and I don’t have a great eye for things and how they will look in the house or go with other things I have or want to get. It’s a constant struggle for me. Tim helps a lot and it pains me greatly to admit that he is a better decorator than I am, and even though he’s COLOR BLIND, he’s better at putting things together. Sigh.

We got everything packed up and shoved back in the attic. I do love my Snow Village and Christmas decorations, and always hesitate on putting them away, but then once I get started, I get rolling and am ready to get it put away. There’s something about having the space back and ready to start a new year :)

We spent a quiet New Years Eve and New Years Day. We usually do, but this year more so than most. Tim worked New Years Eve, but they did let him go around 2 PM and so he ran to the golf course to play before dark. Don and Gail had spent the night before, headed to the hospital to see Don’s mom in ICU (as I type this, she has been in ICU for 3 weeks and on a ventilator for 2 weeks). They got here the night before NY Eve and we all went to the new Longhorn Steakhouse that opened up a couple of weeks ago, very good. New Years Eve, Don and Gail had thought they would go home, but ended up coming back here again to stay. Both Ole Miss and Ms State were in bowl games on New Years Eve (and both lost, very sad), and we watched the State game New Years Eve night. The new neighborhood proved to be a great place for watching fireworks! At the old house, we were in the city and fireworks were prohibited. Our here in the country, apparently not! Several people shot fireworks off and on from dark until midnight, including our new neighbor Brian and his family (2 doors down) who shot some great ones. I should have dug out my tripod and read about photographing fireworks. I took a lot of shots but most of them are not good. Anyway, New Years Day, we went to our new neighbors house for food and football, over to Tim and Becky’s across the street. Had a great time visiting with the new neighbors. We watched football most of the rest of the day (well, Tim did, I mostly read Unbroken, so I could try to finish it as he wants to go see the movie soon).

That hits the highlights I guess :) I would like to say I’d do better about blogging in 2015, but I’m not making any promises. I don’t think anyone reads this anymore anyway! :) I have so many things I want and need to do in the new year… I can easily see me letting blogging slip to the side again.