Tuesday, January 26, 2016

FOUR!

Four years ago yesterday at 8:35am, a 10 pound 2 ounce bundle of joy entered our lives. The Man of the House and I officially became grandparents.  And it has been an amazingly fun, and exhausting, four years!



To celebrate his birthday, I did a little interview with the grand baby (at what point do I have to stop calling him that?)  Here are the results:

How old are you?
I'm four

What's your favorite color?
Blue.  Like Sonic.

What's your favorite thing to do?
Playing Sonic and Pac-Man with the buttons on the Gameboy




What do you want to be when you grow up?
um... (big pause) um... mommy.  Oh!  An astronaut now.

What is your favorite food?
Cookies.  And breakfast.




What do you not like to eat?
Beans

What is your favorite animal?
Gorillas and monkeys

What do you like about gorillas?
About them climbing trees

I love:
Mommy

What is special about you?
Walking and running feet.  But I am a little fast, Oma.  I am a lot fast and a little fast!



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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Chase Your Dreams


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Friday, January 22, 2016

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow (and snow, and snow, and...)

Let me just warn you right up front - this post might be  little heavy on the photos.  Because, you see, today is a snow day. And who doesn't enjoy snow pictures? If you're thinking that you personally don't care for snow pics, you should probably just go on and click to a different website.  We'll catch up on some other day.  As for the rest of you - Enjoy!




This is not just your typical southern "we got 3 inches of snow, y'all" kind of snow day.  This is bonafide!  It started out as sleet and freezing rain last night, switching over to snow after midnight.


When I woke up this morning there was already about 6 inches of snow on the ground.  It has kept coming down on and off all day.



We've enjoyed a quiet day with the entire family snowed in.  We've spent a great deal of time just watching  the snow fall and commenting on it frequently, and the female offspring made snow cream for the grand baby.  I have a big pot of vegetarian chili simmering on the stove and the Keurig has been busy all day long making warm beverages.



The bird feeder has been extra busy all day and we have enjoyed watching all our feathered friends.  Including a very bright cardinal and one very fat little ball of feathers who we decided looks very much as if he belongs in an Angry Birds game.


As of 4:00 this afternoon our very unofficial measuring tool tells us we are sitting in about 10 inches of the white stuff.  Which is still falling and expected to continue into tomorrow morning.



Yep,  I'm quite enjoying this weather!  As a matter of fact, I'm gonna go give the chili a stir, make myself another cup of tea and do a little reading.

Have a great evening everyone!  Stay safe and warm!

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

It Was Nice - While It Lasted

Yesterday morning, after his mommy left for school, the grand baby was all about some cuddle time with his Oma.  Which I was more than happy to oblige.  It isn't an opportunity I get as often as I would like.


He's such an active little fellow, it can be difficult to get him to slow down during the day for some snuggles.  And in the evenings when he's ready to wind down and curl up on a lap - he usually goes looking for his Cpa.

So, of course, I jump at any chance to get some of that sweet little boy's undivided affection.  We spent that quality time curled up on the couch, him watching some cartoons, while I did some work on my tablet and rubbed his back.  It was a wonderful way to spend a cold winter morning.



Then, my not-so little boy decided to drag himself out of bed.  And once the grand baby realized his uncle was home - cuddle time was over.  It was more like: "Oma, who?"


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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Finally... Winter

As I write this Tuesday afternoon it is a whopping 24 degrees Fahrenheit here where I am located in western North Carolina.  That's the "official" air temperature.  Toss in the wind chill and it feels like half that.

publicdomainpictures.net

My outside thermometer says 27 degrees.  Keeping in mind that this is the time of day it usually tells me the temperature is a little warmer outside than actuality - due to things like radiant heating or something like that.  Things I'm not going to try to explain to you.  Mostly because I don't really understand it myself and no one likes to be schooled on something by someone who doesn't really know what they're talking about.  (There's a lesson many people still need to take notes on.  But that's a rant for another day...)

The point is:  Winter has finally arrived.  Finally! Which is just fine with me.

I'm not gonna lie.  Earlier today as I was reading a post from another blogger located in Texas; I had a tiny twinge of nostalgia for warmer weather as she described a weekend of grilled hamburgers and outdoor dining.  Then I remembered that we're looking at a snow chances later thus week and I perked right back up.

'Cause...  snow, y'all!  (fingers crossed)

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Monday, January 18, 2016

A Good Weekend Was Had By All

Weekends are almost always a good thing.  Especially if you and/or your loved ones have that time off to catch up on chores and errands, or to just relax.  Some weekends, however, just seem a little better than others.  This felt like one of those weekends.

Saturday started with the Man of the House and I running some errands.  There was recycling to be dropped off.  Groceries to be bought.  But all that had to wait until right after a little sleeping in that needed to be done!

During the afternoon we took advantage of our annual passes to the Biltmore Estate.  They are offering the audio guides to the house tour for free this month.  Which is something we had never done. We learned a few things about the house we didn't know before.



Sunday dawned with a light dusting of snow.  Our first of the season!



There were pancakes for breakfast.  I made a sale in my Etsy shop.  The Panthers beat the Seahawks.  I made a perfect roux for the creamy tomato soup we had for dinner.  And the Man of the House offered to make the grilled cheese sandwiches to go with the soup.

Yep, Sunday was one good day!  A perfect close to the weekend and a wonderful start to the new week.

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Good Company

Perhaps you read my post Every Time on Thursday.  It was about how I sometimes find myself still fearful, doubtful, and worried even when I should know that God is in control.

Then, Friday I was led to this scripture which reminded me that I am not alone. Jesus' closest friends.  Those who had seen him work miracle after miracle.  Who believed enough to drop everything in order to follow him.  Even they still had worries, doubts and fears at times.


When the fear felt overwhelming to Peter, what happened?  When he took his eyes off Jesus and became focused on the waves - he cried out "Lord, save me!"  Without hesitation, Jesus took his hand and rescued him.  From the storm.  From the fear.

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Friday, January 15, 2016

Five for Friday

Let's use Friday to recap the week a bit...  shall we?  Great!  Here are 5 highlights from my life during the past week:

1)  10 Minute Kitchen Clean Up: 
I actually got the kitchen cleaned up for reals and managed to keep it that way most of the week.  The best part of having and keeping a clean kitchen, is that when it comes to daily upkeep, it took all of about 10 minutes to unload the dishwasher, clean out the sink, wipe everything down, and even swept.
Yes, I know you are completely in awe of the excitement that is my life.  But sometimes it's just the little things - ya know?

2)  Target Sunset:
Late Tuesday afternoon, I made a run to Target for a couple of items.  Saw my mom there and practiced my stalking skills a bit before stopping her for a quick chat.  As I left the store to head home I saw this:

I wish the picture did full justice to how the sun rays broke through and went under the dark clouds. It was stunning!

3)  A Dog Wearing Headphones:


Because.  It's our dog.  Wearing headphones.  And he just sat there as if he were posing, and let me take a picture.  And that's just funny stuff, people.

4)  A Musical Interlude:
Thursday might was the end of semester concert for the male offspring's  Orchestra class.  


5)  Marshmallow Milky Way:
The Man of the House brought a few of these home the other night.  And what is there to say except "oh my,  gracious marshmallow caramel, chocolaty goodness!!"  

And that about covers it.  How was your week?   Share your 5 highlights from this week in the comments!

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Every Time

And once again, just like that - God comes through!

So, why...  WHY do I always end up fearing, and worrying,  and doubting when he shows me over and over and over that He always has a plan.  ALWAYS!

How easily I forget.


I can almost imagine God, shaking His head and gently saying "What have I told you?  Have I ever let you down before?  TRUST ME!"
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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Weekly Goal: Drink More Water

My water consumption has been...  well... lacking... in recent weeks.  I've allowed myself to slide back into some bad habits.  But in my defense - Dr Pepper is just soooo good.  What?  Not a valid excuse?  OK, I know that.

But that's all about to change. This is one of those areas where I'm going to be #better this year - thanks to this little beauty:


I first saw these online when they were featured in a post at Robin Charmagne's That's So Pretty  blog.  But it was one of those "that's pretty neat, but do I really need it" kind of things.  After that it slipped my mind until Christmas came around and I was having a hard time coming up with a wish list.  It was nestled under the tree Christmas morning.  (Oh, and just in case anyone worries that I only got a straw cup for Christmas - don't you fret... it was right there beside a new purse with matching accessories and some smell-good items, along with a few other goodies)

Here's how it works:  the bottle holds 20 oz of fluids.  Every time you finish a bottle, you move one of the colorful bands up.


All day long you know exactly how much water you have consumed.  Or not consumed, as the case may be.


Pretty.  Clever.  I'm loving it!  (Thanks sweetie!) So much, that I'm not even gonna tell you how much it bothered me that the band's were not in rainbow order when it arrived.


Monday, January 11, 2016

Round and Round

The other day as I sat reading posts on some blogs other than my own, I found myself doodling on a scrap of paper.  Nothing fancy.  No surprise masterpieces.  I was mostly just swirling the pen around making little circular coils.

And then it hit me...

What ever happened to Spirograph? (Do you remember this thing?  Or am I once again aging myself?)  It. Was. AWESOME!  I seriously loved me some Spirograph back in the day!

What's a Spirograph, you may ask.  ( oh, you youngsters these days with your fancy schmancy tech toys...)


Spirograph was - put simply - geometry at its best.  It was essentially a bunch of plastic circles.  That made magic.  (No, not really)  You took one large sort of frame like circle and placed it on a piece of paper.  Then you selected another smaller circle and placed it on your paper inside the bigger circle.  Pick a colored pen, shove the tip into one of many holes in the smaller circle,  then (here comes the magic!) start swirling the smaller circle around the inside circumference of the larger circle. And voila!!  All sorts of amazing swirly geometric shapes appear!

I feel as if somehow my description fails to truly do the Spirograph justice. Oh, but you are in luck!  Because a quick search allowed me to find some examples for your viewing enjoyment!
http://spirographicart.com/

See!!!  Very cool, right?  Right!!  Now, the question is: Do they still make Spirographs? (Yes!!) And, where can I get one of these bad boys for myself?

(Oh, and if you're a former - or current - Spirograph junkie like myself... You should check out that website above!  But be warned - you may lose track of time in there.)



Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Spirit of Gratitude: January 7

I AM THANKFUL FOR:
Christmas
New Years
Visits with my sisters
Smiles from my newest nephew
Hanging out with my youngest niece
Bee knee socks

New journal
Beautiful teaspoons

Pretty tea cups and mugs

Snow flurries
A return to routines
Making plans for the year


 
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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

It's What's For Breakfast

I don't know what is going on out there, but suddenly it seems as if everywhere I look someone is talking about soft boiled eggs.  The book I was reading, popping up in my pinterest feed, a blog post I read.  It's as if the universe was trying to tell me something.  Being the big pushover for the power of suggestion that I apparently am - I soon found myself craving this dish. 

I'm a big fan of a good egg.  (I still mourn the loss of my own fresh, homegrown supply of them)  While a slimey undercooked white grosses me out a little, I do love a runny yolk.  So, soft boiled seems like a no brainer.  Right?  Why am I not eating more of these?

It was settled.  Soft boiled eggs on toast it was!



Delicious!  And it couldn't be simpler.  (well, ok - it probably could.  But this was still pretty easy)

  • Put about 3 to 4 inches of water in a small sauce pan
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  • Add eggs.
  • Boil (simmer) for 6 minutes
  • Remove eggs to an ice bath.  Let them soak for several minutes.
  • Peel eggs. (or just peel the top off and scoop out with a spoon or some of that toast)
  • Crack whites open over a slice of toast so that the runny golden yummyness runs out.
  • Consume and delight.
See, simple - right?   Kind of makes me want to invest in a few egg cups, as I see this becoming part of my regular breakfasts rotation.

Hope you enjoy them as much as  I did!


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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Like A Dog

One morning recently I mentioned that I wish I could be as excited as the dog is each and every morning  to take a drive down to the bus stop.  Whether it's nice outside, cold or rainy - the minute the alert sounds on my phone to head for the bus he is pacing around, wide eyed and ready to go.

As I vocalized this thought, The Man of the house made a comment that maybe we need to be more like the dog. And as I thought about it, I realized he may be right!


Whenever a member of the family comes home, Oscar is always happy to see us.  Whether we've been gone 5 minutes, 5 hours, or 5 days.  He is usually right there to greet us as we come in.  He lets us know he missed us and is happy to have us back home.

It's not just family either.  When anyone - friend or stranger - arrives, the dog vocalized his greeting, welcomes them as they come inside, and gives them a good sniffing over.  Which I'm pretty sure is the dog equivalent of a big hug. Although I don't think any of us should ever be so excited to see anyone that we pile on the floor.  (And that includes you too, Oscar!)

The simplest things make the dog happy.  Every day he dives into his bowl of food with great pleasure.  Never once pausing to grumble that it's the same thing he ate the day before.  And the day before that.  Going for a ride in the car or a walk around the neighborhood  are pure bliss for him.  He never complains that he's bored.  Ever.

So... maybe it is time to start behaving more like a dog. Enjoy the little things.  Don't complain.  Be happy to see people - and show it. 




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Monday, January 4, 2016

What Is The Goal for January?

The new year has begun and January stretches out ahead of us - shiny, new, and full of promise.


As you may know by now, I am a list maker.  Among those lists I keep is always one of monthly To-Do's.  (I also have a yearly to do list, as well as weekly and daily lists.  But you probably don't need to know exactly how far my crazy goes...)

My To Do list for January looks something like this:
  • Start setting up a daily and weekly schedule for work and home
  • Make throw pillows for living room
  • Visit Biltmore Estate with the Man of the House
  • Get eating back on track
  • Schedule appointment for yearly physical

What are your goals for January?

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Friday, January 1, 2016

Better in 2016

Resolutions and I had a love/hate relationship for years.  I loved making them with every new year.  By March I hated myself when it became clear that I was not going to achieve most (or all) of them. It never ended well. This is why for the past few years I have selected one word as a focus for the year rather than making resolutions.


The word always seems to present itself to me in some way as the current year draws to a close.  I never have to go looking too hard for it.  Usually an idea comes from somewhere and then keeps recurring in different ways.  Like directional signs on life's highway, telling me that this is indeed the way I am supposed to go.  Gentle hints from God that this should be my focus for the coming year.

For 2016 the word that has been given to me is Better:

Better relationships.

Better health.

Better work habits.

Better organization and planning.

Better communication with the Lord.

A Better year.

A Better life.

A Better me.



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