Showing posts from January, 2013

Puttin' on the Ritz!

Look what I found this morning!  Yep, after the storms we were graced with a rainbow on the way to work!  If that can't make a dreary drive better I simply don't know what else can.  It was the perfect start to a busy, crazy day!

I love when day's are as topsy turvy as this one, when the small things add up to the perfect day.  And when a day like today ends up with an unexpected trip to Dierbergs, it simply has to be something that makes me smile.

I grew up in Europe.  Germany is almost more of a home to me than the US... for no other reason than I simply grew up there, I know it., it is familiar. So, needless to say there are a few things that I consider myself to be a snob about.  And food is one of them!  And Dierberg's definitely flames the passions of my inner foodie!

I personally believe that American's have weight issues because we have never learned to savor the wonderful taste of good food.  Quantity is not the issue, we have so much food, everywhere, bu…

Storms brewing...

When you wake up at 4 am and the weather is dark and ominous, the wind is blowing hard enough to make all the wind chimes sound like a symphony, it's January, 68 degrees and humid, you know that the day is going to get progressively worse. Rarely do you think that life will imitate nature.

All day the sky was brewing and twisting and turning. The air was oppressive and heavy.  Each glance out the window a promise of worse to come. Doors being slammed shut by the wind, barely missing fingers and various other body parts. The fear of another January tornado rushing through the area with such destructive force on everyone's mind.

Over laid on top of the external chaos was internal chaos at work all day!  Yikes!  The first phone call started the ball rolling down hill so fast that the work day promised to be what exploded in thunder before the sky outside.

I have an amazingly wonderful staff person.  She has a heart of pure gold and is so kind and giving.  Unfortunately, she is …

Fuzzy at the Edges

I am not focused.  My brain is flitting around, my emotions are all mixed up and I am struggling to accomplish anything.  It isn't for lack of trying or not wanting to or anything like that. 

I wonder if it is worry.  Worry tends to paralyze me.  I guess it is a character flaw, and I wish I could make it go away.  Or maybe I don't. 

My worry is about my old dog.  I am not of the school of thought that a dog is a pet.  I am of the school of heart that a dog is just a four legged kid.  And Gator is feeling under the weather.  The rational side of my brain says, stop worrying - he is going to live for years yet and you are wasting time with worry.  But when those big brown sad eyes look up at me I melt!

So while I am trying to focus on that silly to do list, planning ahead and finally getting some stuff done, I keep having an overwhelming urge to walk down the hall and check on him.  Mind you his laying in bed all day snoozing is not something new, in fact if he were running arou…


That pretty much sums up today.  Hubby and I took the boys and decided to make a day of it in the country, it's been awhile since we've been down there and we were sure excited to go and check on things and just soak up the peacefulness of our little piece of paradise.

We stopped on the way down and looked at some modular and mobile homes.  Trying to decide if  something like that would work on our pretty little piece of land.  We spent a couple of hours daydreaming and measuring what would look best in that little nook at the end of the cul de sac, over looking that peaceful little lake that most everyone else has forgotten exists. We found several that had us imagining how beautiful they would look tucked away back there.

The boys were pretty excited about going down, they seem to always know.  They start pacing and looking out the windows as we get closer.  Their noses leaving little smudge marks and tails wagging.

As we turned down Glen Arbor something didn't feel ri…

Slow down...

I cannot be the only person that savors a slow lazy start to a Saturday morning, I mean who doesn't want to kick back and unwind as those glorious two days called the weekend start?  I was awake at 4 am, but I was not willing to start the weekend at such an early hour.  For a change I told my brain to shut up and snuggled a little closer to my Gator boy, evidently Hubby got up really early.  More space for Gator and I to stretch out.  Those extra two hours were wonderful!

I know I have to revise that to do list, but for a few more minutes (maybe hours) I am going to enjoy the peace and quiet with my steaming hot coffee. I am debating on a couple slices of toast to go with it, and if I want to watch a show and do a bit of knitting while Hubby sleeps a bit more. 

The past week was a short long week and I feel a bit worn out from it, I am sure the extra sleep is helping me want to unwind a bit before I race into the day.  The cold weather outside and knowing we are expecting some yu…

Organizationally Challenged?? Me????

Do you ever feel frozen?  Like your to do list is insurmountable and you simply cannot figure out where to start to accomplish everything that is begging for your attention?  That is me... actually that is me most days.  It's not a rare thing, for me it is an everyday occurrence.  In fact it is the first thing on my New Years Resolution list, every year!

It isn't for lack of desire, I crave organization.  I just seem to be missing that gene from my DNA.  Both of my children are super organized and orderly, something they must have inherited from their father and also something they must have grown into as adults, because I remember them when they were young.  I envy people that can make a to do list daily and actually see it to the end, the ones that always know exactly what is in the pantry and have menu plans ready for the week.  Folks that don't wake up at night in terror over what they might have forgotten to accomplish that was critical, or so it seemed at two am.

It …


Call me a little kid, but my northern roots always override the adult that has to deal with it.  I love snow, and every time I hear the slightest hint of it being talked about on the news my ears perk up.  I want to know how much and most importantly how soon!

I moved to the mid-west just about 10 years ago, my family moved here long before that, but our home is now and will always be Pennsylvania.  I get snow envy every winter, when the Facebook pictures start popping up with huge snow drifts on the porch and the stories of enormous fluffy white snowflakes drifting gently down.  I admit it I am just down right jealous.  I've seen pictures of it here in the mid-west, and we've had some pretty good snow's over the years, but it is an exception not the rule.

It's been a couple of years since we've had that wonderful deep drift, stay at home curled up at the window with a steaming cup of hot cocoa watching the peaceful still it brings has happened.  To me that is the…

Homesteading, Survivalist, Prepper, Environmentalist... just a name...

It seems like those names are bounced around a lot now-a-days.  Everyone has an image in their mind about them.  And frankly I find it hysterical... I guess it depends on who's definition you are going by as to where I fall and honestly I am not sure any of them really apply.

When I put up my canning after a great growing season does it make me a prepper?  Because my family will have food that I have grown and carefully preserved to insure they are fed healthy food.  I didn't do it because I am worried about the stores running out of groceries or anything else.  I do it because I love to garden and I hate waste!  I mean why would I waste my time growing a garden to just toss it in the compost pile.  And I love to share with my friends and family.  I believe that is how a community is built.

And while I am talking about gardening, is that a homesteader trait or an environmentalist?  Because when I garden in my raised beds I am very cautious about what I put in the soil and I us…


Wow, who would have thought that a fairly simply oral surgery could result in insomnia and jitters a full twelve hours later?  Not me, that's who!

Here it 14 hours after I came home yesterday and I am still awake. Spoke with the doc and he said it was highly likely that I would be a little buzzy from all the shots with adrenaline in them, but he did not tell me that my face would still be numb and I would not be able to sleep.

Oh well, being me... what do you do with an extra 12+ hours in your day? After seriously failing to drift off to sleep, even with the precautionary pain pill he told me to take (the kind that usually knock me out for the full count).  I tried turning on the news and watching the ticker at the bottom for HOURS - usually I don't make it through the first cycle - have you ever read that, unbelievably boring! I switched to playing bingo on my Nook - another sure fire sleep inducer. 
Still no luck.  Curled up with my pups, tossed and turned, listened to hubb…

Urbana Time

I will truly miss Urbana time... This spring my son graduates and moves on to grad school. I know I will hate it!  Not that I don't want him to go and experience his dreams and discover new challenges and people.  Those are things that I truly want for him.  He is so smart and understands things that I can barely grasp - though not for lack of trying.  But it will mean the end of those day trips to Urbana. I treasure those trips!!

I never sleep well the night before we head up.  I always want to make sure I haven't forgotten anything and I am so excited for those few hours that I get to be part of his world.  It's like Christmas  morning for mom's... a present waiting to be ripped open and the joy of being a "needed" mom for a few hours is amazing!!

Luckily, Hubby sleeps good, because he is my driver.  That is only slightly a joke, I always use that three hour trip as creating time.  It controls my inner child that is rattling around my brain chanting "a…


It's been a wonderful Saturday!  I didn't get much house work done, and that darn Christmas tree is still up, but my soul is full! I spent the entire day doing what I wanted to do, in a purely selfish manner. 

Curled up in my big comfy overstuffed chair, in my warm flannel jammies with a steaming cup of hot black coffee - pure perfection!  Top it off with two projects that I wanted to finish and a full week of shows to catch up with on my laptop, and you have the makings of nirvana - at least for someone like me.

It was only by early afternoon, with watching one of the shows about how we are allowing electronics to control our lives and me sitting there thinking "I don't think so", that reality dawned on me.  I might say that I am perfectly comfortable in a cabin in the woods with all my old world (as one adult at a conference I was at recently described my hobbies) projects. The truth is I am as addicted as the next person.

First thing this morning I answered a …

I wonder...

Do you ever stop and simply wonder where in your family tree you inherited something... anything?  A love a cooking, crafting, gardening, wood working... who in the past did you inherit those things from?  I sometimes feel like I am a melting pot of the people I love, and those I never met.  I have three sisters and none of us are the same.  You know we are a family, and we cherish one another, but we have very little in common, no let me correct that... I have very little in common with them. 

 We all share a love of animals, but they think I am nuts letting my old basset pit mix snuggle up with me at night.  And I think I am the only one with permanent soil stains under my nails come planting season.  I am fairly sure that I am just plain odd. So... where did it come from?  What genetic soup created me?  Why do I seem so convinced that this world is not the one I want to play in?  Why do I feel compelled to create what I want and need as opposed to rushing to the store.

Simply put I…


I considered staying home in bed today, it was one of those get up and go's, got up and gone kind of days.  Everything was making me growly this morning, my tooth hurt, I hadn't been able to sleep and I just felt yucky. Everything on the news was making me even crankier... what kind of day could this possibly turn out to be?

The drive across the bridge was annoying to say the least, the drive through the construction zones was particularly ugly as the sky was so over cast and dreary.  Dumped my purse on the floor of the car and spent an additional 15 minutes picking everything up.

Yep, it was going to be long, dreary day.

Fast forward an hour or two and I got a text from my sister... actually a series of texts.  It's funny how talking about making bread is the best way to cheer up the day.  The only thing better would have been actually making that bread myself!

By the time we'd finished text messaging each other, I had moved into a better place. My tooth still hurt, a…

my "real" world...



It's the birthday of my youngest!!  A day that is a mix of pure happiness to celebrate such a wonderful young man and sadness that the celebration will be long distance.  For the first time in 22 years we are not together for this wonderful day.  Darn school schedules, don't they realize how important days like this are to mom's?

It is just another one of those small changes that make life unique I guess.  I am finally adjusting to a different kind of Christmas morning, without the anxious, excited little ones barely able to control their desire to open the presents that magically showed up while they slept.  The new traditions are slowly creeping in, the peaceful morning enjoying coffee and biscuits with our elderly neighbors who are also early risers while waiting for the kids to either wake up or show up.  Loading the car for the trip to our oldest child's home to celebrate with her and her kids. There are some positive sides to those changes though.  I have to admi…


brrrrrr... so beautiful to see the January sunrise through a frosted window while enjoying a steaming hot cup of coffee. Monday's are always the day that I savor the morning.  Strange, I know, but it's my late night so I get to extend my weekend by just a few hours.  I get to ease into the work week.

I am not an organized person by nature, I create my own special chaos.  I excel at finding excuses to delay the things that cause me fear.  It's time to put all those excuses behind me, all those reasons to not step out of the box and do what I want.  Come on, admit it, I am not the only procrastinator out there! 

Its a powerful feeling to start the week after such productive weekend (yes, I know that is the Christmas tree still standing tall beside my chair).  I finished Dad's memory quilt, got my entire pile of mending done, started two more quilts, and worked on several crochet projects that I plan to wrap up today.  Even found the yarn I want to use for my niece'…