Saturday, March 31, 2012

Remembering The Good Times

We slept in our own bed last night and that's a real treat after motel beds.  Some are ok, others leave much to desire.  Most of the mattresses on our trip were decent, but all are plopped on wooden foundations, unlike the bouncy box springs we buy for our homes.  Not sure why the motel owners think we are ok with harder beds.  Well, maybe we Americans are soft.  Maybe so - at least in the bedding department.

Speaking of bedding, I did a bit of online surfing today and found some decently priced pillows.  YES.  Now, the question is whether I will really buy them plus pay shipping and handling to get them here.  The pillows I'm talking about are the decorative ones with a seashore theme - perhaps a shell, a lighthouse, beach umbrella, or a sailboat on them.  Something fresh and alive and yells of SUMMER. It's time to put away the dark colors of winter and refresh with something to remind me of warmth, sun, and fresh fruit...perhaps something to remind me of the relaxation of the beach.  Well, I still have the option of making some. 

I spent some time with mom today - her level of intelligence and energy always astounds me.  She seemed glad to see me after we were away for a week.  The katz are friendly with her and enjoy her attention and scratches plus the overflowing food dish.  She and I ran a few errands in town and also had a leisurely lunch at a local diner.  I bought a couple of Easter cards to send to those who don't email.  Private Thought:  they need to get with the technology world. 
I found out today that an old friend died while we were away.  She was a dear lady who lost her husband a couple of years ago.  She was just waiting on this earth for her reunion with him and to spend eternity in heaven. She got her wish.

Some memories of Beach Week...


Friday, March 30, 2012

Home Again

Yep, we arrived back to the house this afternoon to end a wonderful birthday week at the beach.  Not sure how Sweetz can top treating me to this birthday, but I'd be willing to add another year to my age if he'd attempt something this nice again. 

SweetzMan didn't waste much time before he was checking out his garden and then mowing the grass.  Doesn't take long before the weeds outgrow the grass.  And this year it seems the weeds are winning the battle, but at least it's green - well outside of the moss trying to take over the shady spots.  Always a battle of the weeds against man. 

I helped SweetzyPoo so he could mow by picking up the sticks and limbs that constantly fall from the trees and that's when something popped in my lower back.  Yuck, hate it when my back aches like this.  After all, I'm OLD and shouldn't have to put up with this discomfort.  Had enough trials of mind and body during my first 65 years to exempt me from this.  But it's here and it's winning this battle.  I'll try to refrain from grumbling, but old age aint for the faint of heart.  Whew.  And that growing old thing just happened - slowly when I wasn't looking.  Where did the years go?  Seemed like only yesterday when I was young and fair...and skinny! 


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Beach Spray

There's not much left to say after you see the magnificent waves crashing at the beach with the unending sea behind. 

We had a great day: lots of sun, waves, walking, great food. 

I went in four shops looking for a decorative pillow but only saw plain ordinary pillows like I would see in my own hometown.  Where are the nautical themed pillows in this town????  Do I have to go home and make them myself??? 

A scattering of people were fishing at the pier today and half of them didn't mind talking to me.  One guy pulled in a couple of mullet, one lady snagged a pelican, two guys were catching fish, and then a lady who was between them got nothing!  She was so upset wondering what she was doing wrong.  Don't ask me, I have no idea - but I listened to her. 

The pelicans were landing on the rails begging whenever anyone pulled up a fish.  They stood there posing for me so I decided to reward them by taking their pictures.   

We went to the aquarium here today, neat place.  I loved all of it - even the hundreds of school kids running around, talking loud, hogging the displays.  Hey, I was young once - millions of years ago...  

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Beached On My Birthday

We've had a terrific day.  And it's my Big Geezer BIRTHDAY!! 

We started the day with a walk around Historic Wilmington Waterfront.  Then we took a carriage ride up and down the lovely roads of the historic area.  The driver was full of dry humor and made the history and the town come alive.  When we finished that ride, we did some shopping in several converted wharf stores.  I was hoping to find a pillow or two (nautical theme) but so far can't find one in my colors or that I like.  Might have to make a couple when I get home.  Not hard, but thought it would be nice to find them here as a remembrance of our wonderful week.

We ate at a nice restaurant on the wharf (Bridge Tender)overlooking the water  and I had crunchy coconut battered shrimp.  Yummy.  They found out it was my birthday and I was surprised with a wonderful piece of key lime pie which I shared with Sweetz. 

Then we headed to Wrightsville Beach and walked for a hundred miles along the water's edge.  It was the neatest thing to watch a bunch of guys having a ball wind surfing.  A bit more active than I would want to try at my "now advanced age" but it was exciting to watch them literally ride those waves, fly through the sky - even turning in circles while in midair and having such fun. 

Our next adventure was a walk through the trails of the gorgeous 67 acres of Airlie Gardens.  They have statues, glass house, wildlife, butterfly garden, spring garden, nature trails around the lake, chapel in the woods, camellia garden, HUGE Airlie tree, sculptures, moss dripping from trees, and flowers, flowers, flowers, etc.

We stopped at a public beach access while riding around and did another hundred miles of walking.  I know I won't need to be rocked to sleep tonight.  And I'm positive I lost a hundred pounds today and that's after I emptied the sand out of my shoes!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tryon Palace and Gardens

Even though the day was sunny, it still began on the chilly side, but not enough to hamper any fun.  With light jackets in place, off we went to check out another area of interest.  This time it was to be Tryon Palace and Gardens of New Bern. I won't detail all the history but it was interesting.

We were only allowed to take pictures outside and in the gardens so there are no photos today of the interior of the palace.  I could have fooled the guides with silent shots but wanted to behave and obey the rules.  The guide on the first floor was "Alma" and she was a hoot who definitely loved her job!  Such a fun lady who made the rooms come alive with humor and teasing.  We met a couple along the way who was from our area and we connected and stayed together for a great deal of the day.  The guide on the upper level of the mansion was ...oh, dear, what WAS that man's name???  Right, get my point: he was definitely forgettable and had ZERO personality.  Apparently, he drank his dose of Boredom this morning and it was definitely working.  The basement was also open and again there was a Bore who conducted that tour.  But Alma more than made up for the other two.

After the house tour, we were off to the two main outer buildings: the carriage house and kitchen.  Since the original mansion burnt to the ground because of a kitchen fire (the kitchen at that point was originally located within the house), the house was restored to its original condition with the kitchen in a separate building.   The laundry and storage areas were located on the ground level of the kitchen.  Bedrooms for some of the servants were located on the second floor of the kitchen.

The other main outbuilding was the carriage house.  There were no pictures allowed in it either, although it wasn't clear why since it  just had stalls for horses and and empty room obviously reserved for the carriages. 

The remainder of the property was almost exclusively gardens.  And I mean gardens  of every size and use.  There was a statue garden, a walking trail winding through a naturalized garden, and  flower gardens spanning out in every direction.  The palace is situation on the river so the entire back lot is bordered by a view of the river.  The large kitchen garden boasted huge raised beds with healthy plants and fruit trees. The soil is black and so rich I would bet a dead stick would root easily. 

As we were finishing our tour of the gardens, a photographer with one of those cameras so large I nearly drooled all over my jacket was kind enough to show me what he deemed to be the "perfect shot".  I tried to duplicate his, and thanked him for his lesson. 

It's always nice to be helped by someone with more knowledge.  Of course, he was manually changing settings after each shot, so his shot was indeed perfect and mine - well, there's always room for improvement. Said he was doing a shoot for a Chamber brochure - bet his photos will be superb! More drooling...  

There were other homes and buildings on the tour so we checked them out and the tour guides were wonderful in all those locations.  It was also nice to be transported around on little carts, although most of the buildings were fairly close. AND Sweetz and I were given "Senior Tickets" so we saved a few buck$. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

By The Beautiful Sea

Our trip has just been awesome.  Lovely weather here at the coast which sure seems to guarantee an enjoyable stay.  And the locals are all so nice.  Guess they are happy to see vacationers spending money.

This morning we headed to Fort Macon.  Neat place with lots of history and photo ops at every turn.

We went to the beach and had a picnic lunch at a pavilion before we walked to the point.  It's a lot of effort to walk on the beach in the wet or dry sand but it was a good workout! 

We did some browsing in some gift shops where I was looking for a nautical-themed pillow for our living room.  Nope, didn't happen to find one that I liked well enough to fork over such a grand amount of cash.  Might have to make one myself when I get home.  That would be nearly free for my wallet. And for that price, I could make two - one for each end of the sofa!  

Supper was in a local restaurant with terrific food.  I got today's chicken parm special which came with salad and bread sticks.  I couldn't eat it all, but I sure tried my best! Yum.  Sweetz finished all of his meal of scallop bites, slaw, and fried okra. 

Not sure where we're heading tomorrow, but thinking it will be beautiful wherever we go.  And I'll have my camera slung over my arm.  Speaking of that, I might need to check my battery pak to see if it needs a bit of charging.  Sure don't want to be out and about and find I have a dead battery!  


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Water Water Everywhere

What a nice day we had.  It's so nice to be traveling away from home and seeing new things, experiencing new horizons. 

One of our stops this morning was historic Bath on the waterfront.  A very tiny hole in the wall but with a couple of homes open to the public. There's an area where you can park and enjoy the water  complete with benches and shade.  Since it was Sunday morning, most of the population seemed to be parked at one of the two churches in that area so we had the area practically to ourselves. 

We took a ferry ride this afternoon after we had lunch outside at a picnic table overlooking the water.  It didn't take long before we were in line for the 30 min crossing where we walked the deck and checked out all the views.

Our next stop was Aurora where we checked out the fossil museum and even tried our hand at digging outside in their fossil field with no fossil finds for me today. There is a gift shop in the museum where I bought a pair of earrings made of silver and Ethiopian opal. 

The next stop was New Bern, NC, with its great views of the water and the boats.  This is a more populated area with choices of lodging, restaurants, and shopping.  We'll head out tomorrow to see the rest of the sights in this area.

Even after walking around a lot today, I still decided to spend a bit of time in the exercise room of our hotel. It ended up being a great decision! I was behaving myself pedaling away on the exercise bike when a HUNK of the finest specimen arrived and did some stretches right in front of me and then proceeded to do chin ups at one station, then lift weights at another station, and finally do push ups at the top of the machine. I'm talking HUNK now! At this point, I didn't want to fall off my bike, but it was getting difficult to concentrate. Wouldn't you know, I left my camera in our room!!! Well, I did have my phone and I could have taken a picture with it, but I was not thinking clearly at that point. DRAT.   

Saturday, March 24, 2012

By The Sea

We left home this morning and headed to the coast.  During the ride, it rained, it stopped, it rained, it drizzled, and finally it stopped.  Finally, the sun came out right before we checked into our room.  We headed down to the historical section of town and enjoyed walking the boardwalk/marina and even spent some time in some of the quaint shops.  If the rain hadn't started again, we would have spent more time browsing the quaint shops.   Well, we do have the rest of the week, and the weather forecast sounds like it will cooperate nicely.

We saw an interesting purple car.  And the owner was sitting behind the wheel eating an ice cream cone.

One of our stops was in a shop with lots of working artist studios.  All the doors were open and we browsed in most of them.  There were some beautiful artistic creations of jewelry, paintings, sculpture, pottery, silk creations, wood carvings, guitars, etc.  And most were so totally unique that it was hard to not buy something from each artisan!

There's a neat eatery next door that was calling our name.  We went through the line and picked out some home cooking.  The lady behind the counter was REALLY scooping HUGE servings on our plate.  As it turned out, I couldn't eat all of my supper, but decided not eating everything on my plate was the best solution.  

By the time we arrived back at our room, I decided a bit of time in the fitness room would be just what I needed after that big meal. 

There was a big sign on the fitness room wall with rules.  Rule #2 said to never exercise alone...oops.   I just kept pedaling and  pondering that sign...alone.  Didn't bother me enough to stop though.  And the TV reception was pitiful, not much to entertain me, but I kept pedaling to China and back.  Bet I will be feeling some sore muscles tomorrow. Might have to get back on that baaaad machine in the morning just to work off the aches I know I'm gonna be feeling. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Three, Not Four


I was reading some of my morning blogs (Coffee With The Hermit) and found this - I learned something this morning!

Was there really a St. Patrick? Definitely. Did he really drive the snakes out of Ireland? Probably not. At age 16 (around A.D. 400), Patrick was kidnapped from his home on the west coast of England and carried off to Ireland. After 6 years, he escaped; upon returning home, he received his call (in a dream) to preach the Gospel. He spent the next 15 or so years in a monastery, preparing for his missionary work. Although some Christians lived in Ireland at the time, it was Patrick who spread Christianity throughout the land and brought an organized church into existence.

The first St. Patrick’s Day parade in the United States was held in New York City on this day in 1762. We wear a shamrock on St. Patrick’s Day because Patrick used its three leaves to explain the Holy Trinity. But, as far as we know, he never drank green beer!

Now, here I thought I needed a 4-leaf clover on St. Patrick's Day - but it's obviously not so.  It's a 3-leaf clover - and it  represents the Holy Trinity! 


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Planning to Plan

I'm getting excited since today Sweetz and I finally decided on a trip.  We will take the car and motel-it down the road.  To the beach, to see the sights - whatever highlights make it to our priority list.  Doesn't matter - just moving out for something new will be a treat. Many of our favorite campgrounds don't open this early so we'll do the camping thing later on this spring.  

We went out for supper tonight to a seafood restaurant.  I do declare that this winter about had me in its doldrum fingertips.  But the spring arrived safely and we now want to head out for a little trip.  We ordered a seafood combo which the Mister and I shared - which is plenty for the geezers.  Mom went with us and she had the senior plate and she ate all of hers.  Sweetz and I weren't able to eat all of our shared combo plate and even filled one of those little white styrofoam take-out containers with the leftovers. I'd say it was a huge serving!  I plan to let him eat the leftovers tomorrow, I've had enough seafood to last me a week or more.  It was delicious going down though but I shouldn't have eaten so late in the evening.  My stomach will be reminding me of the late feeding for hours to come. Perhaps I should just plan to snooze in a chair until at least midnight to keep the food down where it belongs.  But there's always a handy bottle of chewable Tums if needed.  And I'll promise to not eat so late once again.  All the time knowing I will break my promise. It's inevitable.  That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. 

I freed my bike from winter storage this afternoon and biked around the neighborhood. Felt good to push myself some. Tomorrow I plan to take it out again and see if I can increase my distance and endurance.
Sweetz and I went to the little city today and did a bit of hunting and gathering.  I got my hair cut - disastrously once again and this time I didn't make a return appt. Fool me once, it's my fault; fool me twice and I'll disappear.  Actually, when I got home I immediately grabbed my haircutting scissors and began to repair what damage I could.  Blunt ends and blunt bangs do not make me happy.  I even told the little scissor woman what I didn't like about the haircut and she demonstrated back to me (and verbally) what I wanted.  Yep, thought all was set.  Well,  it didn't happen.  So, that's the last time I go there.  And I have to PAY her for the choppingly bad chop.  Too bad, because she is real nice and has been a family friend for some 15 years. But she doesn't have to walk around with a bad haircut like I do.  Now where do I go?  This is the second scissor lady that I've left recently...but there are others.  I'll just keep trying until I find Queen of the Scissors.  She's out there somewhere. 

Tomorrow I must head to the library to exchange my stack of books.  Too bad it isn't within a couple of miles of home or I'd head out on my bike...and anyway there are LOTS of hills and valleys between here and there.  I'd NEVER make it back alive because the first incline would be Cardiac Hill and it would be fatal. 


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Turning the Page

Sweetz and I headed to the big city today to see what we could see.  It was a HOT day too.  Unbelievable that this is still March!  Seemed more like July to me.  I guess our spring was in the winter and the summer is in the spring...then what happens in the fall?  Oh my, things are jumbled all around us. 

I finished my second book in a series today - but this series isn't so HOT, so I'll chill out with another author.  I don't care if it's in a series or not.  These last two books had things in them that I don't agree with, definitely out of my comfort zone.  Time to move on to another author.  But I do have a couple more books in my basket to choose from, although all the books are due back at the library on Friday.  Can I promise myself I will finish a book in two days?  Ummm, maybe I should read the one that has the fewest pages, or maybe the one with the biggest print.  It's not really a problem, since they are library books and I can check them out again or just start with new books next time.  Next time:  well, that's Friday - two days away.  Maybe I shouldn't take so many books out Friday.  Naah, life is about choices, including books.

I'm beginning to stay outside more and am actually reading less than I did in the winter.  But I have spent glorious hours reading on the front porch this month.  The world goes by while my nose is stuck in a book.  Yep, glorious hours lost in my own world. 

We have a herd of squirrels in our yard, seems there are more than ever before.  They scamper up and down trees and are seen constantly scouring the yard for buried nuts.  I believe they must smell them, because a squirrel will move across the yard with it's nose to the ground and then occasionally will stop and paw at the ground and out comes a nut in it's mouth.  It sits up straight and eats the nut and then off it goes - nose to the ground sniffing for another nut. 

They are also seen building nests up in the fairly bare trees.  That's optimism for you.  They pick up old leaves from the ground and up they go to the nesting spot and then you hear lots of rattling of old leaves and the squirrel gets the nest padded just the way the little woman wants.  I noticed one squirrel today noisily poked his dried leaf bundle into a hole waaaaay up the tree.  For a while I could see the little guy with the leaves and
then just like that, he disappeared into a hole. 

Today, he mailman delivered the bill for our homeowner's insurance.  Seems that's all I ever get - bills or junk mail.   And the bills go up every year.  I may have to evict the squirrel from the home in the hole and think about moving in up in a tree. 

We had quite an electrical storm here last night.  Right about the time the skies turned dark, a storm was brewing and turned into a humdinger of eye-popping lightning strikes.  All around us.  It was also the first time I remember seeing the lightning strikes so lengthy and move so slowly from heaven to the ground.  Yep, I thought about getting my camera, but then I didn't.  I was too enthralled watching the strikes.  We also lost our electricity right after the first few strikes.  The power flickered about a dozen times and coming back on each time, until...darkness...and silence.  And the silence lasted until one of our neighbors started up his noisy generator.  He likes his TV, so he wasn't about to 
miss the evening entertainment.  

Sweetz and I were getting a bit bored, after all we had talked all day and there wasn't much else to talk about...or at least anything he wanted to talk about...that interested me.  After all, sports talk of Manning and Tebow and million dollar contracts tend to keep my attention only so long.  So, we voted to head to bed - sleep is always a good choice.  But sometime during the night I awoke to talking and lights.  Yep, the power came back on so I crawled out of the comfy bed to flip switches on the TV and lamps
until silence and darkness again ruled the night. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Green Around The Gills

I haven't felt good today, had a bout with nausea for some reason.  But I held on and finally it passed.  Thankful for that, since I am not a fan of nausea.  I ate a bowl of chicken noodle soup and a few crackers for lunch and that seemed to calm my tummy.

Sometime this afternoon, I decided to sit out on the front porch and soak up some sun (in my face).  I took a book and ended up reading until I finished it.  Eventually, I pushed my chair into the shade but hopefully I won't be burned tomorrow.  It doesn't take much for me to sizzle, but I doubt I was in the sun very long.

This morning I put some beef stew into the crock pot with a bit of onion, peppers, salt, pepper, and a few pinches of my dried herbs.  Yeah, yeah, I put in a few dashes of this and that to make it mine.  Flipped the dial and off I went to not worry about supper.  By 5pm I was feeling normal and I cooked some noodles and heated a jar of our green beans.  TALK ABOUT DELICIOUS!!  Oh, oh, oh, it was good.  Simple food for simple folks.  And we ate on the front porch (yep, in the shade).  Life was good today.

I decided I had worked hard for a few weeks so deserved a day off to relax.  Tomorrow I think I'll head to Lowes and buy a gallon of paint for the downstairs hall.  Haven't decided on a color - but it will be a light color.  It has been green for YEARS so it's time for a change.  Not blue either, thinking I've had my fill of that color.  Something light and perky.  Ummmm, maybe yellow.  I'm still smiling everytime I see the bathroom tiling job.  What a pleasure to see something come together so well.  Mom wants me to caulk around her tub so I'll go down there one day and do that.  Easy peasy job...I think. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Views From The Top

Mom came over to see the finished bathroom and was so happy for us that it was finished.  We decided we'd go out for a chicken wing lunch to celebrate.  We do LUV fried chicken wings and they were ever so delicious.  I had slaw and potato salad to round it out. 

We drove around the county roads to see if spring has sprung.  The weather was divine today, ever so nice.  We stopped by WallyWorld to check out a few things and then off to the bank for a few bucks out of the ATM machine.  A friend's son just became a father of a little boy named Christian who is just adorable.  I thought I'd get something today but nothing seemed quite right at WallyWorld, so I think I'll make a card and slip in some money.  After all, money is always the right size.  If I knew how to fold origami, I think it would be neat to include a bill in the shape of a baby or a diaper or a pacifier or some such.  Should have thought of it sooner so I could have done a search online and worked on that for a few days. 

I'm not pleased with the hallway paint.  The girl at Lowes sure didn't match the color from the chip I took her.  It is so far off, that if it was basketball, she wouldn't even be on the court. I've decided I'll just buy a gallon of a new color and paint the hall.  And then I'll keep the remainder to do touchups.  Guess I'll do that next week. What's with the mystery of the color you ask?  Well, no mystery, just haven't thought about the new color yet. 

See my grin???  I'm still smiling about the blue bathroom plumbing!!!!  :)

Mom and I plan to go to Old Salem in Winston-Salem one day next week.  Sounds like a great idea for some photography practice too! 

We walked the local trail today.  It was a beautiful day and this is some of what we saw. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Some Celebrating Is In Order!

The blue bathroom plumbing/tiling is done!  The tiling has been replaced, the plumbing has been reinserted, the attachments are on, and today we were able to attach the spout and hand fixtures.   Did I mention that this has been one more headache?!?  Well, 3 visits by the plumbers to fix one thing, then another, and finally today...they welded a new water pipe (the correct length) and attached the spout. It wasn't our mistake, but theirs...but I'm not sure they will see it that way. I'm sure they will tack today's charge onto my bill and I'll be set as one of their favorite customer$!  Keeps them in business.  You don't think they made the water pipe to the spout too short on purpose??? Well, certainly not! NEVER!  

Sweetz and I decided to celebrate with the "bubbly" -- to us as teatotalers that is sparkling grape juice.  And yep, right there on the front porch after the men drove away, we sat on the porch chairs and toasted the celebration of the completion of all three plumbing projects. Another project down!

My to-do list is shrinking:  I sanded and painted the problem area on the downstairs green wall today.  The paint color appears to match the original color now but I really can't tell while it's still wet. But I'm assuming it's ok.  I also need to check whether the original wall is painted with flat paint - yipes, I bought eggshell.  Oh well, I might have to paint the walls.  No biggie, right???  Sure, what's another project!!  But I'm crossing my fingers for success that it is ok.  I'd like to put this behind me and move on to another project. Really???  I said that??? 

The day started all dreary with black skies but as the morning progressed, the front moved through and we ended having a beautiful sunny warm day.  The temp went up to 80 and that's a real warm day for the middle of March. Spring flowers are blooming here and there as well as trees beginning to swell with leaf buds.  Won't be long before everything has filled out with spring colors.  Then it won't surprise me if we start fussing about how hot it is...

Sweetz is looking at the maps and directories since we'd like to head out soon for some get-away time.  I'm ready for new views out my windows.  Not sure where we're going but the mountains sound inviting - as well as a trip to the beach.  North, south, east, well...doesn't really matter. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tea on the Patio

Today was one of those beeeeeeautiful spring days that I long for all winter long.  Sweeeeeet.  The weather was beautiful with the air clear, the temps warm, the sun shining and no bugs have hatched.  

I went to the garden today and picked some broccoli and pulled some carrots which I fixed for supper tonight.  yum yummy  There was a bit of leftover pork loin in the freezer so we finished that tonight.   Not sure why but today I had trouble staying awake, so I eventually crawled between the clean sheets to catch a few winks.  And here it is about 9:30 and I'm sleepy again.  Perhaps I can blame that on the daylight savings time. I can feel it won't be long before I hit the sheets again. 

I noticed tiny sprigs of asparagus popping up in a few places in the garden today.  Hopefully, we can have some of our own to eat this year.  Read online yesterday that asparagus is supposed to be great for your health. Mom said she went to Southern States this morning to buy bags of lime and grass seed. Now, you gotta remember my mom is 90!! And acts like she's 35. Just amazing!! ...maybe she's been eating a lot of asparagus...

Sweetz is watching some movie and is dying for me to watch it with him. He said it was one of his favorite movies of all time.  I'm not really "into" movies so he popped a bag of popcorn to try to entice me to join him.  Doubt it works. 

I visited with my neighbor a bit today and also mom.  Everyone is doing fine and enjoying this spring weather. 

Sweetz put up the patio umbrella and a few lawn chairs on our teensy patio which just reminds me that I want to add some more pavers to enlarge the area.  YEAH, add that to my to-do list!!!  Go ahead, I need more to do!  

Speaking of to-do's, I worked a bit on the tiling project - I'm getting down to the last touchups.  I cut a little piece of tile to fit a tiny  corner that was going to show behind one the knobs, so stuck it in that area and it's now grouted and drying.  Also, caulked the bottom of tiles where they connect with the tub.  Tomorrow, hopefully we can put this baby to bed when we find a little connector to lengthen the pipe to the water "spout" and buy a METAL collar - couldn't believe the one we bought was PLASTIC!  Gag.  Any plumbing fixture that's plastic is worthless in my estimation. But everything looks great at this point and I'm pleased.  Tomorrow...the hall painting project!!  Yay.  I'm moving on down the list! 

Did take some time today to work a couple of sudoku puzzles on the front porch.  Those things are riveting!    

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Little of This and That

I finished with the blue tile repair spot today when I grouted the tiles I had put up.  OK!!  DONE. It looks good!  While I had the grout out and my fingers messy, I regrouted the master bath shower floor.  The Mr. pointed out a few needy spots so I got them filled in and wiped clean.  Now we're waiting for both areas to dry.  Tick, tick, tick, tick. Sweetz will put the controls back on tomorrow.  It'll be nice when everything is done. 

But I know...there'll always be something else on our to-do list.

Sweetz transplanted some peas into the garden that we had started from seeds in the little grow cups.  Hope the resident rabbit isn't interested in them.  Next the broccoli and cabbage seedlings will go in - maybe tomorrow.  They were also started from seeds in little grow cups and we've been moving them in and out and watering them faithfully.  They all look good. 

We ate the rest of our leftovers today so I'll have to start fresh tomorrow or perhaps we can head out for lunch.  This afternoon I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies - We both sampled a few and they were good. 

I haven't felt good today so it's amazing I got much done.  Even tried to nap - didn't work since I never could turn loose enough to fall asleep.  DRAT.   I didn't sleep well last night so hopefully I can remedy that tonight.  Sure am yawning now though, so it's off to bed I will go.  Tomorrow will come soon enough.  Ya'll have a good one now...     

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Up And Holding

And I did...did head into the bathroom and retiled the wall last evening.  I actually did it and it looks good.  The tiles are now stuck to the wall with tile adhesive and waiting the drying time.  I'm going to give it 48 hours to dry before I hit the spaces with grout.  That will be Monday evening.  Sure, I can do it!! The tiles are not the same size, off by a miniscule amount here and there so some eyeballing had to be done to keep things fairly straight.  But, I'm happy and very pleased.  Well, as pleased as I can be with 4 cream tiles where blue ones should be.  Oops, guess I haven't forgiven the plumber for breaking them yet.  But I think I found the best solution and it's actually not that bad. 

My mom suggested I paint something on the four new tiles!  HA!  What would I paint?  A camper nestled in a nice lakeside site?  That's where my heart is.  Ahhhh, but that is another story.

Sweetz still tells me we're going camping one day this month.  I'll hold my breath until then.  The cover is still on the camper and I'm sure it needs a bit of a cleaning before we can head out.  The winterization will have to go through a spring-ization process.  But will we have to get a loan to pay for the gas that thing will require to head up and down the road looking for that nice lakeside site?  Oh my, why does the gas prices have to skyrocket just when we want to go somewhere?  Perhaps we can cement a pad in the backyard, plug her in, and pretend there's a lake view out the window.   

The weather is to be "springy" around here next week and I can hardly wait.  I will probably need to hog-tie myself to stay motivated to work inside on our final few home projects.  Maybe it won't be so bad...sigh... I could work on the projects in the morning and evening and still spend some time outside in the warm afternoons!!! YEAH!!  Sure, there's a solution to everything, it just will require some ingenuity to get 'em done! 

We went to both the morning and evening services at church today.  Our preacher is certainly superb at tying Biblical history with present times.  I'll give him an "A". 

And my woes about the Daylight Savings Time??  It turned out ok. I changed the clocks early, went to bed earlier, and woke naturally.  Oh, and took a nap this afternoon to catch up on my lost hour.  We're even now!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Tile Queen?

Tiles, tiles, tiles, that's about all I see and think about.  I've spent some time today preparing the wall behind the tile to accept the adhesive plus the weight of the tiles and grout. There were a few weak spots so had to handcraft those areas.  The area is clean and dry and now I'm waiting for one area of glue to dry.  Hoping all goes as expected.  The pictures don't do my work justice, but after all, this is my first repair job and it's going slow.  I don't want to have to do it but once! 

SweetzyPoo and I came up with the best tile design - oh, maybe I meant easiest design.  Whatever, it is decided.  With my template in hand, I cut the notches with a hand coping saw with a short metal blade.  Lots of work which doesn't make precise cuts, but where mine are cut will be hidden behind the metal collars. Whatever, whatever, whatever.  I can deal with some imperfection since I am imperfect myself.  

Everything will need a good cleaning afterwards.  This  tub/shower hasn't been used in about five years so there is five years' worth of dust and dirt on each crevice and tile.  But for everything there is a season and a time to clean and a time to READ.  Oh yeah, first I'm going to get this job done and then get back to my books.

And why haven't I started the tiling yet?  Well, it might be a tad of nervousness thrown in with pinch of insecurity.  Maybe it will show me to be incompetent.  Could I accept that?  Nope!  Surely, it'll be a piece of cake.  WHEW, I just need to just jump in the tub and get on with the job.  I just checked the glued part and it's dry and has a strong hold.  Everything's ready!  Am I? 

I fixed a delicious lupper again today.  Out came my George Foreman grill and I grilled burgers and fresh asparagus.  While they were cooking, I cooked chopped potatoes and in 7 minutes the timer went off and everything was ready.  Sure was good! 

Tonight is daylight savings change time.  We'll be losing an hour tonight but maybe it won't be so bad this year.  Yes it will, since I detest these changes.  Wish the powers that be would leave the time alone. 

My mom stopped by today to see how the tiling project was going and she mentioned she changed her clocks/watch this morning so she would be used to the new time by tonight.  I'll have to ask her tomorrow how that worked out.  Ummm, might be worth a try.  I just changed all our clocks in the house so I'm going to see if that works on my brain. 

OK, I've stalled enough.....time for the Tile Queen to master the task. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Toiling With the Tiles

Sweetz and I worked on the hall bathroom tile re-fix-it project.  The sheetrock was removed and adjusted to create a level backing.  Sounds easy, doesn't it?  Well, it wasn't, but it got done through grit, a few loose words, and determination.

I made a template of the area and designed what I think is a presentable checkerboard pattern using all the blue tiles that Mr. Rip It Out Plumberman left me plus four new bone-colored ones.  Not bad, if I say so myself.  Lots of work though.  While the rest of the seniors were relaxing and enjoying themselves, I was toiling at a high level. But I did learn to use a small hand coping saw to cut the tiles to go around the water piles. Never did that before. 

We need to head to the local big box home improvement store to get a few items to complete this project and the other projects on my list.  I've done what I could but had to stop when I realized I was missing a needed item on each project. Thought I had everything, but nooooo, seems like that's nearly always the case!  But that's workable.  Tomorrow, I plan to adhere the bathroom tiles and then regrout as soon as that's dry.  Then stand back and do a great deal of admiring!

There are two other projects on my original to-do list and today SweetzyPoo has added another one.  Now, that's not the way things are to be done.  I like to see something finished!!!  And so far, nothing is finished.  Whew, I want to see them done done done since some reading and camera snapping is sorely needed.  It's nearly spring too and I want to get outside to enjoy the warm temps. Well, these jobs will be nice when they are done done done and I can smile, smile, smile.      

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Baby Blues

The week is moving right along whether I'm ready or not. 
Today, Sweetz and I tag-teamed on the ceramic tiles for the bathroom tub project. 
You remember, now don't you? 
The very nice efficient plumbers who tragically tore out my baby blue tiles in the tub fixture area and broke four in the process and necessitating us having to clean off the remaining ones to reuse. 

That "clean off" part sounds so lame. I worked on them two different times, and still the backs weren't clean. 

Today, I decided I would again work on cleaning those tiles and teased SweetMan to see if he would be interested in helping me. He finished cleaning his first tile and it was awesome!!   I was ever so impressed. 

We formed a tag team as I worked to remove some gunk off the backs and then he took over to remove the remainder until those tiles ended up looking practically new.

But I'm still faced with the dilemma of having fewer tiles now than originally were on the wall.  Thank you Mr. plumber man!!!  Grrrr   And so far, no fabulous design has come to mind. 

Mom gave me a bunch of fabric yesterday that she found in one of her storage areas.  They were mighty dusty so I decided to wash them.  All but one fabric turned out fine.  The upholstery remnant, which I really didn't like anyway, frayed so badly that I tossed it directly from the dryer into the trash. 

It seems I need to come up with some sewing projects to add to my growing to-do list. 

I received an email today from my volunteer "boss".  She has another typing project for me and will forward the scanned handwritten notes. 

Life is full and life is good. 

Nothing like staying busy.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

He Missed It

The weatherman missed it -- and I couldn't be happier!  We had no winter precipitation in our area yesterday.  The sky varied from puffy white clouds, to solid blue skies, to overcast, to sunny, to partly cloudy, and that was all in the same hour!  Certainly was entertaining to say the least.  I'd rather have that type of enjoyment than more winter precip.  Go away winter, it's time for you to move on.  

Sweetz and I headed to the dreaded WallyWorld this morning.  He wanted oil and oil treatment for the car so while there we picked up the groceries on my list.  Now, we're ready for some healthy meals for another week.  Potatoes, onions, English muffins and...

We stopped at Mom's Diner for lunch only to find it was ever so busy.  We decided to claim a dirty booth and wait for the waitress to clean it, which she did real quick.  After we were seated, I found it entertaining to watch all of the county come through the door looking for a booth/table.  Many left when they saw how long the wait was going to be.  Actually, no one stayed long after they finished eating, so the tables were cleaned and filled again at lightning fast speed. I got dizzy just watching the comings and goings.  

I chose a homemade chicken salad sandwich and SweetOne  ordered two hot dogs.  One of the desserts of the day was a coconut cake so I ordered one to bring home to enjoy later.  I ate a few bites of it and it is really delicious!!  

Ordering one slice of cake just seemed like a smart choice rather than making an entire cake. Then again, a big cake sounds like a good choice too since I usually freeze small sections to enjoy later.  

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Happy Pond In The Sky

Yesterday I surprised even myself with a spurt of creativity.  I glanced at my favorite unlined tote bag and decided it needed to be lined.  Seems I made the tote last fall but had never felt compelled to line it so yesterday the idea was born and now it's lined.  This bag is used for so many things like back and forth to the library, a camera bag, carry-all on trips, and to church on Sundays. 

It was toted to church this morning and I slipped a pen and a bottle of water into the lining pockets.  Guess it doesn't take much for me to be excited these days. When I made the tote back in the fall, I painted a butterfly and some flowers on the front pocket with a smaller version of it on the back.  The lining is a colorful flowered fabric and the inside pockets are from a red and white fabric.  Talk about colorful!  Although when it's being toted around, the lining isn't actually noticeable, but when I see it, I have to smile.  Wonder what else I can make? 

Our little Betta fish didn't make it.  He began his downward spiral about a month ago.  Al wouldn't eat much and had little energy.  Anyway, we tried changing his water more often, even bought the little guy a different brand of food which was advertised to be the healthiest choice.  Today, when we came home from church and lunch with friends, he had gone on to the happy pond in the sky.  I doubt I get another one this time.

Our friend, Wil, has been having some problems with his tummy and he will have a procedure this Friday. Told him I'd be praying for him that all goes well and all his results be good ones. 

We could get some white stuff tonight - at least that's what Mr. Weatherman is predicting.  That would be ok but I want everyone to be safe on the roads and sidewalks. Maybe it will be like a couple of weeks ago when we had snow - pretty coming down and then melt the next day.  That would be ok in my book.     

Friday, March 2, 2012

Bellowing Bulls

I got up this morning with the goal of taking a walk or a bike ride.  I definitely need the exercise for my winter bloated body!  I went to the library and checked out books with authors' names beginning with A, B, C, and D.  Why, you ask?  Well, just because they were there! And after all, the books are in alphabetic order on the shelves so why should I skip around with sporadic letters?  Should I continue with E, F, G and H the next time? Just wondering... And I wonder if Sarah, the librarian, noticed the alphabetical order of my books?  If so, she didn't say anything but was her usual smiling and friendly self.

Then I stopped at a city park to walk around the bog and  unknowingly scared a big long-legged bird.  Nope, don't know the name of it.  Maybe a blue heron - at least it was blue, big, and had long legs.  He certainly didn't like me getting too close because he flew to the other side of the water each time I headed his way.  Guess he got tired of that game since he flew up to a tall tree and waited for me to return to my car.  Bummer, missed a great shot since he wouldn't cooperate.  Maybe next time he'll recognize me and cooperate.  I saw a plant with what looked like tiny pine cones.

My last stop was a local trail. Yep, went by myself.  Not sure how long the trail is - maybe a couple of miles but the path goes up and down and around and through and finally ends with UP and up and up and up.  Yep, I was walking fairly fast trying to beat the predicted rain and was certainly breathing harder by the time I hit the top.


At that point the trail winds around pens with what appeared to be two HUGE "guard" bulls standing near the fence who were not at all pleased to see me walking by.  Talk about bellowing bull horns! One HUGE guy on the left of the trail and the other HUGE guy on the right each trying to warn me to stay away.  And there were only a few strips of wire to separate them from me!!  Yep, I kept moving...well, except for the time I had enough courage to stop to take a picture of one of them.....after I was a comfortable distance from him and he had moved away from the fence.  But believe me, I kept walking as soon as the camera clicked and he bellowed again.  They were CLOSE!!  And I had to walk between them!  I didn't make eye contact with either one and I certainly didn't like the slimy goop dripping out of their mouths. The others seemed content to eat their lunch.  

I just looked up the length of the trail and it's 1.5 miles.  ONLY 1.5 miles!!!  It definitely feels longer than least with the hills you have to conquer. It started sprinkling by the time I got back to my car, but it was ok because, most importantly, I was able to keep my camera dry.  

Maybe the next time I walk the trail, those bulls will be friendlier...or maybe even in another field far, far away...