Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings

As is so often the case these days, Chris in the Morning from Northern Exposure summed it up best:

"It’s an old legend, that on Christmas Eve at midnight, all the animals fall on their knees and speak — praising the new born Jesus.
Back in the winter of ‘68, my Dad was doing a short term for D and D. Mom was — I’m not sure where Mom was. Anyway, I was home alone on Christmas Eve and I stayed up late to see if my dog, Buddy, would talk. He did — at least I think he did. I don’t remember Buddy’s exact words, but that’s not important. What matters is that a seven-year-old boy experienced his own personal epiphany.
My point? It’s that Christmas reveals itself to each of us in a personal way — be it secular or sacred. Whatever Christmas is — and it’s many things to many people — we all own a piece of it. Kinda like Santa’s bag, inside there’s gift for everyone.
My Christmas wish for you tonight — may your dog talk."

Thursday, December 19, 2013

December 19, 2013


Outside my window... It's dark and windy.  I think we are going to have storms later tonight.

I am thinking... That I get to visit with a dear friend tomorrow. 

I am thankful... For electricity, wifi, and my laptop.

In the kitchen... There is a batch of red velvet cookies to take to my friend tomorrow.

I am wearing... Gray sweatpants and a purple t shirt with an owl on it.

I am creating... Something special to mail to another friend that might read this...so I'm not telling :)

I am going... Crazy.  Want to come?

I am wondering... If I did enough for Christmas presents this year.  I always say I'm going to simplify and cut back and then second guess myself and buy/do more at the last minute.

I am reading... New issues of Southern Living, Oprah, and Martha Stewart Living.

I am hoping... That a house repair we have to make is relatively minor.

I am looking forward to... Christmas. Sort of.

I am learning... A lot about herbs, vitamins, and supplements. 

Around the house... It's Christmas!  Tree. Stockings. Snowflakes cut from coffee filters. Etc.

I am pondering... Is that thunder I hear or the train yards a mile or so away?

A favorite quote for today...  From Northern Exposure:
You know, it's like Jung says, "The unconscious is revealed through the imagery of our dreams, which express our innermost fears and our desires."

Jung said that?

Yeah, I think it was Jung. Or maybe Vincent Price.

One of my favorite things... Russian Caravan Tea.  I just discovered it recently after it was referenced in one of my Stargate Atlantis books.  It's dark and smoky and just all together wonderful.  I've been thinking about getting some cherry preserves and using them to sweeten it.  I think I read about that somewhere.  For now, though, I'm just using a little sugar.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Visit my friend, Tammy, tomorrow. Start prepping to make the cake for Christmas. It's the 5 layer red velvet and white chocolate cheesecake from the front of the Dec. issue of Southern Living.  It's a bit ambitious, but I think it will be worth it.  I also need to wrap a few more gifts and get to the bank.

A peek into my day...

This entry was shared at The Simple Woman's Daybook

Friday, December 6, 2013

December 6, 2013

Outside my window... Snow and ice.  I haven't been out there, but it doesn't look like a whole lot of snow.  The ice is still falling.  I can hear it and I hate it.

I am thinking... Back to the big ice storm of '09.  That was a miserable experience and I think it's left me a bit traumatized.  We were without electricity for 10 days.  We did have heat, thanks to a backup heater in the living room but no hot water and all our cooking was done on a charcoal grill.  The sound of ice falling from the sky makes my stomach hurt now.  

I am thankful... That the power is still on.

In the kitchen...I cooked quite a lot yesterday because of my nerves about the ice heading our way.  So there's leftover gingerbread pancakes from breakfast, leftover black bean and chicken casserole and a pan of chocolate covered shortbread on the counter.  I'll probably cook a lot today, too.

I am wearing... I'm still in my purple Tinkerbell pajama bottoms a pink t shirt that says."I'm not mean, I just don't like you."  It's still early-ish and it's not like I'm going anywhere today.

I am creating... Lists!  So, Many, Christmas. Lists.  lol

I am going... To not leave the house until the weather and roads clear up.  

I am wondering...How long it's going to be before I can leave the house again.

I am reading...Quite a lot lately.  I'm procrastinating on the last Stargate Atlantis: Legacy book because I don't want the story to end.  I also have a stack of magazines that I am working my way through.  On top of the stack is the latest Mother Earth magazine.

I am hoping... That the tree branches and power lines stay where they belong.

I am looking forward to... Seeing my oldest son again for Christmas break.

I am learning... That mothering a preteen girl is a whole new ball game after raising two boys to adulthood.  My goodness.

Around the house... Christmas decorations.  Not as many as I have put up in the past, but enough.  I think it's enough...

I am pondering... Grand children.  I've never been one of those dying to have grand kids women.  If I wind up with some?  Ok.  If I don't?  That's ok, too.  I just want my children to be happy whether that means having kids or not...I'm good with it.  But lately I've started noticing baby things and ideas and since my youngest is nearly 12 now...that leaves me considering possible future grand kids.  If I do wind up with one (or some) they are going to be so spoiled.  

A favorite quote for today... "What goes around comes around.  And sometimes you get what comes around and sometimes you are what comes around."  That's from a Dresden Files novel by Jim Butcher.  They are infinitely quotable.

One of my favorite things... Here lately one of my favorite things is the flavor of gingerbread.  Which is odd, I've never been a big fan of gingerbread.  I guess my tastes are changing as I get older.  

A few plans for the rest of the week: Christmas shopping (on Amazon), for sure.  Everything else is wait and see right now.

A peek into my day...

This daybook was shared at The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Something New

1. What lesson has failure taught you?
To always, always have a back up plan or two.  I'm not truly comfortable unless I can pull a plan B, C, or F out of my hat at a moments notice.

2. What decision are you glad you made?
I'm glad I decided to go back to school even though I was older and had small children.

3. I've been a little bit surprised to see fully lit and decorated Christmas trees popping up for the past several weeks in friend's Instagram feeds. So tell the truth-is your tree up and decorated, and if so when did that happen? If not, when will you be decking the halls?
Nope.  Christmas decorations don't go up until after Thanksgiving.  The tree will be much closer to Christmas this year since we decided to get a live, potted tree.  I don't think it will do well in the house for more than a week or so.

4. Solitaire-Poker-Rummy-Hearts-Go Fish-Old Maid...which game of cards would you most like to join? 
I really don't care for card games, but if forced to choose... I guess Solitaire.

5. This question comes to you courtesy of a Facebook friend, who once upon a time had a blog...When you're feeling stressed do you snack a lot or are you more the 'can't eat' type? 
If it's ordinary stress I tend toward snacking.  If it's big, life changing event stress I  go for days without eating.

6.  Have you ever reviewed a product or service on line? Was your review favorable or less than favorable? 
Yes, several times.  The most recent was for Bath and Body Works Vanilla Bean Noel shower gel.  It was very favorable.  I love that stuff.

7. What was the best conversation you had yesterday? 
Catching up on all the local downtown gossip with my husband when he got home last night.  He's a chef in one of our city's nicest restaurants.  It's amazing what people say in front of the waiters and bartenders and how quickly that information gets spread around.  LOL 

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
Unpopular Opinion:  I don't really care for Thanksgiving.  Don't get me wrong, I'm very thankful for my life and everyone in it.  But the day, itself, is just aggravating.  We have a lot of family and it's a pain to try to get around to see everyone.  I don't love all the traditional dishes so the food is no big treat.  Besides, I have Native American ancestry  (some Cherokee and a little Blackfoot), so it's kind of hard not to look at all those little paper pilgrims and whatnot and *not* give them the finger.  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Diamond Candle's

For the last couple of months, as I've perused the internet, I have been seeing references to "Diamond Candles", which are candles with rings of varying value hidden inside of them.  I didn't think much of it at first, but lately it seems like you can't open a tab without seeing an ad or review.  So I finally decided to check them out.  Their origin story was pretty cute and the candles are 100% soy.  Since the price was comparable to a Yankee Candle (actually, a bit less once I hunted up a coupon code), I decided to give them a try.  I chose Gingerbread Latte, which is one of their holiday scents.  The online ordering process was quick and easy.  The shipping (FedEx Smart Post) seemed kind of slow, but I may just be spoiled since most of my online shopping is done through Amazon which tends to UPS.  I ordered on the 9th, it shipped on the 11th and I received it yesterday (the 19th).

I immediately opened it up and was very pleased with the scent.  Even unlit it smelled amazing.  I trimmed the wick and lit it up.  It burned for about 3 hours before I could see the little gold foil package that contained the ring.

I pulled it out with tweezers and let it cool for a few minutes.  Inside the gold foil wrapper was a little plastic bag and inside it was my ring.

It was gold colored with a pretty large oval shaped clear stone.  The inside of the band was stamped 925.  Questioning on the Diamond Candles Facebook page, leads me to believe that it's probably gold plated sterling silver.  I suspect the stone is CZ.  It feels and looks like one of those $10 or $12 rings you see on holiday displays at Sears or Kohl's.  It doesn't fit me or my daughter and it's probably not something I would have ever worn anyway.  The appeal for me is the Cracker Jack like experience of digging out the little package and opening it.  I burned the candle off and on throughout the day yesterday and when my husband came home from work he thought I had been baking something delicious.  He says the candle should be called False Hope instead of Gingerbread Latte.  LOL

All in all, the candle is well worth what I paid for it and the ring was a cute surprise.  If I'd been buying it hoping for a really nice piece of jewelry...I would have been disappointed.

You can check out Diamond Candles here:  http://www.diamondcandles.com/ or on their Facebook Page.

Disclaimer:  I bought my Diamond Candle for myself, they don't know I exist.  I get exactly jack if you check them out and/or buy from them.  I just wanted to share my experience. :)

Friday, November 15, 2013

November 15, 2013


Outside my window... It's kind of chilly and drizzling rain.  I'm arguing with myself whether or not to link to Guns n Roses' Cold November Rain video.  I think I'll refrain...for now.

I am thinking...About how hard I have to work to keep any sort of positive mindset at this time of year.  There's so little sunshine and I despise the cold so much.  Candles, hot beverages and my Himalayan salt lamp help.

I am thankful... For the above mentioned candles, lamp and hot beverages.  I know those sound like trivial things to be thankful for, but they really do help with my state of mind.

In the kitchen... The last 1/3 of a bushel of apples.  I bought them from a local co-op about a month or so and expected to wind up canning some of them.  I don't think I'm going to need to, though.  I've been making apple...well, everything really and my daughter has been eating them out of hand like they are going out of style.

I am wearing... Gray sweat pants, black tank top, white Old Navy hoodie.

I am creating... Not a lot these days.  I am sort of planning a pink flamingo ornament that I need to make for an exchange over on one of my favorite blogs Aunt Peaches.

I am going... To not leave the house today if I can manage it.  Although, I suspect my son will be calling for a ride home from work shortly.

I am wondering... When my gingerbread latte Diamond Candle is going to arrive.  I've never tried these candles before, but after reading some reviews and getting a coupon code...I had to give it a shot.

I am reading... The Stargate: Atlantis Legacy series.  It's 6 books that pick up where SG:A left off.  They are very good...better even than the series itself, I think.

I am hoping... for a smooth and safe trip to pick up my son from his college campus for Thanksgiving break.  

I am looking forward to... Seeing my son, if not the drive itself.

I am learning... That there is very little that I cannot fix with a roll of duct tape, tube of Liquid Nails, and an unbent coat hanger.  Just call me Macgyver.

Around the house... I'm burning my new favorite candles.  I was in Branson, MO a couple of weeks ago and while there I went in a Yankee Candle store.  They have these amazing pumpkin scented wooden wick candles and I just love them.  They smell so good and the crackling sound they make is very soothing.  I don't have a fireplace and this is the next best thing.

I am pondering... A second cup of chai or a third cup of coffee?

A favorite quote for today... "I just want to live happily ever after every now and then."  -- Jimmy Buffett

One of my favorite things...  ...brown paper packages tied up with strings... No, wait.  That's not right.  Although I do love getting those brown boxes from Amazon.  

A few plans for the rest of the week: Do a little Christmas shopping (on Amazon...love that free 2 day shipping with Prime), go to the library, start working on my flamingo ornament, etc etc.

A peek into my day...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Daybook 10-9-13


Outside my window... I have just begun Halloween decorating.  So far I have 3 pumpkins and 2 skeleton flamingos.

I am thinking... About how quiet my house is.  It's rare that I have the place all to my self.

I am thankful... For being able to spend a week  in Myrtle Beach with my husband.  It was a belated anniversary trip and it was wonderful.  

In the kitchen... a package of Halloween Oreos.  I've resisted the temptation to open them.  So far.

I am wearing... Purple flannel pajama pants with sheep on them, black tank top and my new Stargate necklace.

I am creating... Tonight I'm going to break out my brand new wood burning tool and see what sort of damage I can do.

I am going... To Branson with my daughter, mother and sister in 11 days.

I am wondering...How my son and husband are going to get along without me.  lol

I am reading... The Oct issue of All You.

I am hoping... That fall is on it's way.  I'd really like to turn the air conditioner off soon.

I am looking forward to... The aforementioned Branson trip with my daughter.

I am learning... To relax.  I wanna be Zen, man.

Around the house... I am listening to Bob Denver.  On 8 track.  My mom gave me Daddy's old avocado green portable 8 track player and a half dozen tapes today.  Old school is how I roll :)

I am pondering... That it's been nearly a year since Daddy passed.  I can't quite believe it's been that long.  Sometimes it still feels quite fresh and raw...

A favorite quote for today..."Nerd?  I prefer the term intellectual badass."  I saw it on a coffee mug.

One of my favorite things... Amazon Prime.  We signed up for the free 30 day trial on a whim and wound up keeping it and cancelling our cable tv.  It's that awesome.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Shuttling my son to his new job, playing with the new wood burner, making Welsh Rarebit with homemade beer bread, more Halloween decorating.

A peek into my day...

The avocado green 8 track player with an ELO tape sticking out of it.

This blog was shared on The Simple Woman's Daybook

Saturday, August 10, 2013

August 10, 2013

Outside my window... It's getting cloudy.  Again.  I don't mind too much, though.  It seems that having a garden has opened my mind a little when it comes to the weather.  I tend towards grumpiness and the blues when I don't get enough sun, but now I can appreciate not having to water the garden.

I am thinking...  About making an old school friendship bracelet.  I'm not sure my daughter has ever made one and I should fill in this gap in her education.

I am thankful...  For my house and my yard that is big enough for me to experiment with gardening as much as I like.

In the kitchen... I have two 12 packs of Ale8-1.  They are quite difficult to find here, but my mom brought them to me from the Eastern part of the state when she took my son back to college earlier this week.  

I am wearing... Denim shorts and a pink t shirt that says, "I'm not mean, I just don't like you."  lol

I am creating... A grocery list.  {sigh}  How exciting.

I am going... Nowhere today, if I can help it.

I am wondering... Which flea treatment I should get the dog.  K9 Advantix II doesn't seem to be doing the job anymore.

I am reading...  The Heming Way: How to Unleash the Booze - Inhaling, Animal - Slaughtering, War - Glorifying, Hairy - Chested, Retro - Sexual Legend Within.  It's hysterically funny, but not for the easily offended or faint hearted.

I am hoping... For many more weeks of swimming weather.

I am looking forward to... The End of the World and Riddick in the theater and my anniversary trip to Myrtle Beach.

I am learning... Horse back riding.  Slowly.

Around the house... I just planted the top off a pineapple.  A few months ago, when I peeled and sliced a grocery store pineapple I saved the top.  After removing all the fruit down to the root eyes and the lower 3 rows of leaves I set it in a jar of water to root.  And it worked!  :)  I let the roots continue to grow in the water for...well, a long time.  Today I potted it.  I doubt I'll ever get a pineapple off of it, but it makes a lovely tropical houseplant.

A favorite quote for today... "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once in a while...you could miss it."  --Ferris Bueller

One of my favorite things... Sugar skulls.  And I just so happen to have two brand new, gorgeous ones in my possession thanks to a dear friend in California.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Walmart, library, post office, bank, blah blah blah...

A peek into my day...

Saturday, July 27, 2013

At the Family Farm

I spent the first few days of this week with my husband and 2 of my 3 kids at my family farm.  We have some land in the country about a half hour away that has been in my family for 5 generations now.  We don't quite "rough it" as we have a couple of cabins, a well (running water) and electricity, but there is no internet, tv or phone.  I also have no cell phone reception out there.  It is wonderfully quiet.

My brother keeps a few horses on the land and is slowly teaching me and my daughter to ride a little bit.  My oldest son is a natural and took to it like a duck to water.  We rode the trails on the four wheeler, picked a few wild blackberries, played a dozen board games, ate our weight in smores, and just generally relaxed.  My husband cooked all our meals on the fire, and let me tell you... smoke makes everything taste better.

It was a nice break for all of us, and some solid time with my son before he heads back to college in a few weeks.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July 17, 2013

So, long time no post.  My back has taken a lot longer to heal than expected and so I haven't been up to much of anything besides reading, watching tv, and very slowly doing the bare minimum of household chores.      Getting older is such a ... well, I suppose it's better than the alternative.  I hope to have some pictures and maybe some recipes up soon.


Outside my window... The sun is going down after a *miserably* hot day.  The heat index was about 108 this afternoon.

I am thinking... About cutting off the cable.  It's getting so expensive and there is really very little worth watching any more.  I'm afraid the rest of the family might revolt, though.

I am thankful... That aside from a small issue here and there my household is all pretty healthy and happy.

In the kitchen... I have six pint jars of tomatoes that my husband and I canned this morning.  It was our very first time canning anything and I hope we did everything right.

I am wearing... Black shorts, purple tank top, bare feet

I am creating... A wash cloth.  Or maybe it's a dish towel.  I don't know what it's going to wind up being.  It's kind of a trapezoid shape and what I've wound up with as I've practiced my crocheting.

I am going... To spend a few days at the family hunting cabins next week.  Not to hunt, just to get out of town for a bit.  

I am wondering... How my husband is doing at work.  He's a chef and during this heat wave the kitchen he works in gets (in my opinion) dangerously hot.

I am reading... This month's Real Simple Magazine.

I am hoping... That this heatwave breaks soon.

I am looking forward to... Learning to make and can pickles, if I get any cucumbers out of the garden this year.

I am learning... To can tomatoes.

Around the house... In the course of one week I had my vacuum cleaner break and the lower heating element in my oven go out.  My husband fixed the oven and I got a new vacuum, so things are in pretty good shape.

I am pondering... Making a pineapple rum cake tomorrow.  My birthday was this past weekend and cake didn't sound appealing then...but it sounds awesome now.

A favorite quote for today... 我的媽和她的瘋狂的外甥都  (Pronounced Wuh duh ma huh tah duh fong kwong duh wai shung)  Translation: Holy Mother of God and all her wacky nephews.  
Just thinking it makes me giggle and the looks I get when I say it out loud are downright hilarious.

One of my favorite things... My laptop computer.  It's just the little $189 Chrome Book but I love it.  It's kept me very entertained during all this forced rest.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Packing up some things to take to the cabin, looking up some campfire recipes, running to the bank and the grocery store.

A peek into my day... (Not my picture, but iced tea is definitely a big part of my day, every day.)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Daybook 6-13-13

I never intended to make this blog strictly a daybook, but that seems to be the road I'm heading down.  I've been on bed rest for a back injury since Monday and I'm afraid that the meds and boredom have sapped all my creativity.


Outside my window... I hear that it's incredibly sunny, hot, and humid.  I can't actually see out a window from my bed or couch so I have to take their word for it.

I am thinking... That in exactly one month I will be turning 38 years old.  I don't really get too hung up on age, but it's funny because I really don't feel any different emotionally than I did at say 25.  Physically is a different matter altogether.  

I am thankful... For my wonderful husband and children.  They have been so helpful this week by taking care of the pets, cooking, and fetching things for me.  I don't know what I would do without them.

In the kitchen... I'm not sure what's going on in there, but it's not my problem for another day or two.

I am wearing... Tinkerbell pajama bottoms and a pink t shirt.

I am creating... Not a darn thing besides a dent on my couch / in my mattress.

I am going... A little stir crazy.  

I am wondering... How long it's going to take to get back to normal.

I am reading... Ladies' Night by Mary Kay Andrews.  So far it is very good.

I am hoping... To be able to get up and walk somewhere other than the bathroom tomorrow.

I am looking forward to... being able to swim again.

I am learning... to crochet.  Still.  Slowly.  I missed my class this week, I hope I'm not too far behind.

Around the house... I'm trying not to think about it.  It's going to be a few weeks before I can do any lifting or bending and the idea of the laundry, vacuuming, and dishwasher are disheartening.

I am pondering... Father's Day.  I want to help make the day special for my husband but I'm also dreading it a little.  This is the first Father's Day since my dad passed away.

A favorite quote for today... "Sister, they don't know what to do with just one of me."  --Richard B Riddick

One of my favorite things... My local library.  They keep me supplied with a steady stream of books and dvds and I've recently learned how to borrow and download ebooks.  All for free.  

A few plans for the rest of the week: Just rest and recovery, mostly.  Finish reading my book.  

A peek into my day...

I can't be up taking pictures obviously, but I saw this and it tickled me.

This daybook was shared at The Simple Woman's Daybook

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

June 5, 2013


Outside my window... bright sunshine and a yard full of plants.

I am thinking... about nothing in paticular.  Summer vacation brain has set in in a big way.

I am thankful... for being able to be a stay at home mom and homeschool my daughter.

In the kitchen... the top of a pineapple that I'm trying to get to root in a jar of water.  I think it's working :)

I am wearing... the softest green t shirt and tan shorts.  I'm recovering from a sunburn on my shoulders and trying to avoid peeling, so no scratchy or rough fabrics.

I am creating... a new entry way.  New paint, flooring and curtains.

I am going...  to the library to pick up the copy of Ladies Night that they are holding for me and then taking my daughter to archery practice.

I am wondering... if I should water the garden.

I am reading... nothing at the moment, but I will be starting the aforementioned Ladies Night later this evening.

I am hoping... that the hammock I ordered for my husband for Father's Day will arrive in time.

I am looking forward to... our anniversary trip to Myrtle Beach in Sept.

I am learning... how to crochet.  Still.

Around the house... lazy summer days are in full effect.

I am pondering... planting a container of chives on the front patio.

A favorite quote for today... "Curse your sudden, but inevitable, betrayal."  --Wash

One of my favorite things... A mason jar full of ice cubes and slightly sweet tea.

A few plans for the rest of the week: swimming, the library summer reading program kickoff, cooking a big batch of Cajun red beans and rice.

A peek into my day... buds on my lemon tree :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Simple Woman's Daybook 5-17-13


Outside my window... the Mexican primrose has started to bloom.

I am thinking... that another big glass of iced tea is in order.

I am thankful... for the spoiled rotten puppy that is curled up by my feet and the two spoiled rotten cats that are glaring at me for paying attention to him.

In the kitchen... a cherry cake I baked last night and some of the stuff I will use to make breakfast for dinner (Brinner!) tonight.

I am wearing...olive green cargo pants and my gray Grateful Dead t shirt with bare feet.

I am creating... a chain of crochet.  I don't think it's going to actually become anything...but I'm creating it :)

I am going... crazy.  Wanna come?

I am wondering... if it's going to rain or not.  I can't decide if I should water the plants yet.

I am reading...Immortal Never After by Lynsay Sands

I am hoping... that the 4H Shooting Club fundraiser tomorrow goes well.

I am looking forward to... the anniversary trip that my husband and I booked this morning.  Woohoo!  Myrtle Beach!

I am learning... how to crochet.  Slowly.

Around the house... bags of clothes to take to Goodwill.  I've been cleaning out closets.

I am pondering... life, the universe and everything.  The answer is 42.

A favorite quote for today... "What on earth could you be doing....where you couldn't wait 10 minutes for some hot donuts?" - Jase Robertson 

One of my favorite things... Chanel #5 perfume.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Continue (late) Spring Cleaning, prepare for my middle child's graduation and 18th birthday (just two days apart), roasting the turkey that has been in my freezer for longer than I care to admit.

A peek into my day...
My Mexican primrose

This entry was shared at The Simple Woman's Daybook