"Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong.
The amount of work is the same." ~Francesca Reigler

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Milk Man Day

Today was milk man day. And I got our order lickety split. I finally got to shake his hand (tip him) and thank him for delivery all sorts of yummy stuff. Nice young man. Hubby is happy. He has his small container of chocolate milk and his two half-gallons of the regular stuff (1%). I have my cottage cheese and half and half. I really need to quit using those dang flavored creamers. They're addictive...

I turned the heat off yesterday and I'll be dipped... it was so darn cold that I had to put on socks this morning! I had hubby turn it back on. I guess those 50-degree damp days will continue to settle into these middle-aged bones.

Yesterday I had my first french fries in a long while. I gave them up for lent. Oh my golly, I was snarfing those fries down like there was no tomorrow. Ate them all before I started on my sandwich. They tasted sooo good! Need a kick in the pants for that. I don't eat them often, but they are so good.

Most of today I puttered around the studio and did laundry. I got a quilt top sandwiched and I'm outlining some block areas to quilt. I've got a definite plan on how I'm going to accomplish this.

That also meant an audio book. I'm listening to one of M.C. Beaton's Hamish MacBeth mysteries. I love listening to audio books while I work. They make good company.

No huge plans for the week/weekend. Just doing a sewing session with an instructor on Satruday. She's a well-known quilter. I just like spending time with her. She has a sit down and sew session through a local shop. I just like to hear her stories.

On Sunday I'll be attending a quilt show. I'll have three small pieces in this show. But I'm not going for that. I want to see the work of my fellow guild members.

Just a lot of mundane stuff going on. No excitement here (and I like it that way!)

Dinner: We had BBQ chicken thigh sammies, salad, and V8. What did you have?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Just What I Needed

Hubby sensed my homesickness. That and the sun was shining, so we piled in the car for a road trip. This time we headed East on I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass...

After a HUGE breakfastlunchdinner at the local Jewish deli. I had a HUGE pastrami reuben. Emphasis on huge. Did I say HUGE? Yes. Next time I'll just order a half of a sammie. But, Oh.... it was soooo good! That took care of our meal for the day. Thank you.

Then we pointed the mighty Jeep East to the Snoqualmie Pass. And kept on going. Hubby had a wild hair to go see Roslyn, WA. Why Roslyn, you ask? It's a place where most of us have seen. Have you ever watched the old television show, Northern Exposure? Yes, Roslyn was Cicely, Alaska. LOL! And no, there wasn't a moose hanging out on Main Street.

That took about 2 minutes to drive around town. Yes, that small.

On our way we passed a well-known northwest resort called Suncadia. Oh my, what a beautiful area!

This resort features a lovely lodge...

With a cozy rustic lobby...

That had a view. We ordered a coffee from the cafe and just sat and enjoyed the beautiful view while talking out my homesickness. We were seated by the restaurant that was serving a special Easter buffet. I could smell the luscious smoked salmon from where I sat. It smelled divine. Not fishy, but a mellow sweet smokiness...

After our stop at the Lodge, We drove around to look at the homes. The friendly gentleman at the gate said the homes are all million dollar plus. Now remember, these are west coast prices. If we had the funds, we would live here...LOL! Luckily, dreaming is free.

Then for those inclined to chase a ball around on the grass and knock it in a hole, there's golf. Their 54 holes are scattered around the resort... like a golf trail. While this hole/fairway isn't too scenic, trust me... the beautiful ones are hidden away from view.

On our drive around the grounds we passed a small inn, spa, golf pro shop, a pool area, youth club area with basketball courts, and an on-site winery/event venue (pictured above). The resort is bike, pedestrian, and pet friendly. There are walking and bike trails throughout the resort.

We'll be back.

The photo above is the farmland that borders Carnation, WA. This was on our way home. Carnation was the home of the dairies that farmed Carnation milk. The actual farm has now been sold and turned into a summer medical camp for kids. But the views of the valley are peaceful with the Cascades in the background. This place isn't too far from us. About 10 miles or so.

It was fun to explore a new spot. Yes, I still miss certain parts of home, but I really love it here. Homesickness is to be expected. I guess it was the holiday and seeing the family photos. This wee trip was the perfect treatment for such. Now I'm looking forward to and dreaming about spending a weekend in the mountains.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Living Two Lives

The grandkids

Today I feel like I lead two completely different lives. I just saw photos from the Easter celebration back home with the kids and their family. Feels like another lifetime. I guess it's making me a tad homesick in some respects. Seeing the pics of the family at the farm, our airstream, the dogs, and place that brings me peace.

I love my life here... don't get me wrong... but I feel like this is a completely different life. Like ne'er the twain shall meet. Kinda makes me sad. I wish the two different lives could come together. They would both like each other, so to speak. 

I miss the open peacefulness of The Farm. Waking up to dew on the grass, looking form the pasture to the weathered red barn. Bly, the mischievous farm dog, doing her rounds, while Boo-Belle stays close by looking for attention. The buzz of the bees, the birds at the feeder. And driving down the country road with the windows open, music blaring, and taking in the sunshine. 

The morning coffee with the kids. Family gatherings around the firepit. The laughter. The hugs. I miss the hugs. And the stories that have now become part of my former life. At least that is how I feel... Like it's a former life. 

I guess I'm just homesick... Sigh. 

Today the sun is shining. I'm debating on cleaning our carpets (what we should be doing) versus going out and enjoying the sunshine. I bought a new carpet cleaner in hopes of getting the traffic areas under control. 

I need some natural vitamin D. And perhaps another good cup of coffee. 

Please keep a friend of mine in your thoughts. Many of you remember the lady from the "Queen Size Funny Bone" blog. Her home burned down late last week, along with four other homes in her neighborhood. Luckily everyone is okay, but the home is a total loss. I had the opportunity to meet the Queen in person and she is a very sweet, dear, funny person. And even over the many years (this goes back to my "Lois" days) we still keep in touch. 

But like today signifies, out of the "ashes" so to speak, comes new life. And I'm sure that there will be new and positive things happening to the Queen and her family. 

Enjoy today. Be blessed!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wednesday Night Wonderings

It's 9:04pm on a Wednesday night. Today was just an okay day. Felt out of sorts. Nothing bad, just a tad on the "off" side. So I stayed home in my comfy clothes and puttered around the house. I tried to make banana bread, but it just didn't turn out. It was overdone and I only had 2 bananas instead of three to go in it. Into the trash it goes. Wasn't good. It really needs all three or four.

I guess if I accomplished anything, it was washing and drying a load of dishtowels and hot pads (still in the dryer). I also organized a new project in the sewing room. Oh, and I made two new hot pads. My old ones are getting yucky. I bought a whole bunch of fabric with deviled eggs on it. Made them from that. It's a Southern thing. Southerners love their deviled eggs. I need to trim some pretty dish towels, too!

Speaking off eggs, I have a plethora of eggs in the house -- 30-something. Might have to boil a few and make some deviled eggs. I like mine plain and simple. Just mayo, salt, and pepper. Sometimes I put in sweet relish. But that's the fanciest they get.

Our Milkman (because he's a guy) comes on Wednesday. Hubby says he likes the milk and that it's good and fresh. I just had a glass myself and it's good. So we'll continue with Smith Brothers Farms. Hubby wanted me to add some chocolate milk to the order. So that's done. I added some cottage cheese for me. So on Wednesday next week, it will be a dairy Christmas, so to speak. LOL! I think I'm going to try to wean myself (again) from the flavored creamers and just try half and half in my coffee. So that's on the delivery list, too. Do y'all need anything? If only they'd deliver ice cream ... LOL!

Shoot fire, between Amazon and these folks, I really don't need to get out of the house. LOL! I even think that Safeway grocery store delivers to our area. Groovy cool! Maybe they deliver ice cream... LOL!

Oh, I finished my book today. Just in time for hubby to be home. Perfect timing. It was The Twelve by Justin Cronin, Part 2 of The Passage Trilogy. I normally don't go for this genre (kind of a cross between futuristic, sci-fi/outbreak/vampire-ish type fiction), but he really wrote a good a good story and the characters were quite engaging. It's about a government experiment gone horribly wrong. Now I'm left waiting until later this year for the final installment. The first book, The Passage, was quite long. But it did a really good job of setting up the series and kept me engaged with the storyline.

I can't remember the next audio book I just checked out. Some sort of art mystery. It's not my favorite Daniel Silva/Gabriel Allon series. Those are the best. I've even got Hubby hooked on those. But this one is a new series I've never heard of. I love the fact that eBooks are making more and more authors available to us.  I'm still reading the last part of the Divergent Series. I think I've got about 10 or so pages to go. Then I need to read a Vince Flynn novel (Act of Treason) for book club in May. That will give me time to dig into my Jack Reacher book-books (thanks Sandee!). And yes, I will be paying those forward when I'm finished.

So how did it get to be Easter this weekend? Where the heck did time go? Ya know. I gave up french fries for lent. To be honest, I don't miss them. I think I'm onto something...

Sunday, April 13, 2014

God is Alive and Well

The weather forecast for the weekend was sunny and highs in the upper 50s/lower 60s. So seizing the opportunity, we made a quick reservation on the Olympic Peninsula. I discovered a recently renovated hotel in Port Angeles that looks out on a golf course. This was the view from our room. If you look really hard between the trees in the top of the photos, you can see the Olympic Range. The hotel had nice professionally landscaped gardens for the patio rooms below, complete with fountains. At night we could hear the frogs just singing away... and the water sound... so peaceful.

We started our day with a trip west of Port Angeles to Salt Creek Recreation Area. This is a Clallam County facility, complete with a breathtaking view of Tongue Point out into the Strait of San Juan de Fuca. This photo was taken from Outlook #2 at the campground. Yes, a VERY nice campground, I may add.

We then made our way a bit farther and spent the rest of the morning at Crescent Bay. There is a private campground that charges $6/person for day use. We found a driftwood log to relax on, and just recharged our batteries. The smell of the saltwater, sand, driftwood, and kelp just put me into instant battery recharge mode. I just closed my eyes every now and then and took in deep breaths, making an effort to put this place deep into my memory banks.

While we were there we watched surfers intent on riding waves, and kayakers paddling out into the Bay. Just about ten of us on the beach and in the water. Just plain peaceful. No other words for it. Sorry I didn't get photos of this place, my phone was pinging Canadian cell service and I didn't want to incur international fees. I did pick up a small palm-sized piece of driftwood as a souvenir.

We then pointed the mighty jeep for Hurricane Ridge, part of the Olympic National Park. By the time we were halfway up the two lane road, I knew we were going to a special place. This was taken at at a roadside viewpoint just inside the park.

After several hairpin turns and switchbacks, we made our way up within the snow line. As the full view of the range came into view, my nose got tingly and my eyes watered. Yes, I was about to cry. It was so beautiful... But yet so humbling. It was the same reaction I had the moment I saw the Swiss Alps from Gornegrat.

I have no words to describe it other than humbling. You look out on these glaciers and snow-capped peaks and you can't help but feel overwhelmed... But in a good way. It's like you've been slapped with such beauty and grandeur that you have no other choice but feel so small. Your problems disappear and you can't think of anything other than what's in front of you and who put it there (God).

Yes, this is a major God Spot in my book.

I so wished my parents were with me to see this.  I don't know why I thought of them... Maybe my brain was processing this as heaven? Who knows. But in my eyes, God is alive and well and living in Washington State.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Luck Continues

I stepped out the front door today and saw this. Made me smile. My mom dearly loved her rhodies. So I felt like this was a smile from mom.

The reason why I opened the front door? This. We are trying out local milk delivery. It's good homeone-free local milk. We're starting with delivery every other week -- two half-gallons and a dozen brown eggs. This will eliminate a grocery stop. In the summer I usually shop at Costco for meat, and then the produce stands for sides. Meats, fruits, and veggies are our summer staples. My milkman's name is Austin. He left me a nice little note welcoming me to his service area. Reminds me of when the Sealtest man used to deliver our milk when I was young. We had one of those milk boxes at our back door. Cool! Makes me feel spoiled up here.

My luck continued today. A friend asked me to lunch. When I got there she had a loaf of coconut bread from her favorite Asian bakery for me. It's the closest thing to the nice sue buns I used to get in Nashville. It's almost like rich egg bread with a sweet coconut ribbon. The version here comes as a loaf, also has cinnamon and raisins. The version at home comes in little buns and minus the cinnamon and raisins.

We went to the local Thai joint, D-Thai in Bothell. We split the spring roll appetizer (so good!) and I had the Kow Soy Chicken -- a creamy coconut milk-based curry sauce over egg noodles. I asked thenice lady to make it spicy. It was heavenly! The sauce isn't curry like Indian curry, but curry as a melange of spices and chiles, with essence of salty fish sauce, the sweetness of coconut milk, a hint of lemongrass... Just divine!

We talked and laughed.

Then I hit the gas station where I bought three powerball tickets. I figure it's worth a shot. This will tell you how long it has been since I've played. When did they become $2 each?

Next errand was the local drugstore chain. I needed a passport photo taken. Passport is due for renewal in May. I might need it for a future cruise I may be taking later this year... LOL! I picked up a few things and came home.

My makeup order arrived one day early. I'm so happy because I was dying to open my box and play. It'll be fun playing with my new box of colors. LOL! A lot of these items are multiples of same items. I just want to keep backstock handy. It saves on postage and gas in the long run. Plus it stretches the 50% off discount. It looks like all the new stuff I bought are winners, so that makes me happy.

Life here is so good lately. It scares me. Almost like I don't deserve it. I keep thinking something is gonna bust. But reality says it will, so I will ride this out and appreciate every moment of it. It's a gift.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Double Whammy

Remember when I got the free Starbucks coffee yesterday? Well I was the local fabric/craft store and bought some fabric for a quilt back. Went to pay for it, and the cashier said I had a $15 off loyalty credit available that I could use.

Wow! That's TWO awesomely wonderful things this week!!!! I teasingly told my friends that I'm not usually that lucky... Chances are I'll wake up dead tomorrow. So If you don't see me, my luck ran out!


But seriously. I love these small blessings. Like the surprise box in the mail last week from a friend. Made me smile. "Hey, I'm thinking of you..."

I have lunch plans for tomorrow. I can't wait! I haven't spent a lot of time with my one friend in a long while. She's been busy with other stuff. I'm secretly hoping for lunch at the local tea room. We'll see...

Gotta scoot. I downloaded some magazines from the library and I need to catch up... Country Living, and older quilt magazine, and cooking magazine. I might check the other library to see if they have a new Grit or Mother Earth News, or Redbook issue out yet.

Hope your week will be as lucky as my last two days have been!