Monday, January 31, 2011

The sky is falling!

Well, at least pieces of it are…in the form of snowflakes with many, many more forecasted to come.  I mean, many, many, many more.

Like most of the Midwest, we’re under a blizzard warning starting tomorrow afternoon but let me tell you we just drove home from our son & daughter-in-law’s house where we had dinner and I got a haircut.  And yes, a haircut is important enough to venture out in crappy winter weather.  Anyway, it already wasn’t a whole lot of fun out there.  I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow brings.

I rather enjoy the thought of a snow day as long as we don’t lose power.  When we have to worry about heat & power, it ceases to be fun.  We used to have a generator but it kind of, sort of was burned up in a friends barn fire this summer, so we’re just praying for no loss of electric.

I’ll keep you posted with further developments.  I know you’re sitting by your computer waiting, aren’t you?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Winter project

I made 2 New Years Resolution’s this year.  Or I guess I sort of did.  I don’t’ really believe in NYR’s but both of these projects were added to the to-do list earlier this month so I’ll call them a Resolution.  Then as I complete then, I’ll feel like I finally kept a resolution for once.

Project #1 – Rip all of our CD’s to MP3 files. 
CHECK – DONE!  We didn’t have a ton of CD’s but maybe 60 – 70 of them, so it took some time but not all consuming so I checked off that “quick” project first.

Project #2 – Scan all of our old family photos into the computer. 
A bit larger project and a whole lot more time consuming.  Not only does it take time to do the scanning but it’s also been really easy and enjoyable to get lost in the memories.  I’m about 2/3 of the way through Album #1 with 8 more albums to go plus a few other odds and ends that never quite made it to the albums.

Here are a few of my favorites so far…


This might look like an ordinary Christmas tree but it was a special one.  This was Christmas tree 1983.  Luke was 2 and Joe & Jon were just a few months old.  We didn’t have much of nothing  & medical bills out of our ears from their birth and illnesses that set in soon after.  For those of you who think if you have twins, you get two for the price of one.  You’re wrong.  We were charged double for everything, including the delivery room because we need two sets of all the equipment. 
I didn’t think we would be able to afford a tree that year.  But while DH was traveling one day, he ran across a small tree farm that had trees for $5!   So he brought this short little 4 foot tree home as a surprise for us.  I was so excited! 


Joe & Jon must have been about 4 months old in this picture.  As you can see they didn’t look alike already as babies.  
We took the picture in our “studio.”  We covered the dining room table with a cream colored blanket that matched the wall behind it and went from there.  The homemade knitted blankets over their heads were a gift from my aunt.

This has always been my favorite picture of Luke, hands down.  That bunny went so many places with him.  For many years, it was always near by.  He was a little over 2 here.


This was a familiar site in the summer time.  After the boys would get up from their naps, they would always ask for a “wake-up snack”. Smile  Most of the time they would sit out on our back stoop to eat whatever it was that particular day.  And for the record, I still think bib overalls are the cutest darned things on little boys.  It just melts my heart!  and look at those little tennis shoes..who would have ever thought they would grow up to wear size 14’s!


As I get more scanned in, I’ll share a few from time to time.  Maybe it will help to be accountable and keep me on task now that you all know I’m working on it.  It’s worth a shot anyways.


and in the meadow we can build a snowman…


with time out for a few snow angels.



We had a blast playing in the snow Saturday morning.  I think Miss A. & Mr. O. would have stayed out there all day but this Grandma was wet and cold so we had to go in eventually.  Miss A. told me next time I should wear snow pants like she has so we could stay out longer.  Smile


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New Jersey Wednesday Hodge Podge questions

My friend Joyce of “From this side of the pond”  has posted her weekly Hodge Podge questions.  I don’t’ participate nearly often enough but love to read everyone else’s responses.  Does that make me a creeper???

1. Will you watch the Super Bowl? If so who will you root for? If you are outside the USA what is the 'big deal sporting event' in your own country?
To this, I have an terribly unpatriotic, un-American answer.  I really don’t’ care about the Super Bowl or football, or most major league sports for that matter.  I would much rather watch high school or college ball where they are playing more for the love of the game than the $$$$$ they are raking in as adults “playing”.   Our church is having a Super Bowl party so we may attend that though but as more of a social event.  They’re having a best wings, best dip and best dessert contest along with the party.  Now, that I can sink my teeth into!

2. Is ignorance bliss?
Sometimes it’s not all bad.  There were past events involving my children that I was more than happy to hear about after the fact than before or during. 

3. Which of the seven dwarfs are you? (and just in case your Disney is a little bit rusty, here they are-Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, and Sneezy)
Bashful – probably not – that’s never been a term used to describe me, just sayin’…
Doc – I do attempt to fix things, although sometimes with not such hot results especially when it comes to people. Sad smile
Dopey – the further into menopause I get, the Dopier I’m getting!
Grumpy – not so much, I try to have a positive spin on most things.
Happy – not always, but most of the time I adapt to the circumstances at hand.
Sleepy – for sure, especially when that darned alarm clock goes off at 5am.  I AM the snooze alarm queen!
Sneezy – only in the late Spring – achoo!

4. When you are riding in the car with another couple how do you organize the seating? (Men up front? Women up front? Couples sit together?)
Thanks for the shout out on this one Joyce.  We actually do both.  Most of the time it’s men up front and ladies in the back.  Do I really want to hear about the latest tractor or car deal?  I’d rather sit in the back and talk woman stuff with my friend.  Unless we take our two door car, then I’m more than willing to suffer through the tractor talk to not have to climb in and out of our back seat.

5. What is beauty?
When I think of beauty, I don’t think people, I think of God’s creation that’s all around us.  I never cease to be amazed by it. 

Blue Ridge Parkway view 4

6. If someone asks you to bring an appetizer or a dessert to a party in their home, which would you choose?

It varies for me and depends on what I’m hungry for or in the mood to make.  More often than not anymore I shy away from the sweets and head into appetizer land.  Give me a good dip any day and I’m happy!

7. What is your crowd pleasing go-to appetizer?
I make a killer Swiss Cheese bread that’s loaded with butter, Swiss cheese and mushrooms.  There’s not many people that don’t like it, other than son Joe.  He picks the mushrooms off.  Crazy kid!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
The Grands are coming for an overnight Friday night and I am excited!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Whatta day…

I don’t often use this blog as a rant.  I don’t believe in doing that but I’m on a roll at the moment so if you don’t want to hear it, then you might want to not read this particular post.   Yes, I’ve got a bit of an attitude today. 

Our Spring classes started last week which typically means chaos reigns for at least a week but it’s been eerily calm.  Calm, like it’s never been before.  That is up until today.


Today you would have thought it was the first day of classes!  I’m not sure why it was a week delayed but today was stinking nuts work-wise then add in a few other irritations and we were off and running.

My morning started out well enough.  We had a few inches of snow and ice yesterday to the tune of about 5”.  DH was sweet and went out and scooped a path to the car, cleaned my car off and turned it around so all I had to do was shoot out of the driveway (literally, we hadn’t plowed it yet – floor it and go!).  The roads were slick so I took it slow going to work.  Usually I don’t have to go into town but this morning I had to pick up donuts for a meeting.  Still good right?  That is until, I ran a red light.  Shhh – don’t tell DH.  Now, I am a firm believer that when the light is yellow it does not mean stop but it means “GO” in capital letters but that wasn’t the case this morning at all.  Really, it wasn’t.  I could have slammed on the brakes when it turned yellow but I would have slid through the icy intersection anyway, so I eased up and rolled through and the light turned red just as I hit the intersection.  Not a great start to my day.  The blessing of it all was, the other couple of cars there didn’t jump the gun and go before they got their green light.

Then when I got to work and walked in my office one of the banks of fluorescent lights was buzzing like crazy and went out.  In and of itself not a big deal, maintenance will come and fix it, sometime before 2011 is over.  If I bake them treats, I tend to get a bit faster service.  So it looks like I’ll be baking again.  Yeah, I’m not above bribery when it comes to these things. 

The kicker of this is, there had to be at least ten people(all male instructors – sorry if any of you are reading this but you already know I call it like it is) who came in my office today and said “hey, you’ve got a light out!” 

No sh__ Sherlock! (sorry)   I hadn’t noticed the black hole over the student workers desk.  Thanks for calling it to my attention!

I warned you I had a bit of an attitude today.  Add in all the chaos of a typical first day of the semester, which it wasn’t but for some reason felt like one, it was a crazy, crazy day.  I don’t understand it all but I’m alive and breathing and was able to get to work and home safely so I’m really not complaining, even though it sounds like I am.  I just know God’s trying to teach me stuff on days like this.  Although I haven’t figured out what it is yet.  Do you ever have days like this?  Days, when you have absolutely no reason to be befuddled but you just are anyway?

On the upside, I got the corn burner lit on the first try when I came home!  So I’m all cozy and warm now and DH just walked in the door. The day is looking up! 

Rant over.  Smile

Random Act of Kindness

Early last spring Val from Life’s Little Garden felt compelled to do a few Random Acts of Kindness for people in or associated with blogland.   What a sweet idea!  She asked for nominations of who we thought would be blessed by a RAK.

I nominated my sister who, after ten years had just had a recurrence of breast cancer.    I wrote last winter: “I would like to nominate my sister. My sister, Pam, had breast cancer in 2000 and has been in remission since until last week. Her cancer is back. We aren't sure to what extent yet.”   Val asked her daughters pick the winners and her daughter Maranda picked my nomination!  Side note:  Pam’s surgery as well as her radiation treatments went well and all is good now.

Val wrote this tender note to my sister Pam and enclosed it with the gift:

“My plans were to give you a quilt that my Granny made but about a month after I posted this, my Granny passed away. My heart was so sad and I didn't know what I was going to give you and the other 2 winners. I just knew that the Lord wanted me to give you a quilt. My granny was 96 and still made 3 quilts a week. She was such a blessing to me. Once she was gone I put the "Random Act of Kindness" on the back burner and started working on another gift for you all. But in my heart I just knew I was suppose to give you a quilt”.

“My Dad (76 years old) had started quilting right before Granny passed away. He could not make a quilt for months after she left us. He was so sad and missed his Mom. Then out of the blue he brought several quilts over and asked me to sell them for him. I was so happy to see him quilting again. And then it hit me.......I AM suppose to give you a quilt!! The Lord sent my dad to me. Daddy's quilts are not perfect, just like Granny's weren't. But they are wonderful, cuddly, usable quilts made with love. I want you to use this quilt and know that you are receiving a special hug from the Lord when you snuggle under it. Please consider this a gift from me to honor you in all that you do . I admire you more than words can say. Enjoy your quilt.”

It looks to me like Pam’s enjoying her quilt, wouldn’t you say?


Thank you Val!  You’re amazing!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Snowy Sunday drive

I have so many posts rumbling around in this head of mine but I haven’t been able to formulate those thoughts into anything understandable yet.  Do you ever have that problem?   Please tell me you do so I can feel a little less thyroidal/menopausal. [sigh]

I’ve got stuff to say but can’t quite spit it out so in the meantime, I’ll share a few pictures from a drive we took with friends yesterday.  

I felt bad for our friends…they were stuck in the back seat of our two door car with only little tiny windows to look out that kept frosting over.  We have long legs and they have short legs so it’s just kind of how it all worked out.  Know what I mean?  Tell me, if you go somewhere with another couple, do you ride one couple in the front seat and one in the back or do you ride men/women up front and the other in the back?  Inquiring minds want to know!


We do have some hills not far from us.  Wouldn’t it be fun to take a sled down that one?



Buffalo in Iowa…who’d of thought?


A couple of ice fishing shantys on the Mississippi River backwaters.   I’ve never understood that whole deal.  How does the heat they put in the shantys to stay warm not melt the ice enough that they fall through.  Can anyone explain that to me? 




Sunday, January 16, 2011

Doo, doo, doo…looking out my backdoor

Literally.  Looking out my back door this morning about 7:30am, the sky was stunning! 

Never mind that I cheated and didn’t actually go outside to take these.  I just slid the deck door open ever so slightly so as to not freeze my lil tootsies off and snapped away.

Taken from southwest to southeast….




And last is the farm I grew up on.



Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Icicles everywhere!

This is what greeted me as I left work last night.


I love the way the icicles hang off the lamp post.  I’m pretty sure the student standing outside the door having a smoke thought I was crazy as I dug through my purse in the cold for my camera.


I’m not so crazy however to see the way icicles hang off my car because that tells me that I’m going to have a very cold reception once I get in.  That is, after I get done scraping the windows.  Sad smile  Oh, what I wouldn’t get on nights like this for a remote starter or for my boss to leave ahead of me.  Why?  because he starts my car on the way to his.  Now, that’s a great boss!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fun progress

The cosmetic changes are starting to take place on our work project.  You know, the fun stuff!

Drywall texturing and painting are going on.

Workshop cabinets are being installed in the garage. IMG_5586


The half-bath floor tiles are being laid.

And the kitchen floor was started last night with a cool product called Dura-ceramic.  Love the color of these tiles.  The grout color is chocolate. 


I can’t wait to see it tonight after they’ve worked on it all day.  If I can find a place to park, that is.  


I’m back at work.  :(  Spring semester classes start on Monday.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ringin’ in the new year with hammers and nails

We’re ringin’ in the new year with a construction project.  That appears to have become the norm for us.

Are you tired of construction pictures yet?  Too bad!  We’ve got a week to go on this project.  In case you missed previous posts.  We’re working on a construction project through our church at Deer Ridge Ministries.  Click here to see what they do at Deer Ridge.

A few pictures of our team from Days 5 & 6.IMG_5562

Building a ramp in the garage to make the ministry handicapped accessible. IMG_5569 Dan & Keith working on a shower in the new bathroom.  With the installation of this bathroom, the Deckers will be able to accommodate one more guest during each session.  Every pastor & their spouse have their own bedroom and private bathroom.


The food they’ve been feeding us is nothing short of extraordinary.  Sufferin’ for Jesus, I say!

For New Years Eve we participated in a murder mystery.  What a bunch of fun!  I’d do another one in a heartbeat!

The dead guy…IMG_5556

and the cast of characters. 


We have tomorrow off and start all over again with new team members on Monday.  Our goal is to have the commercial kitchen, a full bath and a half bath done by Saturday evening, January 8th.  What do you think?  Will we make it?