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

Monday, December 22, 2014

Monday Madness

Good morning! My 6:00 alarm song went off and I'm smelling coffee. (Ironically, that's the name of the song I wake up to). It's a catchy little tune. Reminds me that I've been given a clean slate to begin the day. Just one of our many blessings from God. 

This picture was in my inbox this morning. Made me smile. This makes life worthwhile. We got her that eskimo doll in Alaska. As grandparents we try to give educational gifts. The girls got puzzles and books from our travels along with indigenous dolls and sea animals. I wish I had gotten a photo of the plush squid. Yes, you read that right. A squid. It was really cool with tentacles and stuff. Some of the treasures they got were two books personally autographed by Libby Riddles, the first female musher to win the Iditarod race. We met her on our cruise in September. This kids had their family Christmas on Saturday. I'm still waiting for photos to pop up on Facebook, but this one came early. It soooo warmed my wee little heart!!!

Last night I dragged hubby to the movies. I got a wild hair and wanted to see Interstellar. There are lots of books out about this movie and the theoretical physics behind it. If you have an inkling about the theories behind the movie, the plot won't be that huge of a surprise. I figured it out in about 5-10 minutes. It was interesting nonetheless. I wish the movie had better sound. It was quite loud for me, and much of the sound interfered with the dialog. Parts of the movie got really really sappy for me. all in all, I enjoyed the film. Matthew Mc Conaughey did a beautiful job with his role. That, plus he's easy on the eye... LOL! I got a few of the books from Amazon, so I'll be exploring this current fascination more.

Hubby's been programming his scanner yesterday. He's been trying set up talk groups and stuff. It's the type of scanner that can pick up the digital/trunked systems of most responders. It was kinda funny listening to him programming it. Yes, he was talking about it out loud. Occasionally words would pop up like Vice, SWAT, or the like. He's programming in Seattle/Metro as well as our local frequencies. We are not in the Seattle metro area, we are literally two streets from the county line border.

I remember in Nashville, we listened to a vice sting go down on the scanner. The color commentary by the officers was priceless. You can only imagine! Hahah! Most cops are really funny guys. But you gotta have a good sense of humor to do what they do. It's a tough job. And it's getting tougher as time moves forward.

Today's order of the day is to make some curry dip for the shrimp I'll be taking to a potluck tomorrow. The recipe is from my late aunt. It also rocks with chicken.  I'll also head out to get some twizzzlers and a cadbury milk bar. I'm going to succumb to my craving. I'll also pop over to Radio Shack to get hubby a remote control toy to play with. Either that, or give him an iTunes card. Or both. While I have gifts to open, he doesn't. I feel bad about that. May also get him some razors and toiletry stuff. We'll see...

Sunday, December 21, 2014


Anacortes, WA

We took a long drive yesterday. Both hubby and I were experiencing a bit of cabin fever, so we drove around Anacortes and Whidbey Island.

Deception Pass State Park 
looking out onto the Strait of San Juan and the San Juan Islands

It felt good to get out. We were both tired by the end of the day, but it was a good kind of exhaustion.

Not wanting to cook this week, I had hubby drag me to Honeybaked Ham this morning and picked up a turkey breast and a ham. Then we got a big bag of rolls and salad fixings at the grocery. Dinner is done for the week. Keeping it easy here. Hubby's going to get really busy with a project this week that has a year-end deadline, and I want to rest some more. No cooking suits me just fine, thank you!

The kids had Christmas yesterday. I can't wait to hear how it went. Aunt Donna is posting photos tomorrow. I know son in law liked his compressor (I drew his name) and I know other son-in-law will like his hunting rifle from hubby. I can't wait to see who I draw for next year! It's always fun.

Big task the last few days was organizing the pantry and clearing crud out of the fridge. I got one bag out of the pantry and three bags out of the fridge. It's amazing how those itty bitty condiment jars just multiply and hide in the back of the fridge. LOL!

I've had a mad craving for gummy bears and red twizzlers lately. Debating on hitting the drugstore for a fix. No baking this year. Don't want to mess with it.

Hubby's getting pretty far on his plane. He's starting the wings now. I told him the next model should be a DeHavilland Beaver with pontoons (alaskan bush plane). We'll see... I know that making an Antonov 225 (huge russian cargo jet) is too expensive. We can't afford the jet engines needed to build that. I'm thinking of sneaking off to Radio Shack this week and buying him a radio control quad copter for Christmas. Just something fun for him to open.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Just another day

Miss Gg, from Grandma T's FB page
(Sooooo sweet! I miss this babygirl!)

Not a whole heckova lot is going on. Hubby is sick again. Struck down with the flu, I think. It's only a matter of time before I get it. He's home from work today, missing the office party. Poor thing.

I've been up since 3 am. But that is because I crashed at 8pm last night. I am slowly getting my talking voice back. Slowly. My lower throat area is still swollen and inflamed. I can feel it. Other than that, I'm feeling much better and just about normal. Well, normal for me. Hahaha!

The holidays are winding down on us, as is the year. Honestly, I don't know where it all went. It seems like just yesterday we were leaving Ohio for Washington State. And that was a few weeks shy of three years ago.

Hubby came home with a nice bonus check yesterday. That's the second one this year. We are so blessed to have him be a part of this company. They take awesome care of their employees. He's been ordering supplies to finish up his model plane. When he gets to another good stopping point, I'll shoot a photo of it for you. The thing is going to be huge!

It's a rainy day here in the Seattle area. Go figure. Snow is called for in the higher elevations. Honestly, I'd love a good snow down here. There's nothing more special than a white Christmas. But I guess we'll have to settle for gray. Hahahahaa!

I'm still in the air as to what to do for Christmas dinner. Chances are I will end up cooking. I have two lamb shanks that we purchased from the farmer's market this summer. I may make them up all fancy. I remember my old hairdresser in Nashville used to do her lamb with a bit of anchovy and tomato sauce. She was from Siciliy, Italy. I may try her method. Who knows, I may also hit Cotsco for a small rib roast. I do love me some rare beef. I'm craving a good filet with crab, asparagus, and hollandaise.

I got my last gift finished and in the mail yesterday. The post office was crazy. I was so excited to get out of the house yesterday that I didn't mind the wait at the post office. I can relax now. Everyone in my family has been taken care of.

This is the first year in a very long time that I haven't baked goodies for Christmas. I keep setting butter out to soften, but ten minutes later I change my mind and put it back. Nothing is really hitting me cookie-wise. I have been craving chocolate, so I may break down and try some fudge. Maybe. Maybe not. (I was dreaming about fudge this morning in my sleep!). Hell's bells, I should just drive over to See's and get me a box of creams and get it over with. But then I keep saying that I don't need it. I hate being so dang wishy washy.

To help pass the time, I've been reading a Robyn Carr trilogy. She writes good book-candy. This one is the Grace Valley Trilogy. I'm on book three. She's a good cozy romance writer. It's fluff, but sometimes a gal needs some fluff in her life. Next up will be something more substantial. Maybe a spy or thriller.

Sorry I'm not the bastion of excitement today.  Sometimes life just gets mundane. But I'll take mundane over craziness. I bet you would, too!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Portrait of Life

Today my big brother Anthony turns 55 years old. This guy has taught me so much in life. Lessons I've been truly blessed to learn. He taught by example. He is resilient. He is warm, friendly, funnier than hell, and just a big kid. Lastly, he lives with Down Syndrome. I say lives with because he lives with this condition every day. It doesn't days off.

And yes, He lives.

One of the biggest lessons I've learned from him was, "What you see is what you get".  He is who he is, makes no excuses, and stays true to his genuine self. He doesn't try to be like someone else. He happily marches to his own band. As he says (in Anthony speak): "AyeYaYee... me!"

I've learned forgiveness and resilience from him. Many times as a kid, he was teased or stared at because he looked different and talked funny. I always wondered why people did that. He was just my brother... another guy... but he just kept on going.

He demonstrates resilience each time he's knocked down. I remember shortly after a medical issue he faced, the school put him in the infirmary to rest. Nope, he wanted none of that, and went about on his daily routine.

I was taught a good lesson on intelligence versus intelligence. Yes, you read that right. He figured out how to drive. Was the first kid to drive. Drove the car right into the basketball pole. Yes, it was only about three feet, but he did it... first.

One day mom wanted him to stay inside. He wanted to go out and play. She locked the screen door. Nope. He's an escape artist. To the drawer to find scissors so he could cut his way out. (one of my favorite stories!) My mom used to day, "Well, he isn't stupid".

That's smart.

Those are just a couple of lessons I've learned along the way. Rumor has it he's got a week-long celebration going on at School. Several staff members are taking him out to lunch (he's in demand!) and his class had a party today. So glad.

Despite his disability, he's led a charmed life. He is surrounded by family, friends, and the best that life has to offer. He has a positive attitude to take on what comes up, and a dogged-stubbornness (runs in the family) to persevere, and a heart as big as his smile.

I'm proud he's my big brother.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday Stuff

This picture made my day yesterday. They were on their way to the barn to see Daddy. Note the two different boots on MissGg. Silly girl!

Yesterday was a crazy day. Just a bunch of doc visits for hubby and I. All is well and nothing earth-shattering going on. Just bronchitis and mild pneumonia. Not sure if I was just starting the pneumonia or getting over it. Poor hubby has Bronchitis. I caught it from him. So we are both medicated up and on our merry ways.

I was kinda hoping that Satruday's feel good wasn't the calm before the storm. DRAT!

After an accidental overdose of steroids and a breathing treatment yesterday, I'm doing much better today. Just hungry as hell. I hate the steroids. I made the mistake of taking the pills per the direction on the bottle, versus the oral instructions she gave me (long story). So I have 8 days of the stuff versus ten. I've re-worked the taper down schedule with the remaining stuff and it should all even out in the end. It just gets confusing when you get the big pills you have to chop down versus the nice handy little dose packs. Boo!

The doc says the respiratory crud going around has been pretty virulent this year. She told me if it comes back full force, I may land in the hospital. She also said that she had three flu cases that morning -- the one the vaccine didn't cover (H3N2).
So folks, here's my PSA: WASH YOUR HANDS! You don't even have to use antbacterial soap. Just regular soap and water cleaning for 2 minutes under warm water does the trick. And keep your hands away from your face.
I'm behind on holiday shopping with my family. I feel so bad. It looks like I may be doing some last minute shipping with UPS. I'm hoping I'll be able to get out tomorrow. Today I'm going to rest to let the Z-pack and the prednisone do their work.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Finally feeling human

Yay! I woke up and got dressed in real clothes!

Yes, I'm finally feeling human. While I still have that pesky cough, I've got my energy and mojo back. And I even threw on a bit of makeup. Just my everyday stuff (BB cream, mascara, blush). Gotta head to the drug store to pick up more Delsym cough syrup. Good to have on hand in case this crud comes back. I'll so stock up on Vitamins.

Hubby's off at work. It looks like he'll be working Saturdays until the end of the year. He has five machines on a December 31 deadline and they may be sending him out to NC to troubleshoot another situation that is heading south due to a bad service call. It comes down to an employee/communication issue. No one can tell him what the problem is that needs to be fixed. It's a long story. He has a way of smoothing things out and getting to the bottom of things. They pulled him into this mess to help troubleshoot. That's my guy. He's brillant about this stuff. And he thrives on it!

He just laughs and says, "This is what semi-retirement looks like." Those of you who know hubby in real life are shaking their heads in agreement. Bless him!

I'll be spending some studio time this weekend -- I'm working on my handmade portion of the gift I am getting for my family drawing person (Hubby's ex's side). Feeling like the goddess of the last minute. My person not a quilt type, so I'm making something small and supplementing it with a larger present. I found a photo of his car and I'm making a "mug rug" out of it. Sending some coffee, a travel mug, and then shipping out an air compressor and tools he desperately needs for his workshop. He had an issue with with a project he was working on earlier, and if he had the compressor, it would have nipped it in the bud. So I'm going to take care of him.

Then I gotta finish working on my brother's birthday (order balloons for delivery -- it's a family tradition) and my side of the family. That's easy. I'll send some cashola and gift cards to the girls. My nieces always appreciate that.

Speaking of Christmas, I heard from my Reddit Secret Santa Giftee. I had to message him to send me a picture to work on a project for him. He's saving the gift to open on Christmas. Now I can quit hitting refresh so much to see if he and his family opened the gift. I know they are young and newlyweds, so this may be all the Christmas they get. I've seen some cool gifts get posted. Someone bought time flying a cessna, various kits to start new hobbies (that was a question -- what would you like to learn as a new hobby?), someone got a snack box filled with food from a giver's country or state, a replica collector's Templar sword for using during Renaissance festivals, electronic games, cat toys (cat stuff/dog stuff is very popular), cooking lessons, books. Seeing the posts and the "thank yous" makes my heart warm. Like I say, for many of these folks it may be their only Christmas.

I haven't heard from my Santa since he/she pulled my info and told me he/she was a real person. It may be boom or it may be a bust. I don't care. I've already gotten my gift in playing in this exchange. These folks really have tons of fun! Oh and if you're wondering what my new hobby was to learn? It was fly-fishing. I'd like to give it a whirl once I get more mobile. If at the very least, I'll learn to tie flies. I get into detail work like that. I miss fishing.

Speaking of missing, I woke up this morning missing my grandbabies something fierce. I would give anything for a hug and smooch from them right now. Might have to arrange and online tea party. LOL!

Hope your weekend is fun. I'm going to try to talk hubby into a nighttime drive either tonight or tomorrow. I want to see some Christmas lights.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Being a Rebel?

Today I'm trying to lighten things up a bit by wearing non-matching socks. With me wearing the boot, no one knows what a rebel I am. Yes, this gal is wild. My replacement boot is on the way. It arrives early next week. So that means I can play around with this one. Might have to get out the sharpie markers and play.

Hubby and I just finished watching Bomb Girls on Netflix. It's a WWII series on the women who worked in an munitions plant in Toronto. We both thoroughly enjoyed it. Sad to see it end last night. The casting was wonderful (except for one actress I can't stand). They handled their roles beautifully.

Last night's wind storm was a doozie! Dang, that wind sounded like a frieght train! Our power did lots of blinking, but stayed on. Lucky us. Others are not so lucky.

Oh my... Just looked at the calendar and noticed it's Friday! yippeee!I've lost track of my days this week.

Today I'm still under self-imposed quarantine and rest. So it's Christmas movie day on Netflix. Starting off with White Christmas, the real version. Still coughing my brains out (among other things). All I will say is Thank God for poise pads! (sorry guys!) A friend of mine says that after 40 coughing is an extreme sport. She was spot on!