Exceedingly Mundane

tidbits of random nothingness

Aug-10-15

First Week of August 2015

posted by Stace

I’m still playing catch-up. Just posted two entries trying to catch up somewhat from everything going on in July. I’ll attempt to do that here for the first nine days of August!

Well, July 31st was a blue moon - second full moon of the month. I decided I wanted to play with my camera, so I got out the tripod (after a half hour of searching, Tim finally found it for me… something we had not had occasion to use since we moved and even though I knew where we kept it in the old house, I had no idea what closet or space it got shoved into here at the new house, LOL!). I won’t post any pictures here, as I posted a couple on Facebook. I was pleased with how they came out :)

I worked on my china cabinet in early August. I ordered some plastic display stands and some felt dividers for the china I wanted to display in a big ole stack (I know, you’re not supposed to do that, but I wanted to get it all in there and not have to store half of it again). It took me a while to unpack it all, but thankfully, several years back, I had unpacked it all, washed it and rewrapped it in tissue paper and bubble wrap (when my dad originally packed it up for me in big barrels, he just used newspaper and it all needed washing). Here’s my cabinet now:

I also have been working on a spot on my granite. I discovered the Saturday that Mark and Amanda came that I had a large discolored spot on my granite by the stove, where I store my olive oil dispenser and salt cellar. Tim said the oil had leaked and discolored the stone, so I did some research online. Tried a few home remedies, but nothing worked, so I ordered some stone oil stain remover from Amazon (a duPont product). Here’s a test area, that I tried first:

It came out looking a bit better, so now I have much larger area covered in the paste, where it must sit for at least 72 hours. The picture doesn’t show how bad the stain looks in real life, because the flash lit up the discolored spot. Trust me, I’m not happy that I’ve already ruined my granite :(

Tim is back to playing more golf, although it’s as hot as blue blazes. Today, the forecast high is 104 degrees, with a heat index of 115 predicted. Yikes. He stayed home one night and we watched the second Hobbit movie, the Desolation of Smaug. We also started re-watching all of the Star Wars movies. This girl is more than ready for The Force Awakens to come out in December! We watched the original ones first, the ones I know so well that I can quote most every line of dialogue. :) We are nearly through; we finished Attack of the Clones last night and started Revenge of the Sith, although it may take the rest of the week to finish it :) We also watched the last Hobbit movie, Battle of the Five Armies, this past weekend and I was a little sad to see those movies end. I love me some Lord of the Rings!

Our new Sam’s Club opened in Madison last week! We went on Free Preview night, along with nearly everyone else in town! I had some items on my list, and we got those, and were able to use the self-checkout area, which is really nice. I’m not a normal Sam’s shopper, in that I don’t fill up a flat bed cart or big shopping cart. Most of the time, I get 10-15 items and it’s nice to be able to grab the scanner wand in the self checkout, scan my items and skee-daddle!

I got a haircut last week, then ran errands to Kroger and Walmart one afternoon. I got a bunch of food to fix to take to a couple at church. The wife had tonsil surgery and I wanted to take her some juice (she’s on clear liquids for 10-14 days) and take her husband and son something to eat. I thought a lot of people would do dinner stuff like lasagna, chicken spaghetti or pulled pork, so I decided to take Gail’s idea and do a breakfast casserole and some refrigerator fruit. I made all of that one afternoon late, and got up and took over to their house before 7 AM, so they could have breakfast.

We went to dinner at one of our neighbor’s house last weekend and had fish tacos, black beans, and rice. I made a chocolate skillet cookie and Tim had made salsa earlier in the day, so we took both of those. After eating and visiting a while, we walked down to the cul-de-sac and went to the block party that the younger crowd with small kids were having. They had all grilled out burgers and hot dogs for the kids, and they had a big blow-up slide and all the kids were in their swim suits having a blast! We visited a long time, till nearly 10 PM and got to meet a few more new neighbors. We still have so many people we have not yet met. We just don’t see a lot of them out, some of them work a lot of crazy hours, we assume, and some of them have yard crews to do their yard work so we never see them outside. I’m still hoping we can meet more people soon.

Here’s Tim making his salsa earlier in the day before the parties:

After church yesterday, we met Suzanne for a long lunch at Broad Street Bakery. Suzanne and I had a turkey and brie panini and Tim had the Reuben. Good food, and we got to catch up with Suzanne. She closes on her new house at the end of this month and is very excited!

This week looks to be equally busy - especially at the end. More dinners and a birthday party. Hopefully I won’t fall too far behind again on my blog (famous last words!) :D

And tada- all caught up! :)

Aug-10-15

Late July Recap - Part 2

posted by Stace

I posted in early July about the Keurig I got for free using my Viggle points. Well, my enjoyment of my new toy was short-lived! I’m already having trouble with it, and have had to call Keurig to get a replacement unit. After less than 25 cups of coffee, I was having one problem when trying to brew the individual K-cup (the unit never showed finished, just kept saying wait, Hot Brew, do not lift). And the Keurig only ever successfully brewed one K-carafe cup into the 4 cup carafe. On the second try, it spit out about 6 oz of liquid, less than one cup. We had to cycle the carafe pod through four times to get enough coffee for Tim. I emailed Keurig, to which they replied with a canned email that I should try cleaning and descaling the unit. After less than a month of usage?! I was indignant, to say the least. They did say “call Customer Service at this number”, so after I calmed down and found time, I did. We went through a lot of trouble shooting, including the paper clip technique I had already Google’d for and watched the YouTube video on how to take a paper clip and dislodge any coffee grounds around the needle. Anyway, after a while on the phone, they agreed to send me a replacement unit. Let’s hope this one works better than the first one!

OK, the rest of July was equally busy. Our furniture was delivered from Ross Furniture! We got two leather recliners for us in the keeping room, and I finally, FINALLY, after waiting my whole adult life, got dining room furniture! It’s been a discussion our entire married life. We used to look at houses and I’d eye the dining room with reverence and talk about how I wanted dining room furniture, and a china cabinet so I could finally unpack the china and crystal I got 30 years ago from my grandmother. Tim would look at a dining room in a house and say “Wow, I can’t wait to put a pool table in here and play pool all the time!”. Sigh. I agree, in principle, that’s he right when he insists that it’s not practical - it’s not something we will use all that often and it’s mostly just for show. The space could be better utilized for other things (although as much as I enjoy a game of pool, I don’t want to own a pool table and have it dominate my dining room). Thankfully, when we picked out this floor plan from another house in this subdivision and started building, we both realized the dining room wasn’t large enough to hold a pool table. I’ve been hoping my dreams would come true, and Tim finally made it a reality :)

Here’s the empty dining room before:

China cabinet delivered:

And the full dining room after:

And the two leather recliners in the keeping room - note: that end table will eventually be replaced with something that fits better between those two chairs. New lamp too. Those are still on the list!

I have since ordered display stands for my china cabinet and unpacked my grandmother’s china and crystal. Picture in next post!

OK, more fun stuff in July…. Sam and Katelyn came to stay for a couple of days. We went to the library for movies, we watched tv, they played on their parents iPads, we went to Walmart for new toys and then played with those, we had pizza, we took them for ice cream, we played Parcheesi, I took them to the pool, we had a picnic (although it ended up being indoors, nobody wanted to go out in the heat!), we had the required reading time of 30 minutes per day, according to their mom (poor Sam, this was his most miserable time of day!). I hope they had fun, we sure did!

Oh, and before I went and got the kids, I found this in the side yard one morning while watering flowers:

Thankfully it is just the skin and not an actual snake, but you know, like I told Tim, there WAS an actual snake in it, and it felt the need to shed its skin in MY yard. ARGH! He said “it’s probably a good snake!”. Double ARGH!

The weekend after the new furniture was delivered, Mark, Amanda and the kids drove up from Hattiesburg, pulling a U-Haul trailer. When we moved last September, we offered Mark our old entertainment center. He said he wanted it, but would have to get a trailer to come get it. So, in late July, they finally had time to get a trailer and come get it :D Lucky for us, we had just moved out the old chairs from the keeping room, and they were able to take those too. Tim is very happy to have lots of room in his third bay in the garage!

Mark, Amanda, Ethan and Abby spent Saturday afternoon and evening hanging out with us. We grilled out, hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken, grilled veggies, chips and dip and fruit. Good food and good times hanging out! :)

And one other item of note, although the picture doesn’t do it justice! I went and got the last Little Meal Deal of the month on July 23 at Fresh Market. All month long, they had a burger meal deal. Four large flavored beef burgers, brioche buns from the deli, cole slaw, corn on the cob, chips, cheese, and cookies for $20. I like a lot of their meal deals (although I’m not going to do the thai noodle bowl one in August). I realize after I uploaded my photos, that I didn’t take a good picture showing the contents of the meal deal, or especially, the burgers, corn on the cob, cole slaw and chips on our overflowing plate after we cooked it. It was delicious!

Aug-10-15

Late July Recap - Part 1

posted by Stace

Since my last blog post about what we have been doing was way back on July 16, I felt like I had a bit of catching up to do! I’ll try to break it up into a couple of posts. Not that anyone but me reads these, but I like having them down to remember. You know, for in a few years when I develop dementia or Alzheimers or whatever, all I know is my memory is bad and getting worse by the day! Haha! :)

July was a long, hot month of no rain. It looks like August is going to be the same way. We’re having problems with the new sod (as in, Tim sprayed some weed killer on a large portion of the front yard and some in the back, and it not only killed weeds, but has killed the grass too). We’ve lost 2 more azaleas, they will have to be replaced. We are running the sprinklers 3-4 times a week, and still things look terrible and are dying.

In mid-July, we took care of our neighbors dogs for a week while they were at the beach. I learned how to scoop kitty litter (they have a cat too!) and fed the dogs twice a day, checked on them a lot because it was so hot, and went over to read on their back porch and hang out with the dogs. It was blissful, it was like having two puppies all of my own for a week! Some days, I really miss having a dog.

We tried another couple of new restaurants in late July. One is a local place in Gluckstadt, Angelo’s. We went on a Friday night for date night. They have a strange menu - Italian, pizzas and barbecue! What an odd combination! We didn’t know what to try first, but Tim picked pizza. He picked an all meats one and it was pretty big, so we had leftovers to take home. Good thing, since Tim only ate one piece at the restaurant and I looked like a total pig, eating a whopping 2 slices! It was good, but pricey. I much prefer making my own pizza or order pizza hut than going to pay 23 bucks for a pizza! Next time, we’ll have to try the italian or barbecue.

Saturday July 18th was a fun day! Tim didn’t go play golf, so we hung out at home for a while, then headed out to Dogwood to shop all afternoon. We stopped at Panda Express for a late lunch, since I have been terribly hungry for Chinese food. It was ok, not great, but the first time I had been to one. I didn’t realize they had opened one out that way, we don’t have one near us. We shopped for rugs and art for the walls and came home with several pieces. No rug yet, we can’t agree on what we want to put on the floor in the keeping room.

Here’s some of my new wall art, I’m very happy with what we got, most of it came from Hobby Lobby:

Sunday July 19th was a tough day for Tim. We didn’t make it to church, since we knew he had to work all night. He did go play golf all afternoon, then started work around 8:30 PM. He came to bed around 5:30 AM, and I woke up and asked him, “did it all go okay?” To which he answered, “No, we had to roll it all back out”. He slept about 3 hours and got up and worked all day, trying to find the problems that had caused them to back out the code and put things back the way they were. He played golf that evening, Monday, and then was pretty exhausted the rest of the week! He has been searching for the problems and solutions ever since, and we know he has another long work weekend coming up, but we just don’t know when it will be.

Jul-18-15

My New Happy!

posted by Stace

Apparently, I never posted here about my new little happy that I got in the mail! I shared a photo on Facebook, but thought I better record it here and do a little background (well, for me, it’s a lotta background, since I’m so verbose!)

I went the first 38 or 40 years of my life and never touched coffee. In fact, growing up, I couldn’t stand the smell of coffee. My parents made it every morning and drank about 2 cups each. But it seemed strong and smelled burnt and just icky. :) When I met Tim, I learned quickly that he really loves coffee. He’s not a modern coffee kind of guy, though. He’s not really into going to Starbucks or a local coffee chain we have called Cups, although he will go and drink coffee. But, he just goes for a plain black coffee. Nothing flavored or sweet or fancy. He just likes plain, black coffee.

Me, I tried coffee for the first time on vacation, I think when we went to San Antonio about 10 or 12 years ago. We had a coffee maker in the room and they had some flavored coffee. One morning, Tim offered to make me a cup and add cream and sugar to it, if I would just try it. I did, and learned to “tolerate” coffee, as long as it had enough stuff added so that it didn’t really taste like coffee! He has fondly, over the years, referred to my coffee as “hot chocolate”. :D I always tell people mine has to be a light khaki color and not really taste like coffee. LOL!

Anyway, forward a few years and the Tassimo product first came on the market. I saw one at Bed, Bath and Beyond and thought, well, that’s something new, but I don’t know if it will go over. Why would people buy little pods of coffee to make one cup when they could brew a whole pot? Notice that I had a similar thought about the iPod and digital music when Apple first introduced the first iPod and iTunes. I’m like, why would you pay for music online and listen on a specific device, when there’s the radio and CD’s available to buy in every store on the block. Sensing a theme here? I’m not particularly forward thinking or immediately accepting of new things :)

So, the Tassimo did ok, and then Keurig came out with their brewers. We stayed at a Hard Rock hotel (got there late and they had given our room away, but upgraded us to a suite with an ocean view, a wrap around deck, a huge shower and a Keurig in the suite) and I tried the Keurig for the first time and exhausted their supply of flavored coffees supplied to the hotel room. I thought then, wow, I’d like to get one of these for me, to have my flavored coffees occasionally.

But then, as now, I realized that a Keurig is just NOT practical for us. With Tim working from home and loving coffee, he drinks a LOT. He’s actually drinking less than he did a few years ago. He’s down from drinking 12 cups a day to *just* 8 cups a day. We normally only make him 4 or 6 cups on the weekend. But, from a cost and practicality stand point, that’s not very cheap when you are buying that many K-cups a day. The beans he likes we get at Sam’s in a big bag and that bag (about 12 bucks) lasts at least a month. So, nowhere near the cost factor.

So, I just never got a Keurig. In our old house, I didn’t have room for it. I kept my little cheap Mr. Coffee coffeemaker from Walmart out in the garage and just brought it inside once or twice a week (at most) to make me some flavored coffee. I was banned from using “his” coffeemaker, since he swears he can taste the flavored coffee afterwards, even though it was cleaned. So, I just kept my old one hidden and he used his daily.

Then we moved last year, into a bigger house with a nice big open kitchen and quite a bit more counter space. I still stored my old coffeepot out in the garage and brought it in once or twice a week (mostly in the winter when it was cold and I didn’t want hot tea).

And, then there’s the Viggle part. I had Viggle points accumulating. I had been using Viggle (an app that you use to check into tv shows) for a while and was cashing the points in for gift cards. I have earned $110 in Amazon gift cards, $55 in iTunes gift cards and a $15 Chili’s e-gift certificate. I was perfectly happy saving my Viggle points for gift cards. Except I went about 6 months and never saw a single gift card offered. Apparently, they wanted you to spend your points on products. So, in looking through the product catalog, I didn’t see anything I really wanted. Except the Keurig. So, by June, I had saved enough points and ordered the Keurig. I think it’s a model that has been discontinued. It’s the Keurig 2.0, but the 350 model. I see the 300, 400 and even 500 model in stores, but never the 350. The 2.0 system means it has the carafe, so we can do a small pot of 4 cups for Tim. But the catch with the 2.0 system and Keurig is that it only uses Keurig branded K-cups. Which means I can’t buy a refillable cup and use all the ground coffee I have here. And I can’t use local brands like Community Coffee or other coffees that don’t partner with Keurig. I love to order stuff from Amazon and they have lots of fun assortments of K-cups. However, half of them don’t have the Keurig brand on them, which means they won’t work in this 2.0 system.

However, it was free, it’s here and I’m thoroughly enjoying it! I’ve been slowly buying K-cups. Decaf, as that’s all I can handle these days. I learned when I woke up with tinnitus 5 years ago that caffeine does a number on my tinnitus, so I eliminated caffeine from my diet. No tea, unless its decaf (so, usually herbal), no Coke, just Sprite or a root beer that doesn’t have caffeine. I’ve quickly learned that there are not a lot of choices in Keurig branded K-cups that are decaf. I’ve only found one or two that are flavored.

But STILL. It was free, I didn’t even have to pay shipping and handling. It’s here, it’s out on my counter, and I’ve been enjoying the bee-jeebers out of it! I’ve had decaf or hot tea every day, using one of my new K-Cups. I’m adding a lot of cream and sugar, as is what I have to do, and I’m already noticing the pounds are starting to slide back on. Nothing like drinking your calories! But. I’m loving my new little happy! :)

Here’s the assortment of K-cups and K-carafe pods that came with the brewer:

And my first cup of coffee that I brewed in my favorite little red cup:

It’s the little things in life that make me happy! :D

Jul-16-15

Another Big Catch-Up (Mid-July)

posted by Stace

Wow, I have REALLY got to start blogging more often. I’m missing recording a lot of what is going on because it is taking me so long to get a post written. Three or four weeks is a lot to catch up on! Of course, it’s because we are staying fairly active (and I’m trying to stay off the computer a bit), is why I’m not able to blog that much. Six one way, half a dozen the other :)

Let’s see, I last blogged in late June. It’s now July 16, which means we are just past the half way point of one of my two least favorite months of the year. I lament year in and year out about how much I struggle in July and August. It’s hot, there’s not a lot going on, I’m waiting for football and new tv shows and cooler weather and generally, my favorite time of the year (Labor Day through New Years, including both of our birthdays). At least July appears to be zipping by at a fairly quick rate this year!

We had our yearly big get-together with Tim’s mom’s family on the Fourth of July. We were actually a bit late getting there, and most everyone had already started eating. So a lot of the food I took didn’t get eaten and I didn’t get my camera out to take more than just a couple of random shots of people shoveling food in their faces! It had been raining when we left the house that morning late, and then at Aunt Becky’s, it started raining early afternoon. When we got a break in the rain, we headed out and ended up going to Raymond to Kathryn and Jeremy’s rather than straight home. Gail, Don, Elizabeth and Suzanne had gone there earlier in the day to the parade, which got suspended due to rain, then they all grilled out, played games, etc. They waited on us to go see Kathryn and Jeremy’s new (older) house. It’s in a great location and a great school district and the kids are pretty excited for a new house and yard, and a lake across the street with ducks and geese and fish. Kathryn is not excited about the small kitchen, very old flooring and walls sorely in need of paint. So they are hiring a contractor and having a lot of work done before they move in (knocking down walls, moving appliances in the kitchen, etc). The house has so much potential though, and like I told Kathryn, it will be a home in no time, a place to make more wonderful memories with their kids :) I took the food with me to Kathryn’s and they helped eat the two new things I made (my mom’s fruit, which Gail has made many times but I had not) and a new recipe from Pinterest for an Oreo refrigerator cake. Tim and I got in a little before dark and heard a lot of fireworks in the neighborhood, but didn’t go out to see any. Thankfully, they stopped around 10 or 10:30, unlike New Years where they went off until well after midnight.

Tim had the day off Friday before the 4th on a Saturday, and also took vacation the following Monday, so he had a nice four day weekend. He played golf on Friday morning with his buddies, and I went to Kroger then made food for the big get-together. After he got in and I finished cleaning up the kitchen, we set out to go furniture shopping. I was apparently in a rare mood, a buying mood! That doesn’t happen very often for me when it comes to big decisions or spending more than say $100 bucks :) We went to two places and I actually found stuff at both, but at the second place, we decided to go ahead and get some stuff. We’ve got dining room furniture (table, six chairs and a china cabinet/hutch) and a couple things for the keeping room on order. They had to special order some stuff, so it’s going to take 4-6 weeks to come in. I’m being very patient, waiting on it to come in! Pictures when it does :)

We had a good rain on the morning of the Fourth of July, then another rain shower that Sunday (recording this because we haven’t really had any rain since then!). After church on Sunday, we came home and ate some leftovers and then decided to go see a movie. He picked Terminator Genisys (I was surprised, I had been expecting him to pick Jurassic World) and went to Malco to see that. We splurged and got a big tub of popcorn and drinks, and that cost more than the tickets! I was so surprised that the popcorn was not great. First time at that theater, so here’s a note to myself in the future, just get a small bag or smuggle in candy from outside, the popcorn was definitely not worth the 8 bucks or whatever it was for the big tub. Oh, and the movie was good, but I didn’t think it was anything special. Seemed like just another Terminator to me, with a very old Arnold! He had a couple of good lines though, and Tim loved it, so that’s all that matters :)

Monday, after the 4th, he took a day of vacation to play golf with Corey and Zack. He told me repeatedly that day and for several days afterward, that he had a bad round of golf and golf had “left a bitter taste in his mouth”! This is *SO* not normal behavior for Tim, but I was determined to enjoy it while it lasted. He didn’t play for the next several days; in fact, I think it was the following Sunday before he went to hit balls! For one thing, he was gearing up for a huge project at work the weekend of the 11-12th. He was working late during the week and just not wanting to play (again, very unusual behavior!). On Friday at around 4:30 PM, they postponed the project for another week, so he is now gearing up for a big weekend of work this weekend (July 18-19). More on that later, he is expecting to be hugely busy.

This past weekend, he had been expecting to work, so we had planned not to be able to go to our niece and nephew’s baptism at their grandparents pool (the Cole’s). I hated to RSVP we weren’t coming and then show up, so we didn’t go. Instead, we went to Canton to explore :) We went to an auto parts place for Tim to get stuff to work on the transmission on the Explorer (turned out to be an easy fix, he just added more transmission fluid), then to the new Walmart they opened last year, and to (of all places) Tractor Supply. We bought a lot of stuff in Tractor Supply! We stopped at the truck stop on the highway on the way back and picked up Arby’s for lunch. He worked on the vehicles, cut the grass and then we had an appointment at the Genuis bar at the Apple Store at 7:40 PM. His grandmother’s iPad was not working and he was fairly sure the display had gone out, but we setup an appointment to go in and see what they said. They concurred and said they do not work on the display, we would just have to get another one. On the way home, we stopped for a slush at Sonic. Tim wants me to figure out how to make them at home, so I’m on a quest to duplicate Sonic’s strawberry slush at home. I plan to try this weekend, after I get a couple things at Kroger tomorrow :)

He played golf Sunday, Monday and Wednesday of this week. Wednesday, last night, he called and said one of his golf buddies was having a birthday and his kids were not available to take him out to eat, and we should. I totally agree, no one should have to eat on their birthday by themselves! We all went to Mermaid Cafe and had an excellent dinner. Tim had the stuffed catfish and I had sautéed shrimp over angel hair pasta. I told Tim, you can tell it’s good because I’m eating the green olives and tomatoes, two foods I don’t normally consume! We had the “Gia Gia” pie (which they pronounced ya-ya) for dessert. It was all good and I think his buddy enjoyed hanging out, even on his birthday :)

On the mundane side of things, I’ve been cooking, although making a concerted effort to cook less. I’ve been reading books, and we’ve been watching tv and movies. Today, the (British) Open started (golf) and of course, Tim is hugely excited for that :)

Food: I’ve made tacos, a veggie lasagna, breakfast food (a couple of times, pancakes and sausage one time and eggs/grits/biscuits another time), we’ve grilled out hot dogs (and had a big batch of potato salad) and also this week, we grilled out fish (tilapia for Tim, salmon for me), a big basket of grilled zucchini/onions/mushrooms and I did some crash hot potatoes in the oven. I’ve made a batch of pimento cheese that we devoured and I’ve made one batch and in a few minutes will make another bowl of chicken salad. I’ve baked for the Fourth, and also for Sunday school, including a new recipe for Nutella No Bake cookies last weekend. I ended up eating most all of them, yikes! I’ve made a couple of batches of homemade ice cream in my little Cuisinart. Tim likes it better when it’s been in the freezer a while and hardens up (I like it soft right out of the machine, go figure!). Even though we’ve been trying to walk, with the baking, eating out and coffee I’m now consuming daily (loaded with cream and sugar), I’m up a couple of pounds. So we decided for the next few days (where the temps are forecast in the 96-100 range for the next 10 days), that we will be eating a lot more salads, some sandwiches and trying to consume a lot less calories.

Movies: We saw Terminator at the theater and have watched our copy of XMen: First Class here. I used some Viggle points and purchased XMen: Days of Future Past on M-Go and we watched that on our smart TV last weekend. I’ve also bought Divergent on M-Go with Viggle points, which we had watched a while back but will rewatch soon. Insurgent is due to come out on DVD in August, I think, so I’m saving Viggle points to try to purchase that one, once it’s available on M-Go. We also watched Expendables 3 on Amazon Prime streaming the other night, found that one for free :)

Books: Since the last blog post, I’ve finished the following books: “Courting Morrow Little” by Laura Frantz; “Poison Town” by Creston Mapes; and “Taken” by Dee Henderson (library digital loan). A couple of days ago I started “Trial by Twelve” by Heather Day Gilbert, my Prime loan for July.

I had several picture I want to share, maybe I’ll get motivated soon to transfer files from my camera card, size them and get them out here :)

Hope everyone is having a blessed day!

Jun-28-15

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

Jun-4-15

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 :)

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May-20-15

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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May-11-15

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!

May-6-15

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! :)

Apr-2-15

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!

Mar-7-15

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!

Feb-21-15

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

Feb-12-15

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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Feb-2-15

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!