February 26, 2017

Sunday Stealing: My-New-Favorite-Author Questions

We found this gem our usual way. We scoured the Internet. We found a blog named after its author (or should I just say author) K.M. Weiland who writes fantasy and has won numerous awards. Because it was only 10 questions, we added 10 more that we stole from our archives. I am sure that when our new favorite author sees that we added to her questions masterpiece, she will be thrilled. I suppose it would if I were her publisher and I decided that a book of K.M.'s needed another chapter so I wrote it myself. 

Cheers to all of us thieves!

Sunday Stealing: My-New-Favorite-Author Questions 

Where do you go to decompress from the world?  

Usually, right here at home.  All of my favorite stuff is here, my dogs are here, and since the nest is empty there isn't anyone here causing me great stress.

If given $10,000, what would you do with it?

Pay bills.

What is one major renovation you would love to make on your house?

There is so much that needs done, but adding a bigger living room on and turning the current living room into a dining room tops the list.  Well....right after Hubby finally finishes redoing the main bathroom.

What is one movie that you love and didn’t expect to love?

Hairspray (the version with John Travolta).  I had never seen it until a couple of years ago and didn't have any desire to.  It was on one night when not much else was so I watched it and became a fan.  I've seen it several times since.

What is the oldest knick-knack you own and what is its sentimental value?

I have a small celluloid horse in my china cupboard.  It belonged to my grandmother.  One of her older brothers gave it to her for Christmas one year during the Depression.  It was the only gift she got that year.

Do you own any books you keep out of obligation, but actually hate?

Nope.  I love all my books.  And I have a LOT of books.

How many countries have you visited outside of the one you live in now?

Just one.  Canada.

Have you ever read only part of a book, but claimed you’ve read the whole thing?

I admit I did that a few times in college with assigned books.  I read enough to BS my way through reports....and still get A's.

Have you ever spent a lot of money on something? What was it?

What do you consider a lot?  I probably spend more than I should on books.

If you could change your name, what would it be?

I used to want to be Marsha, as in Brady, and then I went through a Heather phase in the early 80s.  These days I think I'll just leave it alone.

What is a nickname a former (or present) lover gave you?

Hubby calls me Ace.

How do you style your hair? If you just would say "cut" what style is it?

I go to a stylist trained to do Deva Curl cuts.  I have to drive about 30 miles in heavy traffic to see her because not too many stylists in the North even know about Deva Curl.  They cut the hair dry and cut each curl as a unit so the curls stay together.  Then the whole care of it is different than anything you've heard of.  

As for the style, I guess it's technically a shoulder-length bob but it's really, really curly.

How many colors are you wearing now?

Two.  Green and gray.

What's one piece of fiction that changed your life?

I don't know that any fiction ever changed my life.

Is there anything that has made you unhappy recently?

Other than Hubby's health...not really.

Tell us about the job that you did before your current one or last one.

I was the head office assistant at a grocery store.  Depending on scheduling, I opened or closed the store, prepared the cash drawers in the morning, counted the drawers down and did the daily financial report at night, supervised the cashiers and baggers, sold tobacco and lottery, cashed checks, and handled customer service.

What was the last song to get stuck in your head?

I don't know why, but I never seem to have that problem.

What is your least favorite thing to do that you have to do everyday?

Get up at 3:45 and go to work.

Best time of your life?

Now.  There was this moment at Christmas when Hubby and I were sitting on the couch and I was watching the kids, their spouses (or significant others) and the grandkids and I was completely overcome with this sense of great contentment and a bit of amazement that it all began with us.

What are you most looking forward to in the coming year?

Our daughter's wedding in September.  There won't be much else to look forward to till it's over because that's where every spare penny is going to have to go till then.

Click the button to join in the fun.

February 25, 2017

Saturday 9: I'll Be There

Saturday 9: I'll Be There (1992)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) In this song, Mariah pledges to "have faith in all you do." Have you recently given someone support or a pep talk?

I am always giving my daughter pep talks and support.  She's young and emotional and sometimes I am just a shoulder for her to cry on, sometimes I try to convince her of the wisdom of taking a deep breath and stepping back for a bit, sometimes I actually give advice (not that she tends to take it).

2) Mariah was at the center of a controversy in Times Square on New Year's Eve when she had audio problems and claimed she could not perform. Times Square is at the busy intersection of Broadway and 7th Avenue. If we went to the busy intersection nearest your home, what would we find? (A store? A church? McDonald's?)

The busiest one near me has a Sheetz (gas and convenience store), an auto repair place, an insurance agency, and a bank.

3) Her nickname in high school was Mirage because she cut school so often. Did you ever play hookey?

Who me??  (fluttering eyelashes and feigning innocence)

4) Mariah doesn't apologize for spoiling her dogs, who have been known to travel by limo. Do you know anyone who treats his/her pets like people?

I know a lot who do.  I don't go to the extremes that others do, but I've been known to have conversations with them and give explanations about why I have to leave like they understand.

5) Mariah has something to fall back on. She studied cosmetology and worked as a hair sweeper in a salon. When you get your hair cut, do you socialize with the stylist?

Sure.  We're Facebook friend, too.

6) When married to her first husband, Mariah went vegetarian. Tell us about last night's dinner. Would it qualify as a vegetarian meal?

No vegetarians here.  I had angel hair pasta with lagostinos in a garlic butter sauce last night.

7) This week's song was introduced by The Jackson 5. Think of your favorite Michael Jackson song. Did he record it solo or with his brothers?

It's actually this one.  We had it sung at our wedding.

8) In 1992, when this song was popular, The Mall of America opened. Located in Minnesota, it's the biggest mall in the nation, with more than 400 stores. Think about the last thing you purchased. Were you shopping out of necessity, or for fun?

Necessity.  I very rarely shop for fun.  I go because I have something specific I need to get.  I may buy other things while I am out, but I never say "Hey, let's go to the mall for fun."

9) Have you ever shoplifted? (Don't worry. We won't tell.) 


That's it for this week.  Please visit Sam @ Saturday 9 to join in the fun.

February 23, 2017

Final Thanks of February

Woohoo! It's time to join in with Rebecca Jo @ Knit by God's Hand for Thankful Thursday.  It's sort of sunny and nearly 70 degrees...I have to admit that makes it extra easy to feel thankful today.

This week I am thankful...

* for the already mentioned incredible weather!  I know winter isn't done with us yet, but this past week has me chomping at the bit to get started on the yard and garden.

* that our daughter finally has insurance to cover dental work and was able to get two bad teeth and all four wisdom teeth pulled today.

* that the little writing desk I bought at an auction for $7 back in November is finally in my book/craft room.  It wasn't in the greatest shape, but had great "bones."  My hubby sanded it, stained it, and tightened up the legs.  Now it looks well loved rather than beat up and junked.

* that the tech kids were on a weird schedule today so I got home by a little after 10:00 this morning and don't have to run back out till it's time for the afternoon runs.

* for the great time we had with our two oldest grandkids on Saturday at the Carnegie Science Center.

* that my mom is retired and in good health so she could drive our daughter to her dental appointment today.

* for a visit from our daughter, her fiancee, and our youngest grandson last night.  It had been a week since I'd seen our little man.  A week!  He is so alert and responsive now.  Just look at our little he-man!

Looks like that's all I have time for.  Our daughter just called and is in a world of hurt.  I have to go get her prescription for pain meds filled.

* for you.  I am always thankful for you!  (You didn't think I'd forget, did you?)

Now get out there and enjoy this 
beautiful weather while
it lasts!

February 22, 2017

A Fishy Hodgepodge

1. Have you ever been fishing? Did you catch a fish? If so did you keep it or throw it back? If you haven't been fishing is that something you'd like to try?

My family did a lot of fishing when I was growing up and I caught a lot of fish.  Mostly we threw them back.  We weren't big fish eaters back then. The last time I went fishing was nearly 4 years ago on a vacation to Chincoteague Island, VA.  My catch was hardly worth mentioning.  We threw the little guy back to grow up.

Fish out of water, big fish in a small pond, living in a fishbowl, packed in like sardines, this is a fine kettle of fish, plenty of fish in the sea, fish or cut bait...which fishy phrase most recently applies to some area of your life?

Hmm....maybe "this is a fine kettle of fish" since we are living with the bathroom still under construction and the viruses just keep going around and around.

2. What's something you're always fishing for in your purse, wallet, desk, or kitchen junk drawer?

That would be my keys in my purse.  They aren't small, but for some reason I can never find them on the first try.  They always swim to the bottom and get in between other things and hide from me.

3. Your favorite fish tale or movie?

That's an easy one.  I loved The Incredible Mr. Limpet with Don Knots.  

4. Are you sunrise, daylight, twilight or night? Explain why you chose your answer.

Sunrise....because I'm best first thing when I am fresh.  I kind of lose my enthusiasm as the day or project goes on.

5. What's the oldest piece of clothing you own and still wear?

A pair of mittens my grandmother knit.

6. We've got one more month of (officially) winter here in the Northern hemisphere. Are you feeling the need for a getaway? What's been the best and worst part of your winter so far?

I would LOVE to get away.  Pennsylvania winters can be very dreary...gray skies, gray trees, gray ground.  Blah.  The best part of winter so far has been spending time with our new grandson and going to the science center this past weekend with our other two grandkids.  The worst part has been dealing with the constant sickness.  I am sooooo over coughing.  (I coughed so hard this past weekend I gave myself a mild case of whiplash!)

7.  The Wednesday Hodgepodge lands on National Margarita Day...will you be celebrating? Frozen or on the rocks? Are you a Jimmy Buffet fan? If so, what's your favorite JB tune?

No, not a huge fan of margaritas, just once in a while and frozen and Jimmy's okay, but I'm not a fan of his, either.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I guess the overwhelming question in my mind these days is, "Is all this back and forth, ranting, raving, and bickering over the election ever going to end?  So many articles turn up in my newsfeed on Facebook.  I ignore most of them, they're nothing but click-bait anyway.  There are a few worth reading and it's all over the news, it's on the award shows, it's on blogs, and in magazines.  

Liberals, progressives, and Democrats want to know how on earth Trump supporters could have voted for him.  Conservatives, Christians, and Republicans want to know how anyone could have thought Clinton was a good choice.

The #notmypresident folks are running around in the streets, waving crude/rude/crass signs, wearing pink vagina hats, making sweeping statements about Trump and his supporters.  In too many cases the #makeamericagreatagain crowd is living up to the names it's being called.

I've never seen such unwillingness to hear each other out, to consider that each side may have some valid points.  There is a great wall in America and it's between these two factions and it's growing higher and wider daily.  An article I read recently in my local paper said we are in a civil war, one that has, thankfully, for the most part stayed non-violent, but a civil war nonetheless. 

We have come to a point where we as a society refuse to listen to the thoughts of anyone who disagrees with us.  We've been conditioned by what we see on TV and in the theater to believe being loud and rude is the right way.  Social media, while connecting us to the rest of the world, has robbed us of the skills to interact face to face.  We have no problem Tweeting or posting the most awful comments because we can't see the real human cost, what it does to the target.  Not to mention, even if our motives are pure, comments made on social media are extremely easy to misinterpret. 

Where are we headed?  What's going to become of us?  I don't know.  I just wish we'd remember that we are ALL Americans and that if we are citizens of this country Trump most definitely is our President.  Why would anyone want him to fail?  I don't believe for a moment he can solve all our problems, but I will support him and pray for him in the hope that he can make at least some things better.  I wish everyone would.  The earnest prayers of a humble people can bring about great things.

February 21, 2017

Best Ever Ribs Recipe

All this spring-like weather has my mind turning to outdoor activities.  And chores...I have to admit that the yard, which got torn up last summer when we took the pool out, looks pretty bad.  Hubby plans to get a load (or two) of topsoil in once spring is here for good and straighten things out.  Me, I'm thinking of where new flower beds or raised-bed gardens can go.

Another thing taking root in my mind is warm weather foods and what kind of food says warm weather more than barbecue?  I came across a recipe for barbecue ribs in Mary Kay Andrews's book The Fixer Upper.  We had a bit of a warm-ish spell a few weeks back so I gave it a try and they met with rave reviews.  They were simple to make, though they do take a lot of time. Anyway, with a few more warm days yet to come and spring not that far off, I thought I'd share the recipe with you.

Jimmy Maynard's Beer-braised Barbecued Ribs

2 racks of ribs
Your favorite dry rub for steak or pork (I used McCormick's steak rub)
2 onions, sliced thin
1 bottle of dark beer

Line a 9 x 12 baking pan with aluminum foil. (I found that to be too small for the racks of ribs I had....just use any size that fits them.)

Let ribs reach room temperature - approximately 2 hours.  Apply generous amounts of dry rub.  Let stand for an hour to absorb spices.

Line bottom of pan with sliced onions and set ribs atop onions.

Pour beer over meat.  (I used a large can of Guinness, but I'm sure there are cheaper dark beers out there if you don't want to pay that much.)

Cover pan tightly with foil.  Bake at 250 degrees for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until tender.

This is how they look after slow roasting.
Remove from pan, and finish on grill over white coals.  (We have a gas grill so did them on medium heat.)  Cook to desired color, 6 to 8 minutes on each side.

May brush with your favorite barbecue sauce immediately before removing ribs. (I used original Sweet Baby Ray's.)

Then get your bib on and enjoy because these things go fast.  My family had them all cut and divvied up before I got a picture.  This was what was left!

You really need all day to prepare them, but they are so easy and they smelled heavenly.  My family is already asking when I'm going to make them again.

Some of Ms. Andrews's books contain recipes for dishes mentioned in the book, but I've found she has an actual cookbook, The Beach House Cookbook, that I'm going to have to get my hands on.

February 20, 2017

The Pain in the Neck Weekend

Good morning and a huge shout out of thanks to all U.S. Presidents past, present and future! Thank you for your willingness to take on one of the toughest and most thankless jobs in the world.  (And thank you, too, for the federal holiday and a day off work!)

This past weekend didn't start quite as expected.  Our daughter had invited us to come over for dinner on Friday evening...her first time cooking for company.  She called me on my way home from work and UN-invited us.  Seems the pork roast she prepared in the slow cooker using a recipe from Pinterest didn't turn out quite as expected.  She said we could still come over, but should eat first.  Ha!  We ended up ordering Chinese take out and Hubby decided to stay home.

I woke up Saturday to a huge pain in the neck.  No, I'm not talking about Hubby.  I had a literal pain.  In the neck.  The coughing from the virus/bronchitis/creeping crud that I had is still going on.  It's not quite as intense or as often, but once in a while a bad attack sneaks up on me.  The mother of all coughing fits woke me up around 12:30 Saturday morning and I felt a "pinch" in my neck, but didn't think much of it.  What I found upon getting up in the morning was that any jarring or sudden moves or just zigging when I should have zagged resulted in major pain.

I put up with the pain all day because we had been planning a day with the grandkids for weeks, but by the time we dropped them at home at the end of the day I was ready to head to Med Express.  It turns out I sprained/strained my neck with my coughing....basically, I gave myself a mild case of whiplash. I came home with muscle relaxers and orders to put heat on it.  It's taken until today for it to kick in and the pain to have let up some.

We had a great day with the two oldest grandkids in spite of my neck issues. We gave them a few choices of what we could do and they chose the Carnegie Science Center.  It had been years since I had last been there.  My has it changed and grown!  There was so much to see and do.

We started out with a tour of the submarine that is docked outside on the river. Our grandson was NOT a fan.  We couldn't convince him it wouldn't move, he hated the metal floors, the steep ladder-like steps, the little doors, the grates in the floors....pretty much everything about it.  However, he was very brave and made it all the way through, refusing to be carried on the steps or helped through the doorways. 

The rest of us gained a new appreciation for just what a sacrifice sailors who are assigned to submarine duty make.  We are in agreement that we wouldn't like to spend weeks or months at a time confined in one.

Back inside, the kids insisted on going to the robotics exhibit first.  I'd have to say that was their favorite part of the whole museum.  Here they are working the controls on a giant robotic hand.

This reminded me of those claw games outside of every Walmart and pizza place in the country, but there was a lot more control as it had 3 "fingers" and a "thumb."

This life-sized robot was our grandson's favorite thing.  He spent the longest time just leaning on the railing watching it.  He didn't realize you could actually control it.  When I showed him, he was just so amazed and thrilled.  I didn't think we'd ever get him away from it.

Danger, Will Robinson, danger!
Alien lifeforms detected!

Can you guess what my favorite exhibit of the day was?  LOL

We saw a great program in the planetarium about the stars over Pittsburgh. The photo was taken when we were waiting to be let in.  Just goes to show that waiting in line is no fun no matter where you are.

The space exhibit was very cool.  The kids got to explore a model of the space station.  All those buttons, knobs, and switches move.

The bunks in the space station were much roomier than the ones in the submarine.  There was room for both kids and a new friend.

Our granddaughter even had the chance to harness up and get a small taste of what it's like to be weightless.

One floor of the museum was devoted to the human body and how it works. The science of farts was without doubt the most popular thing there.  You sit on the stools and bounce up and down.  The intensity of your bounce determines the kind of fart sound you produce.  The kids loved it....as you can see from the bouncing blur that is our grandson!

There was an earthquake simulator in the weather exhibit.  You sat in a big open box that looked like a booth in a restaurant.  There was a panel on the wall by the table (where a jukebox would be) and you could choose between a 6.8, 7.1, and a 7.8 magnitude quake.  The whole thing shook and rocked back and forth and you heard the rumbling sound, the screams, and the panicked goat. Yeah, there was a goat in the soundtrack for each quake. 

It really was an awesomely fun day with the kids, but man, I am getting old. I was exhausted by the time we quit for the day.

Yesterday Hubby worked on the bathroom remodel.  He got quite a bit of the shower framed in and the new wall board put up.  Maybe by Easter we'll be able to use it?

I went to a basket bash fundraiser for a small local library.  Mom and I go nearly every year.  They get close to 200 gift baskets donated plus gift certificates to local businesses and some really big prizes that they sell special tickets for.  It makes several thousand dollars for the library.  This was not a lucky year for me, though.  I came home with nothing.

Today I am having lunch with a friend to celebrate her birthday...just a little late.  

Have a blessed week, friends!

February 19, 2017

Sunday Stealing: The Bungalow 26 Questions

Welcome!  This is the blog of Stacy, formerly of I Carried a Watermelon. I was feeling the need for a change so here we are.  There's still a lot of work to be done, but I'm glad you're here.

We found this gem from a blogger named Kat. (She's not to be confused with our good friend Cat.. This Kat is from the blog 3 BedroomBungalow. She stated, "This is a meme that my buddy Not Supermum has tagged me for. Let's see what you lot can find out about [each other] today!"We'd like to thank last week's players for not being uber critical of a question asking what you thought of the person who "sent you the meme." We are usually good at editing and changing questions. We whiffed at that one. Your kind words for me were both unexpected and very appreciated. Please like is on Facebook (details below) and Google Plus in our side bar. Let's get to it!

Cheers to all of us thieves!

Sunday Stealing: The Bungalow 26 Questions

1. Which living person do you admire the most, and why?

I'm kind of drawing a blank at the moment...which may be due to the fact that I coughed so hard last night I gave myself a mild case of whiplash (I kid you not) and I'm sitting here with a heating pad on my neck and a muscle relaxer coursing through my veins.  Maybe Tim Tebow or someone like him that does a lot for others.

2. When were you the happiest?

Since I believe happiness depends on circumstance and joy comes from something deeper, my answer would be my college years.  I was living wild and having a great time, but it was a very shallow happines..

3. Besides property, automobile or furniture, what is the most expensive thing you have bought?

Maybe our TV?  It's a 60-inch, flat screen with 3-D capability.

4. What is your most treasured possession?

My books, followed by a little celluloid horse that was the only present my grandmother got one Christmas during the Depression.

5. Where would you like to live?

Chincoteague Island, VA

6. Who would you get to play you in a film of your life?

Sandra Bullock

7. What is your favorite book?

Little Women.  I've read it several times.

8. What is your most unappealing habit?

Biting my nails.  Every time I get bored or stressed I start chewing.

9. Twitter or Facebook? (Or if both share the differences in your opinion.)

Facebook.  I don't get Twitter's appeal at all.

10. What would be your fancy dress costume of choice?

Jeans and a sweater.  I really don't do dressy these days.

11. What is your earliest memory?

Standing in my crib, crying for someone to come and get me and then someone opening the door.

12. What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Truly stupid "reality" shows...Alaskan Bush People, Mountain Monsters, etc.

13. What do you owe your parents?

More gratitude than I can ever give.

14. To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?

Probably my husband, just because I'm around him the most and have the most opportunities to mess up.

15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My relationship with God is first, then my husband, my kids and grandkids, and then books.

16. What does love feel like to you?

A daily decision to commit myself to caring about and for another person, to doing what's within my power to take care of them, provide for them, and procure the best for them.  With that level of commitment the warm "fuzzies" and sexual attraction that the world says is love will be there.

17. What was the best kiss of your life?

Either the first kiss with my husband...or the kiss at our wedding after we were pronounced husband and wife.

18. Which words or phrases do you overuse?

Just, really....that's all I can think of at the moment.

19. What's the worst job you have done?

I started babysitting for my dad's boss's kids when I was in high school.  He had three bratty kids and he, himself, totally creeped me out with a pervy vibe.  The wife was nice, but wanted to be my best friend.  Anyway, he was super cheap...$5 to watch three kids for 5 or 6 hours.  Once they went out with friends for New Year's and dumped another 3 kids on me and didn't pay me any more money!  I never felt like I could say anything because he was my dad's boss. And as I later learned, he really was a perv....turned out they were swingers.  I found out when he asked my husband, then my fiancee, if we'd like to party. EWWWWWWW!

20. If you could edit your past, what would you change?

That I was such a party girl in college.  I'd buckle down and get that degree.

21. What is the closest you have came to death?

I don't think I've ever been close.

22. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Staying married for over 32 years and raising two kids, who had their rough patches, but stayed out of serious trouble, avoided the drug trap (it's rampant around here) and are now happy and raising their own families.

23. When did you cry last?

I don't know.  I don't cry very often.  I might have gotten a tear in my eye once or twice yesterday from pain.  I coughed so hard Friday night that I did something to my neck.  We had plans with our grandkids yesterday so I went ahead and did that, but after we took them home my husband took me to Med-Express.  Turns out that I basically coughed hard enough to give myself whiplash!  I am taking muscle relaxers and sitting around with a heating pad on my neck.

24. How do you relax?

Reading, writing, playing online games, and doing silly memes.

25. What single thing would improve the quality of your life?

My husband feeling better would be a great start.  Well, that or a large chunk of money.

26. What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

People will always disappoint you at some point.  They are flawed, imperfect beings.  No matter how hard they try they can't make you happy all the time. They will mess up at some point. You'll be a lot happier if you don't expect them to make you happy.

NEW FEATURE: I have had a set of rules I have learned through this journey. I used to feature new ones on the WTIT Blog. I collected - since I did not write them - 50 of them and then I stopped. We have since found new ones that we will share here. We will feature one every Sunday right here. You can read the complete list here.

51. Do not argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience. 

February 17, 2017

A Spring-y Friday

It feels like Spring.  It smells like Spring.  It even sounds like Spring.  Don't be distracted by the snow that is still out there...it's going away even as I type.  I am feeling ecstatic after weeks and weeks of drab, gray Pennsylvania winter. The sunshine is a resurrection of sorts and everyone's mood today can be best described as jubilant.  The best part is the forecast is for an entire week of unseasonable warmth and clear skies.

As you can see, work is progressing on the blog, but I have a long way to go. I hope to get some work in on it this weekend as I also have Monday off. (Big shout out to all the late, great, and still among us, Presidents!)  I don't know it it will pan out or not since it's looking like it will be a busy weekend.

We're starting off with dinner at our daughter's tonight.  It's the first time she's had anyone over and cooked a meal.  She's a nervous wreck.  I'm sure it will be fine....and we're more interested in our grandson than the food, anyway.  By the way, here's the latest gratuitous baby pic:

Just 2 months old and look at him
holding up his head to look around.

Tomorrow we are going to spend the day with our two older grandchildren.  I have no idea what we're going to do.  I had thought we'd take them to a local animal park to feed the giraffes, but it turns out the place is closed for the winter.  So....I don't know....we could do the city zoo, or the aviary, or the conservatory, or the museum, or the science center.  All are way cool to us, but the kids live in the city and visit at least some of those place regularly.  I guess we'll just ask them what they'd rather do.

Sunday is usually a day to catch up on chores (and maybe a little napping) around here.  That may be a good day to work on the blog.

Monday might prove a good time as well.  I am planning on taking a friend to lunch for her birthday and maybe some shopping, but I should have the morning free.

Now, if you don't mind, I'm a day late but I want to share my list of somethings I'm thankful for and join up with Rebecca Jo @ Knit By God's Hand for Thankful Thursday.

This week I am thankful...

* for today's beautiful sunshine and the promise of a whole week of warm temps (in the 50s and 60s!!) and clear skies.

* for the sound of the birds when I walk outside.  Their singing today sounds just like Spring...or maybe even Summer.

* that my husband got the stitches out of his gums yesterday after a pretty comfortable week.  He's a bit sore now, and maybe not as healed as he thought he'd be, but he's doing great and likes the dentures.  They made an adjustment yesterday and he goes back on the 27th for another.  After that he may need one or two more.  I can already see how he is feeling like his old self.

* that our grand-niece is going to be okay.  Just three months old and she had shunts put into her head today to drain off blood that was pooling on her brain and causing pressure.  They don't know the cause, but don't suspect an injury. The doctors at Children's Hospital said it could be something as simple as the blood vessels leaking because of rubbing on her soft spot...seems likely since they've discovered it's been going on for a couple of months.

* that everything keeps advancing and going well with plans for our daughter's wedding in September.

* that I had no problems driving the couple of bad weather mornings we had this week.

* for dinner out with my husband on Valentines' Day.  He wanted to take me and he even found something on the menu he was able to eat.

* for all the time we're getting to spend with the grandkids.

* and as always....for all of you!

Have a blessed weekend and enjoy this
beautiful spring-like weather!

February 13, 2017

My Muse

When it comes to living a life of abundance there is one person, above all others, who showed me what that meant and is my inspiration.  My grandmother, Nana.  That's her in the photo with my grandfather on their wedding day in August of 1940.

Nana and I were very close, closer than my mom and I.  I adored her and treasured every moment with her and looked forward to my time with her with great anticipation.  Still, I never really appreciated the gift she gave me just by living her life with gratitude, enjoyment and joy in all things.  If there was ever anyone who personified the old saying "Take time to stop and smell the roses," it was her.

Since turning 50 and watching the nest empty out I've found that my thoughts turn often to my days at Nana's house and the lessons that I learned there.  It's my thought to share some of those things along the way on this blog.  I hope you'll enjoy the memories I share and maybe even learn a thing or two yourself about living abundantly.

February 12, 2017


They say you can't go home again or teach an old dog new tricks, but that is exactly what I'm hoping to do here.  I've been floating around the blogging world in one form or another since 2001.  During the last 16 (how is that even possible???) years I've moved through many phases in my life and just as many blogs in which I wrote about those phases.  Some were fairly popular, some not so much, but each had a loyal group of followers.  That all changed somewhere within the last 5 years and I've been struggling to find my voice at this point in my life.

I've tried to write serious Christian posts and sometimes found success, but mostly it was a struggle to consistently write something.  I took that as a sign it was not meant to be as any time I've ever written Christian posts in the past they flowed easily from God-given inspiration and God provided the readers. The posts I was cranking out lately were simply not being read.  If I am going to give voice to Christian thoughts, I want them to be God-given, not my own ideas.

Journal-type posts found their way onto the blog...ramblings about daily life with little substance.  My heart just wasn't in those and lack of hits (not that I do this for hits) told the sad story that they weren't resonating with anyone else, either.

Finally, I've fallen into the trap of participating in memes or surveys.  They are fun and a good way to meet people online, but they can quickly become a crutch and replace anything of real value.

Truth be told I was very seriously thinking of pulling the plug once and for all on blogging when I was struck, out of the blue, with inspiration.  My inner self seemed to be screaming, "WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW!"

So, that is what I'm going to do.  I'm going to write about my life, the things I enjoy, and share it with you, dear reader.  We will talk of books, antiques, decorating, gardening, cooking, the places I go, the things I do, family, and faith.  I am on a quest to learn to live in the moment and enjoy these empty nest years to the fullest and I want to invite to come along with me.  I'm not sure exactly how things will take shape, but that's okay.  This is a journey with no set destination.