Monday, April 21, 2014

"R" is for first Helmet-cam "Ride" of the season

"R" is for Helmet-cam "Riding".  

We took our first motorcycle ride of the season yesterday.  We didn't go far but it was too nice of weather to not take advantage of it.   I can't remember the last time we had an 80 degree Easter Sunday.  I had to help at all of our church services this weekend, then we stopped by a family dinner and came home to a motorcycle ride.  Yea!

All is right with the world on the back of the bike.  Ahhh!  and a beautiful sunset to boot!

What?  You are asking what happened to "P" & "Q"?  I've decided when working at a church, the week before  Easter isn't conducive to writing blog posts.  :(  That's it.  I've got no better excuse.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

"O" is for Owen

"O" is for Owen or Mr. O., or Buddyroe. 

 Owen is our one and only grandson to date and he'll be 6 years old in a few days.  He is quite the boy!  He is sensitive, all about helping and very funny. He sure can come out with some fun one-liners out of the blue.  Mr. O. is all about Legos and wow, can he build!

We don't have Legos at our house so he has to use the old fashioned wooden blocks that his Dad and uncles played with but he still builds like crazy.

He is also a mirror of his Dad and that just makes me smile. :)
Owen on the left and Dad at about the same age on the right.

 We love you Buddyroe!  Happy Birthday early!

"N" is for New Orleans

If someone would have told me ten years ago that I would have spent 10 weeks out of the last 8 years in New Orleans, I would have responded "why on earth would I do that?"  

Our first trip to New Orleans was leading a team from our church 6 months after Hurricane Katrina to assist in cleanup.  The bug bit us and we've been going back ever since.  It's been fun seeing the city evolve from where there was martial law and we stayed in tents in a FEMA camp run with generators
to now, coming over the I-10 bridge at night and seeing the lights of the city laid out before us.

On our first trip, we were partnered with Pastor Teresa Reiger and her ministry, His Hands 2 Go and we have been working with PT and her team ever since.

Most of our time has been spent rehabbing houses damaged during Katrina.

But this last trip in January of this year, we worked solely on Pastor's church.  The church was badly in need of updates and repairs.  The main repair being during Hurricane Isaac, a microburst separated the front wall from the church.

Our trips aren't all work though.  There is always room for entertainment and 
of course, no trip to The Big Easy is complete with out some good southern BBQ!
 I would've never guessed that New Orleans, where I had never been before 2006, would feel so much like home to me.  I love the vast array of different cultures, the neighborhood joints and styles and for someone who loves different types of architecture, this is heaven.

Let alone the natural beauty of the city and the surrounding area.

 If you've never been to New Orleans, I'd highly recommend it but if you go immerse yourself in the culture and in the neighborhoods.  
Find a local coffee shop, a neighborhood restaurant, a local BBQ joint, walk St Charles Avenue, go to Audubon or City Park to name a few of the must-do's.

The French Quarter and Bourbon Street 
don't have anything on the rest of the city and all it has to offer.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"M" is for Motorcycle Memories

See this motorcycle?  
She's been a trusty old steed.
It's a 1993 Gold Wing new to us in 2005.  
We've logged many, many miles in the last few years on her.

She's taken us west to Wyoming, Colorado and the Dakotas.

She's attended an Amish Auction in Missouri.  
We sure got some funny looks when we rode in there on the bike. 

It's outrun a prairie tornado-laden storm in Western Kansas.
This could be a blog post all on it's own someday.

It's pulled a camper trailer to Tennessee and back more than once.
Side note: One of the dumbest things we ever did was sell this little camper.  Just sayin...

She's taken us to the Smokies three times.

She's taken us on weekend trips to neighboring states.

Don't ask me why this photo isn't centered on the page - Blogger!  Argh!

and more day trips than I can begin to count.

But this is the year we will say good-bye to her.  We've found a replacement.

It'll be like saying goodbye to an old friend for me. 
 We've made lots of memories on the old Wing 
but I'm sure there are more to be created on the new bike.

Monday, April 14, 2014

"L" is for Laughter

L is for Laughter and it sure does good for the soul.  I received this link at work today and it sure lightened up my lunch break.  Enjoy!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

K is for Kaddywhompus

Do you agree that opposites attract? 

34 years ago yesterday I married my polar opposite. In fact during our pre-marital counseling, the pastor who was marrying us advised us not to get married because we were so opposite.  Of course, being young and invincible, we got married anyway.  

These past 34 years have not been without their challenges and partially because we are opposites...

I am a glass half-full, he is an empty glass.
I like to watch fluff, feel-good movies, he likes action-adventure and serious movies.
I like music with a beat, he likes slow thoughtful music.
I can't stand fish or the thought of anything that swims, he loves all fish and seafood.
I love marshmallow peeps, he can't stand them. :)  (shouldve been a deal-breaker - it's just wrong to not love Peeps!)
I am not decision-impaired even if the decision may be wrong in the end, he researches and researches before he makes a decision.
I like our bed kaddywhompus (at an angle), he says he hasn't slept right since I turned the bed.
I am a "good-good enough" person, he is a perfectionist.
I tend to move quickly and multi-task, he is much more task oriented.
I can't stand to work in clutter, it doesn't bother him.

You get the picture.  Our kaddywhompus-ness has definitely made us work at our relationship more than we might have had to if we were more alike, but I also like to think we compliment and complete each other.

Happy Anniversary honey!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

"I" equals INCREDIBLE views!

There are Incredible views all over this country! 

 Some of my favorite places are in the mountains of east Tennessee but then if you've followed my blog for any length of time you know of my fondness for that area of our country.  We were able to spend a week there again last fall.  Pure bliss I tell ya!  :)

The beauty of an Oklahoma wheat field.

However, I certainly don't want to discount some of the Incredible scenery we have here in the Midwest 

 It's hard to beat a Midwestern sunset.

 There is Incredible beauty all around us, no matter where we live if we just stop moving long enough to notice. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

H is for Healthy

H is for Healthy!

Healthy isn't typically a term used when referring to cookies but a friend at work gave me this recipe for Breakfast Cookies the other day.  

Quite honestly, if she hadn't brought one for me to taste, I doubtfully would have ever given the recipe a second look.  I've tried other so called "healthy" dessert or cookie recipes only to be disappointed in either the taste or the texture
These aren't a chocolate chip cookie[wink] but if you are looking for an alternative type cookie or for something grab-able as you're running out the door in the morning they're really pretty good!

I'll share the recipe using the tweaks I made ...


2 cups old fashioned oats (pulsed 5 times in a blender to make them slightly powdery)
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup almond butter (peanut butter or sunflower butter could work as well)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or honey)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 large ripe banana, mashed
1 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)
1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds (or shelled pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup ground flaxseed(I forgot to put this in this time but I will when I make them again)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

You could always add chopped nuts but I didn't this time.  These are very adaptable to whatever your preferences for add-ins might be.  I think I might try some blueberries next time instead of the dried cranberries or raisins.

Preheat oven to 325.  Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.  

Combine all ingredients together using a mixer until well combined.  The dough gets pretty stiff and sticky.

Drop approx. 1/4 cup dough onto prepared cookie sheets.  Slightly flatten to a desired thickness.  These will not spread much in the oven.

Bake for 14 - 17 minutes or until edges are slightly brown.  Allow to cool slightly on the cookie sheets before removing.  These keep well at room temperature for up to a week but also freeze good so you can take out how ever many you need whenever you need them.

If you can't stand the thought of a "healthy" cookie, adding a bit of this on top of a warm cookie fresh out of the oven could be the answer for you.  Not that I'm speaking from experience though. Nope, not me. ;) 


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

G is for Goodness

G if for Goodness, amazing BBQ & husband Goodness that is!

It's finally warming up enough here to use our grill and knowing the way to my heart, DH prepared smoked country ribs for supper last night. I'm not even a huge rib fan but these were amazing!  

 We topped these delicious ribs with the little bit of Sonny's BBQ sauce we have left from our trip to Tennessee last fall.  We can't purchase Sonny's here in the Midwest.  We can buy other sauces that are good but we've yet to find one as good as Sonny's.  And of all things, when we were in New Orleans in January, I completely forgot to stock up [face palm].

Monday, April 7, 2014

F is For Fancy Farmhouse Architecture

We went east to visit one of our sons and his wife yesterday, J & K.  While taking a short drive to the grocery store...doesn't everyone go to the grocery store just for fun while visiting someone? It was a Mejier!  I had never been to a Mejier Grocery Store but this won't be my last time.  Soooo much nicer than the dreaded WalMart....anyhow, back to "while taking a drive"... we came across two old abandoned farmhouses.  There were "For Sale" signs out front so doesn't that mean they're free game to pull in the driveway, look in windows or what once was a window and maybe even wander through the house.  If the door is unlocked and open, wouldn't you?

The architecture of old houses just blows me away.  The builders often took extra care in little details, like the embellishment above this window and the panel that was next to the front door.

I can only imagine what these windows looked like before they were salvaged or stolen.  I don't think they were just broken out as the ones that were missing were roundtops or might have likely been leaded or stained glass.  I'm hoping someone salvaged them and didn't just throw them out.

Can't you imagine a cozy sitting area in this corner of the house?

The houses had been vandalized with graffiti and plaster pulled off the walls to get to the copper wires which people steal and sell for cash. :(  Raccoons also seem to have taken up residence as evidenced by the gifts they've left behind. :(

Both of the homes were obviously high end homes in their day.  I would guess the above home to have been built in the early 1900's and maybe the one below in the 1930's or 40's.  

I can't help but wonder what these homes and the surrounding property might have looked like back in the day.  It makes me sad to see beautiful buildings fall into such sad shape.