Exceedingly Mundane

tidbits of random nothingness

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!

Jan-29-15

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

Jan-12-15

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!

Jan-8-15

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 :(

Jan-7-15

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!

Jan-4-15

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!):

Wok

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

My new Mac!

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.

Dec-6-14

Thanksgiving and The Sickness

posted by Stace

Thanksgiving was a very busy, very fun week around our house :) Then, the sickness arrived, horrible black plague that it is!

Let’s see, on Tuesday before Thanksgiving, we had about 16 people here. Suzanne’s son Kirk, his wife Nichole, and their three kids came over to visit. Gail and Don came down from Indianola and stayed with us till Friday. Kathryn, Jeremy, Katelyn, Sam, Elizabeth and David also came over to visit. Suzanne brought pizza and everyone stayed to hang out and visit for a while. It was the first time we had met Isabella, Kirk’s youngest baby, and other than seeing Lillie and Max at the funeral, we had not seen them much, so great to see everyone and catch up.

Wednesday, Tim had the day off, so he and Don went to play golf. Gail and I ran to Kroger for some last minute items and then I spent the next 5 or 6 hours in the kitchen, cooking and preparing stuff for Thanksgiving. I made Chicken Santa Fe in the crockpot for supper for everyone, and Suzanne came back over to eat and visit. Kirk, Nichole and the kids had gone to see his dad. Thursday morning, Suzanne had a run, then came over, along with Elizabeth and David. We all had the normal - turkey (Got up at 6 AM and Tim got it in the smoker), Gail’s dressing, broccoli rice casserole, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, rolls. Elizabeth made pumpkin pie for dessert and I tried a new recipe for pecan pie bars (the first attempt failed, but the second, with modifications, came out great). We all went to see Interstallar at Malco in the late afternoon. Then we came home and cranked up the fire pit for its grand inauguration and had cocoa and roasted marshmallows.

Tim and Don went to play golf again Friday morning, while Gail and I hung out here some, then went to get Margaret’s car over at Nancy’s house. We all got caught in traffic getting home (not Black Friday, but a bad wreck on the highway), and a little bit later, Don and Gail left going home and to the Lamb, Bass, Barger party. Tim collapsed when they left, and admitted he had been sick. He was sick all the rest of Friday, Saturday on his BIRTHDAY, Sunday and on into the next week, even though he worked every day and didn’t take a single hour of sick leave.

I went to Walmart on Saturday and picked up some Mucinex and a few items. I went back to Kroger Monday morning for more meds and some orange juice, clementines and a few things. I was already starting to feel bad Monday morning, but had to get up, since the Lowe’s repair guy was coming to look at the fridge (seal on the bottom freezer drawer has been leaking and holding water). By later Monday, I was running fever and feeling horrible.

We were both sick all week, so it wasn’t very merry around our house. Luckily, we had put up the Christmas trees (two, first time ever, since we had a short brand new one from the old house, and a new 9′ one for the new house, high ceilings) and the Snow Village before everyone came before Thanksgiving. When Tim got to feeling better later in the week, he hung the outside garlands and outside decorations for me. I didn’t feel like doing much of anything until Thursday or Friday. Friday afternoon, we had a new refrigerator delivered from Lowe’s. We had to get all the coolers out and unload everything and reload the new one, that job in itself wore me completely out! Tim took pity on me, plus rewarded himself LOL, by driving us to the gas station at the interstate and getting us Krystal burgers for supper. Hahaha, he loves them and I am still not up to cooking much (tried Thursday night and it was ok, I MELTED my plastic steamer basket that I had used for twenty years on an electric stove, I melted it to my aluminum pot on this new gas stove, sigh). So, I thought Krystal was a great idea!

Needless to say, with both of us sick, we’ve been sitting in our chairs in the keeping room, watching tv and movies. We had a free movie preview weekend around Thanksgiving and so we recorded a lot of movies on pay channels we don’t normally get. We’ve watched The Wolverine, Pacific Rim, The Book Thief, Red 2 and Tim watched Lone Survivor, The Escape Plan and A Good Day to Die Hard. We also caught up on most of our shows on the DVR :) Lots of tv time, snuggled up under blankets.

Today is Saturday and I’m still not feeling great. We are supposed to meet Mark, Amanda, kids and friends later today, they are in town for one of Abby’s cheer competitions. After that is over, we’re supposed to catch up with them and have supper, I hope neither one of us get them sick. AND, I hope we get to church tomorrow, we’ve been sick and haven’t been able to go the last two weeks :(

I need to get back into the habit of uploading photos, I know these posts are boring, just an online diary, but at least I’m going to try to keep up with everything going on :)

Nov-20-14

AWOL Again

posted by Stace

Well, I’ve been absent from my blog for another long period of time, like maybe 3 weeks? Things are just so busy and as much as I want to document them and capture them for my future sketchy memory, I just don’t seem to find the time to stop and blog. Sigh.

Let’s see… since the last time I blogged, we had a celebration for my niece’s birthday (Elizabeth), my sister Suzanne and we had a big crowd here for Halloween. Then the time changed and it became November and I thought I would have lots of time to get caught up on some stuff. Wrong.

Halloween was fun, but a bit disappointing to me in that even though we had a lot of friends and family here to hang out with and for Tim to take trick or treating, I stayed home and only had 2 or 3 trick or treaters. Even less than our old neighborhood :( I know we’re in a construction zone and in the back of the new subdivision, with no street lights, so I know why, but it was still disappointing to buy a half ton of candy and only have the doorbell ring 3 times :) Gail came the day before, and we went shopping and then cooked stuff on Halloween afternoon. She also helped me order curtains for the dining room windows that morning. Gail made Halloween bark and I made taco soup, mummy dogs, Boo biscuits and we had chips, drinks (witches brew and vampire juice) and hopefully everyone had as much fun as we did and enjoyed it. I think next year will be a lot better, most if not all of the houses should be built and we will hopefully be lit with street lights. Kathryn and Jeremy came with the kids, Katelyn was a Zombie and Sam was a star trooper (homemade costumes, they looked GREAT!). Suzanne and Elizabeth came too, and then Tony and Stephanie came and brought Rylan and Leila, and Jackie and Linda came too. This was the first time Linda had seen the house, since she didn’t get to come on moving day. It was great to see everyone and visit, and we hope that next years Halloween is even better :D

November started out cold, it was cold Halloween night and we had to turn the heat on, really early for us. We’ve had some cold patches and are just coming out of a really cold spell for the last week. Highs in the 40’s a couple of days and lows in the mid 20’s for mid November are really cold for us, and the rest of the country too.. I lost my geranium, basil and pepper plants to the frost, and am trying to keep the rest of my herbs alive on my screened in back porch. We FINALLY, FINALLY, got the starter keys to our two fireplaces on Friday 11/14, so we were able to make a fire. These fireplaces are very warm and efficient, nothing at all like the one in our old house, where it was vented and all the heat just went up the chimney. These are not vented and put out a ton of heat into the room, so we’ve really been enjoying the fireplaces on cold days and evenings. We bought a fire pit at Home Depot and Tim put it together, but we haven’t used it yet. I need to get a cover for it soon.

The weekend of November 8, Suzanne ran her first 10K and Tim and I went to cheer her over the finish line. A pretty cold morning, but she did great. It was Mistletoe Marketplace weekend, but I didn’t get to to go. Don and Gail came after the race so that Don could go with Tim to the PGA tourney, Sanderson Farms, at the Jackson Country Club (Zack got free passes and came to bring them to Tim, great to visit with him, he’s in his first semester of college). Gail and I went shopping and I got some boots, leggings and tunics at Steinmart. I still need a lot of new clothes, especially church clothes, which I went to look for but struck out on. Monday 11/10, I helped Suzanne all day, with her selling the Lexus and cleaning out her storage unit and moving everything to her apartment. Tuesday was Veterans Day and I hated that we still don’t have an American flag hanging at the new house. Still so much we want to do. Wednesday 11/13, I got my haircut and had an “incident”. The color started melting or something weird while I was under the dryer, and it dripped down all over my face and got in both my eyes. My eyes were burning so bad I really couldn’t see. They had to flush both my eyes for several minutes and try to stop the burning and stinging. I had problems with my vision for the next few hours, but thankfully it cleared up after a few more dousings of saline that I got Tim to help me with.

The weekend of 11/15 was fun but quiet for us. Tim finished putting up gutter guards on the house and raked leaves on Saturday, then we went shopping for bar stools. Got three black leather saddle back ones that look great under our new island. Sunday we went to church and Sunday School, but it was sparse, when we woke up it was about 36 degrees and raining steadily. It rained virtually all day Sunday and into the evening, a good soaking rain. We have turned the irrigation system off for the winter, so hopefully the grass and plants are established and make it through the winter.

We’ve been going round and round on issues with a Christmas tree. Long story short, we bought a new 7 1/2 foot one last year for the old house. We put it up early this year to see, as we were afraid, with the really high ceilings in the new house, it looks pretty puny. So we went and got a 9′ tree at Sam’s Club and brought it home. Unpacked it and it had 2 of the same section in it, which means it did NOT look good! Dealt with the customer service, who finally told me to take it back to Sam’s and exchange it, which we did. Thankfully, the new tree has all the right pieces and looks good. We’ve got the new one up in the keeping room (not decorated yet) and the old one in my craft room, one of the front windows (also not decorated, I won’t have enough decorations for both, so this one will stay empty, just lit for the front window effect). I have NEVER put up a Christmas tree before Thanksgiving and feel sort of bad, like we are robbing Thanksgiving or something. But we have so much else going on and I know it’s going to take me longer to decorate and figure out where to put things in the new house, so I’m getting a head start. Or so I tell myself!

This week has been busy, but nothing too spectacular. My mom’s 90′th birthday would have been on Monday. She’s been gone over 12 years and I still miss her every day, as I do my dad. This is going to be my first Thanksgiving and Christmas without my daddy, and it’s going to be hard. We’ll stay busy though, so that will help. I’ve tried to go birthday shopping for Tim but didn’t have a lot of luck. He is pretty hard to buy for :) I’m trying to get food and stuff for next week. We have another busy week coming up. My nephew Kirk, his wife Nicole and their kids are supposed to come visit Tuesday night, and then everyone will be here on Thanksgiving day. Gail and Don will hopefully come and stay at least one night with us, if not more. We love having company! We are really enjoying the new house and having people over, it’s great to have more room for everyone and not be as crowded as we were in the old house.

Lots going on and I didn’t get any photos uploaded and sized for the blog. I need to get better at that. I’ll try to blog more soon :)

Oct-28-14

Dear Diary, Part 2

posted by Stace

Yes, I’m doing it again. At least some blogging is better than nothing, right?!

The weekend of 10/17-19 was a very busy one as we celebrated my birthday multiple times. Tim took off Friday and we went shopping and out to lunch. I got some clothes and had a Hambrosia sandwich at Steak Escape. We met my side of the family at my favorite Chinese restaurant, Mr Chen’s. We came back to the new house (gotta stop calling it that!) and had a cake I had made on Thursday. Chocolate, with chocolate frosting, which would have been good, except that my OLDER sisters put a great big 5-0 in green dots on top and ruined it :( Saturday, my actual birthday, we got up and went to Tim’s parents house. His mom, Emi and Brittany surprised me when we got there, and they had the house decorated with pink and black balloons and lots of banners :) Linda made my special request, egg custard pie, which my mom used to make for me when I was a teenager and in my early 20’s. I hadn’t had one in probably 15 or 20 years and it was delicious! I quickly learned, however, that no one, not one single person in Tim’s family likes egg custard, so I will never ask for that again. We’ll stick to chocolate which I love equally as much (and most everyone will eat!) :D We visited all afternoon and headed home, fairly tired. Our neighbors, Becky and Francis, came over late and brought us cupcakes :) Sunday was church, and our Sunday School party. Come to find out that 10/19 is our co-leader Skip’s birthday, so we had chocolate cake again to celebrate :) I had a great birthday weekend. Tim got me a Kendra Scott necklace (thanks Gail!), some Bath and Body Works, and a 3 month subscription to Harry and David’s “Chocolate of the Month club”. That, by far, is my favorite gift! I was SO hoping for a dog, as I got Beau for my birthday in 2006, but Tim is not ready yet to talk about a dog… sniff sniff.

Monday (10/20), Tim was on vacation again all day (all that shopping Friday wore him out, LOL!). He cut the grass for the first time in the AM. Then his buddy Corey W got here about 11 AM for burgers. They had lunch and visited, and then left to go play golf at Lake Caroline. Ms Maridine, our friend and neighbor from the old subdivision, dropped off her computer for Tim to work on and visited just a few minutes. Suzanne was here a while in the afternoon to say goodbye before her trip Wednesday to Colorado. After Suzie left, I got in the kitchen and made a cake for Becky (new neighbor across the street) for her birthday.

Tuesday was my favorite kind of day, a “hanging out around the house” kind of day. We got Boo’d that evening (someone surprised us with a Halloween basket of goodies and we have to pay it forward to two other unsuspecting neighbors in the next 24-48 hours). Tim grilled out pork chops and salmon Tuesday evening, and I fixed pan roasted potatoes and salad to go with the meat.

Wednesday was another busy “be gone most all day” kind of day. I went to our old subdivision to return Ms Maridine’s computer that Tim fixed. I had to go to the tax collectors office and get a tag for the truck (even though we never received the renewal notice in the mail. Not getting mail is a whole other story, and not a good one). I also went to Walmart and Dollar Tree to fix Boo baskets for two neighbors. Boo’d Tim and Becky and Brian and Jill late afternoon, before they all got home from work (you’re supposed to Boo them when they are home, ring the bell and run, but that won’t work with our setup here, we can easily be spotted!). Tim started installing speakers in the ceiling of the keeping room Wednesday after work. I was staying out of the way, in our room trying to read on my Kindle and it started having problems, freezing, rebooting, having to download the complete library. Then would read a page or two and it would freeze again and start the cycle all over. I tried several things and finally got online about 10 PM and ordered a new Paperwhite, set to be delivered Friday. Sigh. I probably should have called Amazon customer service, but I just wanted it DONE and wanted a new one :)

Thursday was another mostly hanging out at home kind of day. Tim finished the speakers in the keeping room Thursday evening. He got his cooker out of the attic and boiled peanuts on the back porch, first time ever trying that (Note to self, 1 hr and 30 minutes in his cooker, lots of salt, turn off and let sit for 45-60 minutes). I made butternut squash soup in the crockpot (for me, Tim won’t touch the stuff) and then fixed breakfast food for both of us for supper. Our new neighbor Autumn brought over “Mississippi Roast” for Tim to try, which of course he did. I didn’t even think twice about making that recipe when I saw it online, because it has pepperoncini peppers in it, and I do NOT do peppers in any form :( Of course, now he’s wanting me to make him one!

Friday, we turned the irrigation system back on and ran the sprinklers in the yard for probably the last time. It’s been cool in the mornings most all week, been in the 40’s but it is warming up again. AT&T Uverse guy came in the AM to replace the wireless receiver in the keeping room that was not working. I waited impatiently all day for my new Kindle to arrive and it was FINALLY delivered by UPS at 3:35. I got it setup and going in about 10 minutes and am happy so far :) Tim offered to take us out to supper, so I didn’t have to cook! We went to Bill’s in Flora and tried it for the first time. Nice laid back atmosphere and good food. We both had fried catfish, next time Tim wants to try a steak and I may get either fried shrimp or shrimp and grits. We stopped at the new Livingston Mercantile on the way home to look around, as it has just recently opened. Bought a Sasparilla drink to try, something new. Came home and watched TV in the keeping room!

Saturday was a GREAT day! We slept a little late (getting too old to sleep very late, I keep waking up!) and then went for an exploratory walk in subdivision. We looked at several houses, stopped at the clubhouse to visit with Bradley, Kelly, Cage and Hutt. Then, we walked around the new area, just dirt before paving the new area behind us. We got back late morning, almost too late for breakfast, but I just called it brunch and fixed us some eggs, bacon and grits :) We hung out in the keeping room a while to watch some TV and part of the movie Frozen. We worked around the house and watched college football most all day. Tim fixed us some salsa and queso for snacking on, I miss his salsa!

Sunday was another busy day. Church, still in the series “Next: A Study of Joshua” and then our Sunday School group. We couldn’t stay and visit, had to hurry and drive downtown to Sal and Mookie’s and meet Don, Gail and Elizabeth for a birthday lunch for Elizabeth. We had extremely slow service and ending up being there over 2 hours. Gail and Liz shared a pizza, Don and Tim got burgers and I had a grilled shrimp panini. After, everyone came here for the strawberry birthday cake (Liz’s favorite) Gail brought and ice cream. Gail and Don stayed and visited until dark, and Liz stayed for the game and to spend the night. The Saints beat the Packers (finally, they seem to only win at home!) on Sunday Night Football. Elizabeth got up early and left for school from here. We are SO glad she is coming to see us more in the new house :)

Monday (10/27) was a busy day with contractors at the house. Tim is back on the bandwagon with getting sub-contractors back here for items on the punch list. The electrical contractors came and fixed the items on their list, including getting the oven moved so there was no gap. Josh the trim guy came and knocked out a lot of items, including my drying rod, robe hooks and towel bar. He also worked on the front door lock, but couldn’t get it fixed. I got online and pre-ordered the new Amazon Fire stick since we have the TV setup now in the keeping room, but it’s not a smart TV like we have in the great room. That will let us watch streaming stuff through Amazon Prime in the keeping room. It won’t come in until December, but I guess that will be like a Christmas happy! LOL! For supper, we had leftover pulled pork (from Sunday night’s Saints game I had fixed) along with the homemade buns I made Monday. Lots of leftovers here :)

Tuesday (today, whew, finally caught up!), I got up and went walking, about 3.4 miles. Right after I got back, the plantation shutter guys came. We had been waiting since mid-September on the shutters, and when they came, he said, “this can be good or this can be bad”. Tim was like, did we get blue shutters, trying to make a joke. Then he proceeded to tell us that they had ordered the wrong CUSTOM shutters, and would offer us a $500 discount if we would accept them; if not, we’d have to wait another 8 weeks for them to order them again. They were NOT what I wanted, not what we ordered, so we are going to wait. Sigh. Tim and I are both very disappointed :( The plumber also came by, to work on the drain problem with Tim’s copper sink. The insulation guy came by, but we couldn’t convince him we needed more insulation in one area of the attic, where the house seems to be getting a lot hotter. Sigh. I guess it’s always something with houses, new or old!

OK, I guess I’ll try once again to “regular” blog and not this daily running diary format. I don’t have a lot of hope in that right now! Halloween (this Friday) is going to be busy this year! We are so excited to be having a lot of people coming, should be about 17 of us if everyone comes who says they are. I’ll be busy with that Friday and probably doing last minute food shopping on Thursday. Not sure about this weekend, maybe I’ll do another diary post soon! :D

Oct-14-14

Dear Diary

posted by Stace

I keep promising myself I will actually blog, and here I am again, just doing a snippet-a-day diary-of-our-life blog post. Things are still just zipping along, with not a lot of time to do things like read, blog, catch up on the DVR, etc. Oh well, maybe in January! LOL!

Let’s see, last week was another blur. Thankfully, I had a draft post started, where I could jot down tidbits every day or so. Here’s what I came up with:

*Monday (10/6/14) I went grocery shopping at Kroger. When I got back, the carpenter was here, replacing all 4 screws in every drawer in the house (except for the two that they managed to get right). I found the screw issue when I started to line drawers, and nearly cut my finger on a screw sticking out of the side. Every drawer now has holes where the screws came through, but at least no one will cut a finger now when they reach inside a drawer. For supper, I tried something new, a chicken parmesan meatloaf, along with mashed potatoes and salad.

* Tuesday, I was home all day, cleaning, doing laundry and I probably unpacked a box or two. :D For supper, we had sausage dogs with peppers and onions, with oven fries and fruit. Tim stayed up till 2 AM installing the shower door in guest bath. It’s a bit short, but looks great! He’s a much better worker than anyone who worked on this house! LOL!

* Wednesday was a very busy day. I had a haircut at 9:30 AM, then I met Gail for a few minutes, before we went to Hamil’s to meet up with Suzanne, Tim and our cousin Scott and his wife Karen. Now, that probably sounds normal to most people. For Tim, seeing cousins is an everyday thing, he grew up with like 27 first cousins. But for me, I had never met any of my cousins. My dad was estranged from his only brother, and for years, I didn’t even know his kids names. The youngest is Scott, who is older than me but younger than my middle sister Suzanne. He and his wife drove down from Colorado to see parts of the South and visit places his dad had grown up. I think he was as curious about us as we were about him! It was WONDERFUL to meet him, and I hope both his dad and mine would be glad that it finally happened after all these years :) After a long lunch visiting with Scott and Karen, Gail, Suzanne and I left to go shopping (we went to Barnes and Noble, Walmart, and the dollar store). I got home late, but made a quick supper here for us and Suzanne (roast beef paninis with salad and chips), while Gail went to see Sam for his 7th birthday. After that, Gail came here to visit with us and Suzanne and stayed overnight, leaving early Thursday AM for her Bible study. See, busy day!!!

*Thursday was a recovery day! From being gone so much on Wednesday, I was craving being home. I did laundry, cleaned house, and spent the afternoon making beef stew and homemade bread for supper.

*Friday, Zack and Kelly stopped by mid-afternoon on their way to the fair, and Tim left to play golf at Deerfield. After he finished playing golf and came home to clean up, we drove to Ridgeland to meet Suzanne for supper at Papito’s Mexican, then we all made a quick run to Sam’s for a few things.

*Saturday, Tim had an early morning tee time, so I stayed home to pick up the house, and then do more unpacking. Tim came home for a late lunch (leftover sausage dogs), then we both got out in the back yard and worked on raking leaves. We watched the MS State game after that (they beat #2 Auburn and are now the #1 team in the country, something that has never happened!). We made nachos for supper, then watched stuff on DVR and also some of Ole Miss-Texas A&M game. Lots of college football today :)

*Sunday is my favorite day of the week! We went to church (still in the series “Next: A Study of Joshua)and then Sunday School. We didn’t linger to visit, since Tim had a 12:50 tee time. I went to Kroger, then walked around to look at a few new houses in subdivision. Elizabeth came over for supper (she very graciously agreed to stop and pick up the pizza we ordered at Dominos) and she spent the night with us.

*Monday, Elizabeth was here most of the morning, then she headed to school (even though she has the day off for Columbus Day). It was cloudy all day, and then we had strong storms in the PM - wind, rain but nothing any worse. I had been looking forward to a rain storm, so I could sit out back on my screened in porch and watch it rain and the wind blow in the trees. I did, and it was marvelous! For supper, we had a true Meatless Monday… I made eggplant patties, sauteed cabbage and sesame green beans for supper. Yummy. While it rained, we stayed in and watched some shows that are piling up on the DVR.

OK, that about catches me up! Today is Tuesday, 10/14, and I did finally drag my lazy butt out of bed this morning and go walking. It was 59 degrees when I left and I was nearly chilly! I’m SO looking forward to fall and having more time at home. We’re going to be busy this weekend, with lots of fun stuff going on. More about that soon!

Hope everyone is having a great day!

Oct-5-14

My poor Fitbit

posted by Stace

I am so happy to be back to some sporadic walking, in the new subdivision. I’ve mapped out a route, and it’s about what I want to walk, in the 3.2 to 3.4 mile range. I didn’t get a chance to go Monday morning, since we went to close at 8:30 AM, so I headed out Tuesday morning. Tim took the day off from work, and left to go watch our nephew Zack play in his first collegiate golf tournament (he didn’t shoot well, must have been the pressure of his uncle there, LOL!). I was out walking when he left, but my stomach was not feeling great, so I flagged him down and got him to drop me back at the house. Not feeling great, I made a tragic mistake. See, I wear my FitBit One (it’s very small) clipped onto my bra or sports bra. I took a shower and tossed my dirty clothes in the laundry basket, and then later decided to do laundry. See where this is going…

I discovered my FitBit still attached to my sports bra when I took it out of the washer to hang up to dry. Completely dead. I put it in rice and left it about 24-36 hours. After that, it needed a full charge of course, and I had high hopes that it would be ok. My hopes were dashed though. It is not holding a charge and runs down in just a few hours. Also, it doesn’t sync anymore on its own, I have to force a sync to get the data uploaded. Sigh.

So, I emailed Fitbit. Explained that it went through the washer, my mistake, and I had tried the rice trick and was still having trouble with it. They immediately emailed me back, asking for purchase information. I sent them that (Tim bought for me last year before Christmas, so it was just under a year), and they emailed right back, saying they would ship me a new one for free. Talk about great customer service! They answered me promptly, offered me a new replacement, and I got an email this morning that it had already shipped. So, next week I should have a new one, hopefully that works and can track my steps and sleep. Hooray!

Kudos to the Fitbit people :)