Friday, September 30, 2011

Going MIA.... for the weekend. :)

Hello All!!

You read it right.  I am going to Dallas this weekend with a friend from my Virginia Beach days.  We will be doing SIX things (she only listed five).  1.  Shopping (Anthropologie, of course, because it's awesome) 2.  Eating (because ya gotta and because it's YUMMY) 3. Sleeping  (again, because ya gotta, not to mention I love sleep) 4.  Thrifting (because we love bargains) 5.  Going to a Cowboys game!!!!!  (because we WANNA) and 6.  Drinking LOTS of Coffee (because we LOVE TO!!!)  :)  Debra left off the coffee....maybe she was including it as part of eating...  *shrug* 

If you can't tell, I am super duper excited to get out of town this weekend sans kids - both her and mine - for a girls weekend. At my house they are planning "Man Cave" time.  That's their phrase, not mine. My hope is to return to a semi-clean house.  This means dishes clean, laundry waiting in baskets and not too much stuff cluttering the living room.  :) Oh, and not too many pizza boxes.  I am leaving food cooking in the crock pot and plenty of other supplies in the pantry and freezer.

So, my plan for tomorrow is to get up bright and early and begin baking.  It's Day 10 for my Amish Friendship Bread which means baking day.  I am making Lemon Muffins.  Hopefully they will be ready for the boys breakfast.  But that means getting up really early....  Maybe they would be better as an after school snack.  :)  Once they are off to school, I will finish packing, quickly clean house and get dinner started in the crock and head South to Lorena.  I MUST buy some coffee at the Texas Cheese House for the weekend. While in Lorena, I plan to shop and drink plenty coffee before heading North on 35 to Dallas for a weekend of FUN and FRIENDSHIP!!! 

I don't plan to BUY a lot this weekend, but I do plan to SHOP a lot.  I'm looking for personal style inspiration at the Anthro stores that I will attempt to duplicate elsewhere this Fall.  However, I've been snooping the sales on their site and may bring a couple of items home.  :) While there I will compile a wishlist of favorites to wait for second cuts.  There will be pictures of the ones I like.  Look for them next week.  :) 

Have a wonderful weekend and watch the Cowboys game Sunday afternoon.  Maybe you'll see me!!  :)  I can't believe I'm getting to go to a Cowboys game.  Dream come true!!!  Seriously.  Even though I'm now a Colts fan, the Cowboys are my second favorite. This Southern girl loves football.  I fully expect to lose my voice at the game screaming instructions from my seat....  Maybe it will work better in person.  They don't seem to hear me when I yell at the tv.....  

This was today's project....
I FINALLY have books in a bookshelf!!  It took two hours to find the ones I wanted - only had to go through about 15 boxes.  I've rearranged the remaining boxes in the garage so you can actually walk through there without fearing for your life.  Okay, it wasn't that bad, but close! 

This is going to be my project next week:

Cute, isn't it?  I will be sanding and refinishing it next week.  It's solid wood and totally adorable.  Someone decided to paint it black and attempt distressing it... NOT a good idea and not well done either. However, that's soon to be a thing of the past.  I can't wait to see the natural wood gleaming as I bring it back to life.  Ahhhhhh....  It is sitting here as a trial run to see how it will fit with the rest of the room.  It's going to be perfect.  :)

Today's work was done under the inspiration of coffee:  To be precise, Gevalia German Chocolate Cake with coconut cream flavored creamer.  Oh my, but it was delicious! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The First Step

We've all heard it.  The statement that makes us all cringe.  You know the one I'm talking about.  It goes something like this:  "The first step in overcoming your addiction is admitting you have a problem."  Today, I gave serious thought to this statement as I poured myself a big steaming cup of coffee.  I thought, "Do I have a problem???" 

Why would I possibly begin wondering something so crazy?  The sheer amount of coffee I drink per day has nothing to do with this thought.  "Ha! Of course it does," you scoff as you read the screen.  "Don't you know how much you rhapsodize about coffee on Facebook and on your blog? It's unhealthy!  It's insane! It's out of control.  Get a grip girl!"  You scream at the computer screen as if I can hear you.  I can't.  But, if it makes you feel better, go for it.  :)

 No.  I came to this disturbing thought today as I was talking with my 13 year old son, who arrives home first each day from school.  When he comes home, he's quiet, kind, funny, talkative and a general pleasure.  When his brother arrives home 15 minutes later, he turns into the polar opposite becoming loud, argumentative, disruptive and a general displeasure to everyone but himself.  He does NOT know why he does this, but he agrees it happens daily. 

But, I digress.  What shocked me today was my reaction.  As usual, we were at the kitchen island. He was sitting on the stool and I was standing across from him near the stove and more importantly the coffee pot.  As things escalated, I turned and immediately grabbed a fresh coffee cup, spooned sweetener into it, poured in the cream and inhaled deeply as I filled the cup with coffee.  I grasped the cup with both hands and brought it to my nose to savor the aroma of it.  I took a sip and held it in my mouth for a moment, inhaling deeply to really TASTE the coffee (it's Texas Pecan today, if you are wondering) much like someone savors their first sip of wine. 

As that thought entered my brain, I realized I was turning to coffee like an alcoholic turns to their drink of choice.  I was confronted with an uncomfortable situation and I turned to a drink.  Granted, it's "just coffee"...a drink that won't impair my ability to drive a motor vehicle or make decisions.  No blood caffeine limits have been set.  There is no breathalizer test to see if I've had too much coffee to drink today.  No way for anyone to really gauge if I've had too much - unless they are between me and the bathroom....but that can quickly get into TMI territory and I promise NOT to go there.  :) 

I've been debating this issue with myself ever since.  It's been a good 3 hours now.  I've had 3 cups of coffee during that time.  YES, I even know when I had my last cup of coffee.  Another sign/symptom?  I don't know.  What I DO know is that I'm a much nicer person when I'm drinking coffee.  I don't dare begin cooking breakfast without it if I don't want to burn every morsel.  I don't talk much until after the first cup either, to tell the truth.  It takes that first one to help me wake up and be "normal" and remotely "nice" as I'm not a morning person.  If it was up to me, everything would start at noon.  But, that's because I'm nocturnal (always have been) and I find getting up early to be highly over rated.  (oops, digressing again)

ANYWAY, believe it or not, I have come to the conclusion that YES.  I have a problem.  I drink entirely too much coffee.  There.  I said it.  It's "out there" for all to see.  I have another confession to make.  Lean in closely so you don't miss it.  It's this:  I am okay with my coffee drinking problem. It doesn't hurt anyone.  So far, there are no laws prohibiting it.  And, if there are, you'll find me on the black market scoring my free market, medium roast arabica beans along with all the other addicts. I know this.  I admit it freely and therefore I will continue my pot a day habit.  My family will be better for it.  They would agree if they were here reading over my shoulder, which they sometimes do (and it drives me crazy), because without my coffee I'm an unhappy Mama.  And, you know that saying too.  "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."  Therefore, I will continue to begin every day with a cup of coffee....and finish the pot before bedtime.

Already stated, but it bears repeating: Today's coffee is Texas Pecan with a spoonful of sweetener and a splash of half and half.  YUM.  Ahhhhhhh   

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Table Talk

Last night's blog went so well with me naming it AFTER typing it I am going to do it again tonight.  Who knows what potpourri of ponderings we'll end up with this time around!  Here we go!!!

Today has been a good day.  It really truly has.  I know this for a fact because we did something at the dinner table tonight that we once did almost every night when the boys were small to encourage conversation and to teach table manners.  It's a little game we call "Highs and Lows" where the Dad starts, then Mom and goes around the table starting with the eldest child and ending with the youngest.  Each person has to tell something GOOD that happened that day (their high) and something that wasn't good (their low).  As each person tells their high and low the rest of the family gets to celebrate, congratulate, and/or comment appropriately.  It was so awesome that we all had to THINK about our lows, but everyone was able to immediately come up with a GREAT high!  I love days like this. 

It was especially wonderful as my hubby and I sat at the table, watching and listening to the boys talk and laugh with each other.  Nights like this aren't rare, but they also aren't the norm.  Three teen age boys with testosterone raging, etc, make for some interesting nights. 

Today was finally the day I baked!  I've been working with my Amish Friendship Bread starter for a while now.  Wasn't able to bake on day 10.  And, didn't have time Sunday or Monday, so made it today.  Wow.  It turned out really good.  But, I have to ask WHO writes these directions??  At the end of the 10 days I'm supposed to have FOUR cups of starter.  Okay, let's do the math.  To begin the starter, you put in THREE cups of stuff (milk, flour and sugar) on day six you put in THREE MORE cups of stuff (again, milk, flour and sugar) and on day ten you put in FOUR AND A HALF cups of the same stuff.....and you are supposed to end up with FOUR cups of starter????  It was more like SEVEN.  I used 1.5 in baking tonight, kept 1 cup of starter going to use in 10 days and froze 4 other cups of starter to use later.  Or to give to friends - assuming I ever make any!!  And, I threw away the last half cup of starter as it wasn't enough to keep and I didn't want to make anything else tonight.  Other than that, I have absolutely no complaints about the recipe or how it turned out.  I made a dozen Lemon Muffins and a 9 x 13 coffee cake.  I haven't tried the coffee cake yet - just took it out of the oven - but the muffins are disappearing.  The boys LOVE them.  YIPPEE!!  We will definitely make muffins and lemon loaf with AFB a lot.  :)  I plan to try more recipes to see what else we like.  I certainly have enough starter....

I bought a new decorating magazine today.  These are turning into my new addiction as I'm working on decorating the house.  I want something "new" and a bit out of my usual comfort zone.  However, it still has to be comfortable for the family.  The magazines are giving me some great ideas.  Now to find the pieces and put them into the house.  The hardest part is prioritizing and making them blend together.  Next up will be sewing.  I have several projects I want to make as buying them is ridiculously expensive.  Plus, if I make them, they will be even more special.  At least, that is my hope.

Today was boring coffee again.  Tomorrow, however, I am trying a new coffee.  It is HEB Cafe Ole Houston blend.  The description says it is a rich Mexican coffee marvelously blended with a combination of praline and Texas pecan flavoring along with red coconut flakes for a finish that is smooth and delightfully sweet.  Sounds good to me.  I will let you know tomorrow if it also tastes good to me.

Speaking of tomorrow, I'm making another trip South to Killeen.  On my way home I plan to stop in Lorena for at least a cup of coffee at my new favorite local cafe and if I have enough time, I will browse a bit in the antique shop that I practically ran through last week when I only had 15 minutes to spare in there.  We shall see.  As I have some definite things to accomplish tomorrow and a timeline to stick with, I may not have time to do the fun shopping in between the bank, the exchange, the commissary and dropping off a package to my hubby at work.

Coffee pot is ready for tomorrow.  Now I need to finish my cup of hot tea (English Breakfast), wash my cup and go to bed.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Potpourri of Ponderings..... aka "A Bunch of Stuff"

Most days when I write a blog post I begin with my title.  It sets the mood and the tone.  It keeps me focused.  It shines a little light on what I think is important at the moment I open my page and begin to type.

Today is not one of those days.  I am feeling a little bit like a plate of spaghetti - all over the place.  My thoughts are twisting and turning, circling around and back again.  This could be scary or fun, in depth and shallow, funny and sad, or a combination of all the above.  Who knows!

What am I thinking right now?  That I LOVE football!!  Really, I do.  I tell my hubby all the time that he is a lucky man.  I not only love football, I will watch it with him all weekend long and any weeknight it's on too.  In fact, the game is on now (Go Giants!) and he's asleep while I am watching the game.  Not only do I love to watch football, I'm all about football food.  The weekend college games sees me making what we have come to call our "football buffet" on Saturdays.  I spend the morning cooking like crazy and then I put out a huge array of food so the kids, hubby and I can nosh to our hearts content for the remainder of the day.  Hubby and I are on the sofa cheering, yelling, jumping up and down, high fives, fist pumps, booing (sometimes) and trying not to spill any of our food while we enjoy our game.  The kids rush into the kitchen, fix a plate, eat quickly and rush back to their rooms in hopes we don't see them and encourage/force them into this weekend ritual. 

On the 17th, we had tons of fun with college football.  Our college (The University of North Alabama) played in Dallas at Cowboy Stadium!  We met other friends from UNA and went to the game, taking along our youngest son Patrick, who now understands the game a little bit better and says "it's not so bad".  Gee, thanks.  :)  Our team won!  We jumped, yelled, screamed, cheered, etc.  It was a BLAST!!!  After the game, we all headed to an awesome BBQ place across the street for some dinner and talk.  Somewhere there is a picture....but honestly, I'm not in the mood to find it.  Sorry.

While chatting with said friends, the ever popular Facebook discussion came up.  One of them has admitted to "never getting on" while the other hops on "about once a quarter". However, the both blasted me for talking about coffee so much?  Ummmmm.....hello?  I know I share my love of coffee and the frequency I drink it with everyone, but it's MY status update and if that's what I do all day every day, then isn't it okay that I put it out there for the world to see?  Am I overthinking this?  Am I taking it too personally?  So many questions, so few answers.  So what if I drink coffee and tell everyone about it?  If you don't like it, don't read my status updates! Rant over.  I think.

I miss my son.  You know, the one who left home to join the military recently.  He called us this weekend.  It was a short call, but it was such a good phone call.  His voice sounded so strong and clear and....almost happy.  We can really tell he's making that mental shift in his thinking and he's truly becoming a military man.  I am so proud of him.  So very proud.  It hurts to think that he's never going to live at home again -that he now has a life separate from us.  But, isn't that the one of the goals we strive for as parents?  To raise our children to become independent and go out into the world to live their own lives?  There are others, but this is the one I'm bothered by/with most at the moment.  I struggle with it at times.  But, I know this is what is right and good.  I am okay.  He is okay.  I will forever be his Mom and he will always be my son whom I love very much. 

Why are normal everyday activities so much louder at night after everyone but you has gone to bed.  I just fixed my coffee pot for tomorrow so the ever present elixer of life will be ready and waiting when I stumble out of bed in the morning.  Grinding the beans was incredibly loud.  I was afraid it would wake the neighbors!  Never mind opening and closing cabinet doors and the refrigerator.  Oh my.  How noises are magnified when the house is quiet.  Have you noticed this too?  Or is my house the only one that seems to echo and magnify the tiniest noises?

So, onto a deeper topic.  I'm still in search of a church.  Hubby had the day off due to a power outage at his place of employment.  This gave us time alone together where we could actually have a real conversation without the kids interrupting (something they should be past considering their ages) and time to talk about serious matters.  One of them being we aren't sure we are at the right church yet. We were able to identify things we want in a church and attitudes we want to find there. We will keep looking.  I know the right one is here, waiting for us.  Waiting to fill our needs and waiting for us to fill a need there with our talents and time.  To whom much is given, much is required.

Oh my goodness.  I had about 3 more paragraphs typed.  They were thoughtful, insightful, witty....all the things one longs to accomplish when writing a blog.  And, somehow, by the wrong keystroke of brush of the touch pad, POOF! They are gone.  *sigh*  I will never be able to reclaim them as they were.  Any attempt will be a mere shadow of the originals.  Thus I shall not try.

Or maybe I will in an abbreviated way.  And, as I go along, I will hit the SAVE NOW button and not depend on the page automatically doing it for me as it usually does.  *sigh*

So, I was saying how very much I am looking forward to my upcoming trip to Dallas with my friend Debra, lately from Virginia Beach and currently residing in Kansas.  We moved within weeks of each other.  It's going to be awesome to see a good friend again to shop, talk, shop, eat, shop, drink coffee, shop, talk more, shop, sleep, shop, let her go for a 10 mile run while I read/writing/sleep/whatever!, shop more....and did I mention, we are going to SHOP????  All four DFW area Anthropologie stores.  Oh yes.  I've been drooling over their merchandise from afar (via the internet) and am going to the stores.  Trust me, the countdown has begun.  :)

Mean girls aren't just in high school.  They are everywhere.  Or possibly they are simply self absorbed and/or unaware of their actions toward a newcomer. Today I felt alone in a room full of other women.  I don't know why they excluded me.  I do know how I felt afterwards.  It wasn't good.  However, I will survive, overcome and flourish despite this season.  It's one I've experienced before and will no doubt experience again.  My darling hubby reminded me that these times help me to grow and become a better who has compassion on others in similar situations.  Love my hubby and his wise words.  :)

Coffee.  Yes.  A pot at home.  A Venti at Starbucks.  A cup at Bible study.  All of them good in their own ways.  My Gevalia coffee pot is prepped and ready to begin brewing at 0545.  I anticipate the enticing aroma wafting thru the house and waking me, gently, with a smile.  Ahhhhh....the delight of cradling the cup in my hands and inhaling as the steam rises toward my face.  Savoring the first sip.  Smiling.  Then, waking my family and getting another day started correctly.  Coffee is a wonderful gift.

So, tell me, what did you think of the title?  I didn't name it until just before I typed this line.  Seriously!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Various and sundry stuff

Do you ever have one of those days where you feel like just letting it all out, no matter how ugly it is, no matter who you might hurt and/or no matter where the chips may fall?  I had one of those recently.  It was not a good day.  I've apologized to the person involved, but I still feel bad.  Just because I was having a bad day didn't give me the right to hurt someone else.  Now there is a rift in a relationship that may never fully heal.  No matter what "they" say, words DO hurt, and hurt deeply.  Especially when it's someone you love.

No further confessions on the above.  Just wanted to put it out there so the next time you feel like blasting someone and saying things better left unsaid, you will remember me and my situation and will stop yourself.  Consider this my PSA for today.

Moving on now. 

I have been doing quite a lot of shopping lately.  Not buying, mind you, but shopping.  Perhaps looking or browsing would be a better term for what I've been doing.  Over the past week I've spent, hmmmm, maybe $100 total for a few pieces I really want for our home.  After living here for 6 weeks I have a good feel for the house and how it should be decorated. 

Over the years I have accumulated many decorative items which have moved with us quite literally from sea to shining sea and now into the heartland (again).  I am selective which ones I use as each home has its own personality and its own "vibe" for lack of a better word.  Not to mention how we change as we move and grow.  It's exciting and challenging and fun.

I have pictures! Wanna see??  OK!

Isn't this bird precious? This picture was taken in the antique shop where I found it.
The bird is handpainted carved wood. The saucer is an antique the owner found on a buying trip to England. 
She didn't have the matching cup for the saucer.  Discount! :) Total for the 2 pieces was under $10.
They are displayed in the opening between our living and dining areas. 
Like this:
Sweet, isn't it? 
I love being able to see it from both rooms. 

The next item was displayed on a chair by a gorgeous pillow.
The chair and pillow did NOT fit my budget, but this tray, for $20, did.

After bringing it home, I decided to redo the grouping on my kitchen bookshelf.
Now it looks like this:

This grouping is evolving as I'm not satisfied with it yet.
But, it's getting closer every day. 

The next purchase was one I went back for the following day.  I took pictures and showed it to my hubby that night and explained where and how I want to use it. He liked the idea and agreed to the price - a mere $65 for this antique curio stand, which we later found came from the estate of Sadie Jo Black.  Ms. Black was the Head of Home Economics Dept at Baylor University for many years.  The shop owner acquired this piece at Ms. Black's Estate sale.  That's all we know about it other than it's absolutely darling and we are excited to have it in our home and as part of our family history now. 

It is currently in our living room helping take up wall space where more furniture will be soon, I hope.
Once the living room is completed, this piece will move into the kitchen/dining area.
It will be used to display some of my favorite family pieces of glassware.
Here are close ups of each shelf.
Notice the insets on the back of the piece and the drawer?  Aren't the precious?

This is a favorite relish dish from my Mom's house.
The cruette is something my Dad loves to collect.  He donated this to my first apartment.  I've never used it for its intended purpose.  However, I have displayed it many times over the years. 
The juicer was a wedding gift - to my parents 63 years ago.
I was thrilled when my Mom gave it to me. She has another one that's even older.
The salt and pepper shakers were a gift from my Grandmother Guttery when I was a teenager and decided to start a S&P collection. These were some of her first ones after she got married. 
I'm guessing they are probably 80+ years old. 
Precious to me, indeed.
The cup in front was my Dad's when he was a little boy.
He said it was in his Christmas stocking one year along with some candy and fruit and a couple other things.
When he found out I loved antiques and antique glassware, he gave it to me.
I was in my teens.  Come to think of it, it may have been a Christmas (or birthday) gift to me that year.  :)
The butter dish and creamer aren't antiques to my knowledge. 
But, they are special as my Mom gave them to me when I moved into my first apartment.

These shelves will be an ever changing display case in our home, depending on the season and my mood.

My hair was looking cute a couple days ago, so I had Patrick snap a shot of the back. 
As much as I love it short, I'm enjoying it as it gets a little longer and I can do different things with it.
This was a "good hair day". It looked better earlier in the day.  I'm trying to tame the curls instead of letting them have a ringlet riot all over creation as they do most days.  What do you think?  Should I cut it again or let it continue to grow?  It's a constant dilemma.

Today I attemtped more shopping for our bedroom.  We are having a mattress set delivered Tuesday which is a good time to purchase new bedding. I've been looking for a couple of weeks and finally found a set I liked, but wanted to check a few more stores.  As I found nothing I liked in those stores today, I purchased the one I saw a few days ago and brought it home only to find the sheet set was missing.  Granted it was on clearance and a reasonable price for the four pieces in the bag, but it was the principle of it!  Needless to say, I packed it into the bag and returned it to the store.  Now to continue looking for the perfect set. 

Thankfully, the day wasn't a total loss as I finally purchased a Welcome Mat.  I've been eyeing this particular one for a while and today decided it is the one to set the tone for entering our home.  It has the colors I want to use throughout the house.  Now to find more decorative items for the front porch that will echo the color scheme and theme.  Why do I believe that by the time I get it "just right" we will move? 

Enough for today.  I have many different topics in mind to write about soon.  Some of them dealing with my eldest son "flying" from the nest.  Some about finding my spot in a new community.  Some will be about future decorating/shopping adventures.  Some will deal with my evolving wardrobe.  Some will be about hair.  All will involve coffee.  :)

Speaking of coffee, yesterday I had the best cup of coffee in an adorable cafe/shop in Lorena, Texas called The Cheese Shop.  Not sure if it being made in a French press made a difference, but I am seriously considering buying one.  I bought a half pound of beans to brew at home as it was so delish.  The owner sells a variety of foodstuffs all from nearby areas.  However, he said he has to go to New Jersey to get his coffees.  The one I tried and bought yesterday is called Vermont Maple Crunch.  It is superb.  It has the lovely aroma of maple rising in the steam.  You taste it in the coffee, but it isn't sweet - unless you add sweetener.  I took mine with one splenda and one cream.  Perfection.  I sat and chatted with the owner - who makes his own cheese on site - while drinking the entire pot!  It was a fabulous cafe, a fabulous shop and a fabulous lunch and conversation.  I highly recommend the grilled club sandwich.  The queso blanca and mustard egg custard sauce gave it a certain something special. 

Oh...if you missed it in the above love for The Cheese Shop, today's coffee was Vermont Maple Crunch.  Not quite as special as yesterday (I think it's due to my slowly dying coffee maker) but still a satisfying cup of happiness.  I will brew it again and again. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Happy Day Indeed!

Most days are good days for me.  Well, except when I'm having one of those pity party days like I did recently.  But, all in all, it's a fair statement to say that, for me, most days are good days.  Well, today is a Happy Day Indeed.  When I checked the mail today there were TWO, count them - ONE, TWO - letters from Justin, our eldest son who is currently going through Air Force Basic Military Training (BMT).

Ahhhhhhh....  *BIG, HUGE, HAPPY Mommy sigh*......  It's so wonderful to hear from him.  To hold something he has held recently and to read the words of his heart as he shares with us his ups and downs from the first couple of weeks away from home.  He didn't hold back either, which we appreciated.  Even though it was hard to read how difficult this time is for him, it was also uplifting to see a few sentences down the page that he's making friends and certain things aren't "as bad as he thought it would be."  We miss him so much.  But, we are proud of him and the man he is and the man he is becoming.

So far, that's the highlight of my day.  It's going to take something exceptional to top getting two letters from Justin today.  Just thought I would share my heart on it for a bit.

I made cookies today for the boys after school treat.  They were so happy to come home to freshly baked cookies.  Yet again, I received the Mommy of the Year award from the boys as I made two kinds of cookies so everyone got a "favorite".  For Matthew I made Old Fashioned Southern Tea Cakes.  For those of you who went to Elementary school with me, these were the cookies my Mom always made for our class parties and decorated.  I didn't do that today as I chose the easy way and made drop cookies.  Much faster but still YUMMY!  For Daniel I made Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies.  Patrick loves both, so he was happy too.  However, his choice of snack today was tortilla chips with peach mango salsa. :)

Coffee:  Yes, plenty.  A mix of Kona and Sam's Choice (was at the bottom of the bag of Kona, thus supplementing with the other).  It was actually very tasty.  Varied the creamers today between Italian Sweet Cream and Peppermint Mocha.  Couldn't make up my mind.  BTW, the cookies were fabulous with coffee. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


So, I'm reading blogs belonging to my friends.  I want to comment. I attempt commenting.  Frustration abounds as I can not comment.  I finally had to create a new sign in for one (Debra) and another won't let me comment at all (Holly). To top that off, I can no longer comment ON MY OWN BLOG!  What really makes me crazy is I know it's my own fault. I was messing around with settings the other day and deleted a couple of things that had been allowed access to my profile, not realizing they allowed me to comment on blogs.  I have NO CLUE how to link them back to my profile.  I am frustrated. Very. 

Therefore, please do not be offended when I don't comment on your blogs.  I am reading.  I am trying to comment.  Really.  My hubby is my witness.  He's sitting right by me reading this as I type (which drives me crazy)....well, he stopped when I told him it was driving me crazy, but he heard me complaining about it.  Thus he is still my witness.  :) 

Know I love all my blogging friends and read your posts faithfully.  I will comment when I can....or text you....or something.... 

Now that I have vented my frustrations, I am off to wash the dishes and prepare to get up entirely too early tomorrow.  I have to take my van in for service bright and early in the morning.  *yawn*  Not looking forward to it, but it must be done.  Taking along two new books and possibly the laptop.

Tomorrow's coffee (the first one, at least) will be Starbucks.  After that, it will be something here at home.  Assuming I am not stuck there all day.  If so, I will have to find someplace nearby to drink coffee as I typically can't stomach the nasty coffee they have in service station waiting areas.  ICK.  *shuddering just thinking about it*

Today's coffee was the Sams Choice again with Italian Sweet Cream flavored creamer.  Tasty.  Very tasty.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sunday, Lovely Sunday!

Today is Sunday.  A day of bright, beautiful, blue skies and cooler temperatures.  Never thought mid 90s would be so.....comfortable?  Yes, comfortable.  Amazing how your perspective changes when the temps have been triple digits for weeks on end.  Here's looking forward to autumn!  :)

We attended another new church today.  I think we may have finally found "the one".  We loved the music and the message.  Checked out their tables in the foyer and found several different discipleship classes taught at a variety of times.  Talked with a couple different people there getting information about the church.  The kids liked what they saw and heard.  So, Wednesday, if nothing comes comes up, we will attend their mid week worship.  Assuming that goes well, we will be there early for Sunday School next week.  And, if that goes as well as we anticipate, we will have found our new home church.  I'm so happy.

I know what you are thinking.  What did I wear to church today?  This:

A LBD by H&M - love it!!
Luscious shoes by Alfani
Purse by 9 West

This afternoon was awesome.  We got a phone call from Justin!!  It was so fabulous to hear his voice.  Seems like it has been even longer than a week since we last spoke with him.  How I miss that son of mine.  He sounds homesick, but strong, and said it's very stressful.  I'm sure it is.  However, I know he will do well.  It was nice to hear  he "should've listened and gone to college." Yes, we parents DO know what we are talking about!!  I know that the day is coming - probably around the end of October at graduation - when he will be so glad of everything he went through....and he will forget ever saying the above.

Today I started a new project.  My plan is to write at least an hour per day.  Let's see if I can stick with it.  I did today and am very pleased with my progress.  Hubby read the beginning and said it was good.  Of course, that's his standard comment.  No complaints there!  However, I do need a reader who will give constructive criticism as needed.  I take it too personally when it comes from hubby. 

Coffee today has been lovely cups of Kona with a sprinkling of sweetener and plenty of cream.  Yum!

Happy Labor Day Weekend!  Be safe - no matter what you do!

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Van Chronicles

If you are my "friend" on Facebook you already know I had some problems today with the van.  I got up and did my morning chores and was ready to leave the house to grocery shop and generally waste time at a few stores.  I was barely a mile from the house when an alarm started chiming.  I quickly checked my dashboard and saw my engine temp was HOT.  Thanks to my Daddy, I have a LITTLE knowledge about engines.  Very little, but enough to know what to do.  I pulled over, lowered the windows, turned off the AC and turned on the heater and started letting the engine cool.  When it cooled enough, I drove home, parked on the street (level) and came into the house to text hubby and post on Facebook.  Nothing like sharing your grief and pain with the world.  Ha ha!

Once it cooled, I popped open the hood and took a look around:

Hmmmmm.....I don't see ANY fluid in the overflow tank thingie for the radiator......
Let's add some water.

Filled, tested and tried.  It's holding water!  I'm DONE!!

And, yes, I wore white Larry Levine capris and an H&M peasant top while working on the van. 
NO, I didn't get a bit of grease or dirt on them.
However, when I cooked dinner, I wore my apron. 

Photo credits go to Patrick.
The cooking shot was candid. 
 The van shots had to be recreated as I had no one  home to take pictures.  However, I really did work on the van in these clothes.....which were what I also wore to the football game tonight at hubby's school. 

BTW, did you see a little snippet of our neighborhood?  It's so pretty.  I love living here.

As for my headache, it must be from allergies.  I took an allegra this morning and once I got rid of the tiny headache that was just starting, I've felt fine all day.  Looks like I will be taking allergy meds daily again.  Not fun, but better than feeling horrible every day.  I'm just glad it didn't take me six months and 10 rounds of doctor visits to figure it out this time.  :)  

Have a great day.  Set your coffee pot now so it's ready in the morning when you awaken!  I'm heading off to prep mine now.  Will be doing a repeat of this morning's coffee.  Here's hoping I enjoy it as much tomorrow as I did today!!  I'm sure I shall. 

Thanks to the comments on my earlier post. For some reason, Blogger won't let me respond to the comments.  Weird.  So, I will comment now:   Debra, I have a Sams Club in town.  Will try your recommendation if they have it in stock on my next trip.  Peggy, thanks for the kind words.  Stress level is actually much lower than it has been in recent months.  Maybe it's a delayed reaction plus the allergies?  Who knows....  Dorothy, I'm also allergic to mesquite. Go figure, huh?  :)  

A Coffee Review

Good morning!

If you are wondering, yes, I am still dealing with the "I don't care" syndrome.  But, I'm TRYING to care.  That counts for something right?  Hope so. 

Anyway, I am currently trying to manage money over a month vs over 2 weeks as hubby now gets paid ONCE each month.  This is a bit of a struggle.  But, I know it can be done.  I have put together what appears on paper to be a reasonable budget.  I plugged it into an Excel spreadsheet and am now spending about 5 minutes per day putting in grand totals under each heading to make sure we stay "in the black".  It's not *too* time consuming and is a huge eye opener as to where our money actually goes each month.  To be quite honest, it has kept me from frivolous shopping more than once. 

Due to this (and the fact that I have a Gevalia shipment due to arrive in the next 10 days) I decided yesterday to try a different brand of coffee to save a few extra dollars.  Now, you all know how much I love my coffee.  By now, I'm sure you've all realized I don't care for cheap coffee - unless it is exceptional.  So, when in Wal-Mart yesterday I decided to explore their coffee aisle in hopes of finding something inexpensive to try.  What I found was Sam's Choice House Blend coffee. It's a medium roast Arabica coffee.  I woke to the lovely aroma of brewing coffee at 6:00 this morning.  Lovely aroma.  Can't say that enough.  When I poured my first cup - a little sweetener and a splash of half & half so I could taste the coffee - I was pleasantly surprised.  At just under $6.00 a bag, it's not exactly "cheap" but it IS less expensive than most of the coffees I buy.  And, a dollar or two or three each bag adds up over time.  Especially when you consider how much coffee I drink per month!  Rest assured, I won't be drinking this coffee ALL the time.  I must have my variety of blends from Starbucks and Gevalia and Ghirardelli and Dunkin Donuts, et al. but I will have this on hand for the days I want a good simple basic cup (okay, POT) of coffee. 

Enough coffee talk.  *looking around wildly*  WHO said THAT??  :) 

Today is another "busy" day ahead for me.  I must finish grocery shopping.  Had to stop early yesterday as a killer headache attacked me.  This has been happening more frequently since returning to TX.  I'm afraid a trip to the allergist may be in order.  Obviously it is something here causing it as I wasn't plagued with headaches prior to moving back to TX.  *sad face*  This morning I plan to take some OTC allergy meds to see if that will help.  Praying it does. I do not enjoy feeling bad all day and most of the night.  Yesterday it was just shy of a migraine. Since I'm having headaches daily and each day it's worsening, I know I must get it under control asap.  Otherwise, it's a trip to a new doctor for me - and I really don't like going to the doctor.  At all.  Ever.  Prefer doctors to dentists though....  Oh wait, they are both doctors, so the above statement is technically correct.  HA!  Take THAT doctors! 

Yes, I'm silly this morning. 

Tonight my hubby wants me to attend a high school football game with him.  It's at the school where he is teaching and "his" NJROTC cadets will be doing the flag presentation tonight.  It will be fun to go watch.  I have my outfit picked, ironed and ready!  Now, to feel well.  I may go even if I don't feel well for the first half to show support for my hubby and the cadets.

That's it for this morning.  Time to finish a letter to Justin, clean house and finish grocery shopping.  It's a bright beautiful day.  The only thing that would make it better would be a nice lovely soaking rain.  TX needs one desperately.