Monday, January 31, 2011

Winter Winter Go Away!

A Simple Woman's Daybook: the last day of January 2011
Outside my window....it is grey and wintry. Piles of dirty snow line the curbs and small patches of melted snow have refrozen overnight. And more ice and other wintry weather is in the forecast for later today. Oh please. Winter has worn out her welcome around here!!
I am thinking....about spring - and dreaming of sunny days, planting impatiens, dinners on the patio and putting away my heavy coat, scarf and gloves!
I am thankful for....my coat, scarf and gloves!!
I am wearing...a new shirt from the thrift store - yeah. It is striped with sunny yellow, melon, sky blue and several other "warm" happy colors. It makes me smile this morning.
I am remembering....last week's terrible ice storm. So many are still recovering and many are still without power and now a new storm is on the horizon. It is really unbelievable what happens to the traffic in our area when the weather is bad. I am so thankful that Hubbie does not have to commute - or even go out if it is really nasty.
I am going....shopping and to lunch with a friend this morning. HomeGoods is on the agenda. Life is good!!
I am reading....some of the neatest gardening tips in this month's issue of Southern Living - like the cutest way to grow strawberries in pots for your deck or patio! I am just itiching to plant something. (Planting I don't have too much trouble with...it is the whole getting things to grow and survive that I struggle with!)
I am hoping....to have another productive week this week - and to see some good results with the scale on Saturday. GRRR.
On my mind....a pastor who's wife died suddenly this past weekend. Pastor Williams was on his way to our church on Wednesday to be a guest speaker when last week's bad weather hit. He turned around in West Virignia to head back to Indiana. Not only was he home when his wife passed away, he was with her all day the day before as well. God was certainly in control.
From the kitchen....chocolate chip pumpkin cookies. Oh my goodness, they were delicious. (And I wonder why I struggle with the scale on Saturdays!)
Around the house....are paint chips - well, at least, in the bedroom. I am wanting to do some painting but why is picking just the right color such a challenge??
Plans for the week....are always tentative with this crazy weather. (Have I mentioned the weather enough??!) Hopefully, there will be Bible study on Tuesday at my church and a new study starting at a friend's church on Thursday.
One of my favorite things.....Bible studies:) especially with good friends.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Snow Day

Yes, we had a snow day yesterday:) I don't have children in school anymore. I don't work at their school any longer but something about a snow day is just plain fun! I love the unexpected change of routine and the chance to stay home and snuggled in - which is especially nice when the family is snuggled in with me.

Although our snow storm didn't leave us with as many inches as some of our snows, the nice sheet of ice under the snow - from the sleet beforehand - really made commutes home for many a nightmare. There were, however, some really encouraging news stories of people helping one another....like the couple serving hot tea to motorists stranded on the roads outside their home!

Thankfully, we all made it home safe and without too terrible of delays. The snow was coming down so thick - it was beautiful. I tried to get some pictures.....but they are from the back door as I was not willing to go outside. I am totally a "from the inside snow admirer"!!
Our snow day was very productive and, also, "one of those days!!" In the afternoon, our daughter loaded the dogs in the car - just for a run to Petsmart to get out of the house - and the car would not go...literally. Not sure what the problem was, but Hubbie was able to fix that one without too much trouble. A bit later, Hubbie wanted to "get out of the house".....it is me who is content to stay inside:)...and wanted to run to Starbucks. I initially balked but he really wanted to go, so we bundled up and headed out. We made it to the garage. Yes, our car wouldn't start. Not even a joke. Apparently, the cold weather killed our battery. Or, at least, I am blaming it on the cold weather. Hubbie fixed that one, too, but we had no lattes.


But that was okay with me. I cleaned. I cooked (or puttered in the kitchen is a better description of me in the kitchen). I read. And I caught up with blogs. That's when I was inspired by Nellie to do some decorating simply with things I already have around the house. I worked for over an hour in our guest room - which we call Tyler's room as furniture and some of his favorite things are in that room - and had the best time. Thanks, Nellie, for the inspiration!! I will have to take some pictures......
But I'm off to the vet - follow-up appointment for Mr. Rascal. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!! Enjoy these days of winter:) One of my favorite things about winter -
Oh yea - the cocoa!!

Anticipation

There is just something about watching a snowfall that is so intriquing - and fun!! - for, well, everyone!! Last night's snow was not exception. I like watching the snow fall looking while looking at the porch light. Hubbie periodically opens the front door and watches the flakes fall (and inches to be shoveled) pile up through the storm door. And, yes, Bailey has her favorite spot, too!!
This week's photo.....its all about the snow!

Miss Bailey - Jan. 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

And Now.....More From Our Cruise

Believe it or not, one of the things I am determined to do...and do this year!...is finish loading the pictures of our cruise. Yes, the cruise that was over four months ago. I posted three days worth and then I just never got back to it. So, without further ado.....I am going to continue with our vacation photos.
No, I won't do all fourteen days at one time (heavy sighs of relief heard all around) but I will NOT take four more months to finish. And I hope that everything will post without being all crammed together like my posts have been lately. I certainly don't type them like that - but they post with a mind of their own.
Moving on - our fourth day was in Zeebrugge, Belgium....right near Brussels. I really believe this was my favorite city on our trip. Not only was it lovely, it just had a wonderful "feel" about it...and we had a wonderful day!! Hubbie and I both agreed we would enjoy coming back to Belgium for vacation:)
We arrived in Zeebrugge and walked around just a bit waiting for the train to arrive.


We took the train to Brussels....

yes, the home of Belgian waffles - served any way you can imagine.....


and Belgian chocolate, of course!! Chocolate was in every store window and was carved, molded or shaped into absolutely anything that you could imagine - and then some!! I was amazed.

The city was absolutely charming - it was quaint, clean, and just lovely.


And, again, the flowers were everywhere!!


We had the perfect day walking through the town,


exploring historical churches,

and even climbed 365 steps inside this one - but why we did that, I just don't know!! The center of the town was this charming square - full of people...both tourists and locals, shops and all kinds of wonderful cafes to stop and have a bite:)



We chose this one - but, goodness, I would have loved to move on to each and every one and have another taste. You just never know when you will have the chance again, right?? But, we did not!

We had such a nice day. And, just for the record...that day was the 14th - our actual anniversary! and the "reason" for the whole trip! I just can't think of more special place - or way - to spend that day with my Hubbie!!
One of my favorite photos from Belgium.....


Monday, January 24, 2011

Mismatched Words and Actions

It is a COLD Monday morning! and I am off to work...all day! Not my first choice - I really do enjoy "part time" - but, actually, this was someone else's shift who asked me to switch with her. I ended up with the entire weekend off which was nice.
I really do enjoy my job. Even more than I thought I would:) For the most part, the customers are all really nice and I enjoying chatting with them as they shop and check out. Of course, every once in awhile, there is the cranky customer. For instance - last week.
A very well-dressed woman, with the loveliest British accent, came in and asked if we had cards for folks becoming a citizen. Of course we do. (Honestly, we have a card for just about anything....even some things that really don't need a card.) Any hoo, after she found her card, she was hurriedly looking around the store. I asked her if I could help her find something (why did I do that??) and she was looking for a gift for her friends...the new citizens. Something "American" but not touristy junk (her words!) I thought and thought but really could not come up with anything.
And then the complaining started. Although she did eventually find something - very nice and appropriate, I might add - she never stopped complaining. And not just about Hallmark or shopping or something similar - no, about this country!! Its lack of patriotism...and on and on and on!! So, her she was wanting to celebrate her friend's American citizenship and whining non-stop about America.
What was wrong with this picture?? Clearly, her words did not match her actions. And I have thought several times over the last week about this lady. Not only do I hope her friends appreciate..and enjoy... their citizenship - and the true blessing that it is - more than she does, but I also pray that my actions match my words.....and my words match my actions. I would never want my words - like complaining or joining in the "latest news" at work - to be disjointed with my testimony of being a Christian. I pray my co-workers never have reason to wonder, "what's wrong with this picture??"
Just a thought as I head off to work and begin another week. Looking for all God has in store this week:)

Friday, January 21, 2011

GRRRR

Oh, goodness - here I am ready to post...and Hubbie is calling and ready to go! We are off to buy a kitchen sink:) but, again, no time for posting! This happens to me...too much! I'll be back this evening!

Have a beautiful day, blogging friends!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Evening Shake, Anyone??

Project: 52 Photos - week two

And this is "my world" this week. Oh yeah - meal replacement shakes. So not the most exciting photo ever but I want this project - at the end of the year - to be a reflection of my life..and rigth now, my life is all about dieting. I started back on my diet on Saturday and that first week, it just seems to consume my thoughts. I know it doesn't stay like this but that does seem to be the case in the beginning.

And there is more to my diet than shakes - oh please. That's just what I was having last night when I got ready to take pictures. I try not to blog much about my diet - really, who cares - but I am trying to learn a lot more during this time and process than simply losing weight. Right now - it is all about discipline....and goodness knows, there is much to learn about that!


PS - and, yes, those are the old (and unattractive) counter tops....soon to be gone:)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cocooned in Ice Today

A Simple Woman's Daybook for January 18, 2011 - my first for this new year:)

Outside my window....is an icy wonderland. We had sleet, freezing rain and who knows what else last night and today everything is coated in simmery ice. Now it is no secret that I am overly cautious - actually terrified - of ice (having fallen twice in years past) but with nowhere to go....I am enjoying a warm day at home with my Hubbie!
I am thinking....about the comments you left yesterday - and some of the really weird (read that..yucky) things you guys have eaten! And it all tastes just like chicken!!
I am thankful for....my gas fireplace, cozy winter sweaters, snoozies (my favorite slippers), and my newest Yankee candle - "Gingerbread" - that is filling the house with the nicest aroma!
I am wearing....the above-mentioned cozy sweater and my snoozies - if you don't have a pair of these slippers, you really should find some....really.
I am remembering....so many little details from last year. I transferred my important dates from last year's daytimer to this year's new one (I know, a little late but....) and was noticing all the days and events I noted last year. Several precious friends moving, lots of fun days away with Hubbie and days out with girlfriends, and all the special days I looked so forward to that are now come and gone. Goodness, life goes so quickly.
I am going....absolutely nowhere. That whole ice thing. But it is great to be able to stay home!
I am reading...Made to Crave by Lysa Terkurst - more about that later.
I am hoping....that warm weather will return early this year. This winter has been beyond bitter and I really am too old for all this cold. Last night at work, I put out an entire display of flip-flops?!? Positive thinking, I guess.
On my mind....my sweet friend, Judy, who has a birthday tomorrow! We have been best of friends since fourth grade - yeah, a long time! - and she is a jewel. I hope she has a beautiful day!!
From the kitchen...something with ground chicken since that is what I took out of the freezer this morning. What that something will be - not sure but I'll figure out before dinner time:)
Around the house....it smells yummy - like gingerbread. And the baseboards are clean - thanks Hubbie! and we are just beginning the newest house "project"...new kitchen counters! HOORAY
Plans for the week....Ladies Day Out is this week - breakfast and then thrift store shopping. Have I mentioned how much I enjoy the thrill of the hunt...for just the perfect treasure...at thrift store and consignment shops??!! :) Can't wait.
One of my favorite things.....well, let's see - Yankee candles, snoozies:), birthdays, mornings out with a group of friends, and thrift stores!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Would You Eat THAT??

Happy Monday morning:) Hubbie is off work today and we are enjoying a slower-than-normal Monday morning. He has actually been cleaning baseboards...and I'm thinkin' he needs to stay home more often! Just kidding but I do enjoy clean baseboards:)

I was thinking back over the weekend and the annual Wild Game Supper that was held at church on Saturday. This event is really planned for the men; however, each year more and more women attend. The day includes a lot of hunting, fishing or other outdoor-nature stuff that is totally foreign to me but is truly an evangelistic opportunity where the gospel is shared. There is a huge outreach into the community and such - and apparently alot more women than I ever imagined are really "into" that type of thing....but not this girl! Uh, no. I just hear the details after the fact.


And hear I did. Apparently the new taste sensation this year was bobcat (every year is something more and more unique)! Bobcat...really?? From all the comments I heard, it was not that tasty. Shocking, I know. So, my question today is Why would anyone eat bobcat? I honestly believe it is the peer pressure. Not saying that to be rude or make any commentary toward the men but, truthfully, we all face it. Teenager. Ladies. Even men. The pressure is there to "fit in" and be like the group.

Maybe I'm reading too much into in - but, really, why else would you eat bobcat? or hippo? or any of a dozen types of roadkill?? Yuck. And, my second question....what is the most unusual - if not grossiest - thing you have ever eaten? I guess I would have to go with calamari. Oh, and don't even get me started on some of the things that people will eat from the ocean!!

I'll end with just a funny side story. When I was in Panama City with Jordan, he took me to dinner at one of his and his buddies' favorite eating spots - a chinese buffet. I'm not typically a buffet fan but the food was really tasty and the selection was huge! They had a bit of everything - including fried frog legs. I hate to say yuck too many times but they did not look appetizing at all. I told Jo I'd give him 20 bucks to eat some. And he did. Oh, if I could have only captured the look on his face on film....but I was busy quieting my own stomach.

No peer pressure there - just the allure of an extra 20 bucks. Cold hard cash. What a silly boy!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Name Them One by One

THANKFUL THURSDAY.....and, goodness, it seems like quite a bit since I have posted a Thankful Thursday - not that I haven't been thankful, mind you:) My heart fills full and overflowing these days and, yet, Satan seems to be working overtime to drain that joy...especially with his tools of worry and anxiety. I don't often think of myself as a "worry-wart" (who wants to be any kind of a wart??!) but lately it seems the same burdens play over and over through my thoughts and even my dreams!
And I know, as a child of God, not only do I not have to carry these burdens...I am not supposed to bear them! Today, I am remembering this verse:
Psalm 55:22 "Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."
and I am concentrating on my blessings instead!! Blessings, like:
1 - the unanticipated road trip with Jordan last week....not only did we laugh and joke and solve all the world's problems but I was able to share my heart with my son - quite a bit - and he did some of the same. What a thrill for a mom!
2 - a new grandbaby on the way:) and for his mommy - who has a birthday today!! Happy Birthday, Erica. What a blessing you are to me and to your dad. We love you.
3 - ministries I am priviledged to with in at church....to think that God would use me is amazing.
4 - a Hubbie who still thinks I'm sexy. Really now. I know the ugly truth but it stills makes my heart happy when he says it.
5 - gas heat:) and this warm house....'cause it has been bitter cold! I might also mention that how happy I am that God did not call me to be a farmer because I would most surely die if I had to get up and out to a barn before the sun even came up on this frozen mornings!!
6 - debt-free Januarys! These were not always the case for us but we now live debt-free (except for a mortgage) and it is one of our greatest blessings.
7 - Bible -study this week. Studied "longsuffering" which is not always an easy topic but I really needed that study and God is using the lesson even now in my life.
8 - Starbucks coffee break with a girlfriend that I've been missing. You know, Starbucks really doesn't do that much for me these days - why??? - but I do love the time with my girlfriends.
9 - my family, my health, my church, my faith, my friends.....oh goodnes, my life. It is a beautiful life.
Happy Thursday, friends. Count your blessings today:)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Something New

New for 2011.....I am trying a new "project" - just for fun and just for myself. I have seen some blogs that were strictly photo journals and even a few that had one photo a day for the entire year. Now that is a bit ambitious for me...but, maybe one a week, I could manage. Just a snapshot of where I am and what is happening in my world - week by week. And so, I begin "Project: 52 Photos"!!
The somewhat sad part is I am already behind one week - surely that it is not indictive of the year ahead. But I will begin with two photos and, goodness, what a difference one week can make!
Last week:
This week:

So, our snow "storm" last night really did not amount to much but it was enough to make me miss the beach even more!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Road Trip with the Airman

A look back at my road trip with Jordan - through pictures. Granted we look travel weary...if not a bit goofy..in most of the pictures but I had such a good time, I want these pictures posted so I can remember such a special time. So, please indulge me.

All thumbs up and ready to hit the road......
We took turns with the driving - alternating as we entered each new state. Goodness, am I glad we were travelling last week...missing all the severe weather down south! Our weather was great and smooth sailing:)

Yes, Jo - it is YOUR car:) Cool!

This photo is for Dad - yes, he brushed his teeth:) About ten minutes after leaving, Hubbie calls with the inevitable list of things we forgot which always seems to include the toothbrush! This seems to be a given for our family (well, I remembered mine!) but thankfully, the hotel had complimentary ones. Guess we aren't the only ones.

After several hundred miles and four states later......we cruised into Florida:)

We stopped at all the welcome centers - we always do! - but it is especially a must in Florida because they give you welcome orange juice. (This is something my dad instilled in me many, many years ago. And I have enjoyed many gratis cups of Florida OJ.)

Right outside of Panama City, we followed this car for several miles. Does anything seem wrong with this picture??? Perhaps we were a bit slap happy from road weariness...but I just thought this car was too funny (so much so, I snapped a photo!)

But, we finally made it!! Hooray:) (excuse the pedestrian crossing sign.....)

Now, THIS is my idea of a nice January evening. Yes, indeed.

Ok, I'll confess - it was a bit nippy down by the beach...well, cold. And I did not have a coat but I had to be a good tourist and run down to the beach...snap pictures...and RAN back to the car. The place was deserted but the sunset was really pretty.

And just one more picture of my road trip buddy. You are goofy...and fun:) and you don't snore - I will road trip with you anytime, Bud!! I do love me an airman!!

Jan. 2011 trip to Panama City

Monday, January 10, 2011

Home Again.....Home Again

Hello...hello! 2011 certainly took off with a bang - and left little time or opportunity for blogging but, ah:) for Monday mornings and settling back into the routine.

It has been awhile since I posted but life has been full of blessings - not the least of which, Jordan (my airman:), was home for three weeks!! There was none of that sense of urgency to do everything or get so much done before he has to leave again...but, instead just leisurely mornings, good days and plenty of fun times together.

Jordan was also able to catch up with several friends and went to a reunion party with his "dojo family" where he trained karate for many years. The dojo has since closed and it has been quite awhile since he had seen all those friends, as well as his sensei, and he really enjoyed the party.


While he was home, he spent a lot of time doing this............................

as well as doing this.................................

but, even more exciting, he bought (er, leased) his first car! That was fun for all of us. He now drives a super sporty little Mazda....and looks totally fly doing so, if I do say so myself! Of course, he had to get it back to Panama City (about 16 hours from here) and I really did not like the idea of him making that trip alone - remember, although he is 19, he is a new drive - so what is a mom to do?? Go with him!!
I am not much of car traveler myself but four full days with my boy - all to myself! - and count me in!! So, that explains where I was all last week. We took two days to get there and then had another two and half days together in Florida before I flew home. It was wonderful!! Such an unexpected blessing and what a great way to start my new year.
I do have some pictures to share from the trip. Jordan is such a good sport....posing "for the blog" - ha, I have him trained well:) But, I seem to be a bit behind with posting. Actually, I seem to be a bit behind with EVERYTHING (but thats ok). I never posted pictures of my Christmas tree and I want to have those...just for my own memory and reference. So, indulge me just a bit:)


Our Christmas tree has been burgundy and gold for a long time now. We are all ready for a change, so just to get us started this year, we added some silver. I really like the silver. And then we did a little after Christmas shopping and started on a whole new look for next year. I'm looking forward to the change but we have a whole lot of gold to get rid of???
Also, new this year was putting the tree in the dining room. Yep, the dining room. But it fit perfectly and we loved it there. You just never know, right??!

















And this is what we have always affectionately called our Tyler Tree:) It is decorated with popcorn, cookie cutters and other kitchen/cooking things - Tyler's passion!
In the past, we have always had this tree...well, in the kitchen. In the new home, this is absolutely no place to put it in the kitchen so it was in the foyer. Was not sure I would like it there but it was the first thing everyone saw when they came in the house and when they commented on it, I talked about Tyler - something I love to do!! He would definitley like this tree. My children always wanted their own trees - small ones in their rooms - when they were younger but it did not happen. I know Tyler would be pleased to have his own themed tree:)








And, so, a look back at our Christmas trees. Tomorrow - moving forward and catching up to the second week of January - already!! And there is snow in the forecast!! Hope your week is off to a good start:)
Christmas 2010

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hello 2011


Have a wonderful start to your new year, sweet blogging friends!! Looking forward to keeping in touch, "sharing life" through all your interesting posts, meeting new friends and perhaps even connecting with some I've only known through the internet (now, that would be fun!) I know God has much in store for all of us - life is, indeed, good!! Hugs, friends!