Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I put our tree up over a couple of days. One day the lights and the next day the ornaments. I wasn't home over a weekend so I had to do it in the evenings after work. We won't have much company this year so I didn't decorate the rest of the house. My son will be hosting Christmas at his house for the first time.

It took many takes to get this picture with the lights all lit up. My flash made it too bright and you thought it was daytime with no lights. Then when I turned the flash off, it was too dark. Also, the star is flashing, so I had to time that right so it was lit in the picture.



Here is our attempt at a Christmas photo. It was the first time I used the tripod and only the second time I used the delay timer. There were many outtakes. My dear husband likes to be silly. I never did get one that I really liked but these will do. These pics are all SOOC. I have not had time to tweak them. We were dressed to go to my work Christmas party, so I decided to take advantage of the situation and try to get a good picture of us.


Here are my favorite ornaments. My dad carves an ornament every year for each couple and each child in the family. The current total right now is 14 just to cover family members. Then he makes extra because of extended family and friends that always want to buy some of them. He does great work and I did not inherit one bit of his artistic ability. This year's ornament is the Christmas tree in the bottom corner of the picture. I have been the keeper of my kids' ornaments for years. When each one gets married or moves out, I pack their ornaments up and give them their box. This year I boxed up the ornaments for my last daughter. The tree looks different without all of the had carved ornaments on there.


This weekend has been spent shopping, wrapping and baking. Today I started some red velvet bon bons that will have to be finished tomorrow. I also made chocolate and peanut butter fudge. I will have to make another batch of peanut butter fudge because my husband will eat all of this one long before Christmas. He has no will power over peanut butter. The shopping is going great and I only have a couple of small gifts left to buy.

Tomorrow I hope to go to my son's house to have Christmas with my daughter who is here from out of state. Mother Nature may have other plans. We are anticipating icy roads and frigid temps and it is too far to go if that is the case. The alternate plan is to finish wrapping gifts and to dip the bon bons. I also have many Christmas books that would love to get some attention. That will be a different post.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Winter

So, I'm almost ready for work this morning. I think I'll go outside and start my car and then come in and make my lunch while it warms up. I don't remember the temp but suffice it to say it was c-c-c-coooollllldddd. So, I go out the door, reach into the car to start it and change all the dials so the SNOW! will melt off of the window. I flip the little switch that will make my seat all nice and cozy for me and head back to the house. Stuck. the little button on the screen door is frozen. I can't get back into the house. I go turn off my car, walk around to the back of the house to let myself in the back door with the key. Stuck again. The key turns, the knob turns but the door won't open. Finally it dawns on me that my husband locked the dead bolt to protect me while he is gone deer hunting. Then I go back through the front door, making sure it doesn't close all the way and start my car all over again.

OK, make my lunch, get in my still frigid car, since it didn't have as many minutes to warm up, and take off. First stop is the ATM machine. I pull up to the little screen and: Stuck. The windows on my car are frozen shut. I cant roll any of them down. Well, I decide that if I have to get out of the car anyway, I'll just go inside to get my money. Next stop. McDonald's. Windows still frozen so I have to get out and go inside for my sweet tea and cinnamon melt. I almost fall on my fanny going into McDonald's because of the ice on the parking lot.

I decide to wait until after work to fill up the car because it is so cold. Gas went from $1.63 this morning to $1.79 this afternoon. Crap. I should have filled up yesterday.

Don't you just love winter?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Best Shot(s) Monday and Weekend update

I had a very nice weekend. I got to babysit my new grandson on Saturday so his parents could go to work. Then I got to spend the day Sunday visiting with three of my grandkids. I also was able to finish the book I was reading and start another while I was there. The book I finished was Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie. It was a very good page turner. Next, I started Cutting Loose by Susan Anderson. I am only a couple chapters in but it seems like it will be good also.

Here is a shot of my dirty faced youngest granddaughter and her dirty faced doll. She had just arrived home from her dad's house when I got there and hadn't had her bath yet.


Here is my new grandson and his big sister. He was one month old that day. It took several shots to get them both with their eyes open and nobody crying. LOL He was a sleepy guy and she isn't very comfortable holding him yet.
Here are some action shots. She is jumping on a trampoline that I got her for Christmas. She could jump much higher than this. She was a wild child on this thing.


And here is another action shot. Every time grandpa tried to let her go, she let go too. She wouldn't hang there by herself. She was being silly and this shot caught her laughing about it.

We also spent some time coloring. I got the girls coloring books and crayons instead of candy for Halloween since I wasn't going to see them until Sunday. I figured they would have had enough sugar by then. They both love to color so that was a big hit.
The time change caught up with me Sunday night. I dozed through the season finale of Army Wives so I will have to catch up on the computer. Then I was up at 4:30 this morning. I hope to get this worked out soon.
More later.
Tina



Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Better

I am feeling much better. I went to work yesterday and did fine all day. However, when I got home I napped on the couch until around 7 pm. Then I dozed through Boston Legal and went to bed by 10:05. I guess I wasn't quite as recovered as I thought. So now I'm up and ready to begin a new day.

I had hoped to have a new Tackle-it-Tuesday for today but after my illness, it will have to wait until next week.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sick

I am sick. At first I thought it was just allergies bothering me. With the sniffles, drippy nose, sneezing, etc. I wasn't feeling exceptionally bad. But the histamine thing was driving me bonkers. So I dug out the allergy medicine and took it..... Nothing. Still the same symptoms. So I moved on to Benadryl. That helped a little and made me extremely sleepy. I hate the nose dripping. I hate sitting around with a tissue permanently in my hand. I spent all day yesterday on the couch, alternately blowing my nose and napping. I did manage to read a few articles in a magazine and watch much television. This morning seems a little better on the dripping side but now there is congestion moving in. The worst part of the whole thing is that I didn't get to go visit with my grand kids this weekend. I'll spend today taking it easy and taking more medicine so I can make it to work Monday. I really need to be typing more chapters of my dad's book. Hopefully I will feel better this afternoon so I can get busy on that.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

CLR Bath & Kitchen Cleaner

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

I recieved my bottle of CLR Bath and Kitchen cleaner in the mail one afternoon. I took it out of the box and showed it to my curious husband. He was happy to see it as he had been interested in trying CLR and had never had the chance. Before I had time to take any before pictures of the bathtub that I was planning to try it out on, he was in there with the CLR and a sponge. Our bathtub had a lot of what I thought was stains in it. I would clean it with scrubbing bubbles and it never seemed to come clean. The CLR worked much better. He scrubbed it two different times and it was whiter than we have ever seen it. (We have lived in this old house for 3 years.) It cut through very old water stains. We are very happy with the results. I will definately keep CLR Bath and Kitchen cleaner around to keep that bathtub clean and shiny.

Anyway, I had to find a new project so I could try out the CLR. We have this ancient utility sink in the basement. We don't use it for anything but to drain our washer. I have been thinking about cleaning it up since we moved in but it was way down a long list of priorities. So, I took the CLR down there and went to work. Here is the before.

This sink has dirt, grime, rust, paint, and many unknown things in it. It has not been scrubbed in years but does have water running through it daily.

Here is the after.


This may not look like a good commercial for CLR Bath and Kitchen cleaner but I think it is. It took off way more than I thought was possible. I only had time to scrub it once and I didn't exert too much energy. Some of the spots are paint and will need to be scraped off. But lots of the rust is gone and all of the scum.

I highly recommend the CLR Bath and Kitchen cleaner. I think it works great.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

MORE magazines

I am at my son's house for the weekend, helping out with the baby and the house while my daughter-in-law recovers from an illness. I am enjoying cuddling my 2 week old grandson very much.

I brought a pile of magazines with me to read in the down time. See this post about my magazine issues. I am currently reading the September issues of all the magazines on my list. Not too bad until you consider that the November issues are arriving as we speak. Anyway, I have come to the conclusion that I can downsize my collection by one. I have not subscribed to MORE for very long. I liked the idea that it was geared to the over 40 woman. But upon reading the July/August issue yesterday, I just don't think it is the magazine for me. I didn't enjoy many of the articles. Mostly I skimmed them for interesting tidbits. The fashion pages were full of very pricy items. Who can afford $2,700 for a handbag? So the verdict is in, and MORE is on it's way out.

Edited to add that I will also not be renewing my subscription to Discover. It is probably a fine magazine. I got it because I thought my husband might like it. He never picks them up. I occasionally thumb through them but I have so many other magazines that I like that I can't keep up with. So Discover is also on it's way out.

Friday, October 3, 2008

He's here!

Here is the new baby! This is me with baby boy and his sister at about 12 hours old. He made his appearance on October 2, 2008. Weighing 6 pounds 8 ounces and 19 1/2 inches long.

Here is the little guy dressed up to stay warm.
Here is the happy family after putting his footprint on the wall of October babies.
More later.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Baby Time

Tomorrow is induction day for my new grandson. I will be leaving after work tomorrow to go to the hospital. Next post should be a picture post early next week when I get home.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Magazines

I think I am addicted to magazines. I subscribe to:
  • Good Housekeeping
  • Redbook
  • Ladies Home Journal
  • More
  • Guideposts
  • Discover
  • Readers Digest
  • Grand (? something like that, It's a mag for grandparents)
  • Plus, I get a couple of monthly magazines from work.

So, I get all these magazines every month. They come in the mail and then I stuff them in a drawer of the end table, and there they sit. They sit there until I can't stuff another magazine in the drawer. Then I decide I need to read them. So, I drag them all out and sort them by month. I have to read the oldest ones first. I don't know why? But that is the way I do it.

Then I have a magazine marathon. I will read nothing but magazines for several days until I have a big recycle pile. I never seem to get completely caught up. There is always a month or two in the drawer.

I keep thinking that when the renewal comes up that I'll let a few go. But then they send me the last chance price and it is usually too good to pass up. I think I got More and Readers Digest for $5 a year, and Redbook for $8. So, I renew for another year and the cycle continues.

Do you think I have a problem? Does anyone else read like me or do you read each magazine when it comes and promptly recycle it?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Family Tree - and other projects

For Christmas,(9 months ago!!!) my son and daughter-in-law got me a very pretty family tree. It spirals around and has lots of charms hanging from it to put family pictures in. Now, every time my son comes over he complains that it is STILL full of strangers.

I love this tree and can't wait to have it full of pictures of my growing family. I just can't seem to get started on it. I have started a folder on the computer with some of the pictures, but they are not edited or printed. I kept saying I was waiting to get the new computer and photoshop elements to help me out. Well, those have been in my computer desk for about 2 months now, and still no progress.

I have other projects on my list that are not progressing also. My new grandson could be here any day now. I want to make a photo album for his parents that includes baby/childhood photos of all of the close family members. I have been planning this since I found out he was comming. That project is still firmly planted in my mind but not even started.

Then there is my dad's book. He is writing a book that we are all excited to see in print. He is plannng to self publish and goal is to have it back from the printers in time for the family reunion in June. I am the editor/typist. I am really enjoying reading the stories but the typing is going pretty slowly. I really need to get going and finish typing what I have here in the house.

Add to all that the housework that needs done, and the cooking that I haven't been doing and I wonder what I do all day. I really need to sit down and prioritize my projects and make a commitment to getting them done. I have promised to have the family tree done before this Chrismas. Dad's book needs to be done ASAP. And the baby's book probably needs to be finished by next weekend.

I also want to start cooking more often. We eat out too much and I want us to eat healthier and to save money. I need to start planning meals for us.

And I would really like to do more blogging. I am still trying to figure out what to write about most days. I don't have any readers yet but I don't want to bore people when they do come here.

I hope by typing this all out where I can see it, that I will get motivated to get things done around here. I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Back in the Swing of Things

I have a full week under my belt at work and things are getting back into a routine. I am waking up without the alarm and I have been having a little time to wake up with blog reading every morning with a glass of iced tea and some cereal. Then I get ready and out the door.

Work has been going good and I've not been too tired when I get home. Except on Friday, I was worn out. I think that was just because it was Friday. LOL

I'm just spending a quiet weekend at home. The weather is nice and I am reading a paperback and browsing books on photoshop elements. I purchased elements along with a new computer recently and I haven't played with it too much yet. I have books from the library that are due soon, so I need to get busy reading them.

I think the back to school funk is over. Thank goodness.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

In a back-to-school funk

I start back to work on Wednesday. I work in a school and I do really like my job. I just don't want to work. I don't like to get up early to go somewhere. I like to get up early and spend hours on the computer. I don't like coming home exhausted and having to figure out what is for dinner when I'd rather take a nap. I don't like having to go to bed "early" so I can get up in time to surf the web and get ready for school.

And then there is the feeling of guilt that I didn't DO enough this summer. We went to Ireland, got my son married, and organized millions of pictures. I got a new computer and I almost have everything moved off of my daughters computer. But, I didn't deep clean the house, finish the pictures, visit everyone I wanted to, or a hundred other things from the mental list that keeps haunting me.

I just have the blahs and I don't know how to get out of it.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Wedding Weekend

Here is my son, my new daughter-in-law and my granddaughter


These are my four granddaughters

These are my kids


The wedding was beautiful. Everything was very nice. My granddaughter did a great job with the flower girl thing. All of my kids and grands were there. We did a group photo but haven't gotten it back from the photographer yet. I hope it is good. A couple of days later everyone who could came to my house to spend the night. That was fun to have them all here. The next day we went to St. Louis and went to the zoo and the arch.


Here is all of us except my son who took the picture.


After the zoo we all went up in the St. Louis Arch. They all had a great time doing that too. Later that day everyone went home and we had some time to relax. It was a great weekend and so nice to have everyone at the wedding.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Wedding stuff

Went to pick up the flower girl dress for my granddaughter today. She was not with me when I bought it. They only had one size left of the dress my son and his bride picked out and I was not sure it was the right one. The dress needed to be cleaned so I had to leave it there that day. I had my granddaughter's mom bring her to the store today so I could pick up the dress and try it on her. We met at the Dollar Tree next door and she picked out some stuffed mermaids that she wanted me to buy her. Then we went to the bridal store to try on the dress. It fit very well. Just slightly too long but that can't be helped. The wedding is next weekend and there is no time for alterations. She calls it her "Princess Dress". Then we went to Sears to buy shoes to go with it. They didn't have much to pick from but we got a pair that will do. After the shopping we went to the car. She got in my truck and wanted to go home with me. I finally got her out of the truck and into her car. I wish I could have kept her but the drive is too long to make an extra trip to take her home. She wanted me to take one of the mermaids to my house but I told her she could bring them with her the next time she comes. That will be the day of the rehearsal.

We decided on pizza for the rehearsal dinner. I will buy some salad and drinks to go with it. Probably I'll get some cookies or brownies too. I still have to get my daughter's birthday present. The wedding is on her birthday. So I'll have to hit the stores one more time this comming week.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Home again

We are back from Ireland!!! It was amazing. We saw lots of beautiful scenery, kissed the Blarney Stone, stood on the edge of the Cliffs of Moher, took a boat and jaunting car trip through the Gap of Dunloe, walked in the icy water on a beach on the Dingle Peninsula, toured the Waterford Crystal Factory and had many other great adventures. Hubby and I took hundreds of pictures that I have to sort through and condense into a manageable album to share with friends and family.

In other news, yesterday was the bridal shower for my new Daughter-in-law. It was a very nice shower and they received lots of very nice presents. Her aunts did a great job with the food and her mom made the cake. It was beautiful and delicious. The wedding is in a couple of weeks. I am having a hard time finding something to wear, but am confident that it will work itself out.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

This and That

Well, the graduation is over. It was very nice. We had a grad party here at the house and all the family turned out. She has become engaged and is planning a wedding for a year from now. I took over 200 pictures of them last night for engagement photos. About 5 of them are good.

DD is enrolled in a class for the fall. It is an evening class so she can get up in time. LOL

DS is making me a grandmother and a mother-in-law again. This will make my 5th grandchild, the first 4 all being girls. Plus I have 5 step-grandsons. The wedding is in a month. The ETA on the baby is still unknown, waiting on a Dr. visit in a couple of weeks.

We leave for Ireland in two (2!) days. The packing is comming along and the internet has been thouroghly searched for all things Irish.

Hubby's DD and SIL will be visiting tomorrow. They have moved way out of state and this will be their second visit home in a year and a half.

Ok, I promise to try to get more regular with posting after the vacation and the wedding. We will see what happens.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Still Here

I am still around. Just have been busy with the end of the school year stuff and my daughter's upcomming graduation. My last child is graduating high school. Yippeeeee!!! The kitchen is done and I will post pics of that soon. And an exciting vacation is in the works.





This is what I found on the back deck the other day. This swing was on the front deck last fall when a bad storm came through and several huge limbs blew off the tree in front and landed on the deck, taking out most of the rails and breaking the frame to this swing. Finally, my hubby fixed it and gave the frame a fresh coat of paint. The front deck still isn't fixed so the swing was placed on the back deck in the meantime. A few days later, after a day of strong winds, I found this in my back yard. I am not sure it is meant for me to have a porch swing. Luckily it was not damaged this time. But it was not easy to get it out of it's predicament.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Yes, Deer




These deer were in my back yard yesterday. We we came here the first time to look at this house 2 1/2 years ago we saw a deer across the road. I am pretty sure that is one of the things that sold my hubby on this property. We still occasionally see deer in the field across the road and sometimes way in the back of our property. But usually not this close to the house. Hubby saw them and I ran for the camera. I had to really zoom and take the pics through the bedroom window so i wouldn't scare them off. Sorry the photo quality is so bad.






Here is a pic of them after I scared them and they started to run.





Here they are jumping the fence to the neighbors's yard. I hope they keep comming back. We love to watch the wildlife.

More kitchen updates and book reviews comming soon.

Best Shot Monday

I love this shot of my hubby playing around when he took the curtains down to paint. The ceiling light behind him gives him a kind of glow.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What we have...

We have cabinets picked out. We have flooring. We have countertops ordered. We have begun the demolition. We have one section of cabinets installed. We have ugly brown floor tiles that were under a layer of parquet flooring and a layer of 3/4 inch plywood and 7,000,000 staples and 3,500,000 nails.

And.... we have.... Rain!!!!

We can't go to the store for the next set of cabinets in the rain. We can't lay flooring in the rain. We can't haul old flooring out to the dumpter in the rain (well, we probably could but we won't). We can't paint in the rain.

So, we are on hold for a couple of days. Taking a break to maybe get a couple of books read and watch American Idol and The Biggest Loser.

More Later....

Friday, March 14, 2008

Kitchen Update

We found that Lowes has the same cabinets we bought before so we can finish out the kitchen with those. We also found a counter top that goes good with the cabinets. So those decisions are pretty much made.


We thought we had a floor. Hubby found new in box flooring on Craig's List for a good price. We made an appointment to purchase it but the person sold it before we got there. She was nice enough to call us before we left to let us know but it was a huge disappointment. Today I have a day off so we are off to shop for floors. Hopefully I'll have something good to report in the next post.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Kitchen Remodel





Ever since we moved into this house I have wanted new counter tops. The ones we have are older and were not installed correctly. They have an ugly seam right by the sink that doesn't match up and I just want new ones. I would also like to go with something more neutral so I have options to decorate.








So way back when, (2 years ago) we started shopping for new ones. We have a galley style kitchen and the one counter has to be 12 feet long. Which means special ordering it because home improvement stores only sell 10 feet lengths. That is probably why the current counters have that seam in them. We just never did get around to ordering anything so now I am on the kick again. But wait, it gets worse. I have suddenly developed a desire for new cabinets too. The cabinets in here were installed stupidly. One side is fine but the side with the stove did not have the right number of top cabinets and they were shoved all the way to the ceiling. So, when we moved in we bought a couple of the pieces that were missing and rearranged them. But the new ones do not match the old ones. You can see in the picture that the first three are the new ones and the last cabinet is the style that the rest of the kitchen has. So, I'm thinking that there is no use in doing counter tops now, if there is a chance that we will do new cabinets eventually.








And while we are at it, might as well change the floor that we have hated since we have been here too. It makes more sense to do it all at once, right? The floor is parquet tiles that don't match up and have gaps between them. They are all through the kitchen, dining area and hallway.










So, last night we went off to Home Depot to see what is available and get some cost ideas. I wanted to make a couple "easy" changes to the layout. I want to add a pantry cabinet and I wanted to move the refrigerator a little bit so it isn't shoved against a wall. We have a side by side so the door hits the wall every time you open it.
After much drawing and figuring I think I finally have it figured out. The cabinet with the drawers doesn't come in the same size I have now, so I had to do some rearranging there. It will be hard to get used to the new configuration. I am a creature of habit. I found a counter top that I think I like. But the floor, that is a big problem. I can't decide what kind of floor I want. My husband is not much help. "Whatever makes you happy" is his favorite phrase. I really appreciate that he wants me to have what I like, but I need some help narrowing down the choices. We still have a couple more places to go to get some ideas, so I'll post again when I make some decisions.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Book Review




I read the book Savannah Blues by Mary Kay Andrews. It is a very good book.


From the back cover:


Landing a catch like Talmadge Evans III got Eloise "Weezie" Foley a jewel of a town house in Savannah's historic district. Divorcing Tal got her exiled to the backyard carriage house, where she has launched a spite-fest with Tal's new Fiancee, the elegant Caroline DeSantos.


An antiques picker, Weezie combs Savannah's steamy back alleys and garage sales for treasures when she's not dealing with her loopy realatives or her hunky ex-boyfriend. But and unauthorized sneak preview at a sale lands Weezie smack in the middle of magnolia-scented murder, mayhem...and more. Dirty deals simmer all around her - just as her relationship with the hottest chef in town heats up and she finds out how delicious love can be the second time around.


I had trouble putting this book down. I will definatly be looking for more books by this author.

First Sample post

Hi, I am Tina. This is my first blog. I always thought I would never have a blog but I have become addicted to reading blogs and have decided to give it a try.