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

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hopefully not today...

Good morning! Yes, it's another big mug of tea. I woke up before hubby's usual 4am alarm this morning and have been unable to get back to sleep. So I have an extry-large mug of tea. Will probably chase it with a coffee on the run. I'm now wheezing like crazy, so my steroid inhaler is coming in handy. I'll be hitting it 2x/day versus the usual one.

So yesterday was grocery day. And as luck would have it I broke out with a major major hot flash during that trip. I mean seriously soaking, dripping wet and looking like plague woman. I'm sure there were a few stares. I made it a point to choose the older checkout lady and mutter about hot flashes, so she didn't think I had some dreaded disease or something.  I'm getting them more often (almost daily). As a result, I'm seriously debating on seeking treatment.  I've had mild flashes for about ten years, but this past year they've gotten much worse, and the last few months they've really stepped up big time!

Yesterday's flash was so bad that I had to change clothes twice and chug a quart of water and sip the second quart. The aftermath was like a really bad hangover. All I ask is hopefully not today, and definitely not tomorrow. Tomorrow I have a class at someone's home studio. I don't want to have to run home in the middle of the class.

Today I have a meeting with my modern quilting small group. There's usually 20 or so ladies who get together to discuss topics on modern quilt design. I was reminded late last night that I'm leading a discussion about online resources. Yikes! Guess who forgot??? Me! I'm not worried, though. This is a subject I'm passionate about and can rattle off the top of my head.

I dodged that bullet. I do, however, need to work on my presentation for that subject, as I'll be speaking to the entire guild in March on leveraging your computer and online resources to boost creativity, technique, and inspiration.

Things were busy in the kitchen yesterday. I'm making Italian roast beef. The recipe is simple. Take a beef roast (@3lbs), add two cans of Campbell's French onion soup, 2 cans of water, 2 envelopes of ranch seasoning mix (I make my own in a lower salt version and use 4 tablespoons), and one jar of pepperoncinis (juice and all!). Slow cook for 8 hours. Chill it and then on the next day, skim off the fat, add sliced colored bell peppers and onion, and slow cook it again. I'll be making some homemade sandwich rolls for this. Can you say yum? I snuck a taste of the beef and some au jus and it is wonderful!

That's about it for big excitement in my world. I know all this has you on the edge of your seat. LOL!

Go out and make it a good day, y'all!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Autumn Cravings

Good morning everyone! I'm somewhat back with the living 85%. Right now I'll take that!  Aside from some crackling and wheezing, I'm fairly normal. Well... normal for me. LOL!

Evidently we had a wee bit of a shaker/jolt early this morning. Just a shallow 4.0 quake. While it was across the sound, Some say they felt it up around here. I didn't.

I need to venture out today to the grocery. Need some comfort food. Going to find me a good sized chuck roast and make some Italian beef. I found an awesome Italian bread recipe on the interwebs. So darn freaking easy! It uses instant yeast, so you can have it readyin just over an hour. Going to make a batch of rolls for some good sammies with that beef using that bread recipe. It'll be just like the sammies in Chicagoland that hubby loves.

I also think a pot of veggie soup is in order. Good brothy soup... Good for the constitution and for cooler weather. The leaves have changed outside. While it's not full-blown color yet, it is starting to get colorful. Autumn is my favorite season and for that I'm thankful.

That's all I have to say. Nothing much going on. It's been quiet and I like that.  Make it an awesome day!!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Vacation in Alaska

Our trip to Alaska was phenomenal! We boarded the Grand Princess Cruise ship here in Seattle on Sunday. It was cool sailing out of the Puget Sound and Strait of San Juan into the Pacific. The moment we got into the Pacific there was a huge fog bank, so it looked like we were sailing away to dream land. We just disappeared into the fog. 

Monday we woke up and watched whales blow alongside our ship. Didn't see tails or bodies, just the blowing. We did see some porpoises and seals though. 

Tuesday we woke up to an incredibly beautiful sunny day (rare) in Ketchikan. I think that ranks with me as the most scenic port. I had fallen out of bed in the middle of the night and was nursing a hurt knee (still banged up, bruised, and sore), so we stayed outside on one of the decks and watched the float planes and boats come in. Bill taught me about the float planes, how you can tell a DeHavilland Beaver float plane from a plain Cessna float plane. I just loved watching them come in! Just me and my binoculars just having fun!

Wednesday we sailed into a fjord arm that had some glaciers. Oh my heaven... seeing the steep fjords and the icebergs, the bright blue ice set against the rugged rocky mountains, and the bluish green glacial waters. Heavenly! Especially during sunrise!!!!! That was the area I took the photo I sent ya. 

Later that day we stopped in Juneau. There we took a tour of the salmon hatchery and Mendenhall Glacier. I love fish hatcheries. And seeing the salmon spawn as they come back to breed was fascinating. Watching them jump through the fish ladder to the holding tanks was fun. 

Mendenhall Glacier was like being in a cathedral. You couldn't help but feel like you were in a holy, sacred space. Seeing the millions of years of ice coming down from a mountain, craving beautiful pathways through granite slopes... pure love... I was in such awe. 

After our tour we went to a salmon bake dinner. It was this hokey little setup that kids would have liked. We got to eat fresh grilled salmon from an open wood fire. HUbby and I got a chuckle out of our bus driver home. It was like he was casted straight our of Northern Exposure. So deadpan funny!

Thursday saw us in Skagway. This small town was the heart of the Alaskan gold rush. We took a historic train ride up to White Pass (part of the Klondike/Yukon trail). While it was foggy and overcast, it was still ideal weather for the area. 

I love Alaska for it's ruggedness and raw beauty. I stand corrected. I chose Washington as my favorite state in the Union. Alaska is like Washington, but on steroids... Hence it has moved up to my favorite.  I love the rugged landscape, the beautiful waterways... Oh, I just want to sail through those fjords again!!!!!

Hubby has been talking about retiring there. Shhhh! Don't tell him, but I would kind of like that, too!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Catching Up

Good afternoon and happy September!

I can't believe we are nine months into the year already. It just seems like we just celebrated New Year's day. I'm not happy with this time going at a break-neck speed. Sheesh, I'm gonna blink and it will soon be 2025!

This has been a good holiday weekend. I started it on Friday and Saturday sewing with some friends, and then we did our fall/winter clothes shopping. I bought me a new pair of black shoes (my old ones were 6 years old and had a small mishap, and I'm still searching for brown ones (those were about 7-8 years old). I can wear my boots and hikers until then. Time to retire the old stuff.

For me, Fall/winter shopping entails me going to Wally World and buying about 10 tops. I'm okay on the jeans front, but needed some tops. I have a knack for getting that dribble on the chest that doesn't come out in the wash no matter what I try. So as a result, I keep things simple and fairly disposable. This time it was 8 tops and three zip up sweatshirts. We don't need much in terms of coats here. So the zip up hoodies will be fine. I'm all about casual and comfortable.

Hubby sprung for some jeans, hiker pants, and flannel shirts from Cabelas. He said folks were shopping like crazy at Cabelas, filling their carts with ten pairs of jeans, a dozen shirts, coats and stuff. Turns out they were from British Columbia (Canada). Prices are just way too high up there for clothing and the rate exchange is so favorable for them right now. Then we wer at Kohl's to buy a pair of khakis and some crew neck sweaters.

Apple season has begun! Yay! Our local fruit stand is getting in a steady flow of apples. I'm a honeycrisp gal. When they are fresh up here, they are pure divine apple goodness. Came home with six to eat this week. Also got a bunch of veggies. Have a pot of smoked sausage soup going. Yum. Just what this gal has been craving. I used fresh tomatoes, onion, carrots celery, zucchini, cabbage, and green beans in it.

I've been having several weird cravings lately -- soup and Krystal burgers. I can't get Krystal's here in the Pacific Northwest, but I can make soup. So it's on the menu! I need to research some recipes to see if I can come close to making a Krystal burger.

I've been dealing with vertigo the last few days. It seems like the major dizziness is over. That was not fun. I didn't like things going topsy-turvy all at once. Now my ears are ringing like crazy. I guess that's better than the dizziness.

This too shall pass.

I'll be going on a blog hiatus this week and next week. Next week I'll be unplugging from all electronic communication. This is a planned good thing. Don't worry, all is well. Just wanting to take care and enjoy some things without interruption.

So, all that being said, I'll see you in a couple of weeks. Okay? I promise, I'll be back! LOL!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Three Thankful Things, Day Six

Good afternoon! Today is Day 6 of 7 of my Three Thankful Things series. 

As usual, today's thankful things are simple things: 
  1. Thankful for nourishment, for milk delivery. -- I found that with our milk delivery, I get better dates on our milk containers. That makes me happy. Hubby is a HUGE milk drinker. I go for the cottage cheese. (our delivery is three 1/2 gallons of 1% milk, 1 quart of chocolate milk, 1 small container of cottage cheese, and a dozen eggs -- every two weeks).
  2. Thankful for the sisterhood of quilting. -- This morning I went to a small group discussion on "modern" quilting. Mainly we just show and tell resources for inspiration and show off our work. It's nice to be able to share in a "safe" environment. 
  3. Thankful for clean clothes and the tools to keep them clean. -- I've been listening to a series of Amish-themed short stories this week. One of my audio books. That got me to thinking that I really have it easy doing laundry. Load. Push a Button. Done. Glad I don't have to do all that washing and drying stuff by hand!
It turned out that they found a couple of small issues with my car, so we'll be picking it up today. I'm hacked off at our previous car dealer that did some work on it. The new folks said the old guys put the wrong fluid in my transfer case, so we had to get that flushed out. That old dealer just sealed the "bad business deal" with me. They can keep the rest of their oil change package. (We've had other issues with them).

What I don't get is that the old guys were a dealer. They should know that stuff!!!!! 

The new dealer impressed me at the car intake process. they run it like the BMW dealer I used to use in TN (Back when I drove the bimmer). Very clean, professional,  and none of this "wink and gun condescending talk stuff to women. When hubby came to talk to these folks, he was intirduced to both the service intake guy and the shop boss. That's the way to do things! 

So today I get my car, all sparkly and new... No granddog hair, no cootie crumbs leftover from when the kids had it, and no Washington sand. LOL! It will officially be all mine! brand spanking new!

So we'll call the car stuff a bonus thankful thing for today. What are your three thankful things?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Three Thankful Things, Day Five

Trying to think cool!
Good afternoon!
Here's today's list of thankful things:

  1. I'm thankful the ability to sleep well. -- There was a time when my sleep wasn't so restful. I'm glad I have the ability to shut down and sleep.
  2. I'm thankful that most of my sleep dreams don't come true. -- While some are funny, Some are not. This morning's dream was one of those. But that means tonight's is good. 
  3. Having a comfy bed and pillows -- Having a haven makes all the difference!

Notice a trend today? Yep, I hit that bed running last night.

I have a family member in need of prayer. Hubby's ex mother in law, "Grammie", a very dear woman to me, has broken her hip. The ball joint just broke off. No fall, just pain. She's young, but I still worry. This was the lady who lost her husband last year. They are doing surgery today. I'm not sure whether it will be repair or replacement.  She's a strong lady, but has dealt with a lot this past year. She needs some peace. And now some healing. 

A dear family friend passed away over the weekend. It's now after the funeral, and his wife and daughters need some prayerful love. 

I'll miss "Big Glenn", my friend's Dad (an adopted dad to me). He was good man. He served in the military. He was a good christian man. Loved his God and family more than anything. He had a mischievous streak. One of those guys who is bigger than life. 

My permanent memory of him was when they adopted me on a July 4th weekend at the lake. I can still see him "Hot-dogging" it on his jet ski... that funny Glenn smile he had... And us just laughing.  Good times. He was the most awesome pontoon captain I've ever met. Such a special man. 

God puts special people in our lives when we need them, and both these folks are special people in my life. Please keep them and their loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.

I just finished a kitchen experiment. Hubby loves gravy. Me? Not so much. I had some burger patties that needed to be cooked, plus an onion fixing to be unusable. So I grabbed both and made a salisbury steak dish for him. He will love it! Hubby is all about meat and taters.

I used a gravy mix recipe I found online. It turned out great. Of course, I doctored it a bit. I doubled the mix recipe for a pint jar and added 1 tablespoon of onion powder and 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder. Then I added some Lea & Perrins to the finished gravy. The mix recipe is a keeper! It finished up well. And it even satisfies this non-gravy person.

So one dinner this week is covered. Not sure if it will be tonight or tomorrow. It depends if my car is done. If the car is done, we'll be headed back up to that Hungarian place again. (Sandy, thanks for being our guinea pigs!). He was bummed it wasn't open last night when we dropped off the jeep.

I was supposed to sew all day, but that's not happening. Oh well... 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Three Thankful Things

Good afternoon! It's Monday. Got up very early (4am), ready to start a new week. Couldn't go back to sleep, so I watched a couple of shows on Netflix. After I finish my lunch (salami and swiss on light rye with V8 juice and a homemade dill pickle on the side) I'm headed to Costco to buy groceries for the week. Don't want to go hungry. I've made that mistake before.

Today is day four of my seven days of the three thankful things challenge:
  1. Thankful for Mondays -- new day, new week, new beginning! (and today a new toothbrush!)
  2. Thankful for my Jeep. Today it's going in for a detail and regular maintenance. He'll come back spiffy clean and like new! I confess, this is the first detail job since I got it (we traded cars with kids when we moved out here). So this week, I'll have "new" spiffy clean car! (same car, but cleaner)
  3. Thankful for the internet as a informational, creative, and communication tool! The internet has enabled me to broaden my communication options, teach me a hobby, and meet new people I otherwise wouldn't have met. 
What am I getting at Cotsco? Funny you ask. I need to stock up on some bottled water, now that my pantry shelves are cleared and re-organized. I'm also getting some general grocery items. Nothing exotic or exciting. I'll likely be car-less of two days at the most, hopefully one at the least. Depends on how the electronic service updates go and whatever else needs to be done. 

It's a sunny day and a perfect day for running errands. Hope the start of your week is going as good, if not better, than mine is!