Tuesday, January 31, 2012

picky eaters

Juliette is a Princess.

To further that affirmation, she refused to eat the "special" food Bill gave her this morning. The "special" food is canned food. It's usually a special treat that we give our children of fur on a special occasion. A holiday, or you know, when we're trying to give them medication.

Juliette is on medication for an upper respiratory infection. It has definitely been helping.

We mix the medicine into the canned food because otherwise, short of forcing it down her throat, it's the only way she'll take it.

But the little snot (pardon the pun) turned up her nose at the can of beef. Apparently she doesn't eat red meat. She loves the seafood and chicken (we have yet to learn if she likes the turkey, but past experience with our turkey dinners will point to yes), but would not eat the beef.

So Bill opened a second can, the salmon, for her. He gave what he had put out for her to Atticus. Atticus, being the killer that he is, scarfed it down.

Tonight, I mixed the beef with the seafood.

She ate around it.

I'm not even joking.

She licked up every bit of salmon, but when she came across the beef, she ate around it. I have no idea how, because I stirred it all together. But what was left in the bowl was all beef.

I guess we'll stick with the seafood and chicken for now.

Monday, January 30, 2012

the other word

In my post yesterday, I answered the questions that are used by James Lipton on Inside the Actor's Studio. It was a fun post. But it's not easy to answer those questions. The more I thought about them, the more I thought of different answers.

One in particular is question 7, the favorite curse word.

I grew up in a home where cursing wasn't heard, or muttered. In fact once, while I was home from college, I asked my mom, "If hell no is the opposite of heavens yes"? I thought it was a legitimate question. My mother replied with my full name.

I am human and I have picked up and put down dirty words over the years. I've even learned a certain word in several languages.

But recently, I discovered a nonsensical word and I like it. So it's not actually a curse word, but it's fun to say. That's why I didn't use it yesterday.

I didn't realize how much I used it until I heard my mother-in-law use it while we were out there. I guess it's time to go public with it. Maybe it'll become well-known and well-used. If so, please just remember you read it here first.


That's the phonetic spelling. I haven't decided if that's how it's spelled or not.

It's good for when you're lifting something heavy. It's good when you smack your leg into the table. It's good when the toast (or coffee-maker) is burning.

Go ahead, use oof-duh today.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Have you thought about your answers?

We like to watch "Inside the Actor's Studio". I've always thought about the questions James Lipton asks the guest (they were really created by Bernard Pivot).

Today I thought I'd answer them (because I really have given them a lot of thought).
  1. What is your favorite word? Mangia
  2. What is your least favorite word? Come
  3. What turns you on? Genuinely making someone happy
  4. What turns you off? Hypocrites.
  5. What sound or noise do you love? The sound of a snow shovel scraping the concrete and the silence after a snowfall.
  6. What sound or noise do you hate? The cats teeth when they pull on a yarn toy, it's like nails on a chalk board to me.
  7. What is your favorite curse word? Bloody Hell
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? TV show chef *
  9. What profession would you not like to do? Brain Surgeon
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? Now the fun begins

*Editor's Note: I realized later that I would rather try out race car driver. Just thought you'd like to know.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saturday, what a day!

What a busy day.

After morning coffee and a Sandra Bullock Biography, I got to work removing more paint from the upstairs hallway. We had taken a nice break from any work because of Christmas and our trip to Las Vegas. Time to get back to work. There's really not that much left to do.

Just finish removing the paint from around two doors, sand, prime and paint.

Considering there are four doors and the linen closet, that isn't too much left.

I made good head-way.

When Bill got home from the Sr. High youth group practice (they're doing the service tomorrow), we went to Meijer Gardens and took our walk. We walked for about 35 minutes (I forgot my pedometer, so we're guessing it was just over 2 miles. Last time we were there it was just under 2m, but we took the longer route today). I did yoga and my other exercises when we got home.

Whew! My arms hurt just typing it.

Oh wait, my arms hurt because I used them a lot today.

After we both showered and cleaned up, I cooked dinner.

It was a new recipe: Macaroni and Cheese Spaghetti.

I modified it, and it was good! It had cheese (no, really), peas, prosciutto, a bread crumb topping and I added cooked onion. In case you weren't sure, it used spaghetti noodles instead of macaroni. But you really could use whatever pasta you wanted.

We had salads too, you know, so it was a healthy dinner.

And since I used almost every dish in the kitchen, I had to wash them.

Now it's time to relax.

We have a fire going, we're watching a "House Hunters: International", and that was my Saturday.

Friday, January 27, 2012

my notebook

My life is in the hands of a notebook. When I die, someone will need to know how to cancel all 1,759 of my online accounts.

I am smart enough to have created a different password for every single account I have ever created.

I am not smart enough to remember every single password.

That's where my little notebook comes in handy.

I am in the process of putting every password (and user name when the site dictates) in one place.

You may recall I used to use post-its... until Atticus ate a very important one.

I still used the post-its, I just removed them from my desk top. They were kept safely in a clear, plastic envelope in my desk drawer.

Yes. I have used the "Save Password" on my computer. But what happens when I want to do something on my laptop? Or the iPad? I have to guess my password. And, guess what? I'm usually wrong.

Then, one day, I saw this empty notebook in the drawer. That was when the idea popped into my head. I'll stop sorting through the envelope every time I need a password and keep them all in this "handy-dandy notebook" (thank you Blues Clues)!

Thus began my password notebook journey.

I'm putting them in alphabetically.

Because it will make it easier to find them. Laugh if you want (except I know most of you would do the same thing), but it's going to save me minutes of time in the future!

So, if you are a crook and want to hack into my Midwest Living or Victoria's Secret account, all you have to do is get your crooked little hands (or paws) on my notebook. Good luck!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

new recipes

I made the most delicious chicken enchiladas the other night. The recipe basically consisted of nacho cheese, shredded cheese, cream cheese, sour cream and chicken, wrapped in a tortilla and baked. It's covered with nacho cheese. I tried to make it healthier (really, is that possible?) by adding a red onion.

Whether or not it was good for us, it was delicious.

Today I made a Hoosier Cream Pie. It's for our pastor for his dessert of the month.

I remember the first time I had ever seen one. I was with my friend Robin and her family, I think we were celebrating her grandma's birthday (it could have been a family reunion or her grandparents anniversary). At any rate, Robin picked out that piece of pie. I'm pretty sure I picked a piece of pecan pie.

At any rate, I remember Robin eating her piece of pie and at some point I must have asked her what it was. I remember that she commented it was her favorite. I don't know if I had a bite of hers or if I went and got my own (really at this point I could be mashing several different memories together). I know that I had never had it before. Then, I started seeing them at our own church's potlucks. I wouldn't say it was my favorite (pecan holds that title), but I didn't realize that it isn't as well-known as the pecan or apple pie.

I didn't even know it was known as a Hoosier Cream Pie. I think we just called it a Sugar Cream Pie. There are differences.

The recipe I used came from an issue of Midwest Living.

I like trying new recipes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

the butter guess answer

Drum roll.... or not when you see my answer. It's actually not that impressive!

Sometime since the fall I have used:

one dozen pounds which is the equivalent of 48 sticks

This is a highly inaccurate count since it is based solely on my Box Tops for Education! But I hope you had fun guessing.

To me what is more impressive was that I went through at least (3) five pound bags of flour. Plus there is a partially used one in the cupboard. That is a lot of flour. I'm not sure that the butter:flour ratio is a good ratio, but you can take what you want from it.

I'm going to strive to use more butter (or at least keep better track next time I have a guessing game).

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

not much Tuesday

Tomorrow is the big day.

You'll find out just exactly how much butter I used.

I hope you're not disappointed. Or maybe you'll be impressed.

You'll have to check back tomorrow.

I'll tell you this: I bought two packages of butter today (that's eight sticks, or two pounds).

Have you guessed yet?

Monday, January 23, 2012

more snowflakes

Here is the last snowflake update.

And here is the latest!
As you can see the actual snow outside is melting because it's raining. Yuck. But you can see the snowflakes accumulating on the door! Pretty.The newest come from Rhea (the bottom two). Rhea is Sami's daughter (Sami is the Sr. High youth/Young Adult leader). There is also another new one (upper left corner) from Logan, Leah's son. His were all painted and emailed to me! Very twenty-first century.

Logan actually made three, but I only printed one (I was trying to save on ink). I tried attaching them to the blog when I received them last week, but they're pdf's not jpeg's so they didn't cooperate. That's okay, now he gets recognition.

This is a really fun project. If you are interested in sending me one, please do! I will accept any and all snowflakes!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

the butter guess

On Pioneer Woman, she blogged about how much butter she used for the first season of her Food Network show. You can read about that here.

I was cutting up the Box Tops for Education and I realized how much butter I've used since late summer/early fall. Remember this, before you guess. I've baked a lot, but no where near as much as Ree has baked.

Go ahead, guess. You can either guess by number of sticks or pounds. Four sticks of butter equals one pound.

You have until noon on Wednesday to guess. I'll post my answer then!

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Well, I did a pretty good job filling our fridge with leftovers this week.

Bill and I both decided (before I did the grocery shopping) that there would be no pasta this week. We ate a lot of it last week, and while it was good, there is such a thing as "too much of a good thing".

Instead I focused on winter favorites: Pot roast, meatloaf, and soup. You already read about my soups. I didn't blog about the other two dishes because I blogged early those days.

But now you get to read (or leave, but please don't, I like having you here) about the leftovers.

Saturday is a good day for leftovers. We had meatloaf for lunch. I'll be having more of the bean soup for supper and Bill will probably have the pot roast.

I didn't used to like leftovers.

Is this what happens when you get old?

Just kidding.

I still have the ingredients for chicken enchiladas. I think that's Monday's meal (I'm telling you now, in case I blog about something different).

Bill just asked, "So, what are you making for dinner?"

Friday, January 20, 2012

Quote for the day

"If you are looking for the love of your life, stop.
He will be waiting for you when you start doing
things you love." -Dave Radparvar

I read that this morning and thought it was profound.

Do you know how Bill and I met?

Playing euchre online.

I don't know if I would go as far as saying I love playing euchre, but I do enjoy it.

We met in November of 1998. Then we met in person on Monday, December 28th.

Bill had just started working at Boat U.S. and I was a junior at S.C.A.D. (Savannah College of Art and Design).

There are lots of quirky, fun stories to tell of our courtship. For instance, Bill proposed to me three times. He will deny ever having proposed at all. He says I called him and told him I had a church and the dress...

I'm pretty sure I wouldn't go buy a dress if there wasn't going to be a wedding...

He had my engagement ring made from his grandmother's diamonds.

We had both given up on finding love.

Which is why I find that quote profound. I'm not saying it happens that way for everyone, but what are you going to lose if you're still looking for love?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I was fooled

Around 1:30pm I checked our mailbox. It was still pretty early for our mail to have been delivered, but I thought I'd check.

No mail, yet there were footprints in the snow through our yard. That is a sure sign that the mailman has been here. I had a couple of cards to put out, but since I missed the mailman, they can wait until tomorrow.

It's the rare occasion when we don't get mail, but it does happen. But not often.

Later, I went across the street to deliver a thank-you card to our neighbors. They watched the house, fed the cats and brought in the mail while we were gone last week. I also needed to get the house key back!

When I left, I noticed a second set of footprints in the snow.

Our mailbox was overflowing!

We had at least a dozen pieces of mail.

I think I mistook the first set of footprints as the mailman's when it must have been the meter-reader.

Oh well, the outgoing mail will still wait until tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A little less wordy

Ooh, yesterday I was wordy. I guess I had a lot to say about soup. Who knew?

Don't worry because today, I got nuttin'.

I was just doing dishes and thought of a couple of things. One was for a devotion and one was for the blog. I forgot the one for the blog.

I was thinking of what grosses me out. Not a lot when you're talking about it. But show me gushing blood, a crusty scab, a slimy snake and I shudder.

See? Typing that nothing. Which is why I decided against blogging about it. Pretty boring huh?

I thought of gross things because I cleaned out the silverware tray... How does the inside of a drawer get that dirty? Well, I can tell you how in our house, because like everything the kitchen cabinets and drawers are old. It's wood on wood. Down in the cupboards under the drawers is a constant layer of sawdust. I finally waxed the drawer "slides" (if you can really call them that), which helped minimize the sawdust. So in the drawers themselves, I guess dirt just falls into them. They don't get closed all the way and the counter gets wiped off, dirt in the drawer. The top rubs against the top and dirt falls in the drawer.

Hopefully this doesn't gross you out. As I mentioned, I washed the silverware holder and the silverware is clean.

If you come to visit you can play the "Old House; Where Isn't The Dirt" game.

Please don't look at the windows...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Experimenting with soups

Yesterday I made corn chowder for dinner.

Except I combined two recipes and threw in some extras.

I started with my recipe from Shannon.

Here's the list of ingredients:
Bacon - nope, but we have bacon grease
Cream corn - substitute frozen sweet corn, check
Potatoes - of course, check
Onion - no, but we have shallots, check
Evaporated milk - nope, but we have regular milk, check

The other recipe called for chicken stock, so I added that too. Then I decided to add carrots. They go in stews and soups, so why not? Then I remembered I did have half an onion so I added that.

And then, (please forgive me) I used the rest of our beef stick. It was just the right amount. I came to this decision because I've used pancetta and prosciutto, which are both similar enough to bacon. Which made me think of salami which reminded me of the beef stick. I diced it into pea-size pieces. It added just enough of that smokey meat without overpowering the soup.

Tonight I made a three-bean soup. The recipe came from a magazine. It was the Christmas edition and this recipe was on a page of gift ideas. Layer ingredients in a jar and give it (with the recipe) as a gift.

Great idea! I've done this with cookie ingredients and my friend Tam from Jersey. That's another post... Let's just say something didn't work out quite right and things didn't quite all fit.

But apparently I saved this page because one of the recipes intrigued me. However, the bean soup calls for dried beans (of course, you wouldn't want canned beans in a jar, that would be messy and not as pretty) so I figured I could make the same soup with "fresh ingredients". Along with the beans it also called for dehydrated vegetables and dried seasonings. Again, all things I could find "fresh".

Since I went to the store, I had more ingredients on hand. I cooked half an onion and added carrots again. Garlic (used that in the corn chowder too), diced tomatoes, corn (hey why not), kidney, pinto and black beans (the recipe called for Navy beans, but I couldn't find any...). I added some seasonings (chili powder, oregano, cumin, parsley) and chicken base (which is how I make my chicken stock, Shannon introduced me to it and it's SO much cheaper than chicken stock, I use it for my risotto too). Since the beans weren't dried, this didn't take nearly as long as the original recipe called for, which is the other reason I made it. I had Bible study at 6pm and dinner needed to be fast.

I would say that my experimenting with both soups paid off. I'm really not a fan of broth-y soups, but I liked both of these (I wouldn't say my corn chowder was really creamy, since I used 1% milk and the chicken stock, it was a little more broth-y). They were both healthy. We didn't add anything to either of them, of course cheese and nachos would be a delicious with the three-bean soup, if you don't care about calories. They both had good flavor.

I'm proud of myself for doing this. I wasn't afraid and I didn't ruin anything. Now I have to go write down what I did on the recipe cards before I forget.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Today is a good day to talk about "broken".

I won't get too deep, my first thought on this topic was of all the things that have broken in our home. Currently at the top of that list is the dryer. It broke the night before we left for vacation. I couldn't blog about it then because Judy had no idea we were going anywhere, let alone that we would show up there.

We've broken our bed twice. And fortunately (or unfortunately, however you want to take it), neither time was because of intimate behavior.

The first time was in our rental in Ocean Grove. I blame the carpet because I was trying to move the bed (it was sitting askew in the bedroom and the type A personality in me wanted it to be straight). The carpet was of poor quality and did not allow for sliding. Therefore the bed frame cracked. It was repaired and made it through two more moves before breaking again. The 2nd time here in Grand Rapids. I was getting ready for bed and had just sat down while I put lotion on my hands. That time the side rail cracked.

So much for good quality furniture.

We repaired it ourselves (and I'm pretty sure I blogged about it).

The washing machine has been repaired.

The windows are broken and are being repaired.

The sliding glass door is broken.

The tv broke (er, exploded is more like it).

My computer died (and was replaced).

The phone broke (and was replaced).

It's like my in-laws said about the washer and dryer they bought. They paid enough for it that it will last three years before they have to buy a new one.

What happened to quality?

Okay, what happened to the original thought of this post?

We as a country are still broken. Celebrating one man is an important step. But when will we heal the wounds that are still being opened. I believe my generation is the beginning of that healing. Of tolerance and of no longer seeing black and white, but finding the gray line. The more education we receive the less likely we are to judge.

Or are we?

Let's just remember this: We are all broken and hurting.

Let's look at each other as humans and not as races, colors or genders.
The greatest commandment is Love.
Let us love.
Let love win.
Love one another.
(yes, this is a mosaic of Rubik's cubes, from Art Prize 2010)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

compare and contrast

Remember yesterday? I went outside and took pictures of what it looked like in Henderson, Nevada. Pretty, right? Sunny, blue skies, dry, sandy, warm (you can't see it, but I was outside in just a long-sleeved shirt, so you can just trust me on that one).And then we came home. Don't get me wrong. I'm happy to be home. But this is the compare/contrast part of the post.

We were up at 3:30am (PST), so we're trying to make it to 9pm. It's just not that easy. After only five hours of sleep, I hope I finally sleep through the night tonight (I don't think a night went by last week that I didn't wake up at midnight or 3a and/or 6a).

You can compare/contrast sleeping if you want.

All I know is it's the end of vacation.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saturday post

I keep thinking it's Sunday. But it's not because we fly out early Sunday morning. And I'm typing this from Don and Judy's computer, so that must mean I'm still here.

But when you've been on vacation for a week, you start to lose track of time.

Vacations are nice.

We (as Americans) should take them more often.

It's been so nice.



Full of laughter.

Oh, and don't forget the sunshine. There's lots of sun here. It's going to be a whole lot different when we go home.

I'm going to go take a picture right now of what it looks like here. And then I'll take a picture when we get home tomorrow. I'll post them for your enjoyment. And for contrast. I'm sure there's going to be some contrast...

But for now, it's time to finish relaxing and enjoy Bill's family and the sunshine.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday's musts: olives, hummus and salami

We met Fran and Jack at the Green Valley Ranch. The girls went shopping while the guys sat in the sun. Just as the girls were finishing, the guys had decided to go in to the Casino.

We hung out for a little while, then decided to make dinner reservations. Fran and Jack agreed to meet us at the restaurant (Tuscany Grille). We stopped at the grocery store to pick up more hummus.

And olives.

Because when we were at the grocery the other day I saw the olive bar, but I didn't buy any.

And now I need olives.

Because I love olives.

The first time I ever had an olive was on our cruise in 2007. We were in Nice, France at an open air market. Bill had picked some out some Nicoise olives. I wasn't going to try one, but then decided, "hey, when in Rome... or France" and I tried one.

They were good. I had no idea I liked olives!

I've tried them all now. My favorite are Kalamata (pits in tact).

So while we were at the store, we hit the olive bar.

It was the perfect nosh. It hit the spot.

That's what Fridays are for.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

birthday wishes, shopping and golf cart rides

Happy Birthday Judy!!! I hope you have a wonderful day with your lovely children. It's nice to be able to spend it with you.

Bill and I took Peggy to the mall so she could buy a new pair of jeans. We also made a stop at Ethel M's. Then, after lunch, Bill and I took a ride in the golf cart. It's a very good thing he was driving, because just like the neighborhood he grew up in, I get lost here so easily. I'm not proud of it because I have a very keen sense of direction. I have iron in my nose apparently.

Whatever it is, I don't get lost easily. Until you put me in Suburbia. Then, if it's more than four turns, I'm lost.

As you can see, Bill knows where he's going and we made it home safely. I wasn't worried one bit.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

still on time

For you, dear readers back east, I'm still blogging once a day. I'm barely getting them written and posted in (Eastern) time. But out here, I still have a couple of hours.

Today, Bill and I left while Judy was out. We went and picked up Peggy at the airport (that's his sister). She was also surprising Judy. Peggy and Don planned this first, then Peggy told Bill we needed to come out here too. Our schedules allowed us to get here first while her schedule did not.

I digress. We left the house under the pretense that we were going to get the groceries needed to cook dinner tonight.

Once we got Peggy, we went to a Party store so Peggy could get balloons. She took them to the door, while Bill and I hid. She had the balloons in front of her face and told Judy she had a delivery for "Julie Uelling". Judy asked if she had something she needed to sign and Peggy just kept repeating it until Judy realized it wasn't a normal delivery.

It was pretty funny.

I cooked dinner. I did make the pork roast and risotto. I also made "the bread". For dessert I made a chocolate mousse pie. It was delicious. Peggy made a sensational salad.

Tomorrow is Judy's birthday. I don't know what's in store for the day, but I'm sure it will be fun and full of laughter and memories.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Picture Post

We went to Mount Charleston today. We can see it from Don and Judy's backyard, but have never driven up to it.

Here are a few pictures (we took 79 photos, so literally this is just a few, you're welcome).We pulled over at the Desert View Overlook in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. It was quite a view.

Same place just lower down; there was a wall along the path that I sat down on while Bill had climbed up the rocky "hill", seen behind me, for his photo.

This is the entrance to the Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort. So we didn't make it to the very top of Mount Charleston but I think this was close enough. We came all the way to Nevada to see snow in January!

The last elevation sign we saw was for 8,000 feet. According to the map, the mountain goes as high as 11,000 feet!

Here's one picturesque view as we drove through the park.

It was 48 degrees at our highest point (the Ski Resort). Bill said he didn't need his jacket. It was beautiful. It wasn't too chilly. Although, as we were up at the resort, I heard a man say that once the sun went behind the mountain the temperature would drop. The temperature down on the Strip was a balmy 63 degrees.
This is in the pool area at the Tropicana.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sunshine, shopping and birthday wishes

Yes, I was going for alliteration. I did not succeed.

Happy Birthday to my mom!!! I hope she has a wonderful day. I already talked to her this morning, but I'm going to call her back in a couple of hours when Dad is home and she opens presents. (Don't forget, I'm three hours behind most of my readers right now, it takes some getting used to.)

It's nice and sunny here (although I thought it was supposed to be nice and sunny back in GR). Bill and I got out this morning and took our walk.

When we got back, after a few more of my exercise's, everyone got ready and we went to the outlet mall. I wanted to check out the Sketchers outlet. Of course they were having a Buy 1, get the 2nd pair half off. I managed to find two pairs of shoes. Finally I can throw out the other pair (they're at least five years old, a long time in the life of a shoe for me).

I'm also checking out a few recipes to make for Judy for her birthday dinner. I think we've got it narrowed down to a Pork Roast with Apples and Onions and a side of Fontina Risotto (yes, the recipe adds chicken, but I going to make it as a side dish, so no chicken). I also have dessert, but that's a surprise.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

surprising Judy

We surprised Bill's mom today.

We bought our tickets back in October. It's been very difficult to keep this a secret.

Then, last night as we were starting to pack, the dryer died. That will be resolved next week.

We haven't been able to say anything for fear of someone else spilling the beans.

We had a direct flight from Grand Rapids. The flight was 3 1/2 hours. We picked up our rental car and headed toward their house.

Bill called and had both his parents on the phone. We were parked in the driveway, so we got out of the car and rang the bell. Bill was explaining to Judy that we forgot to send them a thank you card for our Christmas present (I didn't forget, I didn't write one on purpose). Then he said something about her birthday and we didn't send a card. That was when Don opened the door for us. Bill kept talking and walked in and Don pointed toward the room where Mom was.

She kept talking while Bill kept walking.

Then he was standing in the door to the home office (where she was). She looked at the phone and she looked at him. Then she got pretty excited.

It was a lot of fun. You'll hear more about our week out here.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

walking in my shoes

If you walked in my shoes this week, you would have walked a minimum of ten miles.

I wore my pedometer every time I went out. So I didn't count my steps inside the house.

I wore it on the treadmill two of days I went to the gym with Nancy. I was honored to be her assistant. We went Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I used the bike one day. Since I haven't ridden in a long time, I didn't go too crazy. But I "rode" five miles. So that wasn't on the pedometer either (but it should count, shouldn't it???).

Just today, in Barnes & Noble, I walked two and a half miles!

I kept meaning to do this all year and finally got around to it. I'll have to keep it on around the house for a week too.

Friday, January 6, 2012

on feelings

On Christmas Day we watched several movies. At one point during a commercial or maybe it was even during a movie (we can't remember), I teared up. Bill turned to me and said, "You feel too much."

It has become one of our running jokes. It breaks the ice. It makes us laugh.

Last night, I was here all by myself. Bill was in Detroit on business.

I made myself a bowl of popcorn and watched a movie I had dvr'd. It was Mitch Albom's, "Have A Little Faith". It was a Hallmark movie. That right there had me ready. The tissues weren't far away. Their commercials have always been known for getting you "right here".

They've changed their commercials. Now they're touching with a bit of humor thrown in. Just as you're about to tear up, they throw in a good laugh.

I appreciate that.

The movie was still a tear-jerker. I thought it was good and I loved catching glimpses of Detroit in the backgrounds.

But then, because I hadn't cried enough, I watched the rest of the Ellen that I missed on Wednesday.

More tears. Her kindness and generosity seems to be endless. She's started helping schools where the majority of the students are on free lunches.

I feel too much.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I like t-shirts.

They're comfy.

I'm often drawn (haha) toward the design.

I thought I'd blog about a couple of them because I have stories for many of my t-shirts (but lucky for you, I only have pictures of these).

In case you didn't know, Heather and I have gone to several Needtobreathe concerts together. I finally bought one of their t-shirts. Truthfully, for artistic as they are, I haven't liked many of their t-shirt designs. This one I liked, and bonus! It was cheap because it was the "old" style they were trying to get rid of.

See? You need to know the stories behind some of these shirts. Our dear friend Eddie, aka "Oh my god it's Eddie!" (you can read about that story here), used to say this all the time. It's completely inappropriate at the right moment and completely hilarious at all the inappropriate moments. For instance, someone asks you if you've seen a specific tv show. You can answer using this phrase.

Okay, maybe you had to be there. Anyway, I "taught" it to the US circle girls in New Jersey. As a going away present (wait, were they trying to tell me something) Shannon made this shirt for me. I don't often wear it out in public because it does cause a stir...

Then there are the Halloween t-shirts. (I just went back to find the post where I originally, er, posted these. It doesn't exist! I can't believe I didn't blog about this costume!!! I am so sorry. It's totally a visual costume. I had pom-poms. The front of the shirts looked like thiscan you guess what we were???) Shannon also designed these (I love her graphic design skills, check out her website).

Then there are the free t-shirts. The t-shirts I almost die trying to get. Because they're free. And because they're launched through the stadium.
We have an annual tradition of going to a Griffins hockey game with Amy and Adam. Two years ago was when I almost died trying to catch the t-shirt. If Bill hadn't grabbed on to me, I would have fallen backwards over the row in front of us (I had turned around to look up to the balcony above us from where they were launching the shirts). I was wearing my ridiculous boots. I can blame it on those and my lack of grace.

Last year I was ready to catch the shirt. I think this time it was shot from the rink. However it was sent through the air, this time I caught it. My free t-shirt. I think Bill's comment was something about it being worth it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Not much to say

I have nothing to blog about today.

I'm about to get ready for the HPC meeting. It's going to be a long night.

Here's something:
Help out Quota between the 7th-11th and shop at any Barnes & Noble. Here's the info from our website.

I'll try to do a better job blogging tomorrow...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

the other things I made

I told you here that I made a couple Christmas gifts and I took pictures of them. But I didn't want to post them just in case the recipients happened upon my blog before they received them.

They opened their gifts the other day, so it's safe for me to post pictures now!

A quick word about my photography skills. I know the lighting is poor. I don't blame my photography or even the simple point-and-shoot camera we own. It's mostly the lack of natural light outside/coming into the house. It is winter in Michigan and that means something like an average of 15 hours of daylight for the entire month. No, I'm not exaggerating (although I wish I were). Plus, being an old house, even though it has windows on all four sides, the windows themselves are covered with curtains because of the frigid temps that go along with that aforementioned lack of sunlight.

Got it?

Okay, here are the photos.

First, this is the lap blanket I made for Jerry (new brother-in-law). He's a big Colts fan, so it's in Colts colors. He got his own blanket because he had been using the one I made for my sister. It was girly, so I thought it might be nice if he had his own (in more manly colors) to wrap up in.
This is the scarf I made for his youngest daughter, Daffney. I was told her favorite color is lime green. This green was the closest thing they had (again, the photo doesn't do it justice).

And this scarf is for her older sister, Chassidy. I was told she likes any color, so I picked this light purple (I know, it looks dark; it isn't) because I like green and purple together. Just so you don't think Skylar was left out, she has a blanket and a scarf that I made for her a few years ago (okay, more than a few). Maybe it's time to make her a new one... I already had Christmas presents for her this year. Maybe next year!

Monday, January 2, 2012


We got snow!

I am probably one of the few people who is excited by this (excluding children).

I am also very weird in that I woke up planning on shoveling. I was excited to shovel. I pretty much told Bill not to help me shovel.

But he is a gentleman and would not let me be out there all by myself shoveling the entire driveway while he sat inside drinking coffee.

He's not like that.

I am. If I didn't like to shovel and he offered, I would sit inside while he shoveled...

But I'm not a man.

Or a gentleman.

So he helped me shovel.

We also received more snowflakes for the sliding glass doors! Aren't they pretty? These are from Alex and two of her kids, Courtney and Cameron (Claire and Quin - from the other family - are four days apart, so neither are old enough to be using scissors yet).

I added one of my own too. Let the snow fall!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

Today is a day we talk about resolutions. I am not good at making resolutions. I think it's the pressure of having to come up with something. I am very good at setting goals for myself throughout the year.

I know, weird.

How is that any different? Try to follow my female mind...

It is the fact that I have an entire year to come up with a resolution, and then the first day of the new year comes and I'm caught off guard. Every year.

I make goals because I do them as they arise. Why wait for the new year when I can set the goal right then and there and work on it?

I was going to blog about making a resolution to not make any resolutions. But then we went to church.

Rev. Gary did not talk about resolution, but rather Epiphany. And how it is the most important holiday in the Christian year. We should keep the light [of Christ] all year, not just during the Christmas season.

As he was preaching, I was slightly distracted by our friend's nine month old. Wes. He's pretty darn cute. And he was very well behaved.

But I was able to pay attention enough and this is what I decided to do: every day for 2012, I am going to light a candle. As I do it every day I will be reminded that Christ is the light, and I carry the light.

Here's to a light-filled 2012 to you and yours.