Exceedingly Mundane

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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!

Posted by Stace

Boom Shaka-laka

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Stace

Now it’s April!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope all is well out there in blog-land!

Posted by Stace

Ketchup aka Catch-Up

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

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

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

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

New rockers for front porch:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Stace

Snippets from the past week

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

Since my last blog update…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope everyone is having a great day!

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Posted by Stace

Monday/Weekend Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A few more random thoughts on this Monday:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Stace

Slogging Through July

I’ve posted many times in the past, probably every July and August, about how these are always the two hardest months of the year for me. When I worked full-time, I rarely took vacation during this time, and it was a long time between July 4th and Labor Day. Now that I’m not working, Tim is but plays golf all summer (and we rarely go on vacation this time of year), and the heat is so bad (although this year not NEARLY as bad as normal), the two months of July and August always seem interminably long. And this year is no exception, and probably even worse, since we are trying ever so hard to patiently wait for them to finish with building our house!

We check on the house every week. Tim, usually 2-3 times a week, me usually once or maybe twice. He comes away uber-excited and pumped up. Me, I get dejected that they don’t seem further along and there seems to be *so* much left to do 🙂 It helps that we’ve been taking pictures every step of the way, and sharing them on an IOS photo stream for family, so I can look back to May when it was just dirt, then foundation, then framing and see just how far they HAVE come. But still 😀

We logged another week in the books. Tim and our neighbor Rick finished up the gates and the fence work, so that is now done. It looks really great. I teased them both that we should hire them out, they do really good work 🙂 Tim had a rough week at work, having to work late a couple of nights and having some really bad days where he was chasing problems and on conference calls pretty much the entire day. I hope next week is a lot better for him.

On Wednesday, Kathryn, Katelyn and Sam dropped by after work for Sam to come stay with us, just like his big sister did a couple of weeks ago 🙂 Sam and I had fun, when we spent time together. He was mostly happy to take his mom’s ipad, go in his room, close the door and binge-watch cartoon “movies” or tv shows from Netflix. He could do that hours at a time, unless he got hungry. He never seemed to get bored! If we tried to read a book (he did NOT want to do that!), watch something together on tv or play the Wii together, he got bored in about 8 minutes flat! LOL! We went to the library and got books for bedtime stories, had dinner at Newk’s (HIS choice, surprisingly!) on Wednesday night with Uncle Tim, and then went to check on the house. Sam had a ball playing in the mountain of sawdust in the garage, LOL! Thursday, Aunt Liz came over for a late lunch, then we went to Sam’s Club and Kroger to pick up some things that Sam likes to eat (chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, chocolate chip waffles, strawberries). We ran into Aunt Suzanne in the grocery, which was nice. Aunt Liz stayed for supper and waited for Uncle Tim to finish work late, so he could work on her vehicle when he finished. She was long overdue for an oil change 🙂 It was good to get to see her, and we look forward to seeing more of her as she winds down summer vacation and gets ready to get back to teaching in August. Sam watched a lot of Netflix on Friday, since it pretty much rained all day. His parents and Katelyn came by after work on Friday and we all visited for a while then went to eat. At Newk’s again, Sam’s choice 🙂 He seems to like their free breadsticks and cheese pizza.

Saturday, Tim had an early morning tee time and then stopped by to check on the house again. They are still finishing up cabinets and building the island and his vanity for his bathroom by the office, also known as one of the guest baths. He spent some time helping me visualize the kitchen and layout and where things might go after he got home. I’m still struggling with the difference in cabinets and drawers at the new house, versus what I have here, where it’s located and how I use it. It really helped when he tried to help me see it and work things out in my mind, but it will really just be after we move and get things unpacked and try to live in the space, before it’s actually going to click for me, I think. One of my big failings, I just can’t visualize things until I actually *do* them.

Today is Sunday, so church. Another good service in the same series, Characters who Teach Character. Guest speaker Floyd Vanderbergh, with Strategic Impact and also a member of our church. He spoke on Gideon and his experience from the book of Judges, good sermon. Afterwards, we ran by Kroger, since we were completely out of milk and almost out of bread. I’ve been trying to use more of what i have here, but still need milk, bread, juice, eggs and lots of produce 🙂

Tim is going to play golf later, and right now he is happily watching recorded British Open coverage on the DVR. I saw online today that there are 7 more Sundays until Saints regular season football begins. I cannot wait!

In other news, Tim’s parents left Monday morning on a cross country trip. They’ve been to Memphis, St Louis, Dodge City Kansas, Mesa Verde Colorado and are driving through Nevada today, headed to the redwoods in California. They’re having a great time, I think!

On the home front, I’m going to try to cook more from my pantry and freezer this week. Tonight (Sunday) we are going to have breakfast food. I don’t have anything nailed down, but am tentatively planning meals this coming week of hot italian sausage sub sandwiches one night, salads, oven bbq chicken with coleslaw and baked beans. I probably won’t get to the crockpot red beans and rice (with sausage), maybe next week on that one. And I have a package of frozen ravioli that I am going to use soon. As I’ve warned Tim, I’m spending less at the grocery right now, which is counter-intuitive to what is going to happen – that I’m going to spend a lot more re-stocking things after we move, when we have less cash to work with. But, oh well!

I finished a library loan book yesterday, the latest by Dee Henderson entitled “Undetected” about a US Navy submarine captain and a genius young lady in the field of sonar. Good book, and now I’ve got another library loan, “Missing You” by Harlan Coben. I don’t read a lot of fiction that is not Christian, but he is one I do enjoy. Not sure what I’ll read after that… We’ve got some stuff to watch on the DVR, since we didn’t watch much while Sam was here and Tim has been busy since Thursday watching British Open coverage.

OK, that’s it for another boring weekly update! 🙂 Hope everyone out there (if anyone is actually out there reading this!) is having a great week and weekend 😀

Posted by Stace

End of January, already?

How on earth can it be the end of January already? Wow, the first year of the month has really flown by.

Let’s see… I’ve been sick the last few days. I got a sore throat and it just went downhill from there. I felt like I was gargling glass when I tried to swallow, and then I lost my voice. While Tim thoroughly enjoyed that time, I did not 🙂 I had several days of OTC medicine and lots of hot tea with honey, and now I’m getting better. Good thing too! We’ve had another round of really cold weather. We had a dusting of snow yesterday (and I didn’t take a SINGLE photo, horror!) but it barely covered the deck. I miss Beau when it snows though, that dog was fascinated with snow! It was SO COLD. The highs the last couple of days have been in the 20’s, with the lows at night in the low teens. Yikes, we’re having a cold winter!

I didn’t cook a whole lot over the weekend, since I was sick. We ate out some junk food, and just had easy stuff like cereal and popcorn 🙂 I finally cooked us some decent food this week. I made a chicken noodle soup on Monday, Tuesday I made a panko baked cod, stuffed zucchini and salad. Wednesday was a Tim favorite, eggs, bacon, grits and homemade buttermilk biscuits. Today, I’ve got a tomato basil soup going in the crockpot and if I get industrious enough, I’ll make chicken crescents to go with it and maybe a salad. I’m not planning on date night for tomorrow (since we picked up a lot of food last weekend while I was sick), so I’m hoping to make sloppy joes and roast a head of cauliflower I have languishing in the produce drawer 😀

The Super Bowl is this weekend and I’m not all that excited about it. When our Saints got eliminated from the playoffs, we sort of lost interest in football. It’s harder to get excited since we don’t have parties any more. It’s just so hard for friends and family to come over late on Sundays, with having to drive back home late. It definitely makes it more fun to watch the game, but it is a lot more work, so it’s sort of a toss up on how much I enjoy having a big party versus getting to just watch the game without all the extra work. For the record, I’m rooting for the Broncos. I’ve always liked Peyton Manning (except the year he and the Colts played my Saints, that was a no brainer, but otherwise I root for him) and I’d like to see him win one more before his career is over. Tim and I DESPISE the Seahawks, it’s an NFC thing. Blech.

I am not doing well on my reading so far this year… I had hoped to be further along this far into January. I sort of struggled through a recent book, one I purchased at a reduced rate on Kindle called “Sherlock Holmes and the Needle’s Eye”. Maybe it was the writing or the subject matter, or maybe I was just not in the mood for that type of book. I moved onto a more enjoyable one after Sherlock, the second Jane Austen Takes the South book by Mary Jane Hathaway. Apparently there are only two of these, but I thoroughly enjoyed both, very very Southern 🙂 I just started Sycamore Row, by John Grisham. My sister Suzanne read it first, and recommended it. I went ahead and splurged and bought it around Black Friday when I found it reduced for Kindle. Now, I see my library has it for free in the Kindle version, oh well. This way, Tim might be able to read it sometime on my iPad. I normally enjoy Grisham so I have high hopes for this one.

Watched Jack Reacher again last night on Amazon Prime streaming. We saw it at the theater and really liked it, so it was good to watch again. I think a lot of our shows will be tapering off soon, with the Olympics starting up soon. We’ll have to see how our TV watching changes, which translates to, will I be able to get Tim to watch Olympics coverage with me! I like it a lot more than he does.

Tim is still enjoying P90X. Me, not so much. We’ve moved into phase 3, and he’s tickled pink. Me, I’d like to chuck the dvd’s and throw a sledgehammer at ole Tony’s face on the TV. Ugh. Tim did it last winter and lost over 30 pounds. Me doing it this winter, I *might* be down 2-3 pounds, but I think that’s from more eating healthy than anything. Obviously, I’m getting out of it exactly what I put into it!

Hope everyone is having a great day!

Posted by Stace


Hooray! Made it through the two hardest months of the year for me, July and August. Today is September 1 and while it’s hot, and I’m sick, I’m grateful that the last four months of the year (my most favorite time of the year) have arrived.

Had a busy week. Had to take my dad to the dentist one day, to a new lawyer another day (and THAT opened up a whole Pandora’s box of problems, issues, decisions, etc), and then I had a dentist appointment another day. Tim got sick on Tuesday, maybe even Monday late. Sinus, we think. Now, I have it and it’s not fun. It’s not as bad as I’ve had before, so I am very grateful that I’m not feeling worse than I am. I’ve had bad sinus infections before, and almost always at this time of year (Sept 1-15 is notoriously when I get these) and so far (KNOCK ON WOOD), I’m not nearly bad enough that I need to go to the doctor and get a shot and some antibiotics. So very grateful 🙂

It’s gotten hot again, July hot, just in time for Labor Day. We’re not going to do a thing this year, for the holiday. In years past, we would have Labor Day parties here. But this year, most of my side of the family is out of town, Linda is just now starting to get her kitchen back, Terry has the store open, so we’re just not going to have anyone here or go anywhere. My dad is not very happy with me, but he’ll probably get over it by Halloween 🙂

As I saw posted today on Facebook, today is the last Sunday until February without football. Yippee!
Our fantasy draft is tomorrow morning, so we’ll have that to play with as well. USM played their first game last night, it was not on tv, so we listened to some on the radio. Once they had turned the ball over 4 times, Tim decided to turn it off and go back to watching golf (they lost, sigh, just like last year, when they were winless). Oh, and we watched a decent movie last night that I had recorded, Trouble with the Curve, a Clint Eastwood movie.

I’ve been reading a couple of secular books lately, and I’m sorely reminded of why I prefer Christian fiction. I was on the wait list at the library for a hardback copy of The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (pen name for J.K. Rowling) and while it was ok, it was not what I prefer to read. I just don’t like the language. I know she can write good books without all those f-bombs, I’ve read the Potter books! Such a shame. And then, as I was finishing that one up, my name finally came up for the digital download of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I’ve been on the wait list for months, I think when I got on the list, I was number 23. It took months, and was bad timing to come available as I was finishing up the Cuckoo one. This one is better, the language is bad (but not AS bad) and the plot is better. After this one though, I’m going back to clean Christian fiction.

OK, well, just a quick post, glad September is here, not feeling great, sinus and stuff. And I have a bit of my summer doldrums left over, just don’t want to do much of anything other than play games, read, watch tv and be lazy. I’m not even motivated to cook these days 🙁

As Scarlett said, After all, tomorrow is another day! 😀

Posted by Stace

Daily Slice

Let’s see… today is Tuesday August 13. Maybe, just maybe, I might make it through August after all! Seeing light at the end of the tunnel!

* 18 days till kick off at The Rock, which is the beginning of college football season for us! Hoping for a better season than last year (0 wins, truly deplorable, and the worst in 18 seasons).

* Preseason football has started. The Saints won their opener (yes, I know it’s preseason and it doesn’t count). This just means one thing – real football is just around the corner!

* Quiet weekend for me – Tim played in the Whisper Lake club championship this past weekend and was gone almost all day Saturday and Sunday. He was so disappointed – he didn’t putt well and came in fourth in his flight (the top three win prizes!). He was still so upset about it on Monday that he didn’t go to play golf! Bonus for me, he stayed home, grilled out chicken and veggies for me. And then we rented a movie from Amazon Prime, the remake of Red Dawn. Turned out to be a pretty spectacular Monday for me 🙂

* Last Friday, we got to see Tim’s old Air Force friend Beth and her husband. They came through town, driving a US Army 18 wheeler, transporting stuff to Fort Polk. We went to Cock of the Walk to eat and visit, then back here for a bit before they had to get back on the road. I had never met Beth or her husband Mike, so that was great 🙂

* Going to be a busy week this week – haircut for me tomorrow, got some errands to run. Then taking my dad to his retina doctor appointment on Thursday. Friday I’ll probably grocery shop and might go to Sam’s. Saturday we’re tentatively scheduled to go over to my in-laws, for Tim to help more on the kitchen renovation. Depends on what they get done this week. Cabinets should be in, and Tim is needed to help with flooring and mouldings.

* Since Tim was gone most all weekend, I didn’t have to cook a lot. We ordered pizza one night (cashed in my Papa Johns points, so the pizza was free!), and I make homemade ice cream another night:

New recipe for snickerdoodle. We both liked it, very cinnamon-y. Mine, of course, was better with chocolate syrup poured on it. Tim did say that the last new one I tried (hot cocoa ice cream) was better than this one though, so file that away for next summer!

* Current Kindle book I’m reading: Heart of Stone by Jill Marie Landis. Just finished two I really enjoyed – “The Deposit Slip” by Todd M. Johnson (legal thriller, sort of like a Grisham) and “Paid in Blood” by Mel Odom (NCIS book, very similar to the series, but obviously a different team, good characters though). I’m currently ahead of where my goal shows I should be, on track to read at least 100 books this year. I’m hoping to top my all-time record, which was 104 a couple of years back.

* Currently watching: still enjoying summer shows. Looking forward to football and new fall shows. Recording several movies off pay channels. Rented Red Dawn last night from Amazon Video (love the new apps on our Samsung Smart TV!). I’ve been re-watching all the Harry Potters in order. On my third or fourth time through, currently about to start Order of the Phoenix.

* Current weather – finally got hot in August. Did have a nice rain last Friday. Most of my flowers are nearly dead, and I’m good with that 🙂 Hopefully will rain today and/or tomorrow – 60 % chance both days.

* Current want – I still want to get a dog. Tim is not ready. Sigh. I’ve found two on Petfinder and have tried to get him to go to the shelter and check them out. Now, they’ve both been adopted. While I’m glad they’ve found good homes, I want a dog. I miss my Beau, horribly, every day, and want a new puppy to love. Tim doesn’t seem to understand, he’s busy with golf and not really wanting a dog these days. Sniff sniff.

* Current time waster – Pinterest. Man, can I lose a lot of time just going through pins and reading blogs and stuff. Ugh.

Posted by Stace

Debbie Macomber Fan Ambassador

*Disclaimer: Still duplicating posts that I made over at Tumblr while our site was down*

Yes, I’m a nerd. Even worse, a book nerd. And I’ve loved Debbie Macomber books for a long time, so when she started having a good online presence, I jumped on board. I get her postal mail newsletter, and I follow her on Facebook, Twitter, etc. I’ve read over 20 books of hers, so apparently I qualified! I submitted my name on her fan page to be a Fan Ambassador, and I was picked! Of course, I’m sure they picked hundreds or thousands of readers, but still 🙂

They sent me an email informing me I had been chosen, and the nifty little badge above (I guess to display on my blog, who knows!), and now… I haven’t heard anything since. But I do love her books. I read a lot of her earlier ones and I loved all the Cedar Cove and Blossom Street books. I’ve started her new Inn at Rose Harbor books.. I think another one comes out in August, and maybe that will be involved with this fan ambassador business. We’ll see!

Posted by Stace

June recap

Some more things going on around here… mostly just for me and my poor memory!

June actually seemed to go by pretty quick. Now July is here, and typically, July and August are my least favorite months of the year. BY FAR! I will be so glad when September gets here! Holidays, football, birthdays, September through New Years is my most favorite time of the year!

* Tim got the stove installed early on (it was ready for me to use on Saturday June 8), and I quickly began work on christening it. The first thing I used the oven for was homemade pizza. I have had to learn to use the smooth top ceramic burners, but I think I have it figured out now. They seem to take longer to heat up, but boy once they do, they stay warm. I made sloppy joes for Tim a couple of weeks later, and my recipe calls for simmering the mixture for 20 minutes. Once I got the mixture to a boil, then lowered to low, it was more than a simmer. I actually had to turn the burner off for a few minutes, just so it wasn’t bubbling furiously 🙂 I really like it though, and have been using it a lot. It’s so much better for baking things. Before, when I’d bake cookies, brownies, bread, etc, I’d get uneven results. Sometimes things would be overdone on the outside and still doughy in the middle. Now, I get a very even bake. I don’t think the oven is technically convection, but it does have a fan in the back, and I hear it running even after I’ve turned the stove off. It’s a Whirlpool Gold with Accubake, and Tim says that means it is convection. Whatever it is, it sure is a heck of a lot better than my 20 year old stove!

* I’ve also pulled out my Cuisinart ice cream maker and made a couple of batches of ice cream. Nothing like homemade fudgy brownies and homemade vanilla ice cream in the evenings!

* In spite of the new stove, we’ve still been eating out occasionally. We sometimes go to Corner Bakery after church on Sunday mornings. A couple of weeks ago, we broke out of our routine and got crazy and went to IHOP! We still enjoy going to the little Mexican place by our house, Cazadores. We went last Saturday night, and Tim got something new, the paradilla (spelled??) platter. Basically a huge platter, like a fajita skillet but not sizzling, filled with all kinds of meat. Chicken, beef, shrimp, chorizo, short ribs, pork, lots of stuff. It was really good. He brought home two take out containers of meat and fixings, and got several more meals out of it! We’ve been doing a Friday night date night at home a couple of weekends in June. One Friday night we went to Pizza Hut and got pizza, and came home to watch tv. Another night we ordered Five Guys over the Internet and ran in to pick it up. Nothing like greasy fast food on a Friday night!

* I read about 18 books in June! That might be a new record for me! I am still using GoodReads to track what I read. I’m doing really good this year and hope to read close to 100 books. My all time high is 104, which works out to 2 books per week, at 52 weeks a year. It would be nice if I broke that record, but I probably won’t make it. Of the books I read in June, my favorites were probably the 3 books in the French Twist series by Sandra Byrd (Chrisitan chick-lit) and my least favorite, I nearly abandoned, and wished I had. I got a digital download from the library of Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella and I disliked it quite a bit 🙁

* Also in June, Tim played a lot of golf! On the first day of the month, a Saturday, he went with some golfing buddies over to a course in Louisiana called Black Bear. He had a really good time, but I had a long day. I think he was gone about 11 or 12 hours. He also played with his buddies on two Saturday mornings at 7:22. Nothing like getting up early on our one day to sleep in!

* Tim also helped our neighbor Ms Maridine with her computer, and also with the locks on her house. We saw her quite a bit and she took us out to lunch at the Strawberry Cafe to say thank you to Tim for all his hard work. We went over and helped Elizabeth one night at her new house. We took Fred with us on Father’s Day to Linda’s house, so we could visit with Tim’s dad on Father’s Day. We had a nice visit that day, and Fred enjoyed the trip. Also, I took Fred to see the new pulmonologist Dr. Westbrook twice, on two Mondays in June. He has one more appointment (I hope!) on July 15th. We also went on June 30th to a get-together at Tim’s Aunt Annie Myrl’s house. Mitchell’s sister in law Mary and her daughter Cheryl were here from New Mexico. I don’t think I had ever met them, so we went to visit and catch up with Tim’s dad’s side of the family. We had a really nice time 🙂

Let’s see… there’s probably more that happened in June, but that was the highlights. And of course, the anniversary of my mom’s passing, it was eleven years this June. And Fred closed out on his house around the end of the month. House paperwork and errands kept us busy for a while, but thankfully we did everything remote and didn’t have to make a trip to Hattiesburg.

We have the annual Fourth of July get-together at Tim’s Aunt Becky’s house tomorrow. We’ll go down, and take Fred, he enjoys going with us every year on the Fourth. I made brownies to take, as usual. Maybe one day I’ll get brave and take something new!

I’ll try to update more often, wanna keep up with all what we are doing and what’s going on. Even though I do stuff on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, I think the old blog is still the best venue for keeping track of the little and big stuff. Here’s hoping I can do better in the future 🙂 I’m sporadic, at best, these days, LOL!

Posted by Stace

Random & Assorted

My best intentions about blogging more regularly appear to be sliding yet again!

So, a few thoughts about what we’ve been doing and a few other things.

Weekends continue to be busy, while the weekdays are filled with the same ole-same ole, and yet fly by equally fast. Last weekend, we watched some movies (two I got at the library: The Debt and One for the Money), and also watched some football and stuff on the DVR. We ate out at a new-to-us place, Kent’s Cajun Kitchen. It was delicious, a bit overpriced, but good food. Tim played golf, so the weekend flew by.

This weekend is more of the same. Tim won’t be playing golf because he hurt his back again (this time helping me, he was getting the Christmas dishes out of the attic for me, in time to use for Thanksgiving). We had plans for the weekend, but they got tabled due to his back. So, we’re hanging out at home and watching more movies, football, tv, etc. I’ve been making regular trips to the library (2 more movies: Cowboys & Aliens and Joyful Noise) and I also checked out some “real” books. I read two of them (Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber and The Hidden Flame by Davis Bunn and Janette Oke). I have one more book, but Tim wanted to read it (The Rook by Stephen James), so I’m happily back reading on my Kindle. I much prefer my electronic devices to read on.

OK, a few bullets!

    * Football season is flying by. Sigh. The Eagles are 0-10 (worst record in college football), and it’s time for our new coach to leave. The Saints are doing better, 4-5, and hopefully on a upswing. I hate to see football season closer to the end than the beginning.
    * Thanksgiving is this week. Lots to do! We’re going to do the turkey in Tim’s new smoker. Lots of the other regular sides (dressing, cranberry sauce, green beans, broccoli casserole, bread, etc)
    * Yesterday would have been my mom’s 88th birthday. I still miss her every day.
    * Tim’s birthday is coming up, and once again, I don’t have a clue as to what to get him!
    * We both go to the doctor soon. Ugh. At least Tim is going, for the first time since we’ve been married. So glad he’s going to go get things checked on, and find out about his blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.
    * Madison opened up a Christmas on Ice yesterday, through the first week of January. Looking forward to going soon! I won’t get on the ice rink, but will enjoy the music and the Scripture trail.
    * My new favorite snack: Chobani Vanilla Chocolate Chunk. Bummed that I can’t find it at Kroger and have to trek to the Walmart to get it. But trek I do, that stuff is sooo good!
    * I used up a bunch of my Swagbucks and Amazon gift cards and ordered myself a Cuisinart griddler, and also got the waffle plates. I’ve been having fun using it, I’ve done paninis, grilled salmon and made waffles. So far I love it 🙂
    * I’m in denial, as usual, as to how close Christmas really is. I have no idea of what to get anyone. It seems to get harder and harder each year. Everyone just seems to have anything they might want or need.
    * The nights are getting cold, and we actually had to start turning on the heat for a bit in the mornings, last week. When it gets down in the 30’s the house cools off enough to need it in the AM. Also, I’m back to enjoying hot tea and some decaf coffee in the mornings. Extra calories, but oh so good!
Posted by Stace

Back in the Saddle

Last week was a pretty awesome one for me – it was cloudy or rained most every day! Just my kind of weather. Not as hot, cloudy and rainy, I don’t have to spend a lot of time outside, watering the grass, flowers, plants, herbs, etc. I am able to spend more time inside, reading 🙂

A quick recap of the weekend, since that’s when we get out and run around the most. Tim again didn’t play golf on Friday night, so we could have “date” night. Except that it was raining, so neither one of us really wanted to get out. Tim offered to cook rumien for me, so I always take him up on that offer! We watched the next Harry Potter movie (Goblet of Fire) and really enjoyed it. I understand them so much more now, having just read each book.

Saturday, Tim finally got to play golf. He had an early tee time with his buddies. Beau *really* wanted to go for a walk, but I decided to be lazy and stay home. Poor Beau. With all the rain, he hasn’t been in several days. I caught up on some shows on the DVR and read some on the new book I started on my Kindle, “Lion of Babylon” by Davis Bunn. Tim got in around lunch time and wanted to go out and eat, so we headed out and went to the new Newk’s near our house. We got shrimp po-boys and caesar salads, it was really good. I was surprised that their po-boys had steamed or boiled shrimp, instead of the normal around here, which is fried shrimp. After Newk’s, we headed to Sam’s to pick up a lot of items. When we got back, I had an email from the library saying that the next Harry Potter book (#6 Half Blood Prince) was FINALLY available. I have been waiting a while for it, so I went ahead and downloaded it and started reading. Around suppertime, Tim didn’t seem to want anything that we had in the house. So “we” decided to get pizza. 😀 Instead of our norm (either me making homemade pizza or us ordering from Papa Johns), he wanted to try Dominos. We placed our order on the web, then drove to the pick up spot a few miles from our house. We were both surprised that it was pretty good! The last time (years ago) we tried Dominos, it wasn’t good, but this was pretty good.

Saturday night, Tim wanted to rent a movie, and he really wanted to see The Grey with Liam Neeson, so he watched that while I went in the bedroom to read. Afterwards, I asked him if he liked it and he said NO. Which is not like Tim, he usually likes movies. He said it had a bad ending, so he was not very happy about it. I hated wasting the money to rent it (through Apple TV/iTunes), but at least he got to see something he wanted 🙂

Sunday was busy with church, then stopping by Fresh Market to pick up some figs, blueberries and a few things. Tim headed out again to play golf, and shot his best score to date, a 74. He was really happy when he got in!

Today will be “back in the saddle” day! We got up early to go walking, so that helped get us back in our routine. I’ve got a dirty house to clean and have to figure out something to cook for supper, so I guess it’s back to normal around here 🙂

Posted by Stace

Harry Potter books

After resisting for years and years, I finally broke down and started reading the Harry Potter books. So, the year 2012 will go down as the year I read them all. In digital form, no less 🙂

I’ve had my Kindle for nearly 2 years now, and I love, love, love it! I do NOT like to read “real” books any more. I prefer holding my Kindle or my iPad and reading on an e-reader. I love being able to go back and forth on those two devices, depending on where I am (if Wi-Fi is available, light conditions, etc) and have it sync my book between devices. The Kindle reading app is a glorious thing!

In March of this year, my library got e-book lending. There’s only a couple of libraries in our state that have this, so I’m very VERY lucky to live in a district that does. I had been searching for them for a while now, and on March 1, I found ebooks online! I immediately started checking books out of the library. Sometime in May, they got the rights to the Potter books, and so I decided to start reading them.

I thought for a long time that I wouldn’t like them, and I couldn’t have been more wrong. They are very entertaining, very engaging (hard to put down) and so incredibly well written. I was really quite surprised and taken aback. I knew they were huge, and we have seen the movies (and are re-watching them now that I am reading the books), but still…. I didn’t think the books would be as good as they are. I’ve read 5 of the 7 so far, and will get the other two soon. Our library only has one copy available for checkout at a time, and someone is apparently reading them ahead of me. They read slower than I do, for I have to wait a few days on each book! 🙂

Who knows, I might break down and reading something like Twilight next! Or maybe not. After all, I have about 500 unread books on my Kindle, LOL!

Happy Reading!