Saturday, December 31, 2011

More Than Expected

2011 was a year of highs and lows.  A year of surprises.  As I look back over my list of resolutions for last year I am surprised at how many I accomplished to some degree, and how many there are where I completely missed my mark.  But considering the year as I whole, I honestly have to say that I am in a much better place personally than I was this time last year.

Looking ahead, I want 2012 to be the year of "MORE".  And with that thought, I make my new list of resolutions, to experience MORE.

In 2012 I will enjoy MORE of every day and every experience.

In 2012 I will continue to make The Man of the House, our marriage, and our family MORE of a priority.

In 2012 I will read MORE.

In 2012 I will blog MORE.

In 2012 I will learn MORE.

In 2012 I will do MORE to improve my health.

That's it.  Short and simple.  MORE in 2012...


Friday, December 30, 2011

Watch THIS

I know I'm not the only one that does this.  Every time the new year approaches I say "this year I am going to lose weight and get healthy".  And by the time the holidays roll around at the end of that year - I have managed not to accomplish that.

This year really is going to be different.  This is the year I have jump started my resolution and joined Weight Watchers.  I'm all signed up, have 3 months paid for in advance, and I am ready to go.  My points are figured, my plan is being managed.  I'm official.

Am I nervous?  A little.  Maybe.

But this is my public declaration...

THIS IS THE YEAR I LOSE WEIGHT AND GET HEALTHY!

It's out there.  I'm accountable now.  And anyone that may happen to read this post is welcome to ask me in about a month how it's going so far.

I am so ready to watch my weight... watch it disappear!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

More Christmas Crafty-ness

I made these crocheted project totes for the crafters in my life.  Besides the red/turquoise/black one you see pictured here; there was also a coral/winter white/brown one, and one with three shades of blue.

The Calm After The Storm

Shhh...  do you hear that?  Yeah, neither do I. 

That, my friends, is the sound of silence.  My house is once again quiet.  After 5 days of endless chatter, laughter, people coming and going, and even a little yelling - silence now hangs heavy in the air.  After the madness and mayhem of Christmas I enjoying taking a few minutes to close my eyes, take a deep breath, and feel it all around me.  It's peaceful.  I can hear my own thoughts again. 

My home still looks as if Christmas walked in and threw up in each and every room.  The fridge is still packed full of leftovers which must be dealt with.  And yes, there are still a few gifts that need to be packaged up and delivered.  But all that can wait for a bit. 

For just now, I revel in the nothingness of the moment. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dream A Little Dream

I don't remember my dreams much anymore.  I used to when I was younger.  I used to dream and wake with a vivid recall of my nocturnal imaginings.  Occasionally I would even have the dream where I realized I was dreaming.  Not anymore. 

It's not that I don't dream.  I know I do, because sometimes I wake with a vague feeling left over from the dream.  Or a few fleeting images.  Or I'll catch that feeling of deja vu sometime later.  But I don't remember the dreams themselves.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Crochet

Finished a few projects today and got them wrapped up.  Thought I'd show off a few of the Christmas presents I have crocheted as gifts for co-workers and friends.
Cowl Scarves

Wrap scarf - made up the pattern for this one as I went along, and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out!

Made several of these twisty scarves in different yarns.

Three Of Me... And A Maid

Things were sailing along so smoothly.  I couldn't believe how stress free the Christmas preparations seems to be for me this year.  I wasn't stressing.  I didn't feel pressed for time.  All of that has changed. 

I now realize that it was the calm before the storm.  I wasn't stressed because I didn't realize how much still needed to be done.  I thought I had plenty of time.  I was WRONG!!

This week I am stressed.  I feel pressed for time.  To be completely honest - I am freaking out a little bit.  My to-do list keeps getting longer, rather than decreasing in size.  I keep realizing what else needs done.  Projects finished.  Presents wrapped.  Baking done.  Much of it before tomorrow's dueling Christmas gatherings at both my own and The Man of the House's places of work.  Much more of it before Thursday when family starts arriving.

Today I look at that ever growing list and think to myself  "I need about 3 of me, and a maid!" 

And yet, I sit here blogging about it, procrastinating - rather than diving right in.  Apparently I still have not learned my lesson.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Little Grinch In All Of Us

What ever happened to good will toward man?  The Christmas spirit?  Isn't this time of year supposed to bring out the best in people?  Even the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes at Christmas!  And yet...  I seem to be living in a town full of Scrooges.

I have had more people pull out into traffic right in front of me in the past week than the entire rest of the year.  And the ones that aren't pulling out in front of me, or cutting me off - are the ones riding my bumper.

Then there was the woman in line at the store in front of me who was clearly well over the "20 items or less".   She didn't think that requirement applied to her.  Or maybe she just thought it was more of a suggestion than anything else.  Who knows.  But as if ignoring the 20 item limit wasn't rude enough - she had to also complain about everything involved with her transaction.  How it was being bagged.  Didn't the cashier have a bag for the giant box containing the slow cooker she was purchasing?  Why did she have to sign a receipt for her credit card purchase when she had done the transaction on the little swipe pad thing already? 

And of course the people who stand in line and huff and puff and fidget because things aren't moving fast enough.  Sorry people - but you know it's the holidays.  You know the stores are going to be crowded.  So is the post office. You should well expect that you are going to have to wait in line.  Sighing deeply to yourself over and over isn't going to change that fact.

I'm choosing to try a new tactic in dealing with all the ill-will around me.  I paste on a big ol' smile and kill them with kindness.  Will it change all those around me?  Probably not.  But it can still have a reward all its own.  For as the saying goes -

“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.” ~ Herm Albright



Monday Morning Brain

I'm pretty sure I set my marbles down around here somewhere.  Now if I could just locate them!

I'm suffering from a pretty serious case of what I have now given the title of "Monday Brain".  Of course, it's not confined to just Monday and can, in fact, occur on any given day of the week.  But today is Monday - so there ya go...

My mind is wandering already today.  I can't seem to stay focused on any one thing for very long.  If I try to think about what I need to accomplish at work today - I start thinking about what I want to pack to eat today

While thinking about which foods to pack - I start thinking that I need to go feed the chickens. 

As I consider that - I realize I also need to feed the cats and dog. 

From there my mind zooms over to what we're eating for Christmas dinner.

And what I need to bake this week.

And how the Little Man only has 2 days of school this week. 

And stocking stuffers.  And cleaning I still need to finish.  And wrapping that needs done.

And all the while, I should be getting dressed for work.

Which brings me right back to what I need to do at work today before the long Christmas weekend.  And the way my mind keeps wandering - I am know pondering how I'm going to manage to accomplish ANY of it!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Birth

I was born on a cold day in early November when the snow flurries were flying. My mother was alone in the delivery room. Not because it was customary at the time for fathers to pace nervously in the waiting area during the births of their children; but because my father was somewhere in the Mediterranean on a Navy ship. I got hung up in the birth canal, and as a result came out with a head and face so misshapen, I looked like a creature from one of the "Lord of the Rings" movies.

Written in response to a prompt by The One-Minute Writer: Birth -Write what you know about your own birth.









Wednesday, December 14, 2011

In The White Minority

Perhaps you have heard about the great white Coke can debacle?  Coca-Cola made the mistake of putting out white cans featuring polar bears to raise money as it partnered with the World Wildlife Fund for "Arctic Home"   And Coke consumers across the nation found their proverbial bright red panties in quite a knot! 




White cans?   But white is so close to silver!!  The color of DIET Coke cans!!  How will they ever tell the difference?  I would naturally assume that the lack of the word "diet" could be a a good clue, if not a flat-out give away.  But hey...  why should people have to actually read when selecting a cold beverage?

Some even insisted that the Coke product in the white cans tasted different.  Really?  I mean... really?  C'mon.  I've personally consumed the liquid from several of the white cans - and it tastes like regular ol' Coke to me.

So, I liked the different white cans.  I liked the little polar bears pictured across the bottom of the can.  I liked pretending like I was doing something to save the polar bears when I picked up a white can.  But, I guess I am in the minority.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Soothing The Savage Beast

Yesterday evening, The Man of the House walked in from work and handed me a grocery bag.  As I peeked inside, my heart filled with gratitude and love for this man I married.  Having read yesterday's blog post, he stopped on the way home and picked up a six pack of Coke (in the white cans - more on that later)  and a bag of Hershey's Kisses with almonds! 

Was it simple kindness in him that inspired him to refill my chocolate stash?  Or a sense of self-preservation after reading my rantings?  Either way - he calmed the hormonal, chocolate crazed creature in me.  And for that, I am grateful. 

I do feel compelled to confess that later in the evening, he also found the missing Kisses - which had been moved to a different cabinet from where I had been hiding them.  There weren't actually gone, just misplaced.  Which I fear makes me look even crazier.  And I'm pretty sure there is suspicion amongst the natives that I am just trying to be sneaky and obtain surplus chocolate for the stash.  And while, I assure you that is not the case - it is a bonus. 

But I digress.  The point is simply this:  The Man of the House brought me chocolate.  He tamed the chocolate beastie.  And I am a very, very lucky woman!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Taking A Month Off

Here's what I think...  at least one time each year a woman should just be able to decide that she is not going to deal with her cycle and get the month off. 

Think about that one!  Once a year you just make up your mind - "Nope, not dealing with THAT this month"  And you don't have too!  Wouldn't that be nice?

No more having to pack those extra special supplies when you're going on vacation. (and why oh why does it always seem to show up when we are going on vacation anyway???).

No more anniversaries or romantic getaways interrupted by the extra company.

Or maybe just one less holiday made extra stressful by the raging PMS. 

That's all I'm asking.  Just one month off.  But for now - I must go figure out who ate the last of my Hershey Kisses so that person can PAY.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sleepy Time

I had a to-do list today.  And it wasn't a short one.  I started out well enough.  Cleaned up the kitchen, did some laundry.  Then I attacked the closet downstairs where I have been storing my craft items and the extra blankets.

Working to purge the closet set off my allergies.  Eyes were itching and watering.  Roof of my mouth was itching.  There was much sneezing and running of my nose.  I knew where this was heading, so I took an allergy tablet to curb off the worst of the symptoms.

This was a mistake...

Next thing I knew - I was crashed out on the couch while "Elf" played on the television.  About two hours had passed as I peacefully snoozed the afternoon away.  It must have been a sight.  Me - asleep on the couch.  Piles of folded laundry on the coffee table in front of me.  And empty basket in the floor next to me.  And I'm pretty sure there was snoring involved since my mouth was very dry when I finally woke up.  Just lovely.  I can only hope I wasn't drooling or anything thanks to the allergy medication.

So much for that to-do list.  And I missed "Elf". 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Yell

I'm a yeller.  I yell.  I yell A lot.  I probably yell much too much.  I doubt my family would argue with that.

Most recently the dog was the object of my raised voice.  His boy had gone across the street and he was not happy to have been left behind.  He made this clear by his insistant whining.  Which led me yelling at him to "Stop that NOW!"

**in response to a prompt from The One Minute Writer **

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sounds of the Season

Listening to Christmas music today.  Wanted to share a few favorites...

No one does it like Eartha!


 
LOVE this song!! It's my ring tone for the Christmas season!


Nothing To Show For It

It's frustrating. 
Today was the day I start some serious cleaning.  Getting the house ready for Christmas and all the guests and visitors the holidays bring.  I have been working diligently since 9:00 this morning.  And when I stop to look around, I feel like I can't really tell a difference.  It's enough to make a girl give up.

Oh, I know the truth of the situation.  I am doing a lot of things that don't get done on a regular weekly basis.  Dusting window sills and frames.  Cleaning windows.  Dusting baseboards.  Wiping down walls.  The sort of thing that doesn't really make a huge difference in the appearance of the room until the whole thing comes together.  The stuff that pays off in the end.  But for a while it felt like an exercise in futility.

I am glad to report that now that I am actually getting into things like cleaning off shelves and end tables, dusting them, and putting away items that have migrated to rooms where they don't live - things are looking better.  And my attitude and mood is improving.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Horton Hears A What?

Still being obsessed with all things Grinch at this time of year, I find myself once again pondering this point...

The Grinch lives just north of Who-ville.  We all know that.

Jump over to another Seuss classic - "Horton Hears a Who".    There in the Jungle of Nool is sweet, faithful Horton protecting his speck of dust.  And we find the Who's residing upon that little speck of dust.

Which leads me to wonder... 

Does the Grinch, in fact, live upon Horton's speck of dust as well?

A Two-fer!!


Remember the giant of an egg I collected from the girls a couple of weeks ago?  It was finally cracked and cooked.  And it was a 2 yolk bonus!

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Holiday Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.


If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.


This Moment" is a ritual I found through Just My Thoughts . By way of Pamanner's Blog, via Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama. Check out their blogs, and if you are moved too, please leave a link to your Moment in the comment box below

I Haven't Even Prepared A Speech!

I have just received my first ever blog award!  How exciting to receive "The Sunshine Award".  Does this make me Little Miss Sunshine?  There are so many people I need to thank!  But I'll keep it short and thank Lalia of Skank, Rattle, and Roll.  I guess this officially makes her "the academy" for bestowing this honor upon me.  It's an honor just to be nominated. (that's what you're supposed to say, right?)




Of course, as with all good things - there is a catch.  As a recipient of The Sunshine award there are certain obligations.  In the event that I am unable to fulfill these duties, I hope there is a first runner up to step into my place and fulfill the obligations to the best of her ability.  What are these duties you ask?  Well...

1. Thank the person who gave you this award and write a post about it. (almost done)


2. Answer the following questions below. (OK, I can handle that)

3. Pass the award on to 10-12 fellow bloggers, link their blog and let them know you gave them an award. (hmm... I don't really follow 10 - 12 blogs, so this might get tricky)

As my first official act as Little Miss Sunshine, here are the answers to my Q&A:

Favorite Color:  Periwinkle Blue

Favorite Animal:  ah... hmm... I'll go with giraffes

Favorite Number:  favorite number?  Do people really have a favorite number?  OK then, 26.  Because that's the number I insist on giving if anyone is ever rude enough to ask how old I am.  Because that's the age I decided to stop aging.

Favorite Drink: coffee, with wine coming in a close second

Facebook or Twitter: neither

Your Passion: reading.  I am absolutely lost if I don't have a book to read
Giving or Receiving Gifts:  who doesn't like to receive?  c'mon, really...
Favorite Day:  Halloween, and the day after which is "Celebrate Me Day"
Favorite Flowers:  pink stargazer lilies

And now... your December 2, 2011 "Sunshine Award" winners are (drum roll...)

Kathy at Carano's Cucina:  All things foodie and delish!  And one of the best gal's you'll ever hope to meet!
Cathy at ~Just My Thoughts:  funny, insightful, thought provoking
C. Beth at The One-Minute Writer:  You have 1,440 minutes a day, spend one writing.  I haven't used any of her prompts yet, but I enjoy following and am ready to jump in soon!
JenniLee at Just JenniLee: her blog has been silent for about a year, and I miss her!!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

How Is It December Already?

Really?  How did this happen?  How can it be December already?  Wasn't it just Halloween?  Thanksgiving?  Even the 4th of July doesn't seem that long ago.  I feel like I've missed some time somewhere along the way.

Yet, here we are.  December first.  The last month of 2011.  Only twenty-four days until Christmas.  Thirty days until 2012, a whole new year. 

Time is flying past so quickly!  In the words of Ferris Bueller:  "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Violated

Today was a rough day.

It started out well enough.  Good morning.  Ready for work in time to leave a little early.  A beautiful view of the sunrise.  Another view of sunlight lighting up the side of a mountain.  It was looking like a good one.  Then I was robbed. 

Literally...

I made a quick stop at Wally-world on the way to work.  We are putting together a gift basket for a co-worker who recently had a knee replacement and I wanted to pick up a little something to add to it.  While I was in there, someone else was helping themselves to a gift of my tote bag.  I don't know what they were hoping to get.  Maybe he thought was going to score a laptop, or an iPad, or some other electronic goodie.  Unfortunately for him, there was nothing in the bag that would be of much value to your average thief.  A few pens, some paper clips, a bag of roasted almonds, some work papers.  The bag is even monogrammed, so unless someone happened to have the same initials as I do - even the bag isn't much good to them.  Tough luck buddy.

As soon as I got back in the car I realized the bag was gone, and got stressed.  I got back out of the car, went back in the store, asked for security, called the husband, called work, called the police.  Went back to the car and cried while I waited for the police to show up.  I even walked the parking lot looking into the trashcans located at each cart corral hoping maybe they had ditched the bag there. 

According to Walmart's security cameras, the creeper was sitting in his car when I pulled into the parking lot.  As soon as I got in my car and went inside, he pulled over next to my car, got into my car and took my bag.  Then pulled back to his original spot, and sat there.  He was there when I came out.  While I realized the bag was gone.  When I walked back inside to make my calls and report the incident to security, he got out and walked inside the store. Then you see him come out, get in his car, and leave.  Which means he walked right by me at least once, if not twice, while I was in the foyer area making calls.  And honestly that creeps me out as much as the entire rest of the situation. 

Fortunately while I was waiting for the police officer to show up, someone from the office called me.  A local business owner had found my bag sitting in his parking lot just then as he came into to open for the day.   There were flyers with my work number in the bag, so he called to let someone know he had found their bag.  So I got the bag, and all its contents back in the end.  While security, and the police department, have the thief and his car on film. 

I suppose it's a case of "all's well that ends well".  But I still feel a little shaken by the whole thing.  Feels like a good night for a glass of wine.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cheer To All Whos, Far and Near

I have a confession...

I love all those Christmas specials meant for the kids.  Adore them.  They may very well be my favorite part of the season!  Christmas is not complete for me unless I can indulge myself in episodes of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and The Year Without a Santa Claus. 

I actually feel a little giddy when I see those shows pop up on the television listings.  I feel like a kid again!  I watch the TV guide like a hawk, making note of when each one is airing.  This year is even better because thanks to the joy of DVR, I can record and watch them whenever I want.  As many times as I want!  It really is the most wonderful time of the year!

Of all the Christmas specials - my very favorite is How The Grinch Stole Christmas.  Not that cheesy, twisted movie version.  The classic.  The cartoon version from 1966 narrated by Boris Karloff.  The "real" Grinch.



There's just something about that grumpy, mean, Christmas stealing ol' Grinch.  With his too tight shoes, and his head not screwed on just right.  Little Cindy Lou Who (who was no more than two).  Poor little Max.  And that moment when the Grinch feels the true meaning of Christmas come through and he finds the strength of *ten* Grinches, plus two!  Who doesn't get all warm and fuzzy feeling when the Grinch's small heart grows three sizes that day? 


Monday, November 28, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pre-Turkey

It's been a busy, busy day in my kitchen so far this afternoon.  I'm trying to get as much done as possible today.  That way I can relax tomorrow, snuggle on the couch with The Man of the House, and watch some football while the smell of roasting turkey fills the house. 

Pumpkin pies are in the oven.  The house is smelling delicious!  There is something so comforting and homey about the smell of baking cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.  Who needs a Glade plug-in when you can have the smell of baking pie?  Cherry pie will be following closely behind.

Sweet potato casserole is pre-made and in the fridge.  All ready for baking and a topping of toasted marshmallows tomorrow.

Green bean casserole is ready to go.  Thank you Paula Deen!  No more boring, bland green bean casserole around here! 

My mouth is already watering.  And there are over 24 hours until dinner tomorrow!

(Paula Deen's Green Bean Casserole recipehttp://www.pauladeen.com/recipes/view2/green_bean_casserole)

Counting My Blessings

"When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around." - Willie Nelson

I am thankful for The Man of the House.  For his love, his kindness, his patience, his strength.

I am thankful for my children.  And for my grandson, who I will meet in the new year.

I am thankful for my sisters.

I am thankful for my parents.

I am thankful for my friends.  Those I have known for years; and for those recently come into my life.

I am thankful that we have enough food on our table.

I am thankful that I have a comfortable bed to sleep in.

I am thankful for the roof over our heads.

I am thankful that The Man of the House and I both have jobs in a time when so many do not.

I am thankful for a God who is forgiving and full of Grace.

I am thankful for books to read.  And for my Nook, which puts so many of them at my fingertips.

I am thankful for the beauty of nature around me.

I am thankful for red wine.  And white.

I am thankful for all my coupons and the money they help me save for my family's needs.

I am thankful for music.  For the joy of singing out at the top of my lungs.  (even though others might be thankful if I did not. HA!)

I am thankful for laughter.  Especially the laughter of my children.

I am thankful for the strength of my husband's arms to hold me when I feel tired or weak.

I am thankful for coffee.

I am thankful The Man of the House is willing to kill spiders for me.

I am thankful for days when I learn something new about myself or the world around me.

I am thankful for quiet times of rest and thoughtfulness.

I am thankful for mustaches.  The fake ones that make me laugh.  And the real one that tickles me when I kiss The Man of the House.

I am thankful






Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Raising Payne

My kids are crazy.  I know where they get it from, and they come by it honestly.  Look where they came from.  Could they turn out any other way? 

They are also amazing.  They make me laugh.  Frustrate me.  Make me want to pull my hair out.  Fill me with pride.  They make every single day an adventure.  I never know what to expect from either one of them.

The Princess is smart.  She is funny.  She is beautiful.  She has gorgeous blue-gray eyes.  And she is so full of potential.  I see this incredible young woman and I think what an honor it has been to see her grow from the little baby girl from so many years ago. 

The Little Man is silly.  He's hilarious.  His mind can catch onto a concept like a steel trap.  Or zip from thought to thought with the speed of light.  And he is growing up so fast it makes my head spin.  I can only imagine the things life has ahead for him.

I feel so lucky to be mother to these two remarkable people!  Two blessings that have brought so much joy into my life.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Lucky In Love

I consider myself very fortunate to have married the man of my dreams 19 years ago.  I'll never understand exactly how I got so lucky, but I know The Man of the House is one of the great blessings in my life.

He is a kind, generous, loving man. He is a good provider for our family. He is strong. He is funny. He is smart. He is gentle. He is supportive.  He is patient.  He constantly amazes me with the things he can repair, replace, or make.  He taught me to love football.  And on top of all that - he's one handsome hottie of a man!


Honestly, I don't know why he has put up with me for 19 years. I know I haven't always been a good wife.  But for what ever reason - he still loves me. And I love him all the more for that.

He is the love of my life - and I am incredibly thankful to have him in my life!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving Isn't Just A Day

My head is already spinning with thoughts of turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie.  Oh, the pumpkin pie.  Mmmmm...  Oops, sorry.  I got distracted.  It's just that it's that time of year again.  When food and feasting becomes a big focus for many of us.  

We spend days, or weeks, planning.  Will we stay home, or visit friends or family?   What will we prepare? 

We  spend hours, or days, preparing.  Baking, boiling, roasting, mixing, blending, mashing.

Me?  I even spend time thinking about the leftovers.  The turkey sandwiches.  The way that pumpkin pie always seems to taste even better the day after Thanksgiving day.  I'm almost as excited about the leftovers as I am about the initial meal.

It's easy to get completely wrapped up in the yummy-ness of the holiday.  And just focus our thoughts and attentions to the meal.   Which - let's face it - is pretty darn good stuff!   But I don't want to forget the other good stuff.   The "thanks giving" part.  I want to be grateful.  I want to look at my life and realize the many blessings I have been given.  The people I love.  The people that love me, surround me, support me, and cherish me.   The "stuff" I have, which is far beyond meeting just the basic needs of life.

I want to take a while to indulge myself in all that I have been given and really appreciate it.  In that vein of thinking - many of my posts for the next week will be just that.  A celebration of the many things I have to be thankful for. 

“Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day” - Robert Caspar Lintner

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Three Little Letters

You know the ones.  Those three little letters that rule the world.  Or at least the moods of many, many women throughout the world.   And by ruling the moods of all those women - in the ever present trickle down affect they also rule the lives of many men around the world as well.  Or anyone else that comes into the circle of those three little letters.

Yep - I'm talking PMS here people.  And believe me when I tell you that it has been one of "those" days...

Today I have been Irritable.  Annoyed.  Frustrated.  Grumpy.  Broody.  Peevish.  Over sensitive.  Surly.  Exasperated.  Testy.  Down-right cantankerous!  And reading back over this I now realize I have made myself sound like a grumpy old man!  HA!!

I was in a "not right for work" frame of mind.  As every little thing caused me to fight the urge to rip into someone.  And I think I get extra points for biting my tongue and avoiding conflict by hiding in the chart room for a portion of the day. I mean... um... by working on filing in the chart room.  Yeh... that's right.

And heaven help the person that tries to get between me, some chocolate, and a glass of wine later this evening! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

One Tough Bird

These are the eggs I gathered from The Girls yesterday:

As you can see, one is significantly larger than the other.  For reference - the smaller egg is on the small side.  About a small to medium sized commercial egg.  While the larger one... well...  it's big!  I think I have an overachiever on my hands! HA! 

And yes - you can imagine the jokes that have breezed through the family regarding the state of the chicken which laid the egg in question.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Snowball's Chance

It's not a big thing.  But for whatever reason it bothers me.  A LOT!

There's this DayQuil commercial on television featuring Drew Brees - quarterback for the New Orleans Saints.  Or maybe it's a commercial for NyQuil.  The exact product isn't the important part.  The point is that it shows him running in different weather elements.  One of which is a heavy snowfall. 

Um, WHAT?? 

Now, I know I'm not by any means an expert on the weather down there in the Big Easy.  But I feel pretty sure that heavy snowfall is NOT a common meteorological feature down along the Gulf Coast.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Foggy Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.


"This Moment" is a ritual I found through  Just My Thoughts  By way of Pamanner's Blog, via Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama.  Check out their blogs, and if you are moved too, please leave a link to your Moment in the comment box below

Thursday, November 10, 2011

10 Pounds

Ten pounds.  They say that's about how much the human head weighs, somewhere between eight to twelve pounds.  Today I am convinced mine weighs far more.  Fifteen, or twenty maybe? 

It's a result of the cold which has me in its grip today.

All the sinus pressure and pain making my poor little head feel twice as big as normal.  The pounding, which intensifies every time the coughing comes on.  The tiny explosions behind my eyes and cheekbones every time I sneeze.  Add to all this the scratchy throat and the general "hit by a truck feeling". 

It doesn't make for a happy me. 

So, if you will forgive me - I plan to cut this short.   Head back to the couch, take some of the NyQuil the Princess just picked up for me, watch some TV or read a little.  And maybe even get some sleep once the medication kicks in.

Happy Thursday y'all.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

TB Testimony

Nope, sorry vampire fans.  This time "TB" does not stand for "True Blood".  This time of year it stands for "tuberculosis".

That's because this time every year my gracious employer bestows upon me a free TB test.  Happy, happy birthday to me!!  This is one gift I would very much like to return, or exchange.  Or at the very least maybe re gift it?

This birthday month ritual used to be simpler.  A phone call to make an appointment with employee health.  A flight of stairs up.  Done, and done.  No more...  Now it involves a trip across down to the immunizations office.  Taking a number.  Sitting for 40 minutes until my number is called.  Filling out some paperwork.  Sitting for another 15 minutes until my name is finally called.  All this so someone can stick a needle into my forearm. 

And of course, 3 days later the entire process again - minus the needle prick - to have the results checked. 

I can think of more pleasant ways to spend a few hours out of my birthday month.  Doing almost anything!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Trip to World Market

Why must you tempt me...
     With your colorful pillows,
          bright window coverings,
               unique furnishings,
                    charming table settings,
                         various kitchen gadgets and gizmos,
                              world-traveled candies and snack foods,
                                   and assortment of wines.  Oh... the wines.



You have found my weakness.
          I purchase... again.
                                   

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Life Is Like A Game of Football

Every once in a while I get into a completely cheesy philosophical state of mind.  Today is one of those times. 

As I was doing some cleaning around the house, listening to college football playing in the background I starting thinking about how a football game is a sort of metaphor for life.  Yeah, yeah... I can already hear the eyes rolling as you read this.  But, hang in here with me as I explain.

We all have some goal we are trying to reach.  Just as the team in possession is trying to get into the end zone. 

There are always obstacles in our way, trying to impede our progress.  And sometimes we get knocked down - "tackled".

Sometimes we run toward the goal by ourselves.  Sometimes we have to pass the ball over to someone else for a while to get some help reaching our goal.

Sometimes we stumble so much we get off focus,  and we have to work to get back on track so we can start our progress again.  Just as when a football team doesn't get the 1st down and has to hand the ball over and work to get it back.

We may have to play defense at times.  Pushing back against something that is trying to turn us away from our goal.  Sending us backward, farther from the goal we are trying to reach.

Finally at the end of the struggle - we cross that line.  We make it to our goal.  Our own personal touchdown. 

The people that care for us are there to cheer us on through it all.  Although there will also be others there to root against us.

And if we overcome the obstacles.  If we meet enough of our goals - in the end we win the game.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Gloaming Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.


"This Moment" is a ritual I found through  Just My Thoughts  By way of Pamanner's Blog, via Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama.  Check out their blogs, and if you are moved too, please leave a link to your Moment in the comment box below



Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thoughts For Today

Today, I think I'll eat whatever I want for lunch - even if that's ice cream

Today, I think I will not stress over the laundry that didn't get done.

Today, I think I'll stand in the shower until the hot water runs out.

Today, I think I'll read a good book while I sip a cup of herbal tea.

Today, I think I will just take some time to watch the wind blow.

Today, I think I will allow "good enough" to be enough.

Today, I think I'll have a glass of wine.  Or two.

Today, I think I will sing if I feel like it.  No matter who may be listening.

Today, I think I shouldn't over think today!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Haunting We Will Go!

Vampires, zombies, and witches... oh MY! 

Trick or Treat time in our home is an adventure.  Even the grown ups play along!!

This year we had a little vampire, Alice in Wonderland, and a zombie. Escorting them through the neighborhoods were a vampy witch, a pirate wench, a pregnant hippie, and... well... I'm not sure what to call him.




Oh yes... Eat your heart out, ladies!  He's all mine! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Back and Forth

Today is the day I take a few moments to reflect...

To look back at what has past, and to look ahead at what may come.

Where I have been, and where I still want to go.

What I have accomplished, and what I still want do.

How I have lived my life, and how I want to live it from this point forward.

The people and experiences I treasure and hold close.

A day to smile. 

To dream.

To enjoy.



              

Monday, October 31, 2011

It's The Great Pumpkin!


 

Last night was Jack o'Lantern carving time in our home.

Each kid (the Princess, the Little Man, and the Nieces) gets a pumpkin.  This process is interesting enough to watch on its own.  Will the pumpkin be picked for its roundness?  Having a unique shape?  Flawless flesh?  Because of the size?  Each child has his or her own criteria for the perfect jack o'lantern pumpkin.

The next step of course involves choosing just the right design for each jack o'lantern.  Silly or Scary?  This might be determined quickly.  Or it might involve great amounts of time pouring over jack o'lantern templates online to find just what fits the mood one is seeking for this year's creation. 

Then the fun really begins... 
The scoring of the design into the pumpkin flesh. 
Opening it up, and diving elbow deep into the heart of the pumpkin. 
Scooping out the strong smelling, stringy, slimy guts. 
And separating out all the seeds for roasting. 
Carefully cutting out the design.

And then finally... Finally... the moment of truth.  Carrying the finished product outside into the dark night and lighting the candle to reveal your finished Jack o'Lantern.
















Friday, October 28, 2011

A Purr-fect Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.


If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.


"This Moment" is a ritual I found through  Just My Thoughts  By way of Pamanner's Blog, via Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama.  Check out their blogs, and if you are moved too, please leave a link to your Moment in the comment box below

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a Reese's Halloween

If you know me personally, you know I am a big admirer of the Reese's peanut butter cup.  OK... to be honest - saying I'm a "big admirer" may be more than a little bit of an understatement.  

But even better than the original Reese's cup are a few of its off-spring.  There is that tasty treat which I believe is the resulting love child of a mating between the Reese's Cup and a Snickers bar - the Nutrageous.  Chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, peanuts.  A sweet little taste of complete deliciousness.  Mmmmmm

And then there is that Reese's miracle that only shows up at this time of year... 

The Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkin!


Oh sweet Halloween!!!  Of all the candies weighing down the shelves at the stores - this has to be the best.  It has that perfect ratio of chocolate to that Reese's peanut butter.  It's cleverly available for a limited time, meaning I must get my fix while I can.  They are irresistible to me.

Or, it was.  This year there is "The Rash"  And along with that rash comes the suspicion that peanuts may be the culprit behind its appearance.  The last time I had a major outbreak I had eaten a peanut butter sandwich earlier in the day.  And the last time I allowed myself a few bites of that tempting little confection shown above - I got a small patch of the rash around my eye.

This likely means the end of my relationship with the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.  And all it's delightful little spin off treats as well. 

Si i i i i i igh....

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Grandkid's First Halloween Costume

Happy Halloween!!


Musical Interlude

As I sat folding the newest basket of seemingly endless laundry this afternoon, my world was filled with music. 

Softly it drifted down the hallway from where The Little Man was in his room practicing on his guitar. 

At times it was slow and tentative.  Single notes.  Awkwardly moving from chord to chord.  Practicing new skills

At others it was confident.  His fingers moving swiftly and surely.  Strong notes as entire lines of music filled the air.

As I paused to listen, I was impressed by how far his skills have come in just about 2 months of lessons.

Taking time from my busy day to enjoy the gift of music he didn't even realize he was sharing. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Colorful Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.



"This Moment" came to me via Just My Thoughts .  Check out her blog, and if you are moved too, please leave a link to your Moment in the comment box below.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Cold Day

It's a cold day. 

One of those first cold days of autumn to remind me that winter isn't far behind. 

The kind of day when gray clouds drift across the blue background of the sky.  The wind whistles past the windows, and sends the autumn leaves dancing through the air. 

A good day to have a mug of soup for lunch.

Or curl up with a cup of hot tea and a good book.   

Or maybe some coffee and something on the Netflix. 

Or some warm mulled cider and a crochet project.

The type of day that leaves me looking forward to the cold evening to come.  Some warm pj's, my favorite fluffy robe, and snuggling up to The Man of the House.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

One of Those Days

It's been one of those days.  And that's not a bad thing.  Today I feel pretty good about what I have accomplished.  Which isn't always the case.

It started this morning when I got up after only hitting the snooze button one time.  Not the usual 2 or 3 (or more) times I usually go through before finally dragging out of bed.  I got the boy off to school, started a beef stew in the crock pot, got ready for work, stopped on the way for gas, and managed to get to in on time. 

At work, for the first time in a long time I am pleased with the things I managed to complete today.  There is always still plenty to be done, as usual.  But I was able to mark several things off the constant "To Do" list today.  And it felt pretty great to see the list actually shrink today!

When I arrived home, the delicious smell of that stew filled the house.  It feels really good to know there is a nice, hearty meal ready for my family and I don't have to worry about it now; but can actually relax!  And relax I will, once I fold this basket of laundry I just took out of the dryer to make room for a new load. 

Was it a busy, stressful day?  Nope!  But it was fruitful.  And I don't feel exhausted and tense for once.  Yep.. today was a good day!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sweet Surprise

While cleaning the bedroom today and straightening up my nightstand,  I decided to store the power cord for my Nook in the center storage compartment when not in use.  As I opened the small doors, I was greeted with a sweet surprise.  There - tucked toward the back was a clear plastic baggie, with several pieces of saltwater taffy inside!  Forgotten leftovers from our family vacation to the Outer Banks this past summer.

My mind was immediately transported back to relaxing, warm days on the beach, the sound of the waves in my ears, the sun soaking into my skin.  The taste of fresh seafood dinners.  The family fun exploring lighthouses, searching for the remnants of shipwrecks, and standing on the replica Queen Elizabeth II at Roanoke Island Festival Park.  And of course - the joy of the moment when finding Orangesicle salt water taffy at Forbes. 

It was a true moment of serendipity.  A pleasant reminder of those happy memories. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Change of Perspective

It's so simple to focus on the negativity around you.  To get frustrated by the little stuff that drives you crazy.  To be annoyed by the things other people do.  But finding something to focus on other than that negative trigger, can turn it into a different story.

Today I found myself sitting in traffic.  I don't know why it should surprise me.  It's leaf season around here.  And that particular area of town is a tourist hot spot.  As I sat through the red light for the second time, it would be very easy to get frustrated and impatient. 

Instead I found myself admiring the way the sunlight reflected off the yellow and red leaves of the trees by the road.  And watching the ladybugs fluttering about.  (yes, I know they are Japanese beetles, but to me they are still "ladybugs")  And something amazing happened.

I wasn't tense, or frustrated, or annoyed.  I would even go so far as to say I was actually enjoying my time sitting there waiting for the light.  In fact, I was a bit disappointed when we started moving again.

It's all a matter of perspective.  Enjoy the view.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Making A List... Checking It Twice

It's that time of week again.  Time to make the grocery list for the week.  Seems easy enough, right?  Figure out what you want to eat for the week.  Make a list of what you need.  But leave it me to make it a little more of a challenge than that!

It starts out with deciding what to prepare for the upcoming week.  This portion of the process alone can take quite a while. There are many things to consider.   What do I already have in the freezer, pantry, and cabinets that can be used?  What do I have coupons for?  What am I in the mood to make that the rest of the household will eat?  That is easy, delicious, and nutritious?  What is not going to take long to fix on nights after I work?  Nights there are softball games, classes, and lessons scheduled. 

Sometimes this is more of a challenge than others.  Some weeks I'm bored with the recipes I usually create.  Some weeks nothing sounds good when I am making the list.  Some weeks I just draw a complete blank!

Then of course, it's time to consider breakfasts.  And lunches.  Especially for those of us spending the mornings rushing to get off to work and school.  It has to be easy, filling, and portable.  The portable part refers to lunches, but now that I think about it - I often have breakfast in one hand as I head out the door for work.

And there are the other needed items.  Toiletries, personal care items, paper goods, etc.  I have to go through the entire family and ask "What do you need from the store?"  Sometimes more than once because often the first response is "oh, I don't know".

Through all of this, I'm still looking through my collection of coupons and looking for where I can save a little off the total.  I go to the coupon websites I frequent to check what I can print for the week.  I dig through my coupon stash. 

Finally I get everything organized and ready to go.  Of course once I get to the store I'll realize I forgot to check if I needed something.  Sometimes I don't realize I forgot until later in the week when I actually need it.  Or sometimes while at the store I'll find a great deal on something that I can't pass up.  Especially if it's something nonperishable or something I can freeze.  But in the end it all comes together and my family has it's needs met for another week.

Mmmm hmm.. suddenly not as easy as it sounds - is it?

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Big 4-0

This past weekend The Man of the House arrived in a new decade of life.  The world has experienced 40 years of kindness, generosity, and joy. 



I made the butterscotch cupcakes with butterscotch-maple frosting he requested.  I took him out to dinner Saturday night.  And arranged for some family and friends to join him for pizza and watching the football games on Sunday.  And just generally tried to let him know how much I love and appreciate him.

Happy Birthday to my handsome hero!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Which Came First, The Chicken or the Egg

In our house, the chickens came first. 

But now we have an egg! Our very first one!!  I'm pretty sure our pioneer layer is Medusa as she was still standing on the edge of the nesting box when I went out to check on the Girls.  I am so excited, I could just pop!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Saga of the Rash Continues

It's back.  That dang rash!  It started back up yesterday afternoon.  And is in all its red and itchy glory today.  As far as rashes go, it's lovely.  The stuff dermatologists and allergists probably love to see coming through the exam room door.  As for the affect it has on me and my appearance...  not so lovely.
 

This is the main body of the rash currently.  Although there are also patches below my other eye, on my neck, and my upper chest. 

It's frustrating.  I'm trying to narrow down what could possibly be causing it.  I think we can rule out poison ivy or any of her cousins, as I have not been near anything like that recently.  And this started before the Girls (chickens) came to live with us, so I can't blame it on them.  I'm starting to seriously consider a food allergy.  Yesterday I had a peanut butter sandwich.  Could it be celiac rash?  My mother has a gluten intolerance.  And that could explain why it comes and goes if it's based on my wheat intake.  Could it be a peanut allergy?  Maybe?  Who the heck knows anymore?!?!

All I know for sure is that it itches like CRAZY.  It's embarrassing.  And annoying.  And I am sick and tired of it!

Now, if you'll excuse me - it's time to take my next dose of Benedryl.



Tuesday, October 4, 2011

NOT Woman's Best Friend

I was heading out into the yard to hang a few things on the clothesline and rinse out the litterboxes.  There sat the dog at the top of the stairs, whining and giving me those big brown puppy dog eyes.  How could I resist?  I agreed to take him out with me and put on his leash.  What could go wrong? 

Well, I could have a diabolical canine with plans of his own on the other end of that leash.

Within moments of getting out the back door, he manages to slip out of his collar and run off.  Requiring me to hop in the car and chase him all over the neighborhood, trying to coax him into the backseat.

While he runs around peeing on every stationary object he finds and blantantly ignoring me.

And it is such a lovely day - I just know the neighbor's windows are open and they are hearing my pointless and increasingly desperate and frustrated cries of "here boy... wanna go for a ride?... please get in the car!... c'mon boy, let's go for a ride!... want a treat?.... c'mon, get in the car. how about a cookie?... GET. IN. THE. CAR!!"

Finally, I manage to get his collar back on and get him into the car and back to the house. Thanks to the help of a few neighborhood kids. Who are probably still laughing at the crazy lady with the disobedient dog.

And the dog now naps on the back deck, basking in the sun.  Probably dreaming of his grand adventure.

That Kind of Day

I expected it to be cold when I stepped outside.  It was cold yesterday morning.  It was cold earlier this morning.  I was pleasently surprised. 



It is a perfect day outside.  Crystal clear blue sky, comfortable temperatures in the 60's, a slight breeze stirring the tree tops.  The kind of autumn day I dream about.  The kind of day that calls to you to get out of the house.  Or at the very least to open all the windows and let the fresh fall breeze air out the house.


The type of day that makes you want to head into the woods for a long hike. The kind of day that calls for a long drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway where you take dozens of pictures of the leaves changing colors. The kind of day to go pick apples or pumpkins. The kind of day to grab a book and sit out on the deck soaking up the sunlight.


It's just that kind of day.

Using the Spell Chick

There are some things the Spell Check just isn't ever going to catch.  Like when the word you wanted to type is mis-spelled, but is still technically a correct word.  For example..

when you type "milk" instead of "mild"

Or "her" instead of  "here"

Or "fund" rather than "find"

Or "word" when you meant "world"

Your "error" is actually recognized by Spell Check as a legitimate word and will not be corrected.  Until minutes, hours, days, or weeks later you look over what you wrote more carefully and realize what happened.  Thanks Spell Check, for skipping over these errors and letting the entire world know that sometimes my fingers type faster than my brain can work.  This is what I get for allowing technology to do my proof-reading for me.

Monday, October 3, 2011

That's What They Say

I got my flu shot this past Friday.  Yeah.  Bravo.  Big pat on the Back for the Queen B.

I haven't gotten a flu shot in years.  Not since they convinced me to get one, despite my fears and misgivings.  And wouldn't you just know it.. that February a case of influenza knocked me right out.  Which infuriated me.  I got the shot and still had a raging case of the flu?  Well, that won't happen again!  And I've been boycotting the shot ever since.

But this year, the Man of the House and I made the decision that we and the Little Man will get the shots.  Seems like a good preventative move, with the Princess's Tadpole due in the middle of flu season.  Got to do what we can to help keep him healthy.  So, when they made the yearly offering at work - I filled out the paper work and got into line.  I gritted my teeth, fought down the mild panic attack that occurs each time I think about a needle piercing my skin, bared my arm and offered it up to the nurse administering the vaccine.

I know what they say.  You can't get sick from the flu.  It's made with dead virus.  And the logical part of my brain believes it.  But there's still that other part of my brain.  The part that boycotted the shot after managing to get the flu despite having the vaccine.  The irrational part of my brain.  Or maybe it's not my brain.  Maybe it's the stuffiness in my head making me think otherwise.  Or my sore throat.  Or lack of oxygen to the brain from the coughing.  Maybe...

And it's most likely a coincidence that almost everyone in the office that received the vaccine last Friday is complaining of the same symptoms.  The more likely scenario is that someone else in our staff meeting that same day was either sick or getting sick and shared the germies with the rest of us. 

Because you can't get sick from the flu vaccine.  That's what they say...

Friday, September 30, 2011

Have You Heard the Bzz About The SodaStream Fountain?

I'm so excited to try this product and hope I get in as part of the BzzCampaign through BzzAgent (http://www.bzzagent.com/)  !!

SodaStream allows you to prepare great-tasting, fresh, fizzy beverages precisely to your taste - with no bottles, cans, or electricity! With the SodaStream Jet Starter Kit, you've got everything you need to turn tap water into sparkling water in 30 seconds--saving you money while also helping you stay environmentally friendly. The starter kit includes SodaStream Jet soda maker in black/silver, one carbonator (good for making up to 60L of soda), and one BPA-free plastic bottle.

I'm all a-Bzz about Fekkai


I just joined the BzzAgent  (http://www.bzzagent.com/) Fekkai BzzCampaign!  I can't wait to get my BzzKit with free products to sample and review!  Stay tuned... I'll be sharing what I think of the products in a future blog!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sweater Set with Puppy Buttons

Crocheted set #2 for the little tadpole!

And how cute are these puppy buttons?

Saturday Night Live Spoofs the end of All My Children

Many thanks to my friend Kathy at The Pine Valley Bulletin for sharing this little gem!!

Bzz-ing about Hill's(R) Science Diet(R) Senior 11+ Age Defying(TM) Cat Food

*Disclaimer: I am a BzzAgent (http://www.bzzagent.com/) and received a coupon for a free bag of Hill's(R) Science Diet(R) Senior 11+ Age Defying(TM) Cat Food as part of my participation in a BzzCampaign.  The opinions expressed are my own*


Our cat is an old man.  And he acts like it.  He's grumpy.  He wants to be left alone.  He finds a comfy spot and usually doesn't move for most of the day, unless he is looking for something to eat or making a trip to the litter box.  Or finding an even more comfy spot.  He is what I would call a "kitty couch potato".

So when I got the chance to join the BzzCampaign for Hill's(R) Science Diet(R) Senior 11+ Age Defying(TM) Cat Food, I jumped at the chance to sign up.  Despite the fact that I was skeptical about the claims made about the cat food.

I could buy into the health claims.  Small kibble which is easier for an older cat to chew and swallow - sure.  Amino Acids for healthy organs, fish oil for cognitive function, phosphorus for bladder health - OK.  But that it would help increase his interaction with his humans?  C'mon.  How is a food going to change that?

The first changes I saw in him was right at the food bowl.  This is a cat that used to, well.. trudge... to the food bowl.  And wait mostly patiently to be fed.  Suddenly he was (dare I say?) hurrying to his bowl.  And meowing at me to "hurry, hurry, hurry" to fill it!  He was just as eager to eat as our younger cats, who are usually climbing over each other to get to their bowls!

He also seems be slightly more active during the day.  Oh sure, he still sleeps for a big part of each day.  And he still has his favorite comfy spot.  But he is actually spotted walking around the house, and even sitting looking out the sliding door or in the middle of the living room now.  It's not a huge difference.  And he's not running around playing or anything.  But for him, it's an improvement!

Perhaps the most amazing change I am seeing is that he actually IS seeking out attention on occasion.  He has come up to one of his humans and cried to get our attention.  Or pounded his head against our ankle or shin until we petted him. 

I have to admit, so far I am impressed with this food and the affect it has had on our older cat!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

No One Can Resist My Schweddy Balls

The Princess came home the other night and proudly held up her newest find.  Which immediately caused me to squeal "NO way!" and start laughing.  What was it you ask?  The newest creation by those geniuses of the frozen treat - Ben & Jerry.

 

Yes!  Schweddy Balls ice cream!!  "Vanilla ice cream with a hint of rum and loaded with fudge covered rum and malt balls" 

Not sure exactly what a "Schweddy Ball" is, or why this is so, SO darn funny to me?  Be sure to check out my previous post - "Schweddy Balls"  This comes from what may be my very favorite Saturday Night Live skit Ever! 

One more reason to love Ben&Jerry.  As if Karamel Sutra and Everything but the Kitchen Sink weren't enough.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Falling for Autumn

Although my calendar says autumn doesn't officially start until the end of this week - Fall is most definitely in the air.  No tiptoeing in for this season.  Nope.  She seems to have slid in sideways, all "Risky Business" style.  And she was pulling all her accessories along with her.  No complaining from this corner.  I - for one- couldn't be happier! 

The air is cooler.  Those happy 60-something and 70-something degree days are back.  No air conditioners or heaters needed.  Just comfortable days with the windows thrown wide open to catch the breezes and fresh air. Oh sure, I know well enough that at some point summer is going to make one last stand and toss us a few more 80-ish degree days.  But those days are numbered and will soon be a thing of the past.   

The leaves are starting to change colors.  The yellows and reds are peeking out from between the green.  They are taking a foothold and getting prepared to go into full display in a few short weeks.  It won't be too much longer, and the mountains will be cloaked in a colorful blanket of gold, orange, and red.


That combination of beautiful scenery and cooler weather makes the perfect combination for hiking.  I love getting out and enjoying the beauty of my little corner of the world.

I've pulled out my mental recipe book chapter on soups, chili, and gumbo.  The crock pot is standing at the ready for the next yummy comfort food to be prepared.  Especially on chilly Sunday afternoons while we relax on the couch watching football games.  Nothing warms the belly like a bowl full of homemade chili.  Or a fresh veggie soup with a grilled cheese sandwich along side.

Ahh... football.  This is the time when I feel obligated to take an indulgent moment to brag that my fantasy team is doing better than my real life team, the Carolina Panthers.  The Panthers are off to a disappointing 0-2, despite the promising performances of their rookie QB.  Under my outstanding coaching skills - my fantasy team is 1-1. But I digress...

The autumn sky takes on that particular shade of Carolina blue.  You know that shade of blue?  The one that the sky only seems capable of showing during the fall season?  It's a little brighter, a little clearer, a little crisper than any other time of year.

The days are noticeably getting shorter.  A few weeks ago it was light until 9 or later.  Now, the sun has set by 8.  The girls have taken to going to bed earlier and earlier.  They somehow seemed to know the days were getting shorter even before we recognized it.

The Halloween decorations are out in full force at the stores, and will soon appear in front yards everywhere.  Ghosts, skeletons, and headstones mixed in amongst the pumpkins and cornstalks.  Oh.. and the Halloween candy!  Was there ever a more perfect confection created than that little miracle - the Reese's pumpkin?  Possibly, but doubtful.

We get to put away all those skin revealing clothes we tolerated for comforts sake during the sweltering days of summer.  In their place are the comfy sweats, our favorite jeans, and cozy sweaters.  At night, it's my favorite fluffy bathrobe.

So enjoy these days.  The coolness, the crisp air.  The comfort foods and the comfort clothes.  Cuddle up with someone and sip some fresh cider.  Or a beer while you watch a football game.  Go for a walk and crunch some leaves under your feet.  Savor every second.  Before you know it, we'll be in the grasp of Old Man Winter.  But that is a whole different tale, for another time. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

In A Blink

I must be feeling a little reflective today.  Heard this song on the way to work and haven't been about to get it out of my head all day.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I'm Not Buying It...

Nice try, Hershey's.  Sneaky.  But I'm on to you. 

Have you seen what they're trying to pull?  This creation they call the Air Delight.  Available in bars and kisses. 

They say the idea is that the products are full of light airy "chocolate bubbles".  What it amounts to is that they have taken some of the chocolate out of my chocolate and replaced it with pockets of air!  AIR!
 
Oh no.. I am not falling for this one.  If I want air, I have that around me all day long.  For free.  It's not sweet.  Air is not creamy.  Air is not delicious.  Air never got me through a PMS craving.  What lame brain would rather have air than chocolate?  Of course I realize that air has it's place and purpose.  It's extremely important to life here on earth.  But not in my chocolate treats. 

Give me my chocolate bar and my chocolate kisses full of... Chocolate!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Day in the Life of The Girls

It's been an interesting day for The Girls.  ("The Girls" being how I refer to our 6 young hens.)  Of course, they may not realize exactly how interesting the day has been - which is probably a good thing for them.

It started this morning when I went to open the hen house for the day.  The food container was tipped over  and the top portion that stores the food was separated from the dish part.  At first I didn't think much of it, but when I opened the door to the house, it hit the container.  Which meant that this had to have happened after The Girls went to bed last night.  Uh oh...

I mentioned it to The Man of the House and we went out to take a closer look.  Sure enough, something had dug under the enclosure to get to the food.  Not only had it managed to get into the run, but it had taken some work first.  This was no easy task for whatever-it-was.  There were at least 3 other places we could tell it had tried to dig under!  I guess we may have to start taking the food container into the garage when we put The Girls to bed at night.

When I went out to shovel up the spilled food, clean up their sandbox, and refill the food - I let The Girls out to play.  They love wandering in the underbrush at the edge of the wooded area, scratching and pecking.  Suddenly they were making quite a fuss of clucking and flapping of wings.  I look over, and there is The Princess's cat stalking them!!  They managed to do an admirable job staying away from him until I gathered him up and put him in the house.  He got a good scolding along the way.

After The girls had their chance to free roam a bit, fill up on weeds and bugs, and do whatever other chicken sort of things they do - it was time to go back in the run.  They did not agree.  I tried using corn to coax them back.  They would get close to the door of the run, then wander off.  I'm not fluent in chicken, but I feel pretty sure the basic idea was "Nope, I don't think so.  Not happening right now".



I was in no mood to argue.  So The Girls had a nice, long free roam session for a good part of the day before finally heading back into the chicken run not too long ago.  Finally.  Don't get me wrong... they didn't just wander in on their own free will.  There was some convincing that had to take place.  But they finally gave in.


Yep, it's been an interesting day for The Girls alright...

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