Exceedingly Mundane

tidbits of random nothingness

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 🙂


Weekly boring update, take four! Nothing really exciting, except we did a lot of eating out 🙂

Good thing that happened… I was treated to lots of surprises this week by my sweet husband. First, I got a surprise night off from cooking on Tuesday! I get emails from Sonic about any kind of special they have, as well as new food and stuff they offer. I always forward them to Tim and always he answers back, thanks but no thanks 🙂 This time, however, he decided to take me up on my offer! I pushed back Tuesday’s meal plan till Wednesday and we drove to Sonic Tuesday night for burgers and drinks 🙂 I love doing fun things like that, unplanned, in the middle of the week 😀 And THEN… two days later, he called after I finished Bible Study on Thursday and offered to take me on a lunch date. We went to a local Mexican place and had a quick lunch. SO! Two unplanned, middle of the week, splurge dates. My kind of week!

Sad that… my tinnitus has been acting up. In addition to the normal high pitched screeching I hear in my ears, now my right ear is doing the pulse-thumping thing. It’s called pulsatile tinnitus and it really drives me nuts. I’ve often thought that Van Gogh must have had tinnitus, to drive him mad enough to cut off his own ear. 🙁

Book I’m reading: I read 8 books in January! Great month of reading for me 🙂 Read “Critical Pursuit” by Janice Cantore. Started “With Every Letter” by Sarah Sundin. I am really enjoying it, so I went ahead and purchased the other two in this series, since they were on sale at Amazon. I’m looking forward to reading them soon.

Things we ate: Sunday night, we had an Al Fresco chicken burger along with some salad and fruit. Monday was salad night – I made a quinoa salad with sun dried tomatoes and artichokes, and we had a huge green salad. Tuesday I had something planned, but we went to Sonic instead 🙂 Wednesday we had chicken quesadillas, mexican rice, pinto beans and an avocado salad. Thursday, we had a big lunch out so, we just had a quick supper of leftovers. Friday I offered to cook, but he picked salad from the choices I gave him (sigh, the boy has a lot of willpower that I do not possess!). Saturday I made ribs, cole slaw and sweet potatoes. Sunday we ate out after church with friends (Mexican again) and then I’m planning wings and snacks for the Super Bowl. We had originally planned to have a Super Bowl party, but the first few people I talked to in January said they already had other plans, so we nixed it for this year. Maybe next year!

TV and Movies: This was a week of movie watching in our house! I watched my regular daily shows/cooking shows some afternoons. But in the evenings, there hasn’t been a lot of our shared shows to watch together. Apparently we watch a lot on CBS, and they haven’t had any new shows this week, they must be waiting till after they air the Super Bowl tonight. We did watch Blacklist and Elementary. Tim and I watched several of my Hallmark movies together: a Murder She Baked movie (Peach Cobbler mystery); A Bone to Pick, an Aurora Teagarden mystery and the first Flower Shop mystery: Mum’s the Word. I watched “The Hundred Foot Journey” by myself and loved it! It was right up my alley – Helen Mirren and food! 🙂 Friday night we watched Thor: Dark World again. Saturday we watched an old one on the DVR, XMen Origins: Wolverine. I think a lot of our shows come back this week (all the NCIS, Tim’s favorite Limitless, Blue Bloods, Hawaii Five-O, etc, all on CBS) so we should do more tv and less movies this coming week.

Something that makes me happy: – Tim continues to use his chalkboard art skills to update the coffee bean jar. Here’s what he drew me for Valentines Day:

Fun Thing We Did: – bought tickets to a Third Day / Steven Curtis Chapman concert at our church. Can’t wait for that, they’ll be here in April. 🙂

Random Thought du Jour: I need to go to Walmart soon. I have certain items I only get there and tend to stay away from Walmart when at all possible. There are certain items I just won’t buy at Kroger though, so a Walmart trip is going to be coming up soon. Now, take note, I haven’t stepped foot in our Walmart since before Christmas, so I have a lot of things on my list to get. Sigh. I wish we had a Target closer, but they are a lot further away. And I think Target is more expensive for the things I’m looking to buy. Which do you prefer – Target or Walmart?

Hope everyone is having a great day!

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! 😀


Weekly boring update, take three!

Glad that… – We had some winter weather early in the week. Most people don’t like the cold or the rainy or dreary days. I do, as long as I get to stay home and enjoy it! Fires, hot cocoa, snuggling under blankets, reading or watching tv. I try to get in as much hibernation as I can in January and February. I love this time of year, especially since we have such a long hot summer. By the weekend, it felt like spring, since the highs on Saturday and Sunday were like 73-74 degrees. Yikes!

Sad that… Tim is already half out of the walking habit with me! We walked two days this past week, not as much as previous weeks. Oh well, it was good while it lasted and I still haven’t given up hope. He has his walking challenge for wellness with work until late Feb or early March. However, he’s back to doing P90X workouts at lunch, rather than going walking with me. I mostly expected it though – he gets bored easily with just walking! The sad part for me is that this time of year, I’d much rather just sit at home and eat/read/watch tv/surf/etc rather than walk! 🙂

Good thing that happened… Tim had his yearly checkup this past week. Now, this doesn’t sound like a big deal to anyone, right? Well, it took me 16 or 17 years to convince him to go to the doctor for a checkup. I’m over the moon that he goes yearly now, to get things checked out and make sure he’s ok. I love him more than life itself and just want him to be healthy. And happy, but that’s more something I can do than the doctor. He got a good report, and he doesn’t need blood pressure medicine! Yippee!

Book I’m reading: “The Crimson Cord” by Jill Eileen Smith. Finished that one (really good!) and started another free one for my Kindle, “Critical Pursuit” by Janice Cantore.

Things we ate: Lots of leftovers and salad Sunday-Tuesday. I made potato soup on Wednesday. It was a really cold day and I had a bag of potatoes! Thursday, I made eggs in purgatory, black pepper bacon and grits. Tim loved the eggs, so those will be a keeper. Friday, I made sloppy joes and oven fries. (I gave him a choice of 3 things and predictably, he picked the sloppy joe’s, one of his favorites!) Saturday we were gone all day to my in-laws and so Sunday we ate leftovers. Maybe Monday too! We stretched last weekend’s leftovers through Tuesday with salads, so I like that (I try not to cook on Sundays).

TV and Movies: Regular stuff on the DVR. I made a concerted effort to clear off some of my Hallmark movies. First I watched The Gourmet Detective, then an Aurora Teagarden mystery (Real Murders). I really enjoyed both, but especially love Candace Cameron Bure and that cast. Then, I got Tim to watch the second Gourmet Detective with me (at least they are clean!). Tim and I also watched Transcendence with Johnny Depp, something we had recorded from a free preview weekend. I’d call that one…. weird. It did keep my attention though 🙂 The highlight of the TV viewing week: we rented The Martian from iTunes on Friday night. At home date night, complete with hot cocoa. Good movie, we had tried to see it at the theater and missed it, so we were glad to stream it at home. 🙂

Something that makes me happy: – We built our house over a year and a half ago and I really haven’t blogged about much of it 🙂 There’s so many things in the new house that make me happy. Here’s one:

This is the cabinet above my microwave and wall oven. It’s just a tall cabinet with slots, and I use it to store a ton of cookie sheets, muffin tins, sheet pans, pizza pans, cutting boards, my toaster oven pans, a cast iron griddle and my Emile Henre pizza stone that I love. This stuff used to take up so much room in the old kitchen. But, I seemed to stack it on the bottom of a shelf, so it was a royal pain to dig through to get down to what I wanted. Now, it’s easy to store and easy to see and grab what I want. It makes me happy 🙂

Random Thought du Jour: I need a new wallet. Funny how that is something I never think to shop for, either online or when I venture to a department store. And I’m very particular about things like wallet and my purse. It has to have the right configuration, be the right size, etc. Picky, I am!

Hope everyone is having a great day!


Boring though it might be, I’m going to give this another try 🙂 Nothing really going on around here to blog about, but the blog is called “exceedingly mundane” for a reason!

Glad that… – Tim is still walking with me! I’m determined to enjoy every minute (even though it’s nearly wearing me out!) until March 13. The time changes that date and I magically turn into a golf widow till the fall. 🙁 Of course, the end of this week turned out wet and COLD, so we didn’t get to walk all that much. But next week looks much better, so I’m still hopeful 🙂

Good thing that happened… The Bible Study I attend at our church started back up on Thursday Jan 21. I go to the one called Manna and this time, we are doing “Armor of God” by Priscilla Shirer. I think it’s going to be really good!

Book I’m reading: I finished “Random Acts of Malice” by Christy Barritt (my January prime loan book) and started “The Girl from the Train” by Irma Joubert. Finished it last night and started “The Crimson Cord” by Jill Eileen Smith. I have usually loved every single historical Christian fiction book I’ve read by Jill Eileen Smith, so I’m very hopeful that this one is great too.

Things we ate: Worked on leftovers, chili and restaurant leftovers from the weekend. Tuesday I made fish and veggies. Wednesday I made homemade chicken meatballs, sauce, noodles, roasted broccoli and sauteed green beans (Liz was here and we had cheese toast with ours, no bread or cheese for Tim). Thursday I made party cheeseburgers and fries, as Elizabeth was here again hanging out with us. Friday lunch we ate at Tim’s favorite place, Dickie’s BBQ, at lunch before the movie. Tim’s mom fed us two meals on Saturday, since we spent the whole day there 🙂

Pot of Chili, yum!

TV and Movies: I watched a Murder She Baked from Hallmark, and we watched some regular tv shows on the DVR. NFC and AFC Championship games today, Sunday January 24. Which means the Super Bowl is two weeks from today! We went Friday afternoon to a second viewing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Loved it just as much the second time around 🙂

Weather – Cold in the early part of the week, some days I had a hard time warming up! Tim even broke out a hand warmer one day and let me keep it in the front pocket of my hoodie all day, LOL! Really rainy on Thursday, grey and rainy all day. So much so that I wore my rain boots to Bible Study and out running errands 😀 Friday it was SO cold, and snow flurries on and off all day. We were in and out and I froze to death – temps in the mid 30’s and wind chills in the low 20’s. BRRR!

Random Thought du Jour: Very grateful for family. We spent the whole day on Saturday with Tim’s family. It was so great to see everyone and catch up and just hang out 🙂

Hope everyone is having a great day!

I’m trying to get back to more of a regular schedule of blogging. It’s harder than you would think! 🙂 Even for someone as verbose as me 🙂

Going to copy some of my blog friends and try to come up with some sort of weekly, or maybe bi-weekly, wrap-up. Categories subject to change at any given time! 🙂

Biggie for the week: Last week was a really busy one for Tim and a really quiet one for me! He had a big project at work that started Sunday evening (1/10). He slept Saturday night, got up and we went to early church, and he started working about 9 PM Sunday night. He came to bed for 45 minutes around 4:40 AM Monday morning and then they called with a problem about 5:30 AM. He worked all day and then finally stopped around midnight Monday night. So, by my random calculations, he worked off and on for nearly 27 hours. He took that one nap, stopped once for food (the rest of the time, I took him food into the office) and I got him out of the house once to go walking, he had been sitting so long and said he was starting to hurt in his shoulders and back. The rest of the week was busy, but not as bad. They are still working on problems, but it’s getting better every day. He’s working a lot of hours and a lot of nights, but this was a huge deal. This was the third time they had tried to implement this huge system, years of code that he rewrote. Big deal! There’s several more phases to this project, but this one was far and away the largest chunk. Yeah for Tim!

Glad that… – my yearly ob/gyn appointment and mammogram are over! I got a good report on all my numbers – blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, etc. Happy that maybe all of this trying to eat better and walk are helping 🙂

Fun thing I found… I have rediscovered my love of Hallmark 🙂 We switched to AT&T UVerse many years ago, probably 5 or 6 years. They were in a dispute with Hallmark and we didn’t get that channel. Sometime last year, we finally got the Hallmark channel added. And much to my surprise, another channel called Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Both in hi-def, yippee! I have also discovered that there are a slew of movies on the mystery channel made from cozy mystery series books, some of my favorites. I’ve already recorded and watched a couple of Murder She Baked, based on the Hannah Swenson books by Joanne Fluke, of which I’ve read a lot. And I’ve watched a couple of Garage Sale mysteries with Lori Loughlin, even though I haven’t read those books. And I’ve got set to record some Flower Shop Mysteries (starring Brooke Shields) and Aurora TeaGarden mysteries (starring Candace Cameron Bure), both based on book series I’m pretty sure, although I haven’t read any of them. Looking forward to lots of cozy murder mystery movies in my future!

Book I’m reading:I finished “Danger on the Mountain” last Saturday, then got Rogue Laywer by John Grisham from my library’s Kindle download site. After I finished that one, I started my Kindle Prime loan for January, the third in a trilogy by Christie Barritt, “Random Acts of Malice”. Love her books!

Things we ate: I’m not doing an awful lot of cooking. Unless you count huge salads as cooking. Tim started his healthy eating and P90X kick two days after Christmas. He lost like 5 or 6 pounds the first week! Men! This Monday, 1/11, he started a walking challenge at work which is great for me, since he’s willing for two months to walk some with me. Helps me meet my Fitbit numbers most every day. He still just wants to eat mostly salads, with some other light food thrown in. I made salmon, spinach and couscous one night. Made a chicken and rice soup another night. Lots of salads. We went out to eat Friday night. It was originally scheduled as date night, but my sister called and asked to tag along, so I won’t call it a date. We went to a local Mexican place, Taqueria de Guadalupe. Tim had a molcajete and I had the grilled shrimp and veggies. Also made a big pot of chili for the weekend. Love chili when it’s cold! 🙂

TV and Movies: aforementioned Hallmark movies, my regular daily shows (The Chew, Rachael Ray, The Kitchen, etc). I’m also so happy that Downton Abbey is back, but so sad it’s the last season. I thoroughly enjoy each new show that I record on Sunday night. The Blacklist was back Thursday, hooray! We love Red around here. Lots of NFL football on the tv and we also watched the college football championship, although with Tim working nonstop, it took two nights of DVR watching (and many naps) to make it through 🙂

New Things I’m trying: I’ve tried two new-to-me things so far this year: coloring and a scripture writing challenge. The coloring is fun and relaxing but so far I haven’t really committed to it. I have so many other things I like to do and want to do. I pulled out some old colored pencils I had from my scrapbooking days and printed off a few flower mandala pages from the internet and I’ve been working on one. It is VERY relaxing and I do enjoy it. I always loved coloring as a kid! I’m a total “inside the lines” girl, so it really appeals to me! The second thing I’ve started is a daily scripture writing challenge. This one I am hoping to keep up with. I didn’t start till 1/11, but so far, so good. I’m really enjoying it. I need to spend more time with my Bible and Bible study. And I’ve always been an advocate that anything I write down, I’m more apt to commit to memory and it helps me retain more of it. Plus, another biggie for me, my handwriting is ATROCIOUS these days! I barely handwrite anything at all, anymore, everything is electronic for me, even my grocery list. So this hits a number of good areas for me – scripture reading and writing, memory work, writing skills, quiet time, etc.

Weather – typical January weather, although a bit warmer at times than I would like. Better than our 80 degree Christmas day. Several nights this week I had to bring my herbs in from outside onto my back covered porch. A few days of sun, a few of grey and dreary and one shower. Not overly wet and not too cold. I love January and February, they are good for my hibernation tendencies!

Random Thought du Jour: do I want to order a coloring book and more pencils? Haven’t decided whether to pursue the coloring. Also, do I want to explore getting a spiralizer for making “noodles” or “zoodles” out of zucchini or other veggies. Has anyone used one and do you like it, and more importantly, do you use it often? I just don’t think I would use it more than once or twice before it got tossed in the drawer and forgotten. 🙂

Hope everyone is having a great day!

Posted by Stace

Quick Update, with photos

I know I haven’t updated the public portion of my blog in a long time. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years have come and gone. I was rather happy to see the end of 2015. I picked up a stomach virus courtesy of Tim’s side of the family the weekend before Christmas. I was over that but struggling with sinus issues at Christmas (since it was a blooming 80 degrees here!). Tim’s immediate family came here for our Christmas on December 26 and promptly brought me a bad case of bronchitis and chronic coughing. Today is January 8 and I still cough some, mostly at night when I lay flat in the bed, but I am feeling a lot better. I am ready to be healthy in 2016!

Let’s see, I’ve put a few pictures out on Facebook recently, but not very many. I try to stay off of Facebook, for the most part. I get worked up about a lot of things out there! I am, however, still updating my private blog daily. Sort of an online journal for me and it’s really working. I put all the boring mundane details out there for me.. things like what we ate, where we went, what tv shows or movies we watched, if I exercised at all, what book I’m reading, etc. Gives me a place to keep track of things and even vent a little, if something (or someONE) aggravates me!

I so enjoy reading a lot of other blogs though, that after a time, I feel bad for not having anything out here. So here’s a quick photo update:

We bought a couple of new outdoor lights this year. This house and yard are so much larger than our last one, that we are having to upsize so many things. We need more, but for me, my new angel and wreath worked out just great! The trees are very old, there used to be 3 in the set, but we’re down to 2. We’ll get new trees or something else soon:

Last year, the day after Christmas, I did my regular shopping. Some people get excited to Black Friday shop, but I never venture out then. When I do enjoy going is the morning after Christmas. I look for stuff to put up for next year. I get bows, cards, wrapping paper, bags, decorations, etc. usually at 50% off. I won’t buy anything if it’s still full price or discounted a measly 25% or 30%! LOL! Last year on 12/26, I found these pillows. I thought they were SO cute! They are not outdoor pillows, so they may not last long on my front porch, but I was diligent this year in bringing them in every time it threatened to rain! Maybe they’ll last a few years:

I still can’t believe this is our second Christmas in this house! It doesn’t seem like it. I thoroughly enjoyed, both last year and this year, getting all my stuff out and decorating. I still have to get more stuff, and bigger stuff, for the inside as well as the outside. We have two fireplaces now, and I love decorating both mantles. The one in the great room gets lighted garland and candles and a big snowman (sorry, didn’t take a good picture this year). The mantle in the keeping room is my favorite, but gets a hodgepodge of things that I love, but don’t really work well together! But I love all my stuff and can’t bear to part with most of it. So, I throw it up on my mantle (it’s a huge cypress beam, which I love) and against the brick fireplace, which I also love. The one in the great room is just a white mantle and plain tile. Anyway, last year Tim suggested we hang some twine up and hang some of our Christmas cards. I probably blogged about this last year, I honestly didn’t even go back and look. Here it is again, most of the Christmas cards hanging from the mantle:

Two quick photos of gifts we got each other – Tim got me a red bird feeder which I *so* wanted and am enjoying every single day and he got a surprise – a Zepp golf swing analyzer. He loves it and didn’t even know that much about it! Kudos to our friends and old neighbors for tipping me off about it and keeping the secret so he would be surprised at Christmas!

We went Christmas day to my sister Gail’s house. I posted a couple of pictures on Facebook, but this was my favorite (I rarely take a picture that I actually like of me!), me and Gail:

And the day after Christmas, we hosted Tim’s immediate family (we rotate and have it at our house every fourth year). We “borrowed” (aka, we STOLE), the idea of doing British crackers after the meal from my niece Elizabeth. She has been getting them for us, on my side of the family, for the last few years. Tim and I stole the idea and had them for everyone here this year. We had fun, popping them open, reading the jokes and wearing the crowns!

Tim is still surprising me regularly with new art on the chalkboard label on the front of his coffee bean jar. This one was discovered on New Years morning:

You may not can tell but the top of the label is full of fireworks! He worked on it quite a bit of time, apparently 🙂

We had a busy week between Christmas and New Years. I was mostly sick with the crud, but Tim’s dad had an episode and his brother Terry drove him to the VA hospital here to get checked out. They ended up admitting him, and he was here three days. So we spent all of our time at the hospital. Tim spent one night up there with him, the first night, and didn’t get one single wink of sleep he said. He was better by New Years Eve and Tim and I drove him home that evening. We had a quiet New Years Eve at home, we were just tired and happy to be home. I didn’t even stay up until midnight, I rarely if ever do! We had not been home to take down any of the Christmas decorations, so we spent half of New Years Day taking everything down, packing it up in the many totes I have, and hauling it all back up in the attic. I have decorated two trees the last two years, in this bigger house. I made the “executive decision” this year to give away our smaller tree and only do the one big one in the keeping room from now on. It’s just too much work to put up and decorate and then take down two trees!

Since we didn’t really do anything to celebrate New Years, the day after, Tim went to play golf and I goofed off! I ordered him an Apple Watch and went and picked it up at Best Buy, and then coaxed him into meeting me for lunch afterward. I was just going to pick a local deli, for a salad or sandwich, but he offered to take me to lunch at LongHorn Steakhouse, so we had a nice lunch out! Here’s my lunch – french onion soup and a grilled chicken and strawberry salad combo:

And one more picture. I talked Tim into a quick walk this past Sunday evening, through the new construction at the back of our subdivision. They have at least 7 or 8 houses going up, so it will be fun to walk back there for the next few months. I think when all is said and done, they’ll throw up 30 or more houses behind us. Anyway, we went late and got a good sunset photo on my phone:

This week has been good, but quiet. We have a few things going on this weekend, including Tim having a big project at work. I have a yearly doctor’s appointment and mammogram on Monday, which I’m dreading. As I do every year. I wish I could just not go, but I know better. I’m always really glad when it’s over! I have one more week before my weekly Bible Study group gets back together. I’m sort of missing it, and my little ladies in my small group, but also glad for the break. Maybe if I can get back on here and blog again before months go by, I’ll have some more updates.

Have a blessed 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

Various and Sundry (Sept 2015)

More random tidbits that have been rolling around in my brain… you’ve been warned! It’s a scary place in there, inside my head 😀

1) Had taco salad for lunch today. Every time I eat taco salad, I think to myself, why don’t I make this more often? I make tacos fairly often for Tim and every time, I would much rather have taco salad 😀

2) Tim played in the Club Championship last weekend. Was gone most all day both Saturday and Sunday, so I got to spend a lot of time by myself. 🙂 Ran to Walmart and Sam’s on Saturday, and went to church and Sunday School by myself on Sunday. Was really touched, and so enjoyed, one song during the music worship (“Once and For All” by Lauren Daigle), recorded some of it for Tim to hear, and took this snapshot from the video:

3) Some fall tv started back this week. Watching Dancing with the Stars, with their usual assortment of poor, older (elderly) stars who can’t dance and must have bad knees. Bless their heart, I always feel so badly for them. Enjoyed Blindspot. Tim and I both think it’s a lot like Blacklist in overall premise and how they will carry out each episode. Really like the girl, she was in the Thor movies. On the fence so far with Minority Report (really liked the movie) and Limitless (never saw that movie). Have a few more new ones to go.

4) My washer is now giving an error on most every load I try to put in there. Tim has tried fixing it and no luck. So since I really can’t wash clothes (can’t get a cycle to complete, the error comes up and it won’t go on, so have to stop it, try to drain or spin the water out and then just dry stuff that was not really washed, unless you count 6 or 8 minutes of a 45 minute cycle)… we ordered a part. Standard shipping had it coming in 10-12 days and I didn’t want to wait that long. Had it overnighted — to the tune of nearly $50 in shipping charges! Yikes. Sometimes you have to pay for convenience. Tim will hopefully install it later tonight after he gets home from playing golf. Hopefully this will fix it, although Tim said there are two other parts that could be causing the problem.

5) Went to Fresh Market last week on Tuesday to get some meat. They have vegetarian-fed chicken breasts for 2.99 a pound and ground chuck for 2.99 a pound on Tuesdays. I try to go every couple of months and get a few packs of each for the freezer. I got me some sushi for my lunch that day:

6) Today is the first day of fall. I’m ready! Still feels like summer around here, with highs in the low 90’s or upper 80’s. I put my fall wreaths up on the front doors. Haven’t pulled out much fall decor, but it won’t be long. Ready to start making soups and stews and hearty foods. And football food too, although it looks like a bad season for us, football wise. The Saints have lost both games and so far, don’t look like they can win at all 🙁

7) Germanfest is this weekend – looking forward to stopping by the Catholic church after our church service this coming Sunday and getting brats and sauerkraut. 🙂 Fond memories of my dad, he went with us faithfully for many years. He loved driving up to come eat the food, hang out and even buy a t-shirt!

8 ) Current book: third in the Crittendon series, Sky Zone, by Creston Mapes. Not sure what I will read next. Have a few downloaded to the Kindle, so will have to pick. Going to download a few more, since we leave soon on our trip!

9) Had a doctor’s appointment yesterday and dentist appointment today. Final check-up after my two surgeries this summer. Nice clean teeth, plus x-rays to boot!

10) Still really enjoying my first Bible study at church. I joined “Manna”, one of the women’s Bible study groups and we meet every Thursday. It’s a fairly large group and we break out into smaller groups. This is my first ever time to do a Bible study and I’m sorry I didn’t start one sooner at church. Really enjoying everything about it. Current book: Recovering Redemption by Matt Chandler. I am also getting to use my new dining table, that’s where I do my homework:

I’m still private blogging about my days (extremely detailed, too much to put out here), but thought I would throw out a few things that are running around in my brain. Oh, and I’m trying to get back into the swing of taking more pictures. Enjoying the better camera on our new phones, so here’s a couple of food snapshots from the last week.

Pizza from Sam’s (take and bake, they are actually pretty good, and cheap, a 16″ pepperoni is only 5.98 or maybe 6.98). I had some salad with mine:

Flank steak marinating last night for Tim:

Hope everyone is having a great day! Take care 🙂

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

First Week of August 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And tada- all caught up! 🙂

Posted by Stace

Late July Recap – Part 2

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

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

Here’s the empty dining room before:

China cabinet delivered:

And the full dining room after:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Stace

Late July Recap – Part 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Stace

My New Happy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Stace

Another Big Catch-Up (Mid-July)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope everyone is having a blessed day!

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