Monday, July 21, 2014

HELLO Monday

This Monday finds the pitter patter of a little 5 year old boy's feet at our house.  We picked Clancy up yesterday and he's sharing some special time with his CiCi and Poppa for a few days before his Momma comes to reclaim him.  I can assure you that he will give us a "run for our money" and we'll be in "recovering mode" once he is gone. ~oh, the energy of a 5 year old~ But, there is absolutely nothing like a little warm body joining you in bed about 5:30 AM for a little snuggling before beginning the day. ~sweet, sweet~  Now for a HELLO or two......
Hello fun, fun gathering................
Last Thursday afternoon my sweet friend, Nancy, had all of our Sunday School class over to her lovely home for dessert and coffee.  Nancy moved into her new home about a year and a half ago from the home she had and her family had lived in for more than 25 years.  Sadly,Nancy, became a widow about 5 years ago and has faced some life changing adjustments since her husband's death. Nancy has handled these adjustments with such style and grace and been a real testimony to God's unfailing faithfulness in the tough seasons of life.  
Nancy's home is so warm and welcoming and rates at the top of my list of "favorite houses."  She carefully thought through each detail and it is obvious.  It is perfect retreat for her.
Georgia, Phyllis, Kathy and Kathy
Nancy pulled out her china and silver to serve us on.
Fay and Beth
She and another of our class members made a delicious lemon dessert and a wonderful pineapple/coconut dessert.
Pat, Nancy and Mary Lynn
We are a close knit group of ladies and always enjoy a time of being together and visiting
Melissa and Gerri
We have been by each other's side through the birthing of our babies, and the raising of our children. We've shared  times of rejoicing and times of great grief. 
Nancy, Velma and "yours truly"
There's just nothing like a great group of "church ladies" that are like sisters and stick closer than a brother.

And, that's my HELLO Monday for today!

NOTE: I'll likely be "hit or miss" this week while I'm busy making
 some precious memories with my family.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Fragments

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Joining up with Mrs. 4444 for some Friday fragments......

I am a big fan of American Family Radio (AFR) and listen to it daily.  One of my favorite features is "JJ and Ron in the Morning" (from 6:00 - 9:00AM).  Five years ago yesterday JJ and his wife Melanie's 5 year old son, Cooper, was killed while he and JJ were riding on a dune buggy.  It was very tragic and JJ and Melanie have written the above book to share their story of grief in the hopes of ministering to others.  I have not read the book yet but I have seen the documentary, Flame On, that they did 2 years ago where much of the book is talked about.  I cannot recommend it enough!  If you or someone you know is grieving a loss, especially of a child, you might want to get this book and give it to them as a gift. You can order it here from AFR.

Just a quick update on the house construction.  It was a busy week but you might not can tell that by the above photos.  The footings were dug (middle photo) and filled  for the regular foundation  and hopefully the regular foundation will be poured the first of the coming week.  It's needs a good rain on it first and it appears that the good Lord is going to do just that today.  Many of you have questioned me about the "block foundation" and I think the best way to tell you is just to say that by having a block foundation it allows us to have steps leading up to the front door.  A regular foundation does not allow that, the front door is ground level.  Our house will be raised about 3 feet.  Maybe that helps you to understand a little better.  And, might I add, it takes much, much longer to build a block foundation, thus, we're in our 5th week of construction and nary a stud has gone up yet.  But, it won't be long now and then you will really be able to see progress. I can't wait!

We are going to pick up this little fella on Sunday and he'll be with us about 3 days and then his Momma will come for a few days before they head home.  This will be our first time ever to have him by himself but they now live close enough that this is possible.  He's about to start Kindergartner and life will never be the same but it's all a part of life.  We look forward to spending this special time with him.

Okay, thought you might be interested in this new chicken dish I did last night for our dinner.  I say new because it's new to me.  My DIL told me about it and it sounded good so I gave it a whirl.  Spray Pam on the bottom of a dish (to fit how many breasts you may be doing), then put strips of raw bacon on the bottom of the pan. Then season the breasts to your liking and then wrap them with raw bacon.  Cut up potatoes, carrots and onions and sprinkle throughout the breasts and sprinkle with salt and pepper and add about 3/4 cup of chicken broth for some liquid. Cover tightly with foil or cook in lidded container.  Cook at 350 degrees for up to an hour and a half.  Ovens vary, but I would imagine it would take at least an hour in any oven.  I baked mine an hour and a half.  It's very tasty and we liked the potato, carrot and onion mixture with the chicken.  Easy peasy!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

So glad for another Wednesday and another Hodgepodge.  These questions provoked a good bit of thought on my part and that's a good thing.  It's called "exercising the brain."  Enjoy!

1. The month of July was named for Roman Emperor Julius Caesar. He's quoted as saying, 'Experience is the teacher of all things." So what has experience taught you lately?

That the best things in life really are FREE, such as time with family making memories, enjoying peace and quiet and being still. Society has us thinking if we are not busy, busy then something is wrong and also gives us the feeling that money does buy happiness.  

2. Where did you last 'roam'?

Humm....I guess we roamed to our daughter's in Mt. Pleasant, Texas two weeks ago.  It was our first visit and we weren't exactly sure where we were going, so guess we roamed until we found their home.  Yes, we did use our navigation but believe it or not it does not pick up where they live due to some road construction in their area. Road construction tends to play havoc with GPS systems.

3. Speaking of 'Rome', pasta, can only pick one, which would you choose?

Well, if I can only choose one then it would have to be pizza and I'd hope it was brick oven style.  Although, homemade pizza is one of my specialities (if I have a speciality) and I seldom eat any that is any better. ~no brag, just fact~ 
4. 'Rome wasn't built in a day', 'All roads lead to Rome', 'When in Rome...' which 'Roman' idiom have you most recently encountered? Explain.

I suppose since we are in the process of building a new house that I will have to remind myself often that "Rome wasn't built in a day" and neither will our house.  But, thankfully, we are in no rush and it doesn't really matter how long it takes.

5. What's a movie you've seen or a book you've read, that makes you want to book a trip to Italy?

"Room With A View" was filmed in Florence and I watched it a few months ago and the scenery was awesome.  And, I have several friends that have been to Italy and they have all given "rave reviews" of their time there.  But, I'm not much into overseas travel so it's doubtful that I'll ever go.  I'll just enjoy hearing about it.

6.  Walt's original Disneyland opened almost sixty years ago, on July 17, 1955  Have you ever been to the California park? How about any of the other Disney parks around the world? What's your favorite amusement park ride or attraction?

Yes, I have been to Disneyland and  have been to Disney World in Orlando several times.  I love the "It's A Small, Small World" attraction in The Magic Kingdom.  The music is so, so cute and all the animation of the different people around the world is amazing.

7. It's that time of year...when were you last bitten or stung?

Here in our neck of the woods we are overrun with mosquitoes and
and most anytime we are outside in the evening I feel the little "fella" gnawing on my ankles.  I think my last bite was probably this past Saturday but thankfully they do not cause me a lot of issues. Now, my little Princess, when she gets a bite, it is awful!

  8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
 As most of you know I've had shoulder/neck issues for the past several months.  I first saw a shoulder specialist and after two visits, he informed me that he thought that my shoulder issues were likely neck issues.  I saw a highly regarded  Neurologist in Shreveport a couple of weeks ago and he surmised from my MRI that I had a bone spur pinching a nerve.  He referred me to a Pain Clinic in Monroe for Cervical Epidural injections.  I had the first one today (under conscious sedation) and so far, I'm not really feeling any relief.  But, the Dr. did say that it could take 48 hours, so I'm hopeful.  Thankfully my discomfort is not unbearable and is more just aggravating than anything.  My main issue is sleeping and laying on my left side and that is generally not possible and I LOVE sleeping on my left side.  Time will tell. *Added note: I wrote the above part last night and it is this morning and I was able to sleep on my left side last night without any discomfort at all.  So, perhaps we are making progress and I'm sure encouraged.

Monday, July 14, 2014

HELLO Monday.........

It's Monday and that means it's time for some HELLO's............

 Hello clean doggies.......
This past weekend was "bath time" for Roscoe and Rhett.  Roscoe loves a bath, Rhett, not so much.  Hubby is very faithful to pretty much assume the full time care of these two.  I love like them but I don't really care to get involved in the day to day care of them.~shame on me~   And, might you know, they both love me dearly.  I know, I should feel awful, but I don't.  They are great dogs but I'm just not a huge animal lover.  I will definitely miss them when they are gone because they are always the first ones to greet me when I come in and will come to the back glass door and look at me with those endearing eyes.  

Hello Funfetti fun......

 Pillsbury has definitely worked their magic on their line of Funfetti baking items.  I saw this new item at the grocery the other day and knew that it was something Hanna Beth and I were going to have to do.  It was Vanilla Glazed lil Donut Kit.  It instructed you to form the balls out of the dough and I just added the candy sticks to them for the fun of it and they worked like a charm.  I baked them in the balls so that they would stand a better chance of staying in the dough.  HB especially enjoyed dipping them in the glaze and sprinkles after they had baked.  She could hardly wait to taste them and when she did, she spit it right back out.  She said, "CiCi, I do NOT like these."  It was so funny!  So, I decided I would give them a try and found them to be very, very good.  They tasted exactly like a cake donut.  But, HB is a glazed donut girl and these just did not appeal to her.  But, it didn't lessen the fun she had making them. 

Hello "Bread and Wine" book....
 I am quite sure that you have most likely heard of this book by Shauna Niequist.  It came out just a few months ago and I've read about it on several blogs and just haven't stopped to order it until last week.  Shauna refers to it as "a love letter to life around the table with recipes."  And, that is exactly what it is. Shauna refers to the family times and relationships that are enriched around the table during a meal.  It has caused me to look at meals shared with others in a whole new light and I highly recommend the book.  And, no one is paying me or ask me to promote Shauna's book, but it is such a good book that I wanted to share my "two cents" worth with you. ~aren't you glad~

Hello house progress.....
 NOT!  That's right, there's nothing to report this week.  We needed rain to settle the dirt inside the block foundation and ended up having to make our own rain by sitting up a sprinkler.  It ran for 48 hours and did the trick.  And, then Mother Nature decided it needed some more water and it came a downpour a day after that.  That prevented the men from working because the dirt was then too wet.  So, they will be back in the morning and hopefully can get the footings dug, the block foundation closed in and then pour the concrete.  That will likely take this whole week.  But, we are not under any time constraints, so it's all good.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday Letters

I felt the need for a little letter writing today.  It's always fun to share and get a few things off my chest ............
Dear Vera Bradley....I am very surprised that your retailers do not get quite "miffed" at you for the fantastic sales you are always running on your website.  I have NEVER paid full price for one piece of you and I have a lot of you and have given "bookoodles" of you as gifts.  My last swoop through your website was for a whopping 75% off. I don't see how your retailers can even compete with you.

Dear Moms of Teenage daughters....I am constantly amazed at how some of you post pictures of your teenage daughters clad in skimpy bikinis all over Facebook.  I mean, really!?!? Is not anything sacred anymore........~sorry if I offended someone~
Dear HGTV....since we have been in "house building mode" I enjoy watching you more than ever.  The ideas are endless, now for me to just be able to decide which ones I can and can't use. Makes me wish we had a "money tree" growing in the front yard. ~big smile~

Dear's enough to put up with all the endless rules and regulations we now have to deal with, but now most of your tickets are skyhighI'm going to be getting tickets for Hubby and I to go to Las Vegas the end of September and I am shocked at how much these "puppies" are going to cost. 
   Dear there ANYTHING that you do not sell????

Dear Gals....I was reading yesterday that hair is going from flat back to poofy.  Oh, my, just about the time we all jump on board with the latest styles, they change.  Wonder just how poofy they are talking about.  Guess time will tell.

Dearest once said to me, "once you are a Momma, you are always a Momma."  Well, that is so, so true!  Even with my children being way past grown, I still fret and stew over their well-being each and every day.  Not necessarily in a worrisome way, it's just they are never far from my thoughts.  And, add their spouses and the Grans, and it's alot of thinking going on in this head of mine every day. ~love them more than they know~

Dearest Daddy....I'm still rejoicing over how well you have done these past 4 months.  Just unbelievable and it makes me so happy.  God is so, so good!!!

Dear Hubby....I so appreciate your attention to details.  I have no doubt our new house will be all the better because of the way you have pondered and thought through each and every detail and now are overseeing the construction with a very keen eye.  

Dear Fellow Bloggers....I'm doing my best to come up with a plan for a big "pajama party" for us.  No joke, would that not be so much fun.  I feel like some of you are such dear friends, yet I've never even laid an eye on you.  Surely there's something we can do about that. ~what fun~


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

I have missed two weeks of the Hodgepodge and I have sure missed it.  It doesn't seem like Wednesday when I don't participate.  I'm not really sure when Joyce finds the time to "dream up" the questions but perhaps she does it while she's doing a hundred other things.  Whatever, we appreciate her faithfulness.

1. July is National Anti-Boredom Month. When was the last time you were bored? What's your go-to cure for boredom?
Hum......I cannot even remember the last time I was bored.  I find that there is always something to do, someone to see or a good deed to be done.  I mean when you have a house, there are always closets that need to be cleaned, drawers that need to be organized and on and on the list goes.  It's not that I necessarily enjoy such jobs, but it has to be done and if I can't think of anything else to do then I'll tackle one of them and it certainly takes any and all boredom out of life. ~smile~

2. What's the last thing you made a reservation for?
Hubby and I eat with friends most every Sunday at the country club we are members of and they require reservations.  So, we made reservations this past Sunday.

3. What's one thing on your summer 'bucket list'? Any plans to make it happen?
Since we are building a house we will not be going on any long trips for sure.  We will make a couple of short trips but guess you could say that I don't have a "bucket list" this summer.  But, on the other hand, I ponder a lot just exactly how our move from this house (we lived in it 33 years) to our new house is going to transpire.  It makes me dizzy just thinking about all the packing that is going to have to happen.  So, guess I could say that coming up with the easiest possible plan of moving is on my summer bucket list.  We will not be moving until next Spring but I intend to begin the "going through and getting rid of" process this fall.  I can't wait!!! 

4. What's your favorite summertime sip?
Ah,a medium unsweet tea with a tad of cranberry flavoring from Sonic.  It's doesn't get much better in my humble opinion.

5. What do you find is the best way to handle another person's hostility and hopefully ease the tension?
Just do not "go there" with them - not sure that always works but it sounds good anyway.  I don't have a lot of experience in this.

6. Your favorite film set in summer?
Hands down, GREASE!!!  John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John rocked it out in that movie and the music was the BEST!  I  might have to watch it again one day soon (perhaps if I get bored). 

7. What word are you using too much lately?
I'm not too sure if I say it all that much, but when I am writing I tend to overuse the word "just" if I am not careful.  I'm not sure why, but guess I must really like the word.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Well, where is the rain when we need it?  Our contractor had hoped that he would be pouring the regular foundation for our house by week's end, but that's not going to happen now.  The dirt that they filled inside the blocks has not settled and it must settle and that generally takes a good rain.  So, since we haven't had rain, Hubby took them hoses and a sprinkler and it ran around the clock  Monday and Tuesday.  Hubby was faithful to go and move it every few hours so that all of it is covered in water.  And, rain is predicted for today, so it may get another dose.  But, Hubby says the more it settles the better the foundation.  So, sounds good to me.  But, I'm just ready to see sticks going up in the air!

Monday, July 7, 2014

HELLO Monday

It's another Monday, the beginning of a new week and only 24 more Mondays until Christmas. So, not too early to start your Christmas shopping.  And, what better time to start than with the sales going on right now.  Okay, now on with HELLO Monday...........
Hello Mt. Pleasant.........we went over to visit our daughter and her family this past week.  It was our first time to visit them since they moved from "the far country." ~smile~  They have a house and about 6 acres and Clancy is in "hog heaven."  He can fish, ride his bike, shoot his BB gun and romp with the dogs.  It's a little boys paradise.  Just in case you haven't heard me say it before, we are so thrilled to have them so close!!!!

 Hello K and K' the Crook gals.  This is (l to r) Margarite, Kathy and Kristy and they make up the staff at one of the most fun shops I have ever been too.  K and K's was the "brain child" of Kristy and is she ever passionate about the business. I have known Kristy and her Mom for many years and Kristy went to school with my kids.  It's such fun to see kids all grown up and doing what they love and being successful.  I'm thrilled for her!
My friend Gerri and I went over July 4th to check it out and we ended up staying for 2 1/2 hours.  We had so much fun looking at everything and visiting with them.  And, they served up some delicious snacks and we enjoyed those too.  I don't know that I've ever been to a shop that has such a diversity of items.  They have children's and women's apparel, jewelry, candles, kitchen items and home decor out the "wazoo."  And, it didn't hurt that the clothing items were 40-50% off and everything else was 20% off.  The shop has such flair and I'll definitely be going back shortly.
Added note for locals - this shop is located on the Oak Ridge Highway, halfway between Mer Rouge and Oak Ridge, and is open 6 days a week from 10:00AM - 5:00 PM.  If you haven't been over you need to definitely go check it out!!!
Hello cute, cute little girl clothes.........these are some of the items I walked away with from K and K's for my little Princess. I don't know that I've ever seen a better selection of children's clothes and as I said, to get them 40-50% off is just "icing on the cake."  I get plum giddy thinking about her in that blue jean vest.  I mean really, is it not the cutest!!!
  Hello new house progress.......well, it may not look like it, but a lot of progress was made last week and it was only a 4 day work week for the guys.  The preliminary plumbing was put in and once the preliminary electrical "stuff" is done then they will pour the regular foundation and that may be before the end of the week. And, they poured the garage and shop foundations.  So, we are moving right along.

Hello beautiful patio plants..........our patio plants have thrived this summer!  Our Mandavilla's (left hand pic) are just blooming their little heads off and the Caladiums are happy, happy and the ferns are about to burst out of their pots.  Of course, they pretty much require daily watering and thus far the weather has not been terribly hot.  But, it's just the first of July, so I'm sure the heat will zap them in the weeks to come, but for now, we're sure enjoying them.  
And remember.........