Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Letters

I haven't written any letters in quite some time so felt the need to do so.  A little letter writing always does the mind good.
Dear 2014 - where have you gone?  Wasn't January 1st just the other day?  And, is it true that the older we get the faster time goes? I sure hope not!
Dear - why did I even have to find out about you.  You are even better than Zulily and you tempt me more than I need to be tempted with all your super discounted prices.
Dear Internet - you make Christmas shopping so insanely easy that now the most difficult part of Christmas shopping is the wrapping of the gifts.  Some folks say that they have to "touch and feel" before they buy, well, not me.  I'm good with just seeing it and I would say that 90% of the time I'm happy as a clam with what I ordered.  And, it's so great when the kids just email you the link for the item(s) they want and then you do not have to wonder if you are getting the right size, color, etc.
Dear DWTS - I do not watch your show but this season I have been recording it so I can keep up with Sadie. She is like a breath of fresh air and I am hoping she takes it all the way to the finish line. I fast forward through everyone except Sadie but have seen enough that I'm thinking your show should  probably be rated "R" except for Sadie's dances. ~nuff said~
Dear Cervical Injection - I'm going to get one more of you this next Thursday and am really hoping that you "do the trick" this time. The first two "did the trick" for about 6-8 weeks and then the pain returned, not as severely, but still a huge aggravation to me.  So, my Dr. (a Neurologist) says that he wants me to try one more. If it doesn't work then he will go in and remove the bone spur and that will take care of the issue.  I'm just so thankful for a Dr. that is willing to do the least invasive surgery should it come to that.  I had seen another Dr. (Orthopedist) and he said I needed to have the disc removed.  No, I don't think so, the Neurologist says that removal of the bone spur is all that is needed.  And, I, personally, would NEVER let anyone one but a Neurologist do any surgery on my neck. ~just sayin'~   It's amazing to me how many folks just take the word of Drs. as the gospel and never get a second opinion or see a specialist.
Dear Hallmark App - can't believe I didn't know about you until a couple of months ago.  I so enjoyed watching both seasons of Cedar Cove in the mornings while I walked on the treadmill. Now, I'm enjoying some of your movies.  You rate right up there with Netflix except for your bothersome ads.  But, since you are free, guess that explains the reason for the ads. Ugh!
Dear New House - a friend stopped by to take a tour of you the other day and her comment to me afterwards was, "this is one of the most livable houses I've ever seen."  I'm not sure she realizes what a compliment that was to me, and, you are only half way finished! Bet she will really think you are livable when she sees the finished product.  ~exciting times~

Dear Voters - election time is just around the corner and it is of utmost important that we all go and vote!  We are at a most critical time in our country and I hope you will give much prayer and thought to those that you vote to put into office to make decisions on your behalf.  This is serious business!!

Dear Care Zone Meds App - you rate right up there with the best apps available.  It is so nice to have my medications scanned in and if I ever need to refer to them, they are on my phone.  No more having to remember what I take, how much I take or when I need to have it refilled.  I enjoy it and I'm only on two medications so I know if folks are on lots of medication they would really, really like you. And, you have lots of other features that make you very worthwhile, such as a place for other members of the family's medications. 
Dear Readers of my Blog - please know that I am more than appreciative of your sweet comments about my blog. Hardly a week goes by that some random person doesn't stop me to tell me how much she enjoys my blog.  I'm often so surprised at the various ones that stop by my blog and it's like icing on the cake for me.  I blog for myself and if others enjoy it, then that's all the better.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hodgepodge Wednesday

It's Wednesday and that means Joyce has come up with 7 more questions for us.  Week in and week out Joyce shows up for us in the midst of the "bazillion" other things she has going on in her life.  We appreciate you Joyce!
 1. Elizabeth Lawrence is quoted as saying, 'Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn." So have you done just that? And what did you leave undone in order to do so? I have not.  There's been little time for sitting except for evening and I'm afraid I can't see the leaves turn at that time of day. ~chuckle~  Between building a house, having company and the other routine day to day things I've not sat very much.  But, perhaps I will get to in the not so far off future and while it is VERY hard for me to leave anything undone, perhaps I should give it a try.  As my dear Mom use to say to me, "the work will be there when you get to it."  Yea, that's what I'm afraid of.............. 

2. Since we're talking turning...what's one thing you feel you're doing 'every time you turn around'?
This will sound crazy since our household consists of just me and the Hubs, but I think our ironing multiplies over night.  No joke, it does seem I'm doing it every time I turn around.  And, just as I stated above, I cannot stand to see it undone, so I try to get it done and put away in a most timely manner.  And, I do my Dad's also and that account for about 5 pieces per week and it seems we have about 25 pieces. ~maybe not quite that many~
3. How hard is it for you to 'turn the other cheek?'

It has gotten easier the older I've gotten and I was raised that was just what you did.  I truly believe that can touch a person's soul way more than trying to "get even."

4. When did you last turn a drawer, your car, a room, or your entire house upside down looking for something? Did you find it?

About two months ago we were looking for the house plan that had all the floor outlets laid on it.  I had cut out all the furniture to scale, taped them in their proper place in the house and then placed the floor outlets exactly where they needed to be.  Well, we/I lost that and Hubby and I did literally turn this house upside down looking for it to no avail.  So, so aggravating because then we had to just guess as best we remembered and we missed one very important floor plug.  Thankfully our nice electrician is going to add it for us even though that means breaking into the slab a little.  But, floor plugs are important!  We have never had them in our present house and I look forward to not having unsightly cords all over the place. 

5. 'One good turn deserves another'...were you most recently on the giving or receiving end of that sentiment?

I have been on the receiving end of that many times but last week I was given the privilege to be on the giving end.  I hosted my study club here in our home last week and the gal that was suppose to do the program had a death in her family and was unable to do the program.  She had the program prepared and asked me if I thought I might  "pull it off."  Well, this gal comes to the rescue of so many all of the time and I was thrilled that I could "come to her aid" at this time.  

6. Red, yellow, and orange are the colors of fall. Also the colors of fruit. If you were permitted only one color of fruit in your diet, which would you choose? This question isn't as easy as it sounds, at least not for me.

Oh, it's very easy for me because I am NOT a lover of fruit.  I do enjoy an apple every blue moon, so I will have to go with red and the rest of you can have all the yellow and orange fruit you like. ~not for me~

7. The Hunt for Red October, October Sky, Halloween...which 'October' film is your favorite?

October Baby.........I watched this on Netflix and it is a very moving story about a young girl that finds out she has been adopted after her birth Mom had a failed abortion. It is a faith based movie and well worth watching. 

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

Our little "C-man" got to go to the Pumpkin Patch at their church a few days ago and his Mom snapped this precious picture of him.  Look at those rosey cheeks!

Monday, October 20, 2014

HELLO Monday................

It's another Monday already and time for some HELLO's. Hope you have a great new week!
 HELLO fun women's gathering.....last Thursday I hosted my study club for our monthly meeting.   We operate on a rotation basis doing the program, providing the meal and hosting in our home. I gave the program (the other hostess that was suppose to do the program had a death in her family and was unable to do it) and  we enjoyed a delicious meal of Chicken and Spinach Crepes, a green salad with fruit and bran muffins.  The meal was topped off with 4-layer delight.  It's a fun group of ladies and we always enjoy the social aspect of the club as much as anything.  It is a lot of work for the 3 hostesses but when it comes off without a hitch and everyone enjoys themselves, it makes it all worthwhile.
HELLO early birthday..... my Dad will be 85 years young on Nov. 9th.  But, since my youngest brother was in town this past weekend we decided to go ahead and celebrate this grand occasion.  For the most part Dad is doing well.  He enjoyed the festivities and felt very loved by his family. ~and that's what truly matters~ I wish I could wave a magic wand and restore his vision and hearing and take away the lasting effects of GBS.  He tries everyday to put his best foot forward but often it is a struggle and as best I can, I understand that.  Aging is definitely not for "sissies."

HELLO house progress.....things continue to progress right along.  This past week they put the beaded board up on the back porch, the a/c folks were putting in the guts of the system and the tubs were placed (not installed) in their proper places.  Not really stuff that's all that pretty to photograph, but absolutely necessary.  This week they will be finishing up the insulation and starting on the sheet rock.  Definitely looking more and more like a house each week.

HELLO Mexican Stackups..... many of you that read my post this past Friday asked me to please give you the recipe for the Mexican Stackups that I mentioned.  So, here goes.  I don't really have a recipe and couldn't really find the recipe for the kind we make in our "neck of the woods" on the internet.  So, I will share with you how I make them and it is a recipe that you can improvise however you may wish to suit your tastes.  The following ingredients are stacked on a plate:

Fritos ( I crush mine)
Chili (I make mine)
Shredded lettuce
Diced tomatotes
Sliced black olives
Chopped green onions
Rotel cheese sauce (I make with Velvetta and Rotel in a crockpot)
Topped with crushed peanuts

These are the items that our family likes included in them but I have seen black beans, corn, sour cream, salsa, shredded cheddar cheese, guacamole included in the above line up or replacing some of the items in the above list.  There's no right or wrong way to do them, just whatever suits your fancy.  AND, can I just warn you that when you start building this stack up it will grow huge in a hurry.  It is a family favorite at this house and it's always a hit if you are having a large crowd.  And, even though there are a lot of ingredients, it is "easy peasy" to throw together. So, there you have it, now hope you can find an occasion to give it a try!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Lea's Daybook - Friday, Oct. 17, 2014

 It's always fun to do a Daybook and I try to do one each month and today is that day for October.
Fall has just about arrived here and it makes me very happy.  I do love fall and all of it's gorgeous colors and weather.


Outside my is still rather dark but promising to be a beautiful fall day.  I sort of look forward to Daylight Savings Time on Nov. 2nd except that it means it will be dark about the time we sit down to dinner.  Bummer, I want it light in the early morning and in the late evening.  Guess that's called, "I want my cake and eat it too." 

I am thinking...of what fun it was to entertain a group of ladies yesterday.  It was likely the last large gathering I will be hosting in this house but I so look forward to entertaining in our new house.

I am thankful...that the building of our house has gone so smoothly thus far.  It is a busy time but there have not been any major "hurdles" thus far and I'm crossing my fingers it will continue this way.

In the kitchen...well, we had company last weekend and my brother is here right now, so that always means some extra time in the kitchen.  Today I'll be making up all the ingredients for Mexican Stack-ups for an early 85th birthday dinner for my Dad this evening.

I am wearing...brown cargo pants with a beige top and brown sandals.  Accessorized with a coppery colored cross necklace and earrings.  ~like you really cared~ smile~

I am a district Garden Club meeting in a couple of weeks. I am serving as Vice President of our local club this year. While I'm not exactly a "gardening enthusiast," I do enjoy the programs we have and I have learned a lot of great things about plants and table scapes by being in this club. And, I hear the program for the district meeting is going to be well worth being there for.

I am wondering...a whole lot about the new house.  I sit and think about where this will go, where that will go and where some things just will not go.  It's such fun to imagine what it will all look like once we actually get moved in.

I am reading...nothing in particular at this time but I just started using Living Life Undaunted by Christine Caine as my daily devotional book.  I had never even heard of her until a couple of months ago and she is "something else" and so sold out to God and His plan for her life.  Quite the lady!!!

I am begin the "going through" and "getting rid of" things process in the next couple of weeks.  I want to take my time and methodically work through the house. I'm clearing out an area in our upstairs to do this so that only that small area will be in disarray.  It will be an area where I can put boxes with either items to move or items to get rid of.  What fun!!!! ~NOT~

I am looking forward to...having a large closet!  Need I say anything more? 

I am learning....all I can about Ebola.  Oh, my, it is really scary and makes me think that truly we are in the "end times." 

Around the house...things are not nearly as neat and tidy as I would like for them to be.  To those who come in, it looks great, but I know every nook and cranny and I love having everything in order and it is just not right now and likely will not be again in this house.  My interest has waned and I just cannot seem to get motivated to keep it as tidy since we will be moving in the next 5-6 months.  I know, that's still a long ways off but "it is what it is." ~big smile~

I am pondering...whether or not I am going to do my "annual" fudge making this Christmas season.  And, I'm pretty sure I am not.  I can't remember how long I have been making anywhere from 40-60 lbs. of fudge to give away at Christmas but it's probably been at least 15+ years.  By this time I usually have at least 15 lbs made,
and in the freezer,  and that is not the case this year.  Yes, I am very busy but that's not really my reasoning.  I have come to realize in the past couple of years that most folks are inundated with "sweets" during the holidays and mine is just "one more" to add to the collection.  I know we end up with quite a collection here and often a lot of it goes to waste and that makes me gringe when I think that my delicious homemade fudge might go to waste.  So, not sure what I will do, if anything, but it probably will not be fudge.  As the saying goes, "all good things must come to an end at some point." ~so, so sorry folks~ I think when I first started making it that it really was "special" because folks didn't have the array of goodies that they now do, but that is generally not the case now for most folks.  It seems really strange for me not to be stirring up pot after pot of fudge.

A favorite quote for today...

"People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did.
But, people will never forget how you made them feel."
Maya Angelou
I'm not sure any truer words have ever been spoken.

One of my favorite working hard to pull together a gathering or event and have it come off exactly as I planned.  Such was the case for the gathering I hosted in our home yesterday.  Makes all the hard work and effort worth it.

A few plans for the rest of the week.....Well, this week is just about over and I'll spend this weekend enjoying having my youngest brother here visiting.  He is always very faithful to come and spend time with our Dad and on this visit we will be celebrating Dad's 85th birthday a bit early.  His "real" birthday is Nov. 9th but since my brother was coming this weekend, it just seemed appropriate that we celebrate it while he was in town.

A peek into my day...making a big pot of chili to use in our Mexican Stackups this evening.  They are one of my Dad's favorite meals and while they don't sound like much of a "birthday meal," if that's what he enjoys then that makes it alright.  Right???


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hodgepodge Wednesday

Well, folks, 11 weeks from today is Christmas Eve.  Yea, can you believe that?  Joyce must be thinking about it too because she asked us a "Christmas question" today.  I'm surprised she hasn't asked some "wedding questions" too since she is "knee deep" in planning one right now.  But, some how week in and week out she always comes up with "doozies" for us and we sure do appreciate her.  Now, off to answer this week's questions.

1. What's your favorite time of day? Why?
I think I would have to say the early morning.  I have always gotten up early even though I have nowhere to be.  I am generally up between 5:15-5:30AM and I hit the floor running.  I wake right up and begin my day.  I am very productive in the mornings and find that  by mid-morning I have just about gotten my "to do" list done for the day.  Well, my list that must be done is taken care of and then I work on my continual "to do" list.  ~chuckle~  And, I'm in bed between 10:00 - 10:30 because I generally wear down as the day goes by.

2. Waffle iron, toaster, coffee maker, mixer, blender...which small appliance would you say most needs replacing in your house?
Oh, no doubt about it, my mixer and I intend to do something about that around the time we move into our new house.  I have always thought that I would like to have a Kitchen Aid but they are SO heavy and I have opted not to have one of the "lift shelves" in my kitchen.  The reason is that I already have limited cabinets in my new kitchen and the lift shelf would take one whole cabinet space. I'm thinking I may go with a Krups.  I had one years ago and loved it and it was very lightweight.  

  3. It's National Grouch Day (October 15)...what's something that makes you feel grouchy?
When I get overly tired and keep trying to push myself it often results in my being grouchy.  I'm still blessed with a good bit of energy but if I'm burning the candle at both ends, it will eventually catch up with me.  I try not to let that happen too often. ~smile~

4. Ever been to Canada? Is that a country you'd like to visit? According to Trip Advisor, the top ten best destinations in Canada are-Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Victoria, Calgary, Niagara on the Lake, Niagara Falls, Whistler, and Halifax. Which city would you most like to see?
Yes, we have been to Vancouver, Montreal, Quebec City and Victoria.  I would like to go to Whistler sometime.

5. What was your favorite food (or one of your favorites) when you were a child? Is that still a favorite?
Oh, my paternal Grandmother could make the best biscuits in the world and she would make the biggest mess making them.  I remember standing right by her side as she made them pretty much every time we ate with them.  I loved to put syrup on them and eat away.  Once my Grandmother was no longer able to make biscuits I did not enjoy eating them nearly so much and don't to this day.

  6. Do you cry easily?
Yes, but perhaps not as much in recent years, but I've always been brought to tears easily.  And, it can be for happiness as well as sadness.
7. Have you started your (gasp!) Christmas shopping? If so when, and how much? If not, when will you even begin thinking about it?
Yes, I generally begin mine the first of Sept and this year was no different and I would say I am about 75% through.  Our kids give me a list for themselves and the Grans and I work from that list.  I enjoy giving them items they want and can use.  And, a lot of the time they forget what they have put on the list and they are often still surprised when Christmas rolls around.

  8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
Do you watch DWTS?  If so, then you have seen our Sadie Robinson dance her way into the hearts of DWTS fans.  Sadie is of the famed Duck Dynasty family about 25 miles from where we live.  If I didn't know better I would say she has been training for this time for years and years.  But, she hasn't and I think she just has a whole lot of natural rhythm. If you have not seen her then you can go here if you would like and see her and Mark do the Cha-Cha.  She  and her family have certainly done their part to put NE Louisiana on the map. ~yea, for us!!!~

Monday, October 13, 2014

HELLO Monday..................

Another Monday has rolled around and it seems that last week just sailed right past me.  It was a busy, busy week with lots of house decisions and company and making memories.  Thought it would be nice to share some of the fun and memories with you during my HELLO Monday post.

 HELLO Pumpkin Pound Cake......In preparing for company last week I wanted to make something "pumpkiny" but not a pie or bread.  I figured that there was some kind of pumpkin cake recipe online and I was exactly right.  And, what better than a Pumpkin Pound Cake.  Our whole family loves pumpkin and this did not disappoint.  It has allspice, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon and pecans, so what's not to like with those wonderful ingredients!  There is also a glaze but I opted not to use the glaze and instead used whipped cream.  If you want the recipe you can click right here and I bet you will be glad you did.

HELLO Birthday Girl......... this past Tuesday was Hanna Beth's 5th birthday and she ended up having a week of birthday celebrations. Tuesday, she celebrated with her school friends, Friday night we celebrated here and she shared the celebration with her Dad, whose birthday was 4 days earlier than hers.  Then on Saturday she celebrated with her friends at a pony farm.  The kids birthday parties and cakes are so extraordinary these days.  The sky is the limit when it comes to ideas for both and of course, the invitations match and are too cute!  I'm pretty sure our Princess felt very celebrated!
 HELLO Stitch Fix......I received my first ever Stitch Fix this past Wednesday.  I had it delivered to Hubby's office, so I opened it there with his office gals so they could see what had been chosen for me.  First, I will say, Stitch Fix, does it right!  The packaging is to perfection and my stylist did an absolutely amazing job picking out items for me.  If you are not familiar with SF then you might enjoy checking them out by clicking here.  When you sign up you fill out a profile that lets them know your sizes, and your likes and dislikes when it comes to your clothing. There is a $20 styling fee that is deducted from your total if you buy any of the 5 items.  If you buy all 5 items then you get a 25% discount off the total.  While I really did like all the items and only one did not fit, I did not keep any of my "fix."  I do intend to order another fix later when my mind is not consumed with "all things house" and a busy, busy schedule.  You have 3 days to decide on the items and return them in the postage paid envelope that is enclosed with your order.  As I said, I was more than impressed and would highly recommend the service. It is truly a neat concept and especially for women who would rather not shop.

 HELLO Batman and Batwoman......Is this cute or what?  Clancy attended the Fall Festival at his school this past Saturday evening and shortly after arriving saw that one of his little "friend girls" had dressed as Batwoman.  Bridget snapped this picture and sent it to me and of course, it made me smile from ear to ear.  Just so cute!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

I missed HP last week and so glad to be back with it today.  Joyce always comes up with "dozzie" questions and today is no exception.  Joyce is such a busy woman and likely has more to do than host us each Wednesday, but we sure do appreciate her help in getting our creative juices flowing.

1. Do you manage your own money or do you have a financial planner who helps in some way? Do those kinds of conversations stress you out? A lot or a little?
Hubby and I have had a Financial Adviser for many years.  Hubby for all practical purposes has owned his own business for 40 years and there is a lot of "i" dotting and "t" crossing that must be done. He doesn't play around with such and our financial adviser oversees all of it. No, these type of conversations do not stress me but, I don't always understand the "whys and where fors" of the discussions.  But, I'm grateful that we have this added direction as it has severed us well.   

2. The second week of October is Pet Peeve Week. Off the top of your head, share TWO of your current pet peeves.
1. Going to Wal-Mart and the only check out lanes open are the self check out.  It aggravates the "daylites" out of me!
2. People sitting through red lights because they are busy texting. I mean, I'm glad they are stopped while they are texting but they need to pay attention to the light and GO when the light turns green. ~really~
 3. What is one thing you'd like to learn right now, this very week if you could?
I would love to know ALL the ins and outs of a DSLR camera. I came real close to getting one a few years ago and just decided that I wasn't willing to do what was necessary to learn to use it.  So, me and my Nikkon Coolpix with a 14X zoom get along just fine and it is always with me. 

4. How concerned are you about the recent health related news concerning Ebola? How about Enterovirus D68?

Well, they are both very scary and so are many other health issues but I just do not let them consume my thoughts.  I try to use extra good hygiene and wash my hands more times than the law allows in a given day.  And, I try to take care of myself as best I can and after that, what will be, will be.

5. Garfield, Nemo, or Tigger-your favorite orange cartoon character?
Hands down, it would be Garfield.  He is just so cute and always a bit mischievous.
6. I'm going to see Gone Girl with my neighborhood book club this week. So often books made into film are disappointing. What's a book turned film you thought was well done, in that the casting was 'like you pictured' when you read the book, and the film plot remained mostly true to the book plot?
I have not seen that many movies based on books but the one that immediately came to my mind was "The Bridges of Madison County."  While, in my opinion, it was done well, it did not compare to the book.  When reading a book you get to make your own movie in your thoughts as you read and that type of movie can hardly be beat. ~grin~

7. What is one story your family always tells about you?
Oh, there are several but the best one is when Hubby reminds me of the night, many years ago, that I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and I sat on him.  He had gotten up a minute or two before me and was occupying the "throne" and I had no idea.  Can I just tell you that some "blood curdling" screaming took place by me and our children, who were asleep upstairs, came running downstairs scared too death. They thought we had been attacked by a "booger."   It will never be forgotten I can assure you!  I have never gone to the bathroom in the middle of the night without a flashlight since that time. ~no joke~

8. Insert your own random thought here. 
Our new house is progressing right along.  You will have to pardon this picture with the intense evening sun, but it does look rather cool doesn't it?   It has been all consuming the past few weeks with lots and lots of decisions.  We are in the process of getting all the cabinetry designed and that is HUGE!  But, we saw some 3-D imagines of some of them today and we were so pleased.  Between us, our decorator and our cabinet designer, we have tried to think of everything.  But, we all know that is impossible, but hopefully we'll come close.~big smile~  We can hardly wait until this time next year when we will be enjoying the fruits of all these decisions.

*Added note: Hubby's sister and her husband arrive this evening for a few days, so we'll be busy and there will likely be no time for blogging until my usual "Hello Monday" post.  See you then!