Exceedingly Mundane

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Posted by Stace

Away from the blog…

Yes, I’ve been away from my old blog for another long while. I miss it sometimes, but just never seem to think about sitting down and writing a blog entry.

I needed to look something up again, today, so of course I turned to my blog. It is great for looking back to see what we did, where we went, what we bought, etc. I miss that, and the interaction with my blog friends who used to come by and visit regularly, the most.

Anyway. I was reading some old entries and found it interesting to read about tv shows we watched, books I had read, meals I had cooked, etc. I thought I’d do a little of that right now:

I’m still using GoodReads to keep up with the books I read. Last year (2012), I read a total of 94 books, which is probably the second most since I’ve been keeping track of how many books I read per year. This year, I hope to read at least 60-70. So far, I’m off to a good start. I’ve read 6 so far this year:

1. The Homecoming by Dan Walsh (sequel to The Unfinished Gift, which I read right before New Years)
2. The Lady of Milkweed Manor by Julie Klassen
3. A Time to Love (Quilts of Lancaster County #1) by Barbara Cameron
4. The Negotiator (O’Malley #1) by Dee Henderson
5. A Time to Heal (Quilts of Lancaster County #2) by Barbara Cameron
6. False Pretenses by Kathy Herman

Almost finished with The Girl in the Gatehouse, also by Julie Klassen. Not sure what I’ll read next.

Tonight is the Super Bowl. We’re not having a party this year. We had them regularly until 2009, the year the Saints went to, and won, their Super Bowl. We haven’t had one since and I’m ok with suspending them. A lot of food, a lot of people, and you never really get to watch the game and commercials with a house full of adults and kids. They were fun, don’t get me wrong, but I think I’ve just moved on from having them.

Tim and I will watch the game tonight, just us. I’m not rooting for either the San Francisco 49′ers or the Baltimore Ravens. I’m just glad the Super Bowl is in New Orleans. Wish the Saints had not had “Bountygate” all year and had made it. Maybe next year :) We were going to do ribs in the smoker, but Tim decided that would make a lot and have a lot left over. So, he’s going to grill a few brats, and we’ll have those with sauerkraut, some home fries and salad. He’s still doing his healthy eating thing. He’s down 16 pounds since he started in December and looks really trim to me :) He was doing P90X daily until he hurt his leg, jogging with Beau last week.

My shoulder is still hurting. I’m trying to do some stretching exercises and procrastinating on going to see the doctor. Boo.

Ok, enough updating for now. Maybe more later, maybe not :)

Posted by Stace

Mid-Month Update

I wish I had something exciting to blog about. Here we are already half way through February, and it seems like just yesterday we were getting ready for the holidays! Time really does fly!

Let’s see:

* We never do much for Valentines Day. In the early years of being married, we both went all out (although Tim only did so, to make me happy). I was cleaning out some stuff in a closet the other day and ran across a box full of cards we sent each other the first couple of years. My goodness, Hallmark and American Greetings made a ton of money off of us, LOL! The longer we’ve been married, the more I’ve come around to Tim’s way of thinking. He loves me 365 days a year and doesn’t need a certain day to tell me or show me. He’s wonderful about doing it every day. I don’t want to wait for a day in mid February to get flowers or chocolates or a nice dinner out. I get those all through the year!

* We got AT&T Uverse installed last week. So far (knock on wood), we really like it! The Internet seems faster (although Tim had to do some work to bypass their combo router/cable modem - our equipment is better and faster and serves our needs, and they try to shut stuff off, which doesn’t work for us). He has everything running now, including all of the stuff for our website (my blog, mail, recipe databases, etc). The cable portion is miles above what we had with Comcast. I can now get all channels in the bedroom (via a second box that is $7 a month). I can watch any show in there from the main DVR, even while he’s watching something in the den. We have all of the channels, and tons more high-def ones than we had before. We’re tv addicts, so we’re both pretty happy!

* A new season of Survivor starts tonight, hooray! We miss Human Target but are enjoying other favorites like NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles, Fringe, White Collar, V, The Mentalist, Hawaii Five 0 and others.

* I’ve been reading more this year than last. I’m slowly adapting to the tinnitus and learning to read with the buzzing in my head. I’m really enjoying my Kindle and all of the free books I have downloaded on it. This year, I hope to surpass my reading goal from last year (the lowest I’ve had since I started keeping track). So far, I’ve read 12 books this year, which is a good start for me. (If you’re interested in what I read, let me know. I use Goodreads, and can hook up with you there). I’m currently reading “A Proper Pursuit” by Lynn Austin, free on my Kindle. And I’m REALLY enjoying it! :)

* After really cold temps most of January and February, it feels like spring this week. Last week, we had some ice and snow. The second day, the temperature never got above freezing, so none of it melted. Weird for us. This week, it’s sunny blue skies and temps around 70 degrees! Tim is getting “golf” fever, his version of spring fever. I’ll lose him soon to the lure of the golf course :)

* I’ve been making homemade pizzas fairly regularly. I go through phases with my cooking. Otherwise, I’m not a huge cooking kick. I’d like to be making breads and sweets, my favorites, but we’re both trying to watch what we eat and Tim keeps talking me out of brownies and bread :D Anyway, this is the last pizza sauce I tried, which we really liked - recipe here. Please note, I don’t claim this to be my recipe, I adapted it from AllRecipes.com. I named it that on our website, to distinguish it from sauces anyone else would enter :D

* Sadly, there are apparently no Girl Scouts any longer in our neighborhood. They’ve all grown up and no new ones have moved in, apparently. No one rings my door to buy cookies. Sniff sniff. Of course, Tim would guilt me into not buying any, hehehe, so there. :D

Anything exciting going on out there in blog-land? Just keeping on, keeping on here!

Posted by Stace

Weekend Update

Well, here we are on the second weekend in December. Wow, this year has alternately drug by and flown by. Some days during the summer, it seemed like summer would never end. Some days when
my tinnitus was so bad, I wasn’t sure I’d make it through a day. Then, at night I couldn’t sleep and wasn’t sure I was going to ever sleep again. But summer finally ended, with our hot temps, and I’m glad to say that my tinnitus is a bit better, too. It’s not gone — I’ve given up hope that it will just go away, and although I pray daily for that mercy, I’ve resigned myself that I will hear it every second, for the remainder of my life. But I have made many changes with diet, food and medicines, and either a combination of those or something *has* helped. I’m thinking the gingko biloba has made the biggest difference, but it might not be that. Either way, it is better and I’m learning to co-exist with the noises in my head.

Summer finally ended, and my favorite time of the year began - football season! The Saints are currently 9-3 today (game in an hour or so, so hopefully 10-3 soon, LOL!), and we are cautiously hopeful about the remainder of the season and their playoff chances. We’d obviously love to see them do well again, after so many years of being perennial losers.

OK, for an update of this weekend:

We’re a day shy of two weeks (yikes, typo, thanks Michelle!) days from Christmas. Wow, where has this year gone?

This is the second weekend that Tim is having to work a ton, for his big project at work. Last weekend was so bad. He worked three nights in a row, including one night where he didn’t go to bed until 7:40 AM. I cannot pull all-nighters any more. Just can’t. I feel so bad for him, but am so grateful that he has a job and works so hard to take care of us and provide for us.

I’ve gotten most of the Christmas presents wrapped. I have 3 or 4 left to go. I got the Christmas cards finished and mailed a few days ago. I’m seriously contemplating NOT doing any baking at all this year. My mother-in-law does a ton, and we just don’t need it around our house. I won’t have anything to take the neighbors and that’s my only drawback. I’ll have to think a bit more on that.

Yesterday was semi-warm (60’s) and today a front has blown through and it’s COLD. Current temp, 39, wind chill 29. Cold for us.

Yesterday, I planted pansies. In years gone by, I always had pansies planted by Halloween. I didn’t even want to plant them this year, I’m OVER planting annuals, but Tim talked me into it. And he helped :) I hope they survive our overnight temps of 20’s for the next couple of days.

And yesterday, I ordered, for the first time ever, Amazon’s Deal of the Day! LOL! They had a stainless steel Breadmachine bread machine on special and I used some of my Swagbucks money to order me one :) I hope it is a good one. My last bread machine (Sunbeam/Oster) has been going strong for 11 years, and while it still works, it doesn’t mix the ingredients as well, and it’s gotten really LOUD. Distracts everyone in the house while it’s running. So, Santa Stacy ordered herself a new one :)

Oh, and I’m still LOVING, absolutely loving, my Kindle! Tim got me the Wi-Fi one for my birthday and I just love it. I’ve gotten so many great free books from Amazon and I’ve downloaded a couple of Christmas books to read. I really love reading on it, it’s so light and easy to hold :D

Posted by Stace

Long Overdue Update

You know what they say about the best of intentions? Yes, that was me a couple of months ago when I thought I was back into blogging. Oh well, I really have been meaning to update the old blog! I actually don’t know where to start :)

Since I blogged last, we’ve been busy! We have:

gone to our great-nephew Sam’s 3rd birthday party
Tim hurt his back and was out of commission for a short while
I’ve had a birthday (and got a Kindle!)
my sister Gail ran her second 5K
Had Halloween at our house and went trick or treating with small kids for the first time
my sister Suzanne came to visit from Florida
I went to my yearly doctor visit and found out my cholesterol is high (ugh)
I’ve been trying to cook and eat better (haha!)

and now… we’re about to have Thanksgiving and Tim’s birthday. A lot going on, and I’d like to record some of it to remember, but a lot of it is “old news” by now!

Let’s start here - I wrote this post a couple months ago about a prize I won online. I watch the Rachael Ray show pretty regularly, and try to enter most of the contests they offer online. I won a nice prize, a Shark Pocket Steam Mop, and it came in a couple of weeks after they notified me that I had won. It was very cool, because it was delivered the morning that I clean our floors in the kitchen and breakfast room. I already had the room empty, swept and ready to mop when the doorbell rang!

So, I gave it a good test and I have to say, I really like using an electric steam mop as opposed to a wet mop. It uses just water, so I no longer use chemicals on my floor. The pads are interchangeable (it has 3 sizes of “heads”, one regular, one extra large, and one triangular which is great in the bathrooms) and you can wash the microfiber covers. They’re white, so you can REALLY see what dirt is coming up off your floors. The best thing, hands down, about using this steam mop is how quickly the floor dries. It’s dry just a couple of minutes after I mop over it. I love it :)

I’ll try to update soon with a picture of my Kindle and the cute case I ordered for it, and blog about that soon. I might update with some photos of family events, but then again, I may just put them on Flickr.

Hope everyone is having a great day, week, and great fall! :D

Posted by Stace

Long Break!

I don’t know if I just took a long break, or more likely, I had nearly given up on blogging. Either way, it’s been a while since I updated my blog.

The last time I posted was late March, which was when I developed tinnitus. I went to sleep one Friday night and I was fine. When I woke up Saturday morning, I had this loud screeching noise in my head. Well, actually, at first it was a loud pulsating noise, like I could hear my pulse pounding inside my head, very loudly. After several doctors visits, and being treated for what they said was a middle ear infection, it changed over to “traditional” tinnitus, a loud buzzing or screeching sound in my head. I took decongestants, mucus thinners, a Z-pack, a steroid pack, and finally they said the fluid was gone, but the noises remain. And apparently will for the rest of my life. I saw an ENT (who I disliked immensely, she was cold and uncaring and had the worst “bedside” manner I have ever encountered) who told me that I probably had Meniere’s Disease and that is why I have tinnitus. Except that my father-in-law has Meniere’s so I know all about it. I do not have vertigo, which is one of the hallmarks of Meneire’s. I just have tinnitus. Every second of every minute of every hour of every day. I’m getting better. And I’m trying lots of things on my own. The doctor said “learn to live with it”. When I told her I was having trouble sleeping, she said “turn some music on”. That was the extent of her helpful medical knowledge. HA! So, I’m doctoring myself and taking vitamin and herb supplements. It is better, but it has not gone away, and probably never will. I will have to learn to live with it, and I have somewhat, but I still have quite a long ways to go. Luckily, I have an awesome God on my side, who loves me, and the most loving spouse on the planet. So I know I’ll be fine, one way or another :)

Hearing the loud noises in my head and trying to cope with it consumes most of my days! I no longer read much, because it’s hard for me to read with the noise. I am getting better, but my reading pace and the number of books I have read is way down. I won’t come anywhere near the number of books I used to read in a year, this year. But I am enjoying most of the ones I do read, so I guess that’s good!

I’m walking 6 days a week. Most mornings, Tim gets up and goes with me, and we take Beau. We walk anywhere from 1 mile to nearly 3 miles. We don’t walk on Sundays, because we go to early church. In April, I got pretty sick and was having so much trouble sleeping and eating, that I lost 6 or 8 pounds in a couple of weeks. While I was ecstatic over the weight loss, I didn’t feel well. So once I got to feeling better, I got back to eating, and I’m happy/sad to report that I’ve gained all of that weight back!

I’ve gone back to scrapbooking, at least on a smaller level. I can turn music on when I scrapbook, which helps to mask some of the tinnitus. I’ve finished my Disney album (I won’t even tell you how many years ago we went to Disney World) which is way overdue. I’m working on pages for my Christmas album and also some in my regular chronological albums. I’m way behind, so I won’t ever come close to catching up. In addition to working on pages, I’ve also gone back and gotten a few pictures printed out. I’m about, oh, 6 or 7 years behind on printing pictures. To say I’m totally digital now is an understatement. I didn’t even know where to start at looking for places to print out photos!

I’m trying to stay busy, because when I’m busy or out in noisy places like restaurants, stores, etc, I don’t hear the tinnitus as much. Tim is great about getting me out and keeping me busy. I was always such a homebody, and it’s been so hard, such an adjustment for me, not to be able to enjoy being at home, enjoying the silence, being quiet and content. We’ve been going to a lot of movies this summer (although this is hard on me, the noise bothers my ears badly now, so I try to take ear plugs, which helps, but my tinnitus always spikes after we go to the theater). We go out to eat some, and get out and about whenever we have time.

Tim is still playing a lot of golf. He changed golf clubs a few months back and now has two courses that he can play at. The bad news is that he can no longer take Beau to the new place he joined (it’s a country club, not a golf club any more). When the weather was cooler, I was going with Tim and walking some at the golf course. It’s been really hot lately, though, so I have not been going. Tim still goes when it’s outrageous hot, but not me, I like my air conditioning! We had triple digit weather a week ago, and he was still out, on the days it was 103, with a heat index of 112. Yikes!

Anyway, this is not a very interesting blog post, nor am I promising any interesting ones in the future. Just thought I’d do a long, boring update! :)

Posted by Stace

Quick Catch-up

I haven’t had a chance to blog lately. There’s several posts I have “brewing”, but first I wanted to do a quick catch-up.

Last weekend, my sister Suzanne came for a visit. We had a busy weekend, including a birthday party for our two year old great nephew, Sam. Then, we had a lot of family over for a visit, and we cooked out some hamburgers and hot dogs. My dad drove back and forth to visit several times, and my sister left on Tuesday flying back home. I got sick Tuesday morning and have been sick most of the week. Ugh, it’s never fun to run fever and have aches and chills. :(

I’ll try to be back soon with a “real” post, but until then, just wanted to do a quick update :)

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Posted by Stace

Update on Recycling

I blogged a couple of weeks ago, here, about having to drive my cardboard and magazines to a recycling bin a mile or two from my house. Well! I’m happy to report that I won’t have to do that any longer!

My city/county apparently changed contractors for their recycling pickup. Which, I failed to note in my previous post, we pay for, whether we use it or not. Of course, I’ve always been a recycle/reuse/save the planet kind of girl, so I’ve recycled stuff as long as I can remember. Anyway… last week, we all got dropped off on our driveway a brand new recycling bin! In a pretty green color :) Inside was a list of what all they will and will not accept.

The main thing we lost is glass recycling. I’ve been recycling glass bottles for over 16 years, and now they will no longer accept them. Which is not bad, it’s probably one of the least recycled things in my bin. I used to have more kitchen things that were glass, but a lot of those have been converted to either plastic or paper containers. But, here’s the good news… they added paper of all kinds! The handout says you can recycle flattened cardboard, magazines, phone books, junk mail, office paper, etc. So, that’s going to be a huge boost for me! Not only do I no longer have to drive this stuff to the drop-off center, maybe I will get better about not throwing junk mail and stuff in the trash! Also, this is even more motivation for me to go through the piles of magazines I have around here. Shhh, don’t tell Tim where all I have them hiding!

All in all, I think it’s a good trade-off, giving up glass but gaining paper, cardboard and magazine recycling. I seem to have paper coming out of my ears :D

Hooray for recycling!