Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Thank you, and goodnight.

We're still working on the naming of the house. Do we smash a bottle of champagne against the outside when we name it?

My mom has come up with a winner… I'm going to discuss it with Bill, then I'll share.

Tuesdays are my work days, so still no photos.

Tomorrow is HPC, it's going to be a long meeting. I spend an entire hour going through the packet. Yikes. So unless I find time in the middle of the day, I likely won't get pictures on here tomorrow either.

By now, would you expect anything different?

Someday I'll surprise you. Today is not that day.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Name That House!

I do have pictures from yesterday's adventure. Lots and lots of pictures.

Unfortunately, what I didn't have was time to put them all on my computer and then onto my blog. Don't worry, I won't put all of them on here. I'll pick out the best of the best. Hopefully. Then I'll post those.

Instead, what I want to write about tonight is naming our house.

Every house has a name. The British are well-versed in naming their country homes.

No, we're not British, but it's a cool idea. It's a fun way to invite people over. It was just in a magazine that you should name your house.

In New Jersey our house was called "Dewey", named after the street. We only lived in that house for three years. We've lived here for eight years and have yet to name this house.

In fact, when we were house-hunting here in GR, we looked at and put an offer in on a house on Linden. We have since referred to that house as the "Linden" house. We named a house we don't even live in!

If you haven't seen our house, here's the last photo I took:

Not that I want to remember all of that snow… it was a lot (I do love it), it just so happens to be a decent picture of the house.

Other facts to help pick a name: we live on College Ave. Our last name starts with "U". The house is half red, half beige/tan. I'm not a fan of the spanish "rojo"because that's what we use to describe our fifteen-passenger church van ("Rojo Grande").

As you can see we have no trees in the front yard. We do have a lamppost that is frequently home to wasps.

I've tossed around College U. Not clever or catchy enough.

We have that crazy steeped-pitch roof.

Big House…

Not descriptive enough.

I don't know why this is so difficult. It should be easy, shouldn't it?

This Old House?

Hm, catchy… but it's taken.

Anybody got any ideas?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Cooking for an army

I feel like Pioneer Woman.

Not in the way that she lives on a ranch.

Or has four kids.

Or has her own cooking show.

Or has basset hounds.

I feel like Ree because I just cooked enough food for a ranch. I made sloppy joes for youth group tonight. I used ten pounds of ground beef.

Let me repeat that. I used ten pounds of ground beef.

That is a lot of beef.

I'm a very poor judge of amounts. For instance, when it comes to leftovers I either pick a dish that's too big or too small. When it comes to parties, I typically have way too much food.

That's better than running out of food.

I have nightmares about not having enough food.

Thanks Depression/history class.

I'm pretty sure I have enough for dinner tonight. I planned on cooking for twenty-four. Then I rounded up to thirty when I bought buns. I'm pretty sure I could feed eighty.

There will also be chips and krispy rice treats.

After our hearty dinner, our respective groups of youth will head out for ArtPrize 2014. I have a feeling I'll have a few pictures to post tomorrow.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Look What The Cat Dragged In, chapter 17

Maybe I should have kept track of how many animals Atticus has brought home.

I don't know what chapter we're up to.

I've written eight (including this one) specifically tagged with Atticus. We're up to at least chapter eight, but there have been way more animals than that for certain.

We've had birds of all kinds, mice, a rat, and some chipmunks.

We can add rabbit to the list.

There are rabbits that someone has let out of their cages down at the end of our street.

I wondered how long it would be before Atticus caught one. Our neighbor told me about them at the beginning of the summer.

The answer was three months, at least to my knowledge.

I'm very happy to have Bill. I'm also happy that we own a good shovel.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

curtain call

Alright, so what we have here are the old curtains, the old curtains that are now the new curtains, and the new curtains.

How about pictures to help explain:

This is the office/guest room with the old curtains (which were in our bedroom when we moved into the house, but I took them down and hung them in this room where they have been ever since). 
These are white curtains.

 Here are the new/old curtains. These were what I hung in our bedroom when we first moved in but recently realized they would look good in the office/guest room. These are off-white.

 They're corduroy, I took a close up to give you more detail. The lighting wasn't the best since I was shooting in the evening and this window faces west. 

These are the curtains I purchased to hang in our bedroom. I swore I took a before-photo with the old corduroy curtains, but alas I did not. 

I'm very pleased with the changes. I really like the texture/pattern/color of our new curtains. I also like how the new/old curtains look in the office/guest room.

We're still working on the guest room. We have to finish working on it before I think about curtains/window treatments. There will be an entire post (or two) dedicated to the work on that room. I set the deadline of Thanksgiving. That is a very ambitious deadline.

That's also why I haven't been blogging. I've been busy working. There is a lot of trim to strip in that room.

I just realized I didn't take close-up pictures of the new hardware in the office/guest room… I changed that out. Click on the pictures, you can see them (just not details)!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

neighborhood cookie watch

Sometimes things don't happen and I have to think up things to write about.

Then there are days like today.

I had finished my run. I was outside cutting my dahlias. The neighbor boy headed my way with a packet.

I knew that meant one thing: it's fundraiser season.

He asked if I wanted to buy cookie dough. Of course! I told him to wait outside while I ran and got the checkbook.

When I came back outside, I talked with him a little to find out what prize he wanted.

Then, a young man rode up on his bicycle. He asked me if I had a towel. He had just eaten a cupcake and his hands were all sticky. His repetitive questions helped me understand that he was harmless. I told him to hang on, while the neighbor boy was still waiting for me to pick my cookie dough and write the check, and I went inside and got Christian (he told us his name) a damp paper towel. He used it and I told him I would take it when he was finished. Then he rode off.

The neighbor boy and I resumed my cookie dough shopping.

I chose the white chocolate macadamia nut. It's my number one choice of store (fundraiser) bought cookie dough. Mostly because those nuts are so expensive I don't buy them myself. Otherwise I'd make the cookies from scratch.

The neighbor boy told me he'd be back with his order form. This was his sister's.

Bill will get to chose a cookie dough too. (Of course, he doesn't read my blog so we could keep this a secret and I could buy two white chocolate macadamia nut and he wouldn't know…)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

lights, camera… lighting

Did you watch er?

Have you ever noticed the lighting on tv shows? Specifically dramas?

We like NCIS and CSI. West Wing and er are two others that had the same thing happen to their lighting.

The more these shows got popular, the more the lighting became dramatic. It started out bright and over-lit. As the episodes turned into seasons, the rooms got darker.

Have you been in a courthouse or a hospital? They are typically well-lit. Especially the hallways, and even at night the lights are on.

It's not like the story line explained the change in lighting. It just happened, slowly over time.

Of course I say this as I sit here watching one of these shows in a low-lit room.

Maybe Hollywood isn't so dramatic after all.

Monday, September 15, 2014

too far

The cat has gone too far.

Can cats read?

I didn't think so. But I'm beginning to think Atticus can. Or maybe he can't and that's why this has happened.

He likes to kill animals. Birds in particular. I've mentioned that.

This time, it was a goldfinch.

Hence the reading, I think he's trying to be like his namesake except that the cat has got it wrong.

The character is Atticus Finch. That's it. Nothing more. The title is To Kill A Mockingbird. Atticus the cat must be confused.

He killed the finch. Then he ate the finch.

I've never seen him eat a bird before.

I got very angry with the cat and banged on the sliding door. I guess that annoyed him, because he left. And he took his dinner with him.

He may not realize it, but that was his dinner.

I get it. It's the circle of life. I just wish the cat didn't enjoy his circle of life, on our back deck, with the pretty birds.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Curtains, cookies and chaos

Okay, I've been MIA.

First, Jenny came to visit Wednesday-Thursday. We went to Founders for dinner and ordered what turned out to be an absurd amount of food. Before that we had done a lot of shopping.

I'm looking for window treatments for the guest bedroom. Since that room is not even halfway finished, I decided to buy new curtains for the home office/guest bedroom.

I bought new curtain rods, which I know I like. I bought a curtain panel to bring home to see how well it matched since I was no longer looking for window treatments for the room in which I was originally planning on buying them for. I wasn't prepared to change the home office/guest room curtains, so I didn't have any idea of what color I would need for that room. Jenny and I guessed and it turned out to be a bad guess.

I returned the wrong-color panel today. No harm no foul. While I was out today, I stopped by another store and found curtains that would be great for our bedroom.

Wait a sec. Would the curtains in our room look good in the home office/guest room?

They sure would! This means new curtains for our room.

I bought the one panel that was at the store that will now go in our room. When I got it home I hung it to see how much I liked it. I had already liked it a lot in the package, and I liked it even more hanging in our room.

However, the store only had the one panel so I quickly got online and bought three more. I'll have new window treatments [hopefully] by the end of next week. And the home office will have "new" curtains too. Eventually the guest bedroom will have new window treatments but first it needs windows, a fresh paint job, a finished floor, a scraped and painted ceiling, and the furniture moved back before I think about window treatments. However, Jenny did help me figure out exactly what kind of window treatments I want (not curtains although as I've typed all of this why would I have different window treatments in one room when the other two have curtains… I have time to think about that one), so I can at least work on getting them ready for the eventual finished product.

Tonight, we went out for our friend's birthday. We went to the Winchester. We had a very good time.

Tomorrow, we're going to a CMU game.

Today, I baked cookies to take with us tomorrow.

We also helped a friend, who had foot surgery, put air in her tires and take out her recycling.

I had an eye doctor appointment.

So you can see, I haven't had much time to blog and I certainly haven't had time to work on the guest bedroom. I'll have time next week… or at least I'll keep telling myself that.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Food for Thought

Warning: this post may make you hungry.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love food?

Only a few times?

Oh, no? More than that?

Well, it's a fact. Everyone eats in one way or another. (I'm not excluding those who have to use feeding tubes, it's the ALS awareness as well as those who have surgery and such… too dark?) Well everyone has to eat whether it's solid or pureed. And I love food.

I made a dish tonight that's for lunch tomorrow. Jenny is coming to visit. She showed me this awesome kitchen gadget
If you like cherry or grape tomatoes, you need this.

She took me back to the little shop in St. Joe where she bought it and I found one hiding on a shelf. It's also good for regular grapes, large olives, and anything else that size that you want sliced.

I don't know if I have written about the dish I made, so I'll just mention it again. It's Quinoa with Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella.

It's yummy.

I had a blt and corn on the cob for dinner. It'll probably be one of the last for the season. It was also yummy. But the good news is apple season is upon us. Apples won't fit in the kitchen gadget, but that wasn't the point of this post.

I also made my blueberry chocolate cake.

The blueberries were the last of the season too. I don't remember getting fresh blueberries this late in the season, but I enjoyed every last little one.

It's still technically summer, so there should be a few more grilled dinners.

Food, it's what's for dinner.

I'm thankful for our farmers and our food.

Monday, September 8, 2014

It's that time again… let's go for a run

The .1k

It's happening October 18th. I'm asking you to donate to this amazing cause.

Or join our team. It's a blast.

Click here to do one or the other.

Seriously, check out last year's race here if you didn't read about it.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

car games

On my way to and from my parent's house, I played the license plate game. It's much more fun now because there's an app for that.

I reached 43%. Not bad for a trip to the neighboring state. I was a little disappointed that I didn't see any Wisconsin or Minnesota. I usually see one of each on any given day. Oh well. Maybe next time my odds will be better.

I did see Washington which is a tough one. And lots of Ohio and Illinois. I double checked, I did mark Indiana and Michigan. That would have been embarrassing to have not checked off those. And yes, if you play this way; I did see each of them in the other state not their home state.

I like car games.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Football, Parades, Pork Tenderloins, and Presents (not alliterative, but almost)

Can you smell it?

Not the smell of rain.

Or the crisp air.

Or fall…



It's here.

We're going to watch CMU play next weekend. They beat Purdue today. Hehe

Next week they play Syracuse. We'll see if they can do it again.

MSU is currently playing Oregon. And U of M is playing Notre Dame. It's an exciting evening in our house.

I do love football, but I gave myself a pedicure. Ha!

I'm trying to relax before my "first" day tomorrow. It's not my first day, it's my third year. And it's not my first day back this school year, I've been working for a couple of weeks now. No, tomorrow is what we call "Homecoming Sunday", the first Sunday back after Labor Day weekend. Our activity schedule starts to get back into the swing of things.

We're kicking the school year off with one service and a lunch afterward. Then we'll have youth group. Sunday school will start next week. I have one more week to find more teachers. Want to teach Jr. High Sunday school once a month? They don't bite, I promise. In fact, they're awesome!

No? Okay, then will you at least say a prayer that someone else will step up and fill the spot? I'm not going to worry about it. That won't do me any good. But I am going to start asking everyone I see.

I didn't blog the last two days because I was in Indiana for the Pork Festival!!! The last time I was there was 2008 and lucky for you, I wrote all about it here.

I also have anniversary presents from my parents that I need to go open. All in all I have a lot to write about but it's late and this post has gone on for long enough.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

the other ice bucket challenge...

The video is not yet available.

But they did it. Oh my did they.

You'll remember my ice bucket challenge… it went out to Sami and five young adults.

Something you should know about Sami. She's clever and creative. She wasn't just going to dump ice on herself and five others. Oh no. She put thought into it.

She's a mom.

She's the Sr. High Youth Director.

She's the Young Adult Leader.

She has learned to be F.A.T. for Jesus (Flexible, Available and Teachable).

She loves Pinterest.

She decided to use her children's slip and slide.

Except it's not just your normal slip and slide. It's a racer slip and slide.

Two people go at once and end in a small pool.

The pool was filled with ice.

It was spectacular. And it was not easy to film it without shaking from laughing so hard. But I think I did okay. We shall see. When she gets it edited and posted, I hope I can share it. (She has to edit it because after she did her talking, I stopped recording to make sure I was actually recording because her camera doesn't have a flashing light or any indicator to show that it is actually recording. I didn't want them all to slide into ice only to find out I didn't record any of it. I was recording, so we had the second shooting of them sliding. Now she has to edit the two separate pieces into one.)

I think seven of the young adults ended up doing it (I was too busy recording, I didn't count). I should probably make another donation to Well House for that. It was totally worth it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


I've been making cards again.

It really is nice to have everything in the dining room. As I mentioned before it's convenient. I can get everything out and put it away quickly. It may be a little unsightly, but I'll just pretend that doesn't bother me.

Oh wait, it doesn't.

Back to the cards.

Here's a thank you:
 Here's a thinking of you:
And this one may be my favorite card I have ever made. Can you guess what/who it's for? I'll give you a hint, count the number of heart-shaped balloons.
If you still aren't sure, go back to Aug. 26th. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

long weekends and projects around the house

The day has finally come, we replaced our upstairs hallway light fixture!

You may recall this happened:

It happened Aug. 16, 2013 as I was finishing the last bit of painting over the home office door. I backed up into the light fixture.

Even though I knew it was there and I had been carefully avoiding it every single time I climbed up or down the step-stool.

Until this time.

Since then, we just left the two bulbs hanging there. Greg moved in. Greg moved out. We didn't want to replace it during all of that in case there was another incident.

A friend of mine, Julie, works in a lighting store (I actually don't know if it's a store or something else, let's just go with store) and when I asked her if we could replace the globe she bluntly stated it would be cheaper and easier to buy a new fixture. Don't even try to replace it, she wisely stated.

As our anniversary present (fourteen years is animals/gold jewelry, but eighth anniversary is bronze so we're just six years late for that gift, you can read more here) was this:
Bill installed it today. Ta-da!

No more putting my head through it.

Also, because it's a holiday weekend, I'm having homemade ice cream.

I made a few days ago, but I didn't blog about it! Here it is.
Yum! Vanilla. I don't think I can wait any longer...