Exceedingly Mundane

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Posted by Stace

Books I’ve Read Recently

I’ve never cross-posted between GoodReads and here on my blog, but today I was updating GoodReads with some books I’ve finished lately, so I thought I’d put a blurb here as well. Here’s a few I’ve read in the last month or two that I’ve enjoyed:

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr:

All the Light We Cannot SeeAll the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was on the wait list a long time at my library for this book. I was getting close to getting it, and then my library switched digital systems, but luckily, I was #2 or #3 on the list for it. I had to use Tim’s Kindle fire to read it, long story. The book itself was very long (for me, my limit is around 400 or so pages usually), and I was initially worried about finishing it in time. I was wrong. The story picked up speed, and mostly, I adapted to his style of writing. I found it hard to put down after a certain point. The writing is very…lyrical, stylized, poetic, I’m not sure how to describe it. It didn’t end the way I would have liked, but I think that’s part of the story. I would recommend it to others, along with The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, also a WWII book I read and enjoyed last year.

View all my reviews

The Shepherd’s Voice by Robin Lee Hatcher:

The Shepherd's VoiceThe Shepherd’s Voice by Robin Lee Hatcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another enjoyable read from a reliable author. I found this one available for Prime loan, so this was my book for May. I hope next month the other Hatcher book I found on Prime is still available. I believe these are older books that have been recently re-released. However, since this one was set right after the Great Depression, it’s quite timeless.

View all my reviews

Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben

Fool Me OnceFool Me Once by Harlan Coben
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was on the wait list for a very long time for the digital version of Harlan Coben’s new book, but it was worth the wait. Once again, he rarely disappoints me. The book was intriguing and hard to put down, true to Coben’s style. I don’t want to give anything away, but I didn’t figure it all out! I read it so quickly and on Tim’s Kindle Fire (since my dumb library switched digital systems and I can no longer download books in native Kindle format, still sore about that!), that I’m going to hang on to it and try to convince Tim to read it. I have a two week loan from the library, so that gives him 9 days to try it. But, he is too busy with golf, so I doubt he’ll read it. Another good one from Harlan Coben!

View all my reviews

I’ve bought 6 books from Amazon recently, two sets of trilogies. I’ve read the first one in this trilogy, The Chicago’s Worlds Fair Mysteries by Shelley Shephard Gray:

Secrets of Sloane House (Chicago World's Fair Mystery, #1)Secrets of Sloane House by Shelley Gray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First of three books I recently bought from Amazon, and I’m so glad I did! I thoroughly enjoyed this cozy mystery set against the backdrop of the Chicago World’s Fair. Good story and good characters. I look forward to continuing on with the characters in the next book 🙂

View all my reviews

I’ve also read two of three of the Appleseed Creek mysteries by Amanda Flower, A Plain Death and a Plain Scandal. Good cozy mysteries set in Amish country in Ohio.

A Plain Death (Appleseed Creek, #1)A Plain Death by Amanda Flower
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First in the Appleseek Creek trilogy that I purchased from Amazon. Good little mystery set in an Amish community, most of the characters are not Amish, they either used to be or they are related to Amish. I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading the others in this series 🙂

View all my reviews


Weekly boring update, take sixteen! How many times do you have to do something before it becomes a habit? I am not doing any other posts, but at least I’m keeping these up regularly! 🙂

Glad That… We got a little rain over the weekend. We got small showers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Not the gully-washers they had predicted, but good soft rain instead. Good for my grass and good for all the flowers I planted Saturday morning:

Purslane in two baskets, for the sunny part of my backyard:

Moss Rose for my window boxes along the back of the house. I’ll post a picture (hopefully) in a couple of weeks of them actually blooming! They are one of my favorite things to plant, I do a bunch every spring:

A pretty light purple wave petunia in my upturned fleur-de-lis (aka Saints) pot, hopefully a similar color to the clematis:

Lastly, probably the only time my basil will look good and healthy. I have an annual habit of killing every single basil I plant. Doesn’t matter the location, the pot, the plant, the sun, the shade, the water. I kill them all quickly!

Sad That… My Bible study is over for the summer. While I think I’m going to enjoy the break, I am going to miss all my buddies from my small group. We reconvene in August.

Book I’m reading: – Still reading “A Spy’s Devotion” by Melanie Dickerson, my Prime book loan for the month of April. Finished that one and picked the next one, but didn’t even get 5 pages read when I got a notice from the library that one I had been on the wait list for AGES for was available. So I downloaded and started “All The Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr. Again, I’m not happy with my library website’s new system, I can’t download in Kindle format, so I have to use Tim’s Kindle fire and open it in the OneClickDigital app. Sigh. I prefer reading on my Kindle, but I’m very happy that he is willing to loan me his Kindle and let me read. He’s not reading these days since he plays golf almost every day, so he’s ok with me confiscating his device for two weeks (or so I keep telling myself!) 😀

Things we ate: Monday, I made Crockpot Chicken Santa Fe, one of my oldest recipes but one we still enjoy. It doesn’t look pretty (let’s face it, most stuff coming out of a crockpot looks icky) and is pink once you combine the salsa and cream cheese, but we love it! I eat mine over brown rice and Tim eats his just over tortilla chips, like a chunky nachos. Tuesday, I got Tim to grill out a flank steak and a piece of salmon for me. Baked sweet potatoes and salad on the side. Wednesday, I had something on the menu, but decided to clean out the fridge instead, so leftovers. 😀 Thursday, I made the croisssant french toast casserole again and we had eggs and grits with it. Friday, I made a sausage ragu to go over pappardelle pasta, rolls, and a big salad. Saturday, Tim took me out to eat Chinese and Sunday we ate leftovers.

Here’s the sausage ragu and then my yummy chinese food!

TV and Movies: – Nothing too spectacular here, regular shows during the week and a couple of old movies on the DVR on the weekend. It was rainy one day and we were in a movie mood one night, so we re-watched Bourne Legacy and Avengers: Age of Ultron. I think Tim might have watched Mad Max:Fury Road, but I’m not sure!

A Happy for Me!! – Tim finished his latest project for me, wanna see?! 😀
Here’s a hint!

Tim hand drew and cut out letter H’s for my front door! He painted them and helped me do bows and here’s the finished product!

And hanging on my front door, I LOVE them!

A Happy for Tim – I spent a couple of hours on Saturday trying something for Tim. Normally on Saturdays, I get in the kitchen and bake something to take to our Sunday School group. This week, I tried for the first time to make sausage/egg/cheese sandwiches for Tim for the freezer. I’ve been buying him boxes of storebought ones to put in the microwave on Saturday mornings. He normally has a 8 AM tee time at the golf course and usually is out the door by about 7:15. The boxed ones are easy, just 90 seconds in the microwave and he can eat it on the way. He *had* been buying them every Saturday morning at the clubhouse, and I finally asked him how much they were. Not much, he said, five bucks. For one sandwich, I asked?! Yes. So, I started buying them at the store, they work out to about 1.25 each, big savings. These homemade ones should work out cheaper, although I didn’t do the math (bought canned biscuits, a roll of sausage, eggs, etc). I put him 8 biscuits and 2 bagels in the freezer, but it took a while to get it all together. Not sure I’ll do it that often, it might be worth the 1.25 to me to buy them at the store, hahaha! We’ll see how they taste and how they hold up. I hope I wrapped them enough in the freezer!

Random Thought du Jour: There are certain household chores I don’t like to do. Among them are “spring cleaning” type chores such as cleaning windows, cleaning out the fridge and cleaning the oven. I read a tip a few weeks ago and finally got around to trying it for the oven. Now, mind you, I have always had a self-clean oven, but I have never ONCE done a self cleaning cycle on the oven. For whatever reason, I’m a bit scared of it, plus most of the year, I don’t want it to heat up the kitchen. Anyway, that’s another question of the day. Here’s the tip I read – try using a Magic Eraser to clean the glass part of the oven door. Mine was fairly spattered up because I’ve been baking bacon in the oven for a while now and mine was pretty greasy. The Magic Eraser worked great, and I even swiped a couple of times on the ceramic part of the oven, the dark grey of the oven itself, not sure what the material is! I was glad to find that tip. So, here’s a question – do you clean your oven often? And also, what household chore, (seasonal, not regular) do you like or dislike?

Hope everyone is having a great day!


Weekly boring update, take fifteen! Warning: this one is pretty photo heavy!

Big Thing that Happened: We had a full day of yard work on Tuesday! Tim took the day off and went early and rented an aerator and aerated the entire yard. We went and returned the aerator and also got pine straw and the first of two pickup loads of sand. He cut the yard before we put the sand out, and in cutting the yard, the front left wheel broke on our mower 🙁 He left to go to Lowe’s and Home Depot and I thought he was coming back with a new mower, but instead he came back with a replacement wheel. We spread the two pickup loads of sand in the front, back and both side yards. I thought it was a lot of sand, but it only covered spots. Tim said we really could have used 4 or 5 yards, but we started with “just” one! We were so tired when we finished, that we just stacked up the pine straw and saved it for another day 🙂 Needless to say, we were both exhausted and sore the next day or two 🙂 But, it was good to get it done and hopefully it will help our struggling grass 🙂

Tim aerating the yard:

Tim dumping out sand for me to spread:

Sand in the back yard (it looks worse than the front with all the big trees):

And an up-close shot of what the aerator does, the holes it makes and plugs it pulls out:

Glad That… It has been just beautiful weather here. I think our 60’s and even our 70’s are mostly gone. The 10 day forecast has 80s and low 90’s in the forecast and the rain is starting to ease up. Spring will give way to summer very quickly here. I’m really hoping to make it to the end of the month without turning on our air conditioner. So far so good, but this upcoming week, we may have to turn it on. We shall see!

Bonus Photo: I had a bluebird one day on my feeder, a bit blurry, but this was as good as I could get without scaring him away!

Sad That… We only have one more week of Bible study. I’m going to miss seeing everyone all summer and doing our studies. I’m hoping to do some on my own this summer, we’ll see how I do without the structure and instruction.

Book I’m reading: – Spent almost the entire week working on the first in the Appleseed Creek trilogy of Amish mysteries, “A Plain Death” by Amanda Flower. Finished it up Saturday and started one by Melanie Dickerson, a new-to-me Christian author. I found one of hers on Amazon Prime, so my Prime book loan for the month of April is “A Spy’s Devotion”.

Things we ate: Monday, I tried something new (another item checked off my culinary bucket list!), shrimp and grits. We both loved it and I’ll definitely make it again. Tuesday (after being in the yard all day), we had tostadas, beans and an avocado salad. Wednesday, we had pan fried flounder, zucchini patties and corn on the cob. Thursday, I was feeling adventurous and tried another new dish. I had seen a recipe here for Korean Beef Bowls and had everything but the gochujang. Surprisingly, I found it at Kroger (a big tub of the stuff!) and got it to try. Tim, predictably, loved it! He lived in Korea a year when he was in the military and he LOVES spicy food. Me, not so much. Just the beef with the red chili flakes was enough for me! The gochujang is too spicy for me, so that entire container is now all his 🙂 But he was glad to have something new, Tim is great to try anything I make 😀 Friday night we ate out at Newk’s with my sister Suzanne. Saturday I was on my own (translation: fruit, avocado toast, cereal, etc) while Tim played in a crawfish tournament at his golf club. I thought he was going to eat there, but he came in a few minutes before dark with a styrofoam to-go container of crawfish. Sunday after church we were originally headed to get a salad, but we smelled them grilling at church in the back parking lot and so we switched and went for burgers instead! The power of persuasion 😀

Food Photos from the week, first shrimp and grits:

The gochujang is a red spicy paste in a tub:

My delicious already bitten-into mushroom swiss burger from Majestic:

TV and Movies: – Tim and I watched Pacific Rim, an older one we had recorded from TV. I watched bits and pieces of Star Wars: The Force Awakens every chance I got! We watched a lot of regular tv shows, trying to catch up on our favorites while our less than favorites (SuperGirl, Agents of Shield, etc) pile up on the DVR. Some shows, we have 5 or 6 episodes languishing there! Others, like Blindspot, Blacklist, Blue Bloods, etc get watched as soon as humanly possible! 😀 Blacklist was quite the shocker last week as promised, and this week they made no indication that things will change. We shall see, we shall see! Saturday, while Tim was gone all day for his tournament, I watched Star Wars all the way through, some of the extras and then started my summer annual Potter-a-thon, starting with Sorcerer’s Stone. 😀 Sunday night, we watched an older one on the DVR that we’ve seen, Taken 3.

A Happy for Me!! – Tim has a new project going for me, can’t wait to show you what he’s making me next 😀

Random Thought du Jour: Here’s something that makes me happy:

Now, I know a random photo of shoes by the door doesn’t look like much to anyone, but it makes me happy. It means that Tim takes his shoes off when he comes in from outside and doesn’t “track up the house”, as my mom always used to say. It means that he’s being thoughtful and considerate and not making extra work for me. That makes me really happy! So, a question for the day, do you try to take off your shoes when you come inside? Does it not matter to you about bringing outdoor dirt and stuff in? Maybe you have a housekeeper, but I don’t, so it matters to me! 😀

Hope everyone is having a great day!


Weekly boring update, take thirteen… had a moderately busy week and then a really busy weekend, this year is just flying by!

Glad That… We were able to go this weekend to see Tim’s dad for his 74th birthday. We had a great time visiting with family and friends 🙂

Something that makes me happy…. Tim finished my surprise! Well, I knew what it was going to be when the lights came in. I swear, I have never seen such tiny lights. They are on an adhesive strip, which he cut into sections, and wired up and stuck under the shelves in my pantry. See, when we built this house, I wanted a BIG pantry! As in, walk in, shelves on three sides, very deep, lots of floor space. But we compromised with a door pantry in the hall right off the kitchen, that had enough shelves, but it wasn’t a walk-in. The builder put in the pantry and I was like, where’s the light? He said, light, you want a light? Yes, I’d like to have it lighted since it’s in a hall and has a door on it. So, he got the electrician to throw up a small fixture on the ceiling, over the top shelf. Well. The good news is that it was wired and “lighted”, but in actuality, only the top shelf had light! Here’s a really bad, blurry, before picture, I took it in the daytime and you really can’t see, but I promise, only the top shelf is lit:

And, so one night last week, I went to bed, and apparently the lighting fairies came to my house, because the next morning, I had this!

Now, the pictures don’t do it justice. It’s lit up, every shelf, and the floor, with these tiny hidden lights. I’m still rather amazed that a strip of stick-on LED lights that are under the lip on the front of the shelves, light up the whole shelf, front to back. Anyway, it makes me really happy and giddy and very appreciative of my very handy, thoughtful husband 🙂

Book I’m reading: – Still slowly working on an old one I had downloaded for my Kindle a while back, called “A Passion Most Pure” by Julie Lessman. I don’t seem to be making very good head-way on this one. Which brings me to something that makes me really sad, bordering on mildly upset!

Something that makes me SAD! – I was so excited all week, waiting on my library’s website to switch to the new version. They said it would be online sometimes between 4/4 and 4/8. The old system had been shut down so I was anxiously awaiting the new one. They started loading it on Thursday evening, apparently, because I was able to see the site and sign up. Friday, I went back to the site and was SO VERY disappointed. The selection is even less than what we had before. There’s several bestsellers I was on the wait list for, that I can’t even find when I search. I’m still holding out hope that they haven’t gotten everything loaded or setup. The Christian fiction section is noticeably smaller (my preferred genre). And worst of all, on the old system (OverDrive), I could simply click and download books in Kindle format. I searched and looked and looked and finally found in an FAQ on the new system, that they do not support Kindle format. So. That means I can’t download any library books to my primary reading device (my Kindle Paperwhite). I can, and have, downloaded the app to my ipad, but my sweet tablet is four years old and very slow, basically on its last leg. Plus, I really don’t prefer that screen to read on. Sigh. I’m still grateful to have a way to use it, but boy, am I disappointed to have had such a great system, them go through an “upgrade” and now I have so much less available for me.

Things we ate: Monday, we were feeling the effects of overeating on the weekend, so we had a salad for supper! Tuesday, I got Tim to grill a bunch of meat for him (so he could have leftovers all week), and salmon for me. Wednesday, I made Chinese (fried rice, steamed dumplings, edamame). Thursday we had leftovers. Friday, he wanted to order pizza, and so we worked on that some over the weekend. Saturday, we had lunch with Don, Gail and David at Dickies after the guys finished playing golf. Sunday, we had a big family birthday lunch for my father-in-law. They had so much food, I couldn’t even taste everything, there was grilled chicken, grilled sausage, ribs, hamburgers, potato salad, baked beans, veggies, rolls, banana pudding and then cake and homemade ice cream. Needless to say, we didn’t eat supper Sunday night!

TV and Movies: Nothing much to report on this one. Tim watched the Masters golf tournament the last part of the week and all weekend. I tried my best to clean up the DVR and have him enough space. We did watch Blindspot and Survivor, but didn’t get to Blacklist, Hawaii Five O or Blue Bloods.

Around the house: My grass is still fairly brown, but some other things are blooming!

My azaleas:

My clematis that we planted not long after we moved in and never bloomed last year, I’m so excited to see it with so many buds and blooms!

Lastly, my knockout roses in front of the house:

Random Thought du Jour: Can anyone explain to me why so much dust accumulates UNDER furniture? I can understand on top. But up under the middle of a big couch or big chair or big bed? How come so much dust and dust bunnies gets up under there?! Sigh 🙂

Hope everyone is having a great day!


Weekly boring update, take eleven…

First up – Happy Easter from the Hammons! 🙂

Glad that… I married a man who happens to be a very handy guy! Tim grew up in the country and learned to drive tractors, work on cars, and do a thousand other things long before I met him, so I have his parents and family to thank for that. This week, he changed the oil in one vehicle (other slated for this upcoming week) and put new spark plugs in both vehicles. He probably saved us several hundred dollars in labor fees. The cost of the parts were under 50 each and I know the spark plug job would be expensive if we had to take it to the mechanics. I’m so glad and grateful that he is so handy with everything! 🙂

Sad that… Once again, I’m not coming up with anything! Good Friday is always a reverent, very sober time for me as a Christian, as is Saturday. But come Sunday morning, it is the most joyous day of the year. He is risen, he is risen Indeed, Halleluiah! 🙂

Something that makes me happy…. We got CRAWFISH!! I love to splurge once or twice a spring and get crawfish and pig out. We never did last year, we didn’t have any outdoor furniture and I don’t prefer to eat them inside since they are so messy. Tim stopped Saturday at lunch, after playing golf all morning and got us 5 pounds of crawfish in Gluckstadt, along with corn, potatoes and sausage. We pigged out and ate them all and it was DELICIOUS! 😀

An Unexpected Happy… Tim ordered his dad’s birthday present from Amazon, and himself a gadget he had been wanting. He surprised me and ordered me a pair of earrings as a happy! He’s very sweet sometimes, that guy 🙂

Goofy thing that happened… Well, as if I haven’t posted enough of these, but they never fail to amuse me and put a smile on my face. My little chalk artist was at it again! I came in the kitchen one morning to make his coffee and found new art:

Book I’m reading: I had started one last week, an older book I had downloaded a while back and not gotten to. It’s called “A Table by the Window” and is by Lawanna Blackwell. She sets most of it in fictional Tallulah, MS. Took me 9 days to read (cut me a little slack, I have been busy with other things!) I did enjoy it though, and was surprised to find that the author Blackwell was living in Baton Rouge at the time she wrote this one. Anyway, after I finished that one, it took me a bit to pick my new book. I searched through Kindle’s prime loan program and found an older book that was recently re-released by Christian author Robin Lee Hatcher called “The Forgiving Hour”. Downloaded that Saturday and started on it, another good book. Touches on broken families, divorce, adultery, and obviously, forgiveness.

Things we ate: Monday, I tried a new recipe for a stir fried pork and cabbage. Had steamed rice, egg rolls and crab rangoon with it. It made a ton, so we’ll work on leftovers all week. Tuesday, I made homemade pizza and a big salad. Wednesday was recycled Chinese, this time with steamed dumplings and more egg rolls. I forgot to take my edamame out of the freezer, darn. Thursday was fish, roasted asparagus, sweet potatoes and salad. Friday, continuing the theme of weeks past, was Junk Food Friday – hot dogs, fries and fruit for me. Saturday, we had crawfish for lunch and leftover hotdogs for supper. Sunday, we went to a huge Easter lunch at Tim’s aunt’s house.

Homemade pizza:

TV and Movies: Mostly just regular tv shows. I watched the original Cedar Cove movie from Hallmark. I was sad they cancelled this series, especially since we just got Hallmark back last year on our Uverse cable system. Also re-watched an old movie I like, “Devil Wears Prada”. Meryl Streep is just so entertaining in that movie! Tim watched a lot of golf, since his started on Wednesday this week, match play rather than stroke play. He watched some March Madness and I watched some cooking shows. Mostly, just our regular stuff. And I was glad that Dancing with the Stars started back – a few really BAD dancers and some good ones. The deaf guy is amazing!

Around the house: Our yard is still very brown, while almost every single yard in the neighborhood is green and growing. I am too ashamed to post a picture here, since ours looks terrible. I sure hope it comes back and isn’t dead or something. I’m starting to wonder, since everyone around us is as green as Ireland. We’ve had a lot of rain, so ours should be greening up. Sigh. I wish I had a green thumb. I do, however, have two things trying to grow in the yard. We have several near dead azalea bushes, but we have 2 that we dug up last fall and planted new ones, to see if they would do better, and one of them is blooming like crazy:

And we planted a clematis last year that never bloomed and hardly grew, but it seems to have settled in now, and is trying to grow! I’ve had our first little bloom. I told Tim when I came in from snapping a picture, it never bloomed and I couldn’t remember what color we picked out. Apparently, it’s a lavender or light purple 😀

Random Thought du Jour:Which do you prefer: jelly beans or a chocolate Easter bunny in your virtual Easter basket?! 🙂 I cannot tell a lie, I could not pick. I would have to have them both!

Hope everyone is having a great day!


Weekly boring update, take ten…

Glad that… My ladies Bible study at church is back for the last study of this season. We did two last fall and one so far this winter (Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer) and now we’ve started our last one till we break for the summer. It’s “Hosea” by Jennifer Rothschild and I’m betting it’s going to be another good one.

Love the title, Hosea: Unfailing Love Changes Everything!

Sad that… Hmmm… not coming up with anything! Most people would be sad that it was getting warm and starting to feel like spring, only to suddenly have the temps take a dive the last couple of days. It’s been downright chilly. But not me! That does NOT make me sad! I’m glad to hang on to what little bit of cool and chilly is left. I have a feeling a long hot summer is on the horizon 🙂

Something that makes me happy…. It sounds silly, but I’m so happy to have a china cabinet now! It gives me a place to display my grandmother’s china and crystal. And even more – I now have a place to store my winter/Christmas dishes. I used to have a big Rubbermaid tote that we lugged up and down from the attic every season to pack the dishes up in. I would wrap each one in tissue paper, then newspaper and then bubble wrap and we’d store them around early March until November, when I pulled them out before Thanksgiving. Now, I am able to store them in the bottom enclosed portion of my china cabinet. It makes me happy! 🙂

Book I’m reading: Last week, I had started on the third book in the Wings of the Nightingale series by Sarah Sundin, called “In Perfect Time“. I had a slower week in reading! It took me a lot longer to finish this one, but I did, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This was a good trilogy, overlapping characters and a very satisfying finish (aka, happy ending) for each of the three main characters and storylines. I started a new one, an older book I had downloaded a while back and not gotten to. It’s called “A Table by the Window” and is by Lawanna Blackwell. She sets most of it in fictional Tallulah, MS, and even though I’m not even half way through with it, I’m really enjoying reading about my home through some one else’s eyes. And admittedly, enjoying the parts she gets right (places, tidbits, details) and the things that aren’t quite right. Like, so far, she keeps talking about how cold it is here, well below freezing, and let me tell you, that doesn’t happen much here!

Things we ate: Monday, I tried to fix something moderately healthy. We had kettle crusted cod, roasted veggies and cranberry/feta couscous. Tuesday, I tried something completely new, but it was a big hit here. Marinated chicken for souvlaki to have in pita pockets with tzatziki, red onion, feta and kalamata olives. We also had pita mozz and grilled romaine. The romaine, I turned into a greek caesar, with the same stuff from the pitas (red onion, feta, kalamata olives, topped with caesar dressing). Delicious! Wednesday, I found some thick cut butcher’s bacon marked down at the grocery, so we had breakfast for dinner again (eggs in purgatory, bacon, grits, same ole, same ole!). Thursday, we had more Greek salad with grilled romaine. I followed last week’s trend of junk food for Fridays, so we had wings (some leftover in the freezer from the Super Bowl) and another big salad (this one with apple, toasted walnuts, craisins and cheddar). Saturday we ate out lunch at a Mexican place and then had leftovers both Saturday night and Sunday.

Here’s what the grilled greek romaine looked like, it was so good, we had it multiple times (I’ve now mastered grilling it indoors on my cast iron griddle!):

TV and Movies: Mostly just regular tv shows. The time has changed though, so Tim is later getting in each night from the golf course, so we will start getting behind on our shows. We had two movies from the library.. one old one (Avatar) and one new one (Woman in Gold). I asked all week for Tim to watch Woman in Gold with me and finally, on Thursday night, he said “I’m not interested in it, you go ahead and watch it without me”. So I put it in the blu-ray late Friday afternoon, and guess who meandered into the room and ended up watching about 3/4 of it with me? 😀 We watched Avatar Friday night. We’d seen it once at the theater, I think 9 years ago or maybe 7, when it first came out and probably once since. I had forgotten most of it and it was very visually stunning in blu-ray. I’m finishing up Major Crimes on my own, Tim gave up on that one with me also. And I’m personally looking forward to the new season of Dancing with the Stars that starts on Monday 3/21.

Random Thought du Jour: I got an email from Twitter, celebrating their 10th anniversary. It made me curious to see how long I had been on Twitter, so I looked it up. I joined May 2008, so nearly 8 years. I admit, I don’t use twitter as much as I used to. I much prefer Instagram these days. Do you use Twitter or Instagram or some other platform, and what is your favorite? 🙂

Hope everyone is having a great day!


Weekly boring update, take nine…

Big Thing that Happened… – we celebrated our twentieth wedding anniversary! Big one, I love the big ones as well as the little ones like 18 and 19 🙂 I wouldn’t trade one minute with Tim for anything in the whole wide world 🙂 We did absolutely nothing to celebrate! Stayed in (was pouring rain) and watched movies and ate junk food 😀

Glad that… The rain is over! It rained for three days straight (Thurs-Fri-Sat) and now, the sun is out! The time has changed (I should put that under the “SAD” category, but Tim is ecstatic, more golf for him!) and things are starting to look like spring around here.

Our lorapetalums blooming up front:

Sad that… Downton Abbey is over. For, like, forever. Sniff Sniff. At least it ended well! We had two deaths at church this week, our co-leader in our Sunday School, his mother passed away, and another lady in our class, her sister passed away unexpectedly. All very sad.

Something that makes me happy…. I’m doing well with my reading. Late in the week, I finally got around to updating Goodreads with the books I’ve completed in the last few weeks. My count was 17, which is a good pace for me and hopefully I can meet (60) and maybe even surpass the reading count I’ve set for myself this year at GoodReads. 🙂

Goofy thing that happened… I was outside, taking a picture of my shamrocks on the front door, and Tim popped his head out and startled me!!

Silly Tim:

An unexpected happy… I bought it for us to share, so not all that unexpected! But I’ve been eyeing the “Limited Edition” blueberry mini crullers from Krispy Kreme in a bag at the grocery, so they hopped in my shopping cart (we call them buggies here, I don’t think other parts of the country use that redneck term!) and came home with me. They were SO GOOD! We don’t splurge on donuts often, so it was a nice happy every morning to have a mini donut with my breakfast 🙂

Book I’m reading: Monday night I finished the Tracie Peterson one I had started over the weekend, “What She Left for Me”. It was actually a really good book, about forgiveness and grace and redemption, but the underlying subject matter was a bit hard (molestation, rape, abuse). It was very well written though and did not dwell heavily on those subject matters. I took a break for a day or so from reading, since it was a bit heavy and then (sadly) started on the third book in the Wings of the Nightingale series by Sarah Sundin. I’ve really enjoyed this series and hate to see it end. This one is called “In Perfect Time”.

Things we ate: Monday we had leftover (from the freezer) smoked pork, mashed potatoes and gravy, roasted veggies and salad. Tuesday, I decided to stick to the theme of Taco Tuesdays (notice I rarely if ever stick to the Meatless Monday trend! Haha!) and we had a big taco salad with lots of homemade guacamole and chips. I had bought a 6 pack of avocadoes last week at Sam’s Club and they were needing to be used, so there ya go. Wednesday was sandwich night and Thursday we worked on more leftovers (fridge is full to overflowing, I tend to go to one or more grocery stores a week and buy a LOT OF FOOD for two people!) 😀 Friday night, we celebrated our anniversary by splurging on a huge platter of nachos I made and watching movies. Saturday, we ran some errands and were starving by mid-afternoon, so we picked up burgers on the way home.

Anniversary Nachos!

TV and Movies: Regular tv shows. Last Sunday we watched and really enjoyed Bridge of Spies. The other movies I got from the library were ones we had seen, but I was still able to talk Tim into watching all of them again. Thursday night we watched Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (had just seen once at the theater, so I had forgotten most of it…. so it was like a whole new movie to me!) 😀 Friday night, it was a double header of Bond (Quantum of Solace and SkyFall). Saturday was Jack Reacher. Tim has nearly finished reading all the Jack Reacher books at our library in digital format (maybe 14 or 15 of the 20 Lee Child has written). We’re looking forward to the new one later this year with Tom Cruise. We took those 5 movies back to the library and got 2 more for this week.

UPDATE from a previous post: I posted a few weeks ago that I really need to get a new wallet. Well, I think I found one I like, although I haven’t put it to use yet. I found a cute polka dot one that has RFID protection slots for two credit cards, so I thought I’d try one of those out. I hope it works and it holds up, I don’t tend to buy things like wallets very often. I want to get one that lasts for a long time! 🙂

Random Thought du Jour: When I am reading a book and I run across a word or a character’s name that I don’t know how to pronounce, I just make up a pronunciation in my head. Then, later I often find that I was mispronouncing it. But still, I always prefer my pronunciation that I used in my head. Does that make one bit of sense? Does anyone else do that? 🙂

Hope everyone is having a great day!

Posted by Stace

A Meme of Sorts

I saw this posted on Facebook, by Sandra at Diary of a Stay Home Mom, so I swiped it for some blogging material!

Snuck out: Nope, I was a pretty non-rebellious person in my youth
Broken a bone: Not yet
Cried myself to sleep: many times
Been arrested: No way Jose
Felt lonely: Yes
Been depressed: Yes

Birthday: October 18, every single year (though I think moms need the cake and presents, they did all the work!)
Biggest fear: Alzheimers
Dream job: current lack of job!
Dream car: I don’t really have one but when I was a teenager, it was a mustang!
Dream house: Living in it right now!

Like someone: lots of people!
Love someone: lots of people, especially Tim
Have tattoos: never
Have piercings: just my ears, and I waited till college for that and still cried like a baby
Party: i was never a party girl, party to me is pajamas and hot cocoa on a Friday night!

Artist: Casting Crowns, MercyMe and lately I’m liking Adele all over again
Movie: good grief, I could never pick just one! Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings
Song: nothing really jumps out
Netflix series: don’t have/watch Netflix
Book: can’t pick one, but several have stuck with me – Safely Home by Randy Alcorn, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, etc
Color: red or green (I’m a Christmas loving girl!)
Animal: dogs

Twitter or Facebook: Facebook
Twitter or Instagram: Instagam
Facebook or Instagram: tied
Coke or Pepsi: neither, I can’t tolerate caffeine, but I do like root beer and Sprite!
Tea or coffee: both, more during the cooler months
Tacos or pizza: both!
Winter or summer: winter

Get married: thankfully my prince finally came!
Have kids: i wish it had been possible
Swim with sharks: heavens no!
Eat rotten food: good grief, what kind of question is that?
Marry a foreigner: probably not, I’m intensely patriotic. Thankfully Tim is too, and a veteran to boot!

Feel free to swipe, copy and paste or borrow at will 🙂

Posted by Stace

Eleven Years!

Wow, I’ve been blogging eleven years today! That’s really very hard for me to believe. I mean, I certainly haven’t kept up with daily blogging and there were probably a few years in there where I only blogged a few times during the year, but still. Eleven years!

We’re still hosting our own website, and my blog software is probably 6 or 7 years old, maybe more! It really needs updating, and I really need to clean things up around here. I recently switched to a different theme, an old one I had downloaded and never used. But it’s all still horribly out of date. I just don’t seem to have the time or inclination to work on it much. And mostly because Tim would have to step in and help a lot with it, and he’s truly not interested 🙂

I used to do a lot of memes and participate in regular stuff, like weekly and monthly prompts. I don’t think there are as many of those as there used to be. I did find one, on Facebook, that I might share in a few days or week or so.

But, here I am. Back into a blogging phase, eleven years after my first post, and still enjoying it!

Have anniversary to my little blog 🙂 And hope if anyone is out there still reading, you have a great day! 😀

Posted by Stace

Various & Sundry – Oct/Nov 2015

You wouldn’t believe that I’ve been blogging every day, but I have! I’ve just decided to switch to private blogging, which works better for me. But sometimes I miss the community of bloggers and sharing bits and pieces of what is going on with us. So this is a quick long-winded catch-up post! 😀 Most of what I share online is on Facebook, so most of this had been shared out there.

In early October, we went on the first vacation we’ve been on in years. We’ve taken one or two quick weekend type getaways in the last 4 or 5 years, but mostly, we had not really traveled. When my dad was alive, we didn’t really want to leave him, so we never really went anywhere. This fall, we finally took a trip to a part of the country that neither of us had visited. We signed up in the spring, along with my sister and her husband (Gail and Don) and our other sister (Suzanne). It was a 7 day train trip throughout New England. We got to visit Boston, Maine, New Hampshire and briefly drive through Vermont (we had been scheduled to take a train trip on the Amtrak Vermonter, but it derailed a couple of days before, while we were on the Amtrak Downeaster. We were very grateful not to be on that train the day it derailed!). I took a lot of photos and shared over 200 on Facebook, so I won’t put any out here. We had a great time and it took me a while to get back to normal after we got home, we were so tired and really, half sick from the change in weather.

My birthday was next, I turned 51 a week and a half after we got home. We went to church and Sunday School and then out to my favorite Chinese restaurant for lunch. We ordered a lot of food and I had leftovers for 4-5 days afterwards (it was heaven!) We ordered our own buffet: Crispy Tofu (my choice), Mongolian Chicken, Sauteed Pea Shoots and Shrimp Chow Fun. Yummy!

A couple of days after my birthday, Tim came in from the golf course with this happy for me:

I don’t ever turn down chocolate ice cream!

The rest of October was mostly a blur. Tim had a huge project at work, and he worked the better part of two weeks at about 60-70 hours a week. They tried to roll a large chunk of new software and hardware all in, but had problems and had to roll all the new code back out. They have since tried again, and had more problems. They are going to try a third time in December, a week or two before Christmas. When he does these types of projects and this type of work, it really messes him up for a while. (FYI: He starts at 10 PM and works all night, the time when the least customers are on their system). He doesn’t bounce back from pulling all-nighters like he used to! We have to work with his sleeping and eating schedule for days before and days after. I really feel for him, but it’s a part of the job. So, most of the last couple of weeks of October went by with his big project looming over us.

One bright spot in late October – they released a big trailer for the new Star Wars movie. I got really excited, and still am! I got online and ordered our tickets, have never bought them this far out. Can’t wait to go, we’re actually going the night before, on December 17th. Wheeee!

So, the end of the month: We had a very quiet Halloween. We have enjoyed the last several years of having our niece and nephew come to trick or treat, along with our friends bringing their twins. Neither was able to come this year, and it was very quiet and a bit lonesome here. We watched some tv, while answering the door. We had about 60 kids, give or take, and once again, I WAY overbought on candy. I STILL have candy left and I’m STILL eating it and it’s STILL going to my hips and thighs. Sigh. Next year, I have to buy substantially less!

One morning a couple of weeks ago, we saw some new equipment in the subdivision. Instead of being in the new construction, they were moving it onto our street. From about 8 AM to 10 AM, it was so loud in the house, that Tim really couldn’t work. They were tearing up parts of the curbing and replacing it, before they come in and do the final paving:

We went to one day of the PGA golf tournament that they hold every fall nearby. Tim probably would have loved to go all four days, but we only got free passes for one day. It rained 2 of the days and they ended up playing the final day on Monday. We went on Sunday, after church. I had thought it was going to be mild and not chilly, so I dressed vaguely like Tim did (short sleeves, jeans instead of golf pants). Instead, when we got there, the sun went behind the clouds, it was 62 degrees but it felt like 50 with the wind blowing. I froze my patootie off! Still, we had a good time and made some nice memories 🙂

We’re watching football every weekend, but end up happy and sad, all at the same time. Our college team, Tim’s alma mater, is having a really good year and winning most every weekend. The Saints, however, are another story. Tim is frustrated and upset most every Sunday afternoon once the game is over, because his Saints didn’t play well and lost. And to add insult to injury, both of our fantasy teams are tanking and in the basement. I think I’m in 8th place and he’s in 9th place of a 10 team league. Yikes. Bad year for football in our house. 🙁

I’ve come in a couple of times from the store or shopping or something and found something like this:

Tim has been having fun moving stuff around on me, hiding stuff, finding my chocolate stashes and rewriting chalk board labels in my absence! Never a dull moment around here, living with that cuckoo! 🙂

I finished my first ever Bible study at church. We went through the study “Recovering Redemption” by Matt Chandler and I thoroughly enjoyed it. We launched immediately into another study (6 weeks ending right before Christmas), this one is called “The Best Yes” by Lisa Terkeurst. So far, I’m not *quite* as into it as the previous one, but we just started it. Our little small group rotates with the other small groups on bringing food. We’ve brought food twice so far (since we started in August). The first time I made donut mini-muffins and they went over ok. The second time, I pulled out the big guns and made homemade maple cinnamon rolls:

These usually get eaten up and not a one left, but unfortunately, I came home with about half of them. Now, to be fair, we have about 14-16 ladies who cook and bake wonderful food and there’s always a large table of food. So rarely does something completely get eaten, but still. I thought my cinnamon rolls would go quickly, LOL! Lucky for us that Tim and I both love these things. He doesn’t get from-scratch cinnamon rolls very often. So, we downed the remaining ones in a day or two. More ammo for my ever-expanding hips and thighs (that and all that dumb Halloween candy!)

After a really hot summer, where we set a record for consecutive days above 95 degrees, and a record drought, we are finally getting some more reasonable temps and some rain. I think it has rained the first two or three weekends in November. I know it rained Halloween weekend (they changed trick-or-treating from Saturday night, the actual 10/31 to Friday night, because of the weather). It rained the next weekend too, so we finally got some much needed rain. After the rain finished for a day or two, we have been trying to work in the yard and outside. Tim bought more gutter guards and got them installed. We bought pre-emerge weed killer and put it out (well, Tim did!). We got pine straw and put it in all the beds, and this past weekend, I got pansies and planted. Nice to be able to get outside when it’s below 85 degrees! 🙂

The new Panera finally opened and we got a chance to try it. I knew I would like it better than Tim, and unfortunately I was right! I loved what I got (Autumn Squash soup and roasted turkey and cranberry flatbread), but he wasn’t too thrilled with his. Thankfully, he said he’ll give it another try and hope that what he gets will be better. It took him a while to come around to other places like that (Newk’s, Corner Bakery, etc), so I hope eventually he’ll find something he likes. He would just rather go get a burger or steak or barbecue!

Last week, I went to the Christmas gathering of Ladies Night Out at my church. They do these fairly regularly, but I had never been to one. I heard from several ladies that the Christmas one was the best one to attend, and one of the ladies in our Sunday School group suggested that we should go and sit together at one of the big tables. We had a fabulous time! Such a good program, great speaker, good food and fellowship. I’m so happy I went!

And lastly, we finally, FINALLY, got around to getting new walking shoes, just this past weekend. Mine are what I call “Joseph’s shoes”, aka the shoes of many colors!!! 🙂 Tim got a pair and wore them today walking and said when we got back, that he should have gotten the next size up, his rubbed a blister on his foot. So I guess we’ll be making a return trip to Academy Sports to see if they will swap his slightly (one-time) worn pair out for the next size up. Here’s my Joseph shoes:

Ok, that’s just a few tidbits of what we’ve been doing for most of October and half of November. Time is flying by. Thanksgiving is next week, we’ll have to get out the Christmas decorations and do all the decorating right after that (which is always Tim’s birthday weekend, I hate he spends his time dragging out decorations from the attic for me!). 🙂 Then starts the mad rush to try to get ideas from family for gifts, get them ordered and wrapped. But it will be fun, and I’m hoping to enjoy this Christmas season. 🙂 I pulled out my winter dishes last week and have been enjoying them!

Hope all is well out there in everyone else’s world! 🙂

Posted by Stace

Random Thoughts

Yes, I’ve been blogging, but I just haven’t been publishing any of it. I have started to keep a sort of daily diary on my blog, but it’s all private. I *know* I need to put some of it out here, but really, there’s not many people reading my blog these days and I seriously doubt anyone is feeling like they are missing out or something 🙂

Here’s a couple of random thoughts for the day:

1) I just saw a video for the new BB-8 Star Wars droid that is app-enabled. Being a huge Star Wars fan (we’ve been rewatching the movies and I’m counting down till The Force Awakens premieres), I love this little droid! It’s a shame he costs that much, otherwise, he’d be zipping around my house!

2) Football season is here! My most favorite time of the year – September through New Years. Lots of holidays, birthdays, football games and the weather usually gets more bearable. I’m ready for the highs NOT to be in the 90’s!

3) It’s unfortunately pumpkin everything season. While I don’t mind a couple of pumpkin things, I do not like pumpkin spice anything. I don’t drink pumpkin spice lattes, I don’t like pumpkin spice creamer and I much prefer the taste of apples or other fall flavors.

4) Do you ever experience a book hangover? You know, after you read a really good book, and it sort of stays with you, and you have a terrible time getting into the next book? I’ve had that recently. I read very little mainstream fiction, but I got on the wait list and finally got “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah. It’s about two sisters in France during the Nazi occupation. Well written book that really stuck with me, I highly recommend it. And now, the poor next book I’m reading (“Larkspur Cove” by Lisa Wingate) is suffering because of it 🙁

5) Ready for some new tv shows this fall! I keep meaning to look online and see if there are any new ones that I need to try and record and see if we like. We probably don’t need to pick up any new shows, but then again, I don’t want to miss out 🙂

6) I’m happy that we’ve revived both our Super Bowl parties (last February) and our Labor Day party (yesterday). It’s something we used to do but had sort of sporadically gotten out of the habit of having them before we moved. Now, we have the new house with a ton more room, so it’s been great to have people over to eat and hang out. Looking forward to the next one!

Hope everyone is having a great day!

Posted by Stace

Kicked my Butt

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 🙂

Posted by Stace

Five weeks and counting

I hope we are at the five week mark, or even less! The last time Tim talked to our builder, he said on one hand, we are 90% complete with the house, but on the other hand, he said September 15 for a closing date. So that should be five weeks from today, or maybe sooner. Tim hopes he is “managing our expectations” and that is the latest and it might, just might, be finished and we can close sooner.

Another busy, really busy week, in the books. It certainly helps that we are staying so busy with so many things, it does make the time go by faster. This past week was particularly rough for Tim. He was still crazy busy at work. He worked so many hours, all day, most every night, most nights till 1 or 2 AM. He was chasing the problem on his new project all week and it was driving him nuts. He told me one day, I’m so tired of looking for a needle in a haystack and not being able to find the needle.

Ok, a quick recap of last week. Tuesday night, we had to go to a family support group therapy meeting at Suzanne’s outpatient facility. I’m not really the sharing with strangers type of person, so this was rather difficult for me. I didn’t really feel like we got anything out of it, the counselor just talked in broad terms, platitudes is what I described it to Tim as, afterwards. They want us to attend the next one in two weeks, we’ll see where we are with the house and if we are able to go. After the meeting was over, I let Tim pick someplace to go out to supper, and he of course picked something really unhealthy! We went to CiCi’s all-you-can-eat pizza buffet and proceeded to pig out. Ugh. It was good, but soooo bad for us!

Wednesday was a busy day for me, which worked out well for Tim, since he was nose down all day at his computer. I got my hair cut and colored that morning, then met Gail, Elizabeth, Katelyn and Sam at Chick-Fil-A. Gail had come down for her second annual day with DeeDee before school starts. She and the kids had a busy day, but thankfully came to our part of town so Liz and I could meet them for lunch. The kids had a good time playing and it was nice to catch up with Gail and Elizabeth. Elizabeth was getting ready for school, which started on Thursday. After I left them, I ran by HomeGoods to look around (I want to buy some things for the house SO BAD, but Tim refuses, saying “it’s more to move, just wait”.) I offered to stop and pick up Tim’s favorite, Dickey’s BBQ. He had “forgotten” to eat breakfast and was a couple hours late for lunch. He gets like that when he is busy working. He did stop work at the normal time since we had an appointment to meet with the hardware people at their warehouse in Gluckstadt. We picked the last of the hardware and also got the name of a glass guy to replace some windows in our existing house. After the meeting, we went by the new house to check on progress and found that they had started installing fixtures and ceiling fans. We also dropped off another load at the storage unit, it is getting full!

Thursday was another fairly busy day. I made a grocery run to Kroger, then Suzanne came over after her treatment and brought a huge bag of clothes that she had bought, to try on for me. She stayed a while and visited, and ended up staying for supper. I fixed an Asian chicken salad for everyone and we had frozen yogurt for dessert.

Friday, I tried to get some things done around the house. I spent the morning dragging around sprinklers and watering the grass, as it has been so hot and dry. The grass at our current house was nearly dead, and we want to try to keep it alive for when we put the house on the market (which we still have not done, with Tim so swamped at work). The glass guy came by mid afternoon to look at the windows we need replacing and said he would get us a quote on Monday. A bit later, Tim finally found a solution to his problem at work. He was ecstatic to finally find his needle and get it fixed! We decided to stay in and I fixed a new recipe from Pinterest, Philly Cheese Sloppy Joes (a big success!) along with some oven fries and roasted veggies. We watched the Saints first preseason game, which they won.

Saturday was a busy work day around here. About mid morning, I cut the grass for Tim, as he had started painting. He painted ALL day. He was doing walls, baseboard and trim in the front hallway and front guest bedroom. The rest of my day did not go as planned (I was going to clean, purge and pack more). Suzanne came over to trim the bushes but it started raining, so instead we went to Renaissance to go to Chico’s, Lucky Jeans and Barnes and Noble. She did great in the clothing stores, but then had a breakdown in Barnes and Noble, too many memories she said. So I drove her back, and we stopped at CVS to get another prescription filled for her. She’s going to have good days and bad days for a long time, I would imagine.

Sunday was by far my favorite day of the week! I spent the entire day with Tim, every minute, so that made it spectacular 🙂 We went to our regular service at church. We started a new sermon series, called “All In” (our pastor has been reading that book by Mark Batterson). This week was “Promotion Sunday” for all the kids moving up, so we thought it would be a good time for us to try our first Life Group! We picked from the list an open group led by one of the staff and it turned out to be a fairly small group, about 10 people this week. But we liked the teacher (Tommy Jarrett) and the passage he chose 1 Peter 4:12-19. We really enjoyed it and plan to go back and try this group again. We had several people tell us that people move around and we can do that till we find one that fits and feels right. We got out a little after noon, so we had a late lunch afterwards at Corner Bakery. I had the turkey on a pretzel roll, Tim had a Steak and Cheese sandwich. After stopping at the house to change, we were anxious to go see the new house! They had not only started on the tile work but it looked to be 40-50% complete. Our tile shower was nearly done and some in the other bathrooms and laundry room. The best part — the granite is installed in the kitchen on the countertops and island! It looks awesome! And the second best surprise, they had started the landscaping out front! Most of the front has flower beds, bushes planted and pine straw in the beds. No sod yet, but probably soon, at the rate they are going. We texted Suzanne before we left, and she texted back before we were leaving, so we stayed (and sweated profusely!) till she could drive up to the house to look around. We came home and waited for Terry and Mitchell to come with the trailer. They were going to load up the old wood from the fence Tim replaced and also take our old patio table and chairs. After they got here, it was so hot, Tim suggested we take them up for a tour of the house, which we did. They had not seen it since it was in the stud phase, prior to insulation and sheetrock. When we were at the new house, it started pouring, so we knew we couldn’t get back and get all the wood loaded. They ended up leaving the big trailer on our driveway and Tim and I (and maybe the neighbor) can try to load it this week for them to come get and take the stuff back. They visited till dark, then headed home, and poor Terry, he called about an hour and a half later and asked if we had seen his wallet. Which I found in a chair, so someone will probably come get that today. i hate losing my phone or wallet somewhere! After they left, it was late and I didn’t really want to cook, so Tim offered to drive us through Wendy’s for more bad fast food.

Here’s hoping that this week is equally as busy and goes equally fast, or faster. I’m pretty antsy these days to get a firm closing date and get busy packing the last of the house to move! 🙂

Posted by Stace

Random Tidbits

Not a weekly update but a random sampling of items in my head…

* The rice trick with wet electronics really works. We had never had a reason to try it until I dropped one of the house cordless phones into a sink full of dish water last night. Sigh. I’m SO clumsy. It really bothers me. Luckily, Tim took out the battery, dried out the unit, we put it all in rice overnight and it’s working fine this morning.

* There are squirrels are all over my bird feeder. Now, this is notable because I also have a squirrel feeder on the other end of my yard. Granted, it is currently devoid of eat-able corn, but still. I miss Beau, he was my squirrel hunter. And apparently, I need to investigate getting a squirrel proof bird feeder.

* I haven’t been doing Menu Plan Monday, but thought I’d post what we had this week. I’m on a mission to clean out some stuff from the freezer and pantry. Less to move! This week:

Monday – l had a BEC (bacon egg and cheese) and Tim had a BLT with the one and only tomato he will probably get from his plant. It’s nearly dead 🙁
Tuesday – pork fried rice with homemade pink sauce and potstickers
Wednesday – Crockpot chicken and artichokes over penne pasta, caesar salad
Today (Thursday) – turkey sloppy joes, Harry&David dip with crackers, chips & fruit
Friday – eat at the family reunion (I’m taking crunchy asian slaw and chocolate chip cookies, gotta get in the kitchen this afternoon)
Saturday and Sunday are undecided, but I might make chili dogs for Tim

* Had another Pinterest FAILURE. I made a coffee creamer with sweetened condensed milk that I pinned, and I did NOT like it. Poured almost all of it down the drain this morning. I hate wasting, but I just didn’t like it.

* I had a good time watching the World Cup this summer, Team USA made it to the quarterfinals but lost on Monday to Belgium, such a heart-breaking game. Haven’t watched any Wimbledon, and Tim is looking forward to the British open (golf)

* Tim is drinking tea now at home and no Coke Zero… yeah! We used to buy cases of Coke Zero at Sam’s Club, and he’s now gotten off of them almost totally, at least at home. I think he gets Cokes out at the golf course, and I know if we go out for burgers or pizza, he gets one, but he’s doing MUCH better!

* And lastly, I’m a basil killer. Every year. Every.Single.Year. My plant starts out great and then once they start flowering, they go downhill fast. Now, it rained every day last week and I think my basil got too wet, it looks horrible. Half the stems are dark brown, I guess from water rot. Sigh, I think my oregano is almost gone too.

I’m sure there’s lots of other random thoughts floating around my brain, but that is all for now! Whew! 🙂

Posted by Stace

Busy Bee Weekend

Another uber busy weekend in the books! Not interesting for anyone else, but I like to record some of what is going on these days. Especially when we do fun things like go check on the house (our new big thing, LOL!) and we spend time with family and have such a good time!

I had thought Tim was going to go play golf on Friday after work, but he surprised me and said he wouldn’t go, so we could go check on the house and go out to eat. Such a sweetie pie! We went and checked on our house (Tim had been there the evening before to meet with the builder and electrician). I had not been since last Sunday, when Tim’s family came to see. From Sunday to Friday, they had made a lot of progress – the roof was finished, the front and back doors all installed, all windows have been installed, the two fireplaces are in, and the duct work done for the heating/ac system, which was also installed in the attic. We also went and looked at a couple of others houses further along, being built by our builder, to get an idea of fixtures, finished details, etc. We have to meet with the decorator soon to pick out a lot of things. Lots going on!

After we left the house, we were hungry and couldn’t decide where to go eat. We both decided that since we’d been good all week eating salads, we deserved to splurge and be bad, so we went to Pizza Inn for the all-you-can-eat pizza buffet! That’s something we hardly ever do, it has probably been 3 or 4 years or more since we’ve done that. I usually make pizza and every once in a while, we order or pick up pizza, but we never go to a buffet. Plus, I wanted to check and make sure they would deliver to our new house (they will), since I think we’ll be too far away from the Papa Johns we both love. After supper, we went to Dick’s to look for golf balls for Tim and ran into my old buddy Braxton. We talked to him for a long time, and it was good to see him and catch up on things. We were going to go check out the new Harbor Freight, but it was getting too late, so we went next door and ambled through Home Goods till they closed. So many things I want to buy for the house. Tim is like, you have to wait, I don’t want to buy more we have to move!!

Saturday, Tim had an early tee time with his buddies. After he got home (I had cooked lunch, but he brought us Chick-Fil-A home for lunch, as a surprise, along with a chocolate shake for us to split, do you notice a pattern of splurges!) and we ate, we got ready and headed out on more errands. We went to the new Harbor Freight they just opened near us. Tim had a blast, browsing and shopping, and after nearly 2 hours, I finally coaxed him into leaving. We went to the dollar store and TJ Maxx after that, and then, even though I had food cooked from lunch, we were out, we were hungry, so we stopped for supper! We went to the Papitos near TJ Maxx and had a huge meal. Tim ordered the Fiesta Dinner, which came out on two huge platters. I got the Baja Fish Tacos and they were really good! We took leftovers home, but haven’t had a chance to eat them yet.

On the way home, we called to talk to Mark and Amanda. They actually had been trying to reach us at home, to see if we had any photos of the church Tim and Mark grew up in, as they were having their 100th Anniversary on Sunday. So I spent several hours going through old photos and sending to them, and Mark worked all night on the slide show for the anniversary. Sunday morning, we got up and drove over to Tim’s family and we had the celebration at church for several hours. They read the 100 year history of the church, we visited with lots of family and friends (Tim had not seen a lot of these people in 20 or 30 years), we had lunch, then singing from two different groups. Kindred Spirits, which has Steven in it, and the Leaf River Boys, which has Tim’s Uncle Richard in it, playing the harmonica. After all the festivities at the church, we all went back to Linda and Mitchell’s and visited for several hours. Tim had brought his pistol and everyone took a turn firing it. I, of course, was the worst shot by far 🙂 Ethan had a shell casing come back and pop him in the face, so he had a nice bright red shiner to show for his first effort with a pistol! Brittany took me, Amanda and Abby down to see her new trailer. She’s so excited! It needs a lot of work and I asked her if it would be ready before our new house, and she said she wasn’t sure! It will get all new paint, all new floors and a lot of other work before she moves in. We stayed pretty late, then left and swung through Wendy’s for a late, late, late supper on the drive home. Obviously, WAY too much eating out this weekend, but that always happens when we stay so busy, always easier to pick up food while we are out running crazy. Tim and I are both pretty tired today, but we thoroughly enjoyed our weekend! (Note to self: no pictures here from the 100th anniversary at the church, I posted them on Facebook instead).