Thursday, April 14, 2011

In Sickness and in Health

It's been a yucky week. What I thought was allergies has turned into a full blown chest cold, with allergies. Add in menopausal issues and a soon to be full moon and I am one ugly person. Kinda makes The Bride of Frankenstein look like Shirley Temple if you know what I mean.

I've been sick all by myself this time and I think it's made everything worse. Nestor and I tend to catch colds or the flu within a day or two of each other. We like it that way. We know people that want to be sick alone, to be babied and be cared for by their loved ones. I guess we're strange. No, we don't like to be sick, but if we've got the same thing at about the same time we can play off each other's strengths - like who goes to the store to get the ginger ale and saltines, or who makes the scrambled eggs for supper. We know what the next symptoms are and can be at the ready.

Being sick by myself means there is no commiseration in the moaning and groaning. He's been a prince braving the cold medicine aisle at Wal-Mart, trying to figure out what to make for supper, taking care of all the household stuff while I doze in the rocker. He's spoiling me more than I already am, but it's not right being sick without him. I am so lucky.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A week ago my Mom turned 70. She and Dad came down from NC for a visit and to celebrate.

They made it down in time for lunch, so I made chicken salad with all the fixings, chips and sweet tea. Mom didn't want any fuss, but who am I to listen to my mother? Matching plates, napkins and party hats!!

Ah, she's not gonna be happy about this pic, but oh well!

After lunch Mom and I headed out for some shopping at Publix. There are no Publix stores in NC, so whenever they come to visit, or even if I am headed up there, a stop is a necessity. We did make a detour by the new Babyland General Hospital where I got her a birthday sticker. Yep, I made her walk around wearing it, too! It was quickly peeled off as soon as we got into the car. There was a bit of a minor protest, but I think she had a good time. Publix is exhausting when you are with someone who doesn't get to go often! While we didn't hit every aisle we spent time in a good many of them!

We came home and Paula's mom, Chris, stopped by with our order from the organic foods vendor. Great box of goodies, we ordered again this week! Paula came by for dinner and more festivities. Justin had to work.

See the pretty flowers? They were from Justin and Paula for Mom. They rode home to NC strapped in a seatbelt on the back seat. Last I heard they are still fresh and beautiful.

We had supper, taco salad per Mom's request, then a gluten free cake and lemon and raspberry sorbet. We didn't sing, we are so bad we make dogs in the neighborhood howl, but I did get party blower thingies. Dad and Paula had a great time annoying Mom with them!

We went outside and waited for the super-moon rise. It was overcast, so only a few glimpses were to be had. Oh well, lively conversation and general merriment was better than any moon!

We got up early on Sunday morning for computer lessons. Mom is new to the computer world, and I've been trying to help her learn via the telephone. It was so much easier in person!
It was a great weekend and I hope Mom had a memorable 70th.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How does time fly!

A while back I wrote of my zinnias, and how a cute little guy sat down right in the middle of the flower bed. I can't look at zinnias without thinking of my buddy Andrew. Time has flown!

How did we go from this cute little guy winning the Peanut King crown...

To this?
I'm not old enough for this to have happened! Learner's permit will become a driver's license. Oh my!

He's one smart kid. He was skipped a grade and is now a sophomore at 15. I found out today he was accepted into dual enrollment at a local college. He plays guitar at weddings, and is the most humble polite kid I know. His Mom and Dad did a great job. Congratulations to all of you!

I started this one a week ago!

Whew! Yep, I've been gone 2 weeks - ish. Sorry about that.

Ok, so I've had homework, mid terms and now final exams. I've discovered in one of my classes that my type-A, perfectionist tendencies don't mean a thing. Spelling and the fact that some people use words they can't read, nor do they know the meaning of, gets the same grade. Grrr As for math, I'm finally re-grasping all that stuff we learned in middle and high school. There have been moments where the light bulb has flashed on because I recognized a problem, but just as quickly the light was extinguished as I had no clue what I was doing to solve it. I took half of that final last week and have the 2nd half tomorrow. Whew!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Come, sit a spell

I spent much of Sunday curled up right here, with a book and a glass of tea. Not much reading happened as I was zoned out watching the mountain and looking at all the new growth in the yard. Welcome spring!

The crocus are blooming in the side yard. A previous owner just randomly dropped a handfull of bulbs in a hole, and we get to enjoy them for a while.

Daffodils, of course.

More stuff will be blooming soon, too. The treehouse isn't ready for it's close up, but will be soon. It's too early for the hammock and the deck really needs a pressure wash and restain. I'll post before and afters when we finally get it done. Hubby is building a bench for me in the side yard, under an old oak tree. We have plans for the hill in front of our house, for a small raised bed, sitting area and the fire pit. Plenty of areas for you to come and sit a spell.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Tea at 3

Chris and I had tea today, at 3. Lemon Zinger for me and something licorice for her. A nice bowl of trail mix was shared, along with great conversation. I didn't know how much I needed all of it. Thanks, Chris!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Ok, let me put it right out there. They are nothing but rats with long tails. I really can't understand how something that cute can be so annoying!

They terrorize the birds at the feeders, fight with the cat at the screen door and chew through plastic paint buckets to get to the bird seed. We are thinking about getting a paintball gun and..... you know.

Hubby just ran through the house, and out the back door. He grabbed the mop on the way out and commenced wailing away at the little so-and-so on the bird feeder. He actually made contact! But....... squirrel idiot looked at him, shook his tail and went right back to the feeder! It's gonna be a looonnng spring!

Monday, February 21, 2011


I need to stop watching the Food Network. No, really. It's got me craving things I haven't had in forever and the show The Best Thing I Ever Ate is bringing back food memories like mad!

I grew up in a neighborhood that would now be called "ethnically diverse". There were Polish families, Hispanic families, Italian families, Russian families, Jewish families and of course Melting Pot families. Everyone had a veggie garden, so zucchini and tomatoes were prevelant. Some of us had fruit trees and grape arbors as well.

If you were invited to dinner you never knew what you might be eating. There was true peasant Italian food, kielbasa and pierogies, beans and rice, fish done many different ways and cuts of meat that you loved until you found out what it was. There were small bakeries, the Chinese place, the pizza place and the greasy spoon. Fast food was such a treat that it almost didn't exist!

Oh, don't get me started on the Church potluck suppers. Jello salads, potato salad, fried chicken, the current popular casserole and the dessert table! Oh my!

You couldn't be a picky eater. If you were invited to dinner, you ate what was served. It was rude to leave something on your plate, and word would get back to your mom, and you know what that would mean! Yes, I have a few foods that I do not like, but if one was on the table, you ate it.

I don't want to cook these memories, I just want to eat those foods again. Living where we do, there isn't a lot of food diversity. When we go out of area I pick up things that we love that we can't get here. Scrapple, true Virginia ham, Lebanon bologna, potato rolls and real Penn Dutch pretzels. Fresh mozzarella and antipasto from Paesano's, salt bagels from that place in Fort Myers, and all the fresh produce from the Farmers Market.

Food diversity. I'm so lucky to have tried so many things. Yep, food is love and it's shared. Experiences, great conversation, the simple act of breaking bread together. I don't think you can get anything better.


It's been a blah weekend. I've read a few books, soaked up some sun in the treehouse and generally just lazed around. I did nothing of any consequence all weekend, and I'm tired from it. Why is it when you do nothing to exert yourself that you feel more tired than you do when you've spent the day working in the yard?

Mentally, I've done a lot. Homework is caught up, worked some crossword puzzles on line and we did the taxes. Physically, I worked in the house, and did the personal stairmaster, but little else. I'm still "off my feed" from this crud so meals are just food. I'm feeling better, the exercise is doing me some good, but I still feel blah. Hopefully this will change soon.

Things to look forward to this week: visiting with Justin on Tuesday, tea with Chris sometime this week and library time on Thursday.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

So pretty!

We've had some unseasonably warm days this week. I am not complaining at all!

I was on my way to school yesterday and came across some daffodils in bloom. They were so pretty and boy I needed the hint that spring is coming, but it's too early! We have new growth on the roses, and all of our flowering trees have set their buds. I know that they know when it's time, but I worry. I want to enjoy spring, drawn out and pretty for weeks.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Sometimes you just have to take a step back and see where you need to go. I'm making personal changes, some things I should have taken care of long ago.

As 50 comes speeding toward me I've become more happy with who I am, how I do things and the people I spend time with. I've allowed some toxic people and things to hold sway over me and I've cut the cord on a lot of them. I am getting healthier for me, that is both in body and mind.

I've let some "friendships" drop, when I realized I was doing all the work. I know whom I can call at 2 am and they will be here for me, no questions asked. We may not talk every day or even once a week, but I know you are there. Thank you.

I've dropped a few blogs that I had been in the habit of reading. I just didn't like what they had become, or that which was written was no longer relevant. I feel lighter for it.

I'm making dietary changes. It's hard! I don't beat myself up when I make a choice that I know could be better. I'm still gonna live life.

2011 is an awesome year for me. I turn 50, Nestor and I celebrate our 30th anniversary, Colleen will be having a baby girl, Wendy turns 40, Mom turns 70, Topher graduates high school and Justin and Paula will be celebrating one year of married bliss.  All of this is the result of changes, big and small. I can't hardly wait for what happens next!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Good Morning!

I was too tired to write last night. Woke up yesterday with ENERGY! Yippeee! It didn't last long, though.

I needed to go out to Gainesville for printer ink and some groceries so I put together my list and coupons.

Left the house about 9:30 and headed for Target. I learned something new while I was there, too. A few weeks ago I received a $2.00 off coupon from Target for Spots cat food. $2.00 off is a big deal! They usually have the best price, so I figured I would stop there in my ring around Gainesville. I had a couple of other cat food coupons as well, and figured I would stock up if they had the flavor Spot likes. There was only 1 bag, so I went ahead and got it. Since it was the day after Valentine's Day I checked around for clearance items I can use year round. Their stuff was only 30% off and I found nothing I wanted to spend any cash on, so I went to check out with my  bag of cat food. I handed the checker my coupon, not realizing I had given her 2 until she was scanning them. The machine took both of them! I asked her about it, and she told me that with a Target coupon you can combine 1 other manufacturers coupon as well. I got $4.00 off 1 bag of cat food! $2.00 for a $6.00 bag of cat food made my day!

Off to Officemax for ink. Why does that stuff have to be so expensive???!!! No sale items, but lots of pretty stuff to organize with. Thankfully I have a husband that takes care of all of that. I just hand him the stuff and he files it. I'm lucky. I organize by pile. LOL

Next stop was Publix. There was some sales to be had, but I wasn't there for stock up, just sale items. Between coupons and specials I got $76 worth of food for $37. Not bad, not bad at all! I think I stayed so close to my budget because of the cold/flu bug we are getting over. I actually went to Publix and didn't get a sub. Anyone that knows me well knows I must be feeling pretty bad for that to happen!

The energy I started with is almost gone. I'm parking further out in the parking lots, though not as far as Justin does. I swear that boy just likes the hike to look at all the pretty cars!

Next stop is Kroger. This store has doubled in size in the last few years. I had my list, my coupons and almost zero energy and about that much tolerance. They have switched the store around so much I can never find anything the first pass through. I finished my list, added a few things that were on such good sale that I couldn't leave them behind, and went to check out. Can someone please tell me why they have just 2 cashiers on at 1 in the afternoon? Of course one is 10 items or less and has no one in line. Grrr. I like to play the "see how much I have saved game" at Kroger. Ring everything up, hand over the key ring card, then hand over the coupons.Initial ring up was $129.85 and I payed...$76.34!!! Double coupons, and coupons I had forgotten that I had loaded onto the card made it super good!

One last stop when I got into town, Wal-mart. I don't like to do a lot of grocery type shopping there, but some things are worth making the stop. I picked up what I needed, spent another $25, and headed home. I had to unload the car, put the cold stuff away and go to class. I think I did great budget wise, $230.00 worth of groceries for $185. I've done better, but I'm pretty proud of myself!

I didn't exercise in the traditional sense, but I walked 2 laps around the interior of each store, before filling my cart. I figured it balanced out. I didn't get any candy or junk food to eat in the car on the way home, either. I did get some "house" treats, though. Sometimes ya just gotta have a stash of m&m's!

Class was class. Many people were out last week with the same crud, so most of us were surprised that we were having a mid-term test! Thankfully the teacher took pity on us and made it open book!

Came home, put on the sweats and fell asleep while reading. It was a good tired!


Monday, February 14, 2011


What a beautiful day! Much needed warm, sunny, maybe spring will arrive eventually day! It was close to 70 degrees and I was able to open the back door for some fresh air. We've been battling the crud for over a week here and are finally on the mend. I would like to thank the nice person that shared it with us for being so giving. NOT!

I got a burst of energy this morning, after a week of no house cleaning. I swept up piles of dead lady bugs, dusted and vacumed. Opened all the blinds and curtains and cleaned the bathroom. I ran all the blankets through the wash and ran the diswasher. Then I ran out of steam. I took my self out to the treehouse and had a nap in the sun. Solar batteries were recharged!

I took 2 trips down and up the basement steps, 3 trips up and down the steps to the loft and 3 laps around the driveway and up the hill. Yes, I got winded, but I lived. Gonna do that each day for a few and then add another rep of each. Tomorrow I add the Dancing with the Stars cardio workout, just the warm up kicks my rear! Free exercise! I had a large bowl of air popped popcorn for lunch, a skinny cow ice cream for a snack and supper was 2 lightly sauteed chicken tenders and green beans and potatoes cooked together. I am not going to make this blog into a diet and exercise tome, but I wanted to share how I am starting this weight loss thing.

Tomorrow I go back to class. I missed all of my classes last week due to the crud. I'm ahead on homework, but will have to take a couple of tests. I am pretty sure I will be all right, except for ratios and fractions. Going to study a bit more for that.

I'm off to bed, Spot and Nestor will just have to move over! Hope you had a great Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I know, I know.

Hello again. Yes, I've gone missing once again. I'm back for now, I think.

I've had an awful lot of time to think lately. I've been laid off for months now, and the job market is slim pickings. I think I'm going back to the BP, at leat that's where we left it. Things have changed there, and what was once wanted has changed back to what is easy. I certainly like being a paid employee rather than a business owner right now. Yes, we still have our painting business, but home improvement is way down the list for most people and we need the somewhat steady income.

I've started school, again. I think it's what I want, but I still haven't settled on wht to do with it. Right now my major is Commercial Photography, it's kinda where I wound up when the computer classes weren't what I was expecting, nor were they well taught. My classmates and I spent a lot of time teaching each other, and that's not what I was paying tuition for.

I've started something I have started and stopped many times over my adult life. I need to stay focused and not beat myself up. I am tired of feeling the way I do, which is lethargic and fat. So, I've started some walking and hauling myself up the loft stairs at least 3 times a day. My caloric intake has decreased as well. I've got a few goals, but simply having more energy and stamina are first up.

Who knows where this blog will go now. Right now this blog writer has a date with the treehouse and a couple of seed catalogs. After a week of the crud, I need to bake myself.