Saturday, July 31, 2010

Rust, Router, Reprieve

Sweetz and I went to Lowes one day to browse and get a few things. One item we needed was a recessed light cover for our shower. A new one was EVER so overdue. Rusted. Definitely a mess. Since it wasn't high on our priority list, it got busted to the bottom too many times. Such a simple - rather inexpensive item. But now the new one is up after a bit of tweaking. The hooks didn't line up with the light casing, but Sweetz with handy wire clippers did the trick. A tweak or two with the pliers and we were in business. The new one is vinyl and is white so no rust to show on the outside. Naturally, there's a bit of rust on the white tiles so I'm on the lookout for some solution to clean it easily. For now, I'm impressed and proud.

It's a weekend - not nearly as exciting as it was when working - but I'll take this 6-day Saturday/1-day Sunday week anytime.

The perm turned out ok, a bit tight but it will relax in a few days. ScissorLady Lori trimmed the ends and cut the back so I should be good to go for another 6 weeks. Then my locks will be straight again and it will be another scoot to the Lori's chair for a snip-it session. She will be at the beach this week so she'll be tanned and relaxed when she returns. I'm not jealous - although I'm getting eager for our trip west after Christmas. Hope everything works out so we can get on the road to see the other half of our country.

Our weather today has turned cooler and wet. It's such a strange feeling to have highs in the low 70*s. I could get used to this weather. But we still have another month or so of hot summer weather, so this is just a reprieve and a tease - but still welcome.

Our son came today for a visit. Was great to see him. We went to eat BBQ and then stopped at Radio Shack to buy a new wireless router which we came home and installed. Now, both computers are once again online at the same time. Ahhhhh, I'm happy. We filled some bags with veggies and a cantaloupe to take home so his family will be eating garden-style for a few days. He got his 90-day job eval last week and passed with flying colors. He'll be up for a raise and perhaps a promotion at the 6-month mark so he was grinning and let me read the great evaluation write-up. Now I have PROOF that others think as highly of him as his Mom and Dad!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Something Stinks

Ahhhhh, today was Stink Day. The day to get out the curlers. To shake up some stink.

Then get a roll on things...

Definitely not waste time nor throw in the towel.

A bit of silver a tad of gold to top things off.

Then what's left?
Yep, the stink!

We'll see how long can I hold my breath.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Into Every Life Some Rain Must Fall

My morning walk was a bit farther with a bit of a twist on the routine. Since it was a little cooler and overcast, the walk was easier without the added weight of sweating. Stopped by mom's house and after chatting awhile on her screened porch, I came home for a quick shower and change and off we went for lunch and a joy ride through the country.

We both had a delicious mini burger lunch at a little restaurant in a nearby town. It started pouring while we were there so stayed inside until it slowed up just a tad and the owner loaned us an umbrella since they know us and are fairly confident we will be back. It's a sports bar with TVs all around the dining room. When the owner saw me looking at all the other TVs, guess he figured I didn't want to watch sports, so switched the one at our table to the Food network. So, I was able to watch Rachael Ray and then the Barefoot Contessa fix some luscious meals. Many thanks to Stacy for taking care of us. The mini burger was fabulous - full of flavor and I chose a side of potato salad. They make their own sides so naturally it was excellent. I also know two of the cooks, so a bit of a friendly wave and a smile usually guarantees a perfect meal.

We drove all over the little town and then ended up straying into the county on the east side of town. We stopped in Yoder's, a little Amish market, and we both got a few items which will be delicious over the next week or so. They had root beer made in Kutztown PA which was near where I once lived as a teen, so that was neat. Sweetz likes root beer as much as I do, so we'll have a nice treat one day.

On our way home, the rain stopped and the sun came out just about the time we passed this old homestead. It looks like it was used as a duplex. Not sure how much longer it can stand but made an interesting photo.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Out And About

Today's high spots included a visit with my financial advisor who gave me some homework. There are a few documents to retrieve and then I need to research answers on other issues.

I met a friend for a nice lunch and chat at a local Chinese restaurant. Meal was delicious and chat was even better. I couldn't eat everything so brought the egg roll home along with one piece of chicken. The day out ended with a shopping spree in WallyLand. I had a list but didn't get everything - just ran out of enthusiasm. Which isn't difficult when it's this hot. I did recycle some things and drove around a bit. Nice to get out and about to see something other than my own digs.

When I got home, Sweetz had been to the grocery store and gotten the food items so my abbreviated WM stop turned out to be perfect. There's just one item left on the list and Wally didn't have it anyway, so I'll have an excuse to get out again another day. Topped off the gas tank while I was out so I'm ready to roll whenever the urge presents itself.

When the temps dip some I'll get in the RV and do some much-needed cleaning. We still want to head out for an extended trip to the western states. For sure we will do some shorter stays closer to home prior to that but present temp and humidity readings aren't in the camping fun range. Would be nice to experience some cooler weather and I'm sure most of eastern USA would agree with me. The air will be filled with the sounds of contented sighs when this hot weather trend ends. Does that mean we will then begin to grumble about the cold temps? Would be nice to mix these two seasons together and have extended springs and falls. In the meantime I will stay in the AC and do more reading. Nothing like a good book. Before we know it, fall will tiptoe in and I'll sigh along with the rest.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Someone Turn the Thermostat DOWN

The mushroom/toadstool was about 5 inches tall and was just majestic Saturday. Then this morning it was gone. Did a toad sit on it and break it?'s gone.

Looks like I need to get my bike out more often - Mama Dirtdobber has been busy producing another brood while I walked last week.

The sunflowers bloomed this week and the cardinals have been sitting on the fence watching them mature and trying to determine when the seeds will be ready for snacking. But first the bees must do their chore. Think the cardinals will allow me to salvage a few seeds for next season?

Today has been nice with church and friends and laughter and food. Lovely combination. Sweetz and I fashioned a wire cage around the potted porch tomato this afternoon. It is literally taller than I am - and it's July. Might have to call it Little Tomatower of Babel. Little tomatoes are finally making an appearance. But after a 0% success rate, I'm now The Pollinator and having 100% success. Am getting peppers from the 2 plants. One is banana and one is bell. The other plants aren't doing much - just sitting there listless and uncooperative. Nothing for The Pollinator to pollinate. Whatever. I understand their predicament. Grow, bloom, produce, then someone taller than you comes by and plucks you. Why bother they say. That reminds me of the current administration.

No cooking for me today. It got 99* here today on our in-the-shade digital thermometer. Yep, even when I'm not paying attention it records the high and low for the day. But hot hot hot as blazes for sure. I'd make sun tea but afraid it would boil over! I'm staying inside. Mom and friend are going to the lake again next week for a few days. Must be nice - I'm jealous! I'm going to visit my financial advisor tomorrow. One itsy bitsy account has matured....was not a good investment and lost money and now I must make a decision on what to do with those remaining nickels. Maybe a sugar dish! It would be heavenly to get away to someplace cooler. But I'm not the least bit interested in leaving my AC'd house when it's this HOT. Come on coooooler weather!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Siamese Twins

It rained yesterday - a nice rain that would prevent the need for the hose to be hauled out. The front porch seemed like such a fun place to experience the rain. It blew onto me but I was doing my best to keep my camera dry. A wet camera is not a good thing to experience I understand. Rule #1 in my camera manual: Do not get camera wet. So, I did my best. But how can I get rain shots without being close to the rain? Ok, so the camera hid under my blouse until I wanted a shot. Zap, a picture was taken and then it slid back under again. Whew, it seems to be ok.

We continue to get a few veggies from the garden daily. And one of those was Siamese squash yesterday. We get just enough to feed us plus a bit over. My mom and a neighbor are getting the excess - and both seem to be pleased to take them off our hands. Love it when some one's eyes pop out and a big grin rambles across their face as they lovingly caress the veggies. It's a good feeling to share with others. No, I didn't share the Siamese squash. But I do have a picture of it now.

Today seemed like a good time to break out the beads. I decided to make a few pair of earrings and while the supplies were out, I made a pearl watchband. Now, I have plenty plus. But I stayed out of trouble! Sweetz was out and about so had some freedom and that's the way I decided to entertain myself while he was gone. Oh, and to walk again. Today was Day 3 of my new resolution. Well, the latest resolution anyway. The task: Cutting the Blubber. Some pounds need to be removed from my frame and this week sounded like a great time to get serious. And how long does it take for a pound of blubber to permanently remove itself from the frame? Well, each pound removed will take 3500 calories to be burned. Then multiple 3500 times the number of pounds to be lost and out comes a HUGE NUMBER. Can I do this? Well, sure. It took a long time to gain it. But hopefully with some determination, each pound will melt away alot faster. At least I have a goal and a plan.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ice Cream

I decided to turn over a new leaf. Deciding I needed to start an exercise program, I headed out about 9:15am when the temp was reading 77* to WALK. Yep, to walk. I went 2 miles and it felt good. When I got home the temp had climbed to 78*. Now, the question is: can I continue to do something like this every day or so? Hope so, because I need to be moving around more.

I did some cleaning today. Seems I try to do some sort of cleaning, organizing, straightening, decluttering, most every day. Even if it's a small project, it feels good. Today I cleaned out the freezer of the kitchen fridge/freezer. Wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. Have been grumbling to myself that it was so stuffed that I rarely dug down to figure out what was underneath --- a situation I inherited from my hubby when I quit work 2 months ago. The meal prep chore. You know the story, I just fixed something based on whatever was easy to reach on the shelves. Ok, I now have no excuse. I even put the meat, veggies, misc, and taters, etc. on separate shelves. So, where does the ice cream go? Decided for the cartons to share the meat shelf. Now, they are handy - top front. How convenient...for hubby. I need to stay out of them.

Speaking of ice cream, we went to church last night for a special musical group - but something happened and they didn't show up. The plan was to have an ice cream social after the singing service. Well, the congregation decided to eat the ice cream first and see if they found our church. If so, then we'd join them for the singing in the auditorium. But after deciding they would be a no show group, we stayed in the fellowship hall and chatted with everyone. We did sing a few songs as a group and it was just enough to liven the evening. Ohhhh, and the ice cream. There were about 8 different kinds. I tend to favor the fruit - so had a banana/pineapple combo. Yummy, it was good. There were also cookies, cakes, brownies, doughnuts, etc. But I just nibbled on half a cookie. Talk about restraint!!! It was difficult but someone had to do it.

We got two ripe tomatoes today. I'm so excited. They have been so slow this year and not many coming on the vines either. Has been a disappointing year for tomatoes. But we won't starve - they are plenty of veggies for us to eat every day. I decided to take an evening off from squash, beans, and cukes. Tonight I fixed a yummy ham noodle dish which was so scrumptious. Got it off "". Neat website. I like to enter an ingredient and see what recipes they come up with. Loved it. It was delicious. I didn't fix the recipe exactly as called in the recipe. I'm known for ad libbing and it was all I could do to refrain from serving myself a second helping. Also had slaw and baby lima beans (for me) and broccoli florets (for hubby - who dislikes limas). Yep, I found the bag of baby limas hiding in the freezer. Somehow I think Sweetz buried them so I wouldn't find them. But I found them while moving some things to the downstairs freezer. My lucky day! Naaaah, I won't mention it to him - I do the same thing to him, so we're even again.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lazy Day on the Ranch

I took it rather easy today, didn't want to overdo - especially after working so hard yesterday in all the heat and humidity. I must continue to look for excuses that boggle the mind. I was going to read and relax today, but mom called and wanted to go out to eat at a new restaurant in our fair community. So I got dressed and when she arrived, I was soon ready to roll.

The menu looked rather normal for that sort of place, but we didn't like where we were seated. So we were moved to a booth across the room. The restaurant is a re-do of an old business in the business section (seems it once housed an insurance company), floors are beautiful, walls a rustic red, wine bottles are nested in slots in the original walk-in safe, overabundance of polite waitresses, everyone eager to please. But the noise is too loud. It was hard to chat with mom across the width of our table. I was ready to leave when we finished so I could hear...silence again. Ahhhhhh, I don't like loud noises anymore. They need to install baffles on the ceiling and/or walls. Rugs, anything to absorb the sound.

We made a stop at the PO and ended up at Wal-Mart to get a few things. After we shopped for the items on our short list, we sat at a SubWay table and sipped on Cokes and did some serious people watching. Tis a wonderful way to spend some free time. While there, a couple of people drifted by that I knew and one friend/neighbor sat at our table and chatted for a long time. She's a dear and nearly always smiling even though she lost her husband to cancer only a bit over two years ago. She's one that always sees the glass as half full and her optimism is contagious.

One thing that probably won't rub off is the fact that she goes to the Y five days a week. Then she has the audacity to invite me to join and go with her! Right. Well, it is a wonderful idea, I should think about that. In the meantime, I decided I would get out my exercise DVDs again and see if I couldn't move to the oldies and learn a few more country line dances. Then there's the 3rd one that is more difficult - yep, I'll keep that one until I work up some endurance with the first two. Well, her invitation does pose some interest. Now, if I could just keep up with the young and slim leaders on the tapes. Used to - well, it was 30 years ago. Doesn't seem like such a long time ago. What happened during those 30 years? My happy friend is a little thing and we are nearly the same age - ummm, sounds like I have a REAL project I need to seriously work on. Tomorrow -- yep, I could start tomorrow. It's always good to have a plan...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

In the Yard

An "after shot" first to show how nice mom's front flowerbeds look. Then a "before shot" to show how big the azaleas had gotten.

Even though it was a hot one, I was disillusioned into attacking mom's yard with my pruning shears. She has needed her azaleas pruned for quite some time. It's something I enjoy doing and is quite rewarding to see the end result. I just didn't bank on the temperatures being so Hot HOt HOT. Then I was stung by a wasp/hornet or some such black flying lady who was rather put out that I was pruning in her nesting area of the bushes. She bit me on my left thumb with one powerful sting leaving a large bore hole. Ouch. After I took care of it and deciding I would not die in the process, I returned with heavier gloves. The persistent flying mom was sprayed but obviously wasn't killed. She came back several times for revenge, flying like a lunatic while diving straight for me with death threats on her mind.

I brought the branch with her nest on it back home to show Sweetz. Neither one of us could tell whether it was a wasp or hornet. But I'm alive to write about it.

We had a healthy garden supper rounded out with some breaded shrimp. Ahhhh, the taste of summer. Will certainly miss these great tasting veggies after the season is over. A few tomato plants are finally growing and a few actually have some decent tomatoes and some are turning pink. Better late than never. I've always thought a woodpile was a thing of beauty so couldn't resist taking a shot of Sweetz' woodpile with the new wood on this side.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Time to be Born and a Time to Die

I drove to the library this morning to refill my book tote. But thought they were handier in a basket on the piano. I made this fanny basket many years ago. There are memories all around the house. Sometimes I wonder if my family will remember me in my things. Doubtful. I need to turn those thoughts loose.

I love animal crackers. Thought they looked rather unique marching across this frame. Sometimes it's fun to turn off the serious side of me and smile at life.

The Tigers have arrived. Well, the Tiger Lilies. They are beautiful although the weight of the huge blooms force them to hang down. That's ok, I can lean down and look up. Sweetz cut some and brought them inside. We've never used them as cut flowers before but they are beautiful sharing a vase with some glads on the kitchen table.

Today, I learned that my neighbor died. She had suffered for many years and finally was able to leave this old world behind. Linda had two sons but one made quite an impression on me. Mark. A sweet guy all the way through. He won my heart one day when he was about 8. He rang the front doorbell and presented me with a branch of azaleas he had taken from their yard. He played with my sons and was in and out of my house as much as his own. The love he had for his mother was as evident as the smile on his face as he spoke of her. She will be buried tomorrow. She was an inspiring woman, a loving wife and mother, a friend to many and she will be missed but leaving behind a mark (no pun intended)on everyone who knew her.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

We Needed Every Drop

It rained last evening. A noisy, get your attention type of storm. This morning I roamed around the yard and tried to capture the essence of the rain. They are more infrequent and are more enjoyable than ever. Each drop is a precious gift from God to be savored, remembered, appreciated, and experienced. It was difficult to stay inside today. The outside beckoned me and I responded.

After I quit work two months ago, I got so I didn't like Saturdays anymore. They were crowded with other people's noise and ruined my peace. Not sure why, but either I'm adapting or maybe today wasn't a usual Saturday in our neighborhood. It was quiet. I sat outside and read a long time. A few cars drove by, even saw my mom head up the road to share supper with a friend. No one noticed me on our porch, I must have been half hidden behind the shrubs and porch columns.

The object of my interest was the last book in my library tote. Was worried it wouldn't be good and I would be desperate and might have to peruse Webster's famous book. But this one is good, not at the beginning but sometimes authors take a lot longer to grab the attention of the reader. But grab she finally did. It's all I can do to put the book down - I need to know what's on the next page, nooooo... the next paragraph. But here I sit writing in my blog - and trying to pretend the book isn't waiting for me on the kitchen table. Some books capture me for awhile and then pucker out after a few more chapters. Hope this one doesn't disappoint me - but if it does, it won't be the first and I can adapt to that also. I've noticed that the library has lots of other books waiting patiently in the stacks for me to return.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Another Fantastic Friday

We had a healthy supper tonight - cherry tomatoes, baked squash, marinated cukes, green beans all from our little garden plot. There was tea and roast beef to round the meal out. Awesome, just awesome eating. I will miss this fresh produce this winter!

Went to mom's late this morning and I installed miniblinds in two of her den windows. She is in love - with the miniblinds that is! I knew she would, but sometimes we have to wait for the other person to be able to visualize how they would look. I'm soooooo thrilled she finally replaced the heavy drapes with these light blinds. Sure lightens up the dark paneled den. Wonder how long it will be before she allows me paint the paneled walls a lighter color???? We then drove to a BBQ diner for a late lunch, which is, of course, the best in the world! Then we drove around some before we came back home so mom could admire the miniblinds again.

On the left side of the fireplace mantle is a picture of my grandmother taken on her wedding day with the dress she designed and constructed. It was beige and chocolate brown. It had exquisite handwork. She and my grandfather made a fine couple I would say. Maybe later I can zoom in to that picture to really show it off. My parents said their vows after a Sunday service in a small country church wearing Sunday clothes but there were no pictures to remember the day. My Sweetz and I were married in a church in Washington DC - me in my white wedding dress and veil which I designed and made, while my Sweetheart was handsome in his rented summer tux. I'm sure we looked no better than the other two couples on one of the happiest days of our lives. Really? Happy? Well, sure it was - even with some squabbles and tension occasionally through the years, all three marriages were/are strong. Of course, my grandparents have long since died, as well as my dad -but the memories and a few pictures live on.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Trip to the Mountains

A friend and I drove to the Blue Ridge Parkway today. It was a nice day - quite sunny, hot, dry, and peaceful. We packed a healthy picnic lunch and ate in a large picnic area. We could hear the birds chirping and watched a deer come through close to where we were eating and then bounded away into the brush on the opposite side.

We went to Mabry Mill and enjoyed walking back in time.

Another stop was The Reynolds Homestead as well as a covered bridge.

It was a sunny day so none of the pictures turned out very good but it was pleasant way to spend the day with a friend.