Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's Wednesday and that means the Hodgepodge link-up.

1. It's National Waffle Day (August 24th)...what decision are you currently 'waffling over'? (or share one you've recently 'waffled over')

I've been working on a few little decorating issues here at the house the past couple of weeks.  It's not prominent decorating but none the less, I wanted these areas to have a "touch of decor." So, I've been trying to pick out and decide on just the right touches. ~these will be featured in another post! I've waffled a bit in my choices.


2. It's the middle of August, but I'm already seeing lots of autumn-related posts. Do you think we rush the seasons? If so, does that bother you? I saw (here) an end of summer bucket list that included-
make s'mores, read a new (or favorite) book in the park, eat something delicious and bad for you at a state fair, be a tourist for the day, have a pot luck picnic, book a last minute summer getaway, relax by or in the pool, take a hike to watch the sunset, have a day on the lake, try a new summer recipe
Which activities on the list might you squeeze in before summer officially comes to a close? 

We definitely rush the seasons but, I must admit, I'm quilty of rushing fall because I am tired of this hot and humid summer.  I really think we should just let well enough alone and allow the seasons to come and go as they so desire.  It's crazy to go into stores and already see Christmas.

I don't have to take a hike to watch a beautiful sunset, we generally have one most everyday here on the hill.  None of the above mentioned activities will likely be squeezed into my summer.


3. Your favorite summertime 'art' found in nature?
Well, the lush green of the grasses and the trees and the beautiful blooms on all the flowering plants.  Of course, in our part of the country, that usually means a whole lot of watering to keep it all green and blooming.  Always a price to pay for beauty. ~grin~

4. Stephen R. Covey is quoted as saying 'We judge ourselves by our intentions, and others by their actions.' Agree or no? Do you define yourself based on your intentions, your actions, or something else? 

It's often easy for us to hold ourselves to a different level of accountability than others. I think I define myself by my actions.  And, I try to stay constantly aware that my "actions speak louder than words."  That will keep you on your toes for sure!


5. Are you useful in a crisis? Elaborate. 

Well, I generally have to have my initial reaction and then I pull myself up by my boot straps.  I am then ready for the task at hand.  And, I've encountered a few crisis that I have amazed myself as I stepped up to the plate.  So, yes, I think I am useful.
 

6. What's been your go-to dish this summer? Is it something you'll continue making as the seasons change?

I tend to do a good bit of grilling in the summer and we've had grilled boneless chicken breasts almost every Monday for dinner.  I'm not sure why this happened, but as fall comes, it will definitely change.  I'll be more into soups, stews, gumbo and chili.  I love cooking "pots of" meals!


7. Adult coloring books are a thing now. Have you jumped on the bandwagon? If not is this something you think you might enjoy?
I did buy one along with the pencil colors and I colored one picture and it just did not "grab me" like I thought it might.  I'd much rather be listening to a book on Audible.
 
8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I've been waiting all summer for the Hallmark Chesapeake Shores series to begin.  It began on Sunday night, August 14th and even after only 2 episodes, I'm hooked.  Now, Hallmark had better not do with this series as they did with the Cedar Cove series.  They just stopped it after 3 seasons.  I mean really, just decided to leave all of us hanging, never to know how it all ended.  So, I'm hoping to be able to see Chesapeake Shores to the very end.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Monday's Musings



Another week has dawned and I have no doubt that the dear folks in the Southern part of our state may not even know what day of the week it is.  The devastation that they are experiencing is just unbelievable and the road to their recovery will be a l-o-n-g one.  And, no doubt, there are those that may never recover from their losses.  It is has been most inspiring to see so many coming to their aid and the support being given by their fellow man.  So inspiring to see!

Today's post will be an overload with the Grans, thanks for indulging me!
 Our Clancy man is a big 2nd grader this year.  He told his Momma on the 2nd day of school, this past Thursday, that it was the best day of his life ever.  I'm thinking that has to mean he is a most happy 2nd grader.  And, yes, that's a "bobo" on his little chin. But, what's a boy without a 
few battle wounds. ~grin~

Our Princess had her first day of FIRST grade this past Friday.  I can't get over how all grown up she is looking.  Her Momma was more than a little impressed when she went to Meet the Teacher night.  Hanna Beth had a good first day but did comment that recess wasn't as long as she had hoped.  Awe, little girl, growing up is tough! 
Bridget is so thankful that Clancy is able to attend the same school where she teaches.  He is just down the hall from her.  Bridget teaches 3rd grade and loves it.  Bless her heart, last year was a doozy of a year due to the early arrival of little Coleman, but she is hoping for smooth sailing this year as he is just days away from being a year old. I think she probably functioned on "auto pilot" for most of last year. ~laugh~
And, our little Sweetheart went back to her sitter when her Momma started back to school.  Andi Kate loves carrying her own bag. She's Miss Independent!  And, as you can see, it is just about as big as she is.  And, by the way, she is 18 months old and potty trained.  She is 18 months going on 6!  Such a delight!  And, I must give a shout out to my DIL who is a Special Ed teacher.  This job is not for the faint of heart and to me it is a definite "calling."  All teachers deserve a crown in my book but Special Ed teachers deserve some extra jewels in theirs. ~just sayin'~
And, what better after school treat is there than a snow cone?

And, what better way to celebrate the first week back to school than with a trip to the zoo.

I pray my Grans and their teacher Moms will have a wonderful new school year.  May any problems be easily solved, may their stresses be few and may they feel the presence of the Lord as they go through each day.

And, I leave you with this............
 


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge


It's Wednesday and once again, Joyce has provided us her mind stretching questions.


1. I read here four creative activities to try this month. They were-calligraphy, make your own cookbook, dance or learn a new type of dance, and letter writing. Which activity on the list appeals to you most? Will you add it to your August? 

I will not be adding any to my August for sure, it's full enough.  But, I have taken calligraphy, made my own cookbook and done a whole lot of letter writing over the years.
 

2. Bertrand Russell is quoted as saying, 'To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.' Agree or disagree? Explain. 

I agree.  If we had everything we wanted there would be nothing left to want (not just material things) and life would not really have any purpose.  We need to keep desiring, while also being content with what we have, until the day we die.  ~did that make sense~


3. August 17th is National Thriftshop Day...are you a 'thrifter'? If so, tell us about one of your best or favorite finds. 

I do love a deal!  And, a recent find was about two weeks ago at the big Dillard's summer sale was my most recent "find."  I snagged a $285 Michael Kors handbag for $78.  It was the exact style that I prefer and in a golden tweed fabric trimmed in brown leather.  Yes, I do love a deal!



4.  On a scale of 1-10 (with 1= almost none and 10=loads) how would you rate your sense of wanderlust? What kicks your wanderlust into high gear? 

Probably about a 5, not too much or too little. I do enjoy traveling and Hubby and I do a fair amount.  It's not always extravagant travel but we've had our share of that as well.  I'm thinking we  might enjoy going on another cruise, just haven't thought about where. But, there's  still so much of the US that we haven't seen that we might ought to do that.  We both enjoy home an awful lot as well.


5. Has life felt more like a marathon or sprint so far this month? How so?

Just a sprint, not too busy.  My biggest job this month has been keeping the Princess for 9 days.  Her Mom started to work last week but Hanna Beth doesn't start until this Friday.  Her Mom works in the parish system and HB goes to a private Christian school.  And, why all schools can't be on the same schedule is beyond me.  I think it should be a requirement that all schools share the same schedule, but they didn't ask me. ~wish they had~ 
 

6. What do you need to get a jump on before fall officially arrives? 

I start thinking of fall once Sept. arrives and my Sept. is filled to the brim with activities.  The clubs I belong to all start back and I'm responsible for the  meal in Sept. for the study club I'm a member of.  And, I am hosting our Bunco group in Sept. Then, my brother is coming for a visit and I'm giving our son a 40th birthday dinner celebration.  I have made a lot of headway on all of these and  hopefully they will all come off without a hitch.  I'm all about advance planning!


7. What's the last thing you did with friends or family where you lost track of time? 

Last week when I went to the painting party.  It was "suppose" to be from 6-8:00PM but the first time I looked at my watch it was 8:15.  Times does fly when you are having fun!


8. Insert your own random thought here.
 I have had 2-3 blogging friends and 2-3 extended family members check on us in regards to the horrible flooding in South Louisiana.  We are just fine here in the NE section of the state.  We are getting a lot of rain but nothing to worry about.  But, our friends in the Baton Rouge and surrounding areas are in a terrible way.  Our flooding at this end of the state in March was just awful but this flooding tops what we experienced.  I so appreciate everyone's concern and it will be many a month before that area can ever recover.  Really sad and heartbreaking!


Monday, August 15, 2016

Monday's Musings



It's the 3rd Monday in August and we only have 18 more Monday's left until Christmas.  Oh, my! is it time flies when you are having fun or is it, the older we get the faster it seems to go.  I'm going with the having fun!
A couple of weekends ago Hubby and I went to an open house of some church friends.  They built a gorgeous Mediterranean style house on a lake about 60 miles from here.  The house was perfectly thought out and had many awesome features.  But, one of my favorite things is the house was the back of the stairs.  Each was done in a different tile and I thought they were just beautiful and I've never seen anything like this in a private residence.  The choices are so vast when building a home, it's just making up your mind that's the issue. ~from one who knows~
I have wanted to go to a paint party for a long time so last Thursday night I did just that.  A gal in our town has a "paint gathering" every month at one of our local businesses.  This month we painted a sunflower and I was pretty pleased with mine, especially since it was my first attempt and I do not have an artistic bone in my body.  Now, I cannot tell a lie or deceive you, our instructor had sketched the outline on to the canvas for us.  We did not have to free hand it.  There were 9 of us and we all knew each other and we talked, laughed and did a little painting inbetween.  It was loads of fun and I plan to go back next month when we will paint a pumpkin. 

When my sister in law was here 2-3 weeks ago she mentioned that a big pot with a plant in it would sure be pretty between the garage doors.  I was like, duh, why didn't I think of that.  So, the next day we were out and about and found this pretty pot that seemed to be perfect for the spot.  Hubby got it all planted and put in place this past week and I'm pleased as can be.  I guess the possibilities are endless as to the many touches one can add to the inside and outside of a house.  We are in the process now of talking to a guy about handrails for the front porch.  Stay tuned............~it never ends~

This precious little guy feel sound asleep the other day eating his lunch.  He was at his sitters and she sent this picture to Bridget.  Is that not just adorable?  Poor little guy had  hung on as long as he could and it was time for a nap, lunch or not.

 Blessings for a wonderful new week!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

An Olympic Hodgepodge


Ah, yes, it's all about the Olympics today.  Joyce always comes up with such thought provoking questions and today is certainly no exception. 

1. Are you watching the Olympics? Your favorite summer Olympic event? I read recently a list of the most iconic Olympic moments in history...what stands out in your mind as a great moment from some past summer Olympic games?
I'm watching them some but am certainly not glued to them.  I know, perhaps I should be but I'm just not "into" the Olympics.  My favorite event would most definitely be gymnastics!

2. Have you ever been to Rio? How about the place that started it all-Greece? Have you ever been to any of the Olympic Games in person? Is that something you'd like to do? Have you ever met an Olympian in person?

Well, this would be a short and sweet answer, no to all of the above.

3. The ball's in their court (tennis), cross the finish line (track and field), on target (archery), make a splash (diving), on a roll (gymnastics), out of one's depth (swimming)...which Olympic-related idiom best applies to your life right now? Explain.

I am Vice President of our local Garden Club and with that position comes the responsibility of doing the year book.  I have recently completed it (crossed the finish line) and am ready to send it to the printers. Yea, me!!!

4. What have you earned a 'gold medal' in recently?

I'm not sure how far back I can go and call it recently but I really think I earned a gold medal orchestrating the move into our new house 1 year ago tomorrow.  Yes, I had over a year to orchestrate it and I methodically thought through every aspect of it and I must say it went "smooth as silk."  We were moving from a house where we had lived for 35 years so there was lots and lots to go through and pack and I did every bit of it by myself.  I could have had help but I did not want any.  I had a process I went through and I preferred to handle it all by myself.  Yes, I really do think I earned a "gold medal."  No brag, just fact! ~big chuckle~

5. What is it (or who is it) that motivates you to eat right, exercise, and do what you can to be healthy?

Both of my parents, from as long as I can remember, were very much into healthy living.  Momma had a diabetic brother and sister and I'm sure that weighed heavily on her mind.  I certainly am not "over the top" in my diet or exercise but I do try to eat most sensibly and exercise 5 out of 7 days.  

6. Are you young at heart or an old soul? Explain.

Humm....I really think I'm young at heart and most days have a hard time believing that I'm really 64 years old. Yikes!!  But, there are definitely times when I feel like an old soul when it comes to some of the views and attitudes of the younger folks.  I'll just leave it at that.

7. It's National S'mores Day (August 10th)...are you a fan? Will you celebrate with a s'more today?

Well, I'll probably really sound like an old soul when I say that I have never had a s'mores.  They sure do look delish and I saw a way to make them in the microwave a few months ago and I started to buy the stuff to make them with but I talked myself out of it.  Hey, it's called healthy choices for healthy living!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I have recently been introduced to two new products and wonder what you might know about either one of them.  The first is Rodan & Fields skin care regime.  I was sure impressed with the presentation and the testimonials, but I have yet to jump on board.  I've used the same skin care for 12 years and I'm still very happy with it so I'll have to give some real serious thought before I change.  Second one is Monat hair products.  Again, I have used the same hair products for a long time and I'm plenty happy with them.  But, the reviews and testimonials of Monat are very impressive. Both of these are only available through a consultant and generally introduced through home shows.  Just wondering if any of you have tried either of these and what are your thoughts. I'm just wondering how many different ingredients can go into skin and hair products to make one that much better than another. But, what do I know? ~smile~

Monday, August 8, 2016

A Bit of This and That




Yes, it is definitely a bit of this and that this morning.  A bit about organizing and a bit of my current reading.  Just some things that you might enjoy yourself.  I love when folks share things that they have enjoyed or things that they do that I might not even know about.  So, here I go.........
I have no idea how many of you reading this take vitamins but I've been taking them for many, many years.  Currently I take 11 a day and the last thing I want to do is open 11 bottles everyday. In fact, I'm pretty sure I would not do it.  So, several years ago I came up with a plan that has worked for me.  I found some very large weekly medication containers.  I had a bit of a time trying to find some large enough to hold all of my vitamins but finally found these at Walgreens.  And, it made me happy that they came in such bright colors. ~smile~  I bought 4 and they each hold a week's worth so that means I have 28 days prepared at a time which is pretty much a month's worth.  It has made my life so much simpler.  And, I keep all my vitamin bottles in a plastic container in the pantry until it is time to refill my organizers.  It makes it so nice when we travel as all I have to do is grab the organizer and go.  And, another plus to these organizers are that they have individual tops.  Some have tops that open all the way across and you have to dig the vitamins out each day.  These allow you to just empty one at a time.  It's the little things folks!!!!

And, something else that makes my life easier is the way I organize my jewelry.  I have always liked to have my jewelry together by sets, necklaces, earrings and bracelets.  I do not want to have to hunt to find what goes with what unless I happen to be just  wearing a mix and match set.  So, several years ago I came up with the idea of putting all my jewelry in plastic bags by sets.  I went to one of the craft stores and bought bead bags.  They come in several sizes and I bought the large, medium and small.  I put my necklace in the large, the matching bracelet and earrings in the medium and small and then put the bracelet and earrings down in the bag with the necklace.  Eureka! they are all together!  I like to put it all in bags to keep them separate and untangled.  But, if that doesn't bother you then you could just place the set in the one large bag.  When we built this house I had the cabinet designer put wooden dividers in the top drawers of my closet chest so that I could place my jewelry in them.  And, yes, I have a method to the way I put it in.  He had never done such but he thought it was a great idea.  It works for me and again, when we travel it is all ready to go into the suitcase without a bunch of trouble.  

Just recently I began using Audible.  It is a service where you can listen to books via your phone, IPad or computer.  I have a friend who has been using Audible for about 12 years and she has listened to over 500 books.  She raves about it all the time and I decided to give it a whirl.  I use to read a lot but in the past few years I have done very little reading and really wanted to get back with it.  So, I decided to give it a whirl and can I just tell you that it was "love at first listen."  No joke! I have listened to 3 books in about 2 weeks.  I am currently listening to The Baxter Family series by Karen Kingsbury, a Christian author.  Oh, my, what a great series.  There are 5 series within the series with 4-5 books in each one.  I get so wrapped up in the story that I will forget that they are a fictional family.  I listen each morning while I'm on the elliptical, a few minutes each evening and if I'm going to be in the car by myself driving for at least 30 minutes then I listen.  But, not with earplugs!  The narrarator  of these books is awesome and probably has spoiled me.  She has the greatest voice inflection and that adds so much to the story.  I can't recommend Audible enough nor the Baxter Family series. ~I am not being compensated one red dime for these endorsements~ And, might I add, listening to these books is such a nice break from all the political gibberish. ~just sayin'~


And, I leave with you this little sweetheart.  She has started playing with her big sisters princess dress up clothes and wears them proudly.  She will be 18 months old on Thursday and I wish you could hear this child talk.  It truly is amazing!

Have a simply wonderful week!

Friday, August 5, 2016

The Kitchen Tour


This week Kelly is featuring the kitchen.  It is one of my favorite rooms of my house.  It is totally open to the living areas of our house and I love that feature.
Again, this photo was taken by an architectural photographer and it shows just how open the kitchen is to the living areas.  The rest of the photos were taken by me, which will just be a closer view of the various areas of the kitchen.
 
This is our cook top and conventional oven.  I opted for a smooth top stove and I've had several folks ask me why I didn't go with a gas stove top.  I have no desire to have a gas stove!  I love the cleanliness of the smooth top and the "spit shine" that I can give it.  We did put in a gas line so anyone that might own this house later can sure put in a gas stove if their heart desires.  It is a 5 eye stove and serves my purpose real well.  And, I do love my pot filler!  I had told Hubby that I certainly did not need one but I've used it so much that I'm really glad he went ahead and had one put it. Having water right at the stove has proved so handy!

This is the vent hood above the stove with a small mantle.  I love the embellishment that I found to go on the hood.  It looked very plain before we added that touch.

This is a display cabinet and area that I use for personal decor.  It has my digital frame that is a constant source of pleasure for me and family photos and my  grocery list pad.

This is my island and I cannot tell you how much I use it.  It is not huge, about 4.5 feet by 2 feet and it is where all the work in my kitchen takes place.  I do not decorate it at all because I want the surface free when I get ready to use it which is every day.  The opposite side has 6 wonderful drawers for storage.

This is the microwave and the convection oven and a small counter area that I use partly for decor and partly for function.  It is especially nice whenever I use our dining room.

This is my 60/40 sink.  I chose to use cast iron over stainless and again it's because I don't think a stainless sink ever looks as clean as a cast iron. ~just my personal preference~ It is very deep and I've thoroughly enjoyed it. And, I LOVE the one handle where I can just take it from one side to the other and have cold, warm or hot water with such ease.  In fact, we opted for that feature on every sink in our house.

This is what I call my "coffee bar."  It houses my coffee pot and all that goes into making my first cup of morning coffee.  And, yes, that is a Yeti highball cup that you see sitting on the tray of my coffee pot.  They make the absolute best coffee cup and keep my coffee hot for a very long time. I'm not into lukewarm coffee.

AND, this is my double trash bins that I absolutely love!  I opted to not have a trash compactor and since I've never had one, I have no idea what I'm missing so I'm happy with old fashioned garbage bins.  They are conveniently located and Hubby does a good job of disposing of them when they are full.

We do have an ice maker but it is located in one of our storage rooms not too far from the kitchen.  We did not put it in the kitchen due to the wood floors and the possibility of it leaking.  It's enough that the dishwasher could have issue and leak on to the floor, much less having two appliances with that possibility.  We decided to play it safe.

Thanks for enjoying these weekly tours with me.  Next week Kelly is featuring the backyard and I've already shown our backyard, so today will end the tour for me.

Have a wonderful weekend!