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

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday at Home

Good afternoon. I'm spending Tuesday at home. Yes, it's my regular day out with the ladies, but I woke up not feeling it. When I got my cold, I quit taking my twice-daily zyrtec, This morning I took a benadryl along with my zyrtec. So I'm a bit drowsy today.

So, with that in mind, I declared today Jammie Day. Also tackling mount laundry. I'm out of clean undies. I've got Neflix going and am taking advantage of the day in.  It's action movie day. Espionage thrillers is the theme of the day.

Are you sure you really want to know what backfired? I'll give you a clue. Miralax. LOL! While the story may not be what you think, it's still quite comical. I'll just leave the rest to your imagination.

Right now I'm prepping a side dish for tonight's dinner. Making cheese grits. I've been craving them for over a month now, and seeing a friend's post about cheese grits moved me to action. Dinner tonight will be a ham steak, cheese grits, and roasted brussels sprouts. YUM! I found this recipe by Ina Garten and it rocks!  I use regular bacon versus the pancetta.

Last night was the big guild chairmen's meeting. We went over the budget for this year, as well as next year. I like the way the new treasurer worked up the budget. Very logical, using multiple spreadsheets, account items, etc. While it may be confusing to a non-business minded person, It was pretty straightforward and easy to follow. It's amazing that this many years out of the gate I still have my skills.

I've been enjoying the rain we've been having. The cooler temps have made it for ideal sleep temps. Speaking of sleep, I'm debating on re-arranging the master bedroom. With all these hot flashes I've been having, I may need to sleep closer to the window.  I've got to measure stuff to see if it works.

With the cooler temps and gray skies, that means I need to start back on Vitamin D. I was teasing a friend that we'll see the sun in May... I'm beginning to think it may be true. LOL!

Life is good here in The PNW. Just a bit sneezy and sleepy. Just like the little guys in Snow White.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday Backfire

Welcome to National Coffee day!

I woke up laughing my butt off this morning. Last night I had brilliant solution to a little physical issue I was having. I took it into my own hands and it backfired on me. Literally. Made it more of an issue. Now I know why my husband was giving me the "Are you crazy?" look last night. Oh well... live and learn.

That being said, I'll be close to home today. I may make a quick Costco trip to exchange some flannel sheets. I bought two sets yesterday. They are queen size. While my bed is a queen, the mattress is super-thick and I prefer more sheet on the sides, hence exchanging it for a king. That way there's enough sheet to go around. (Bwahahahaahahaha!)

Got me a new audio book to keep me company this week, How to be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway.

It was a quiet weekend. I spent Saturday sewing at the local grange hall with one of my favorite teachers. It's just a supervised sew day. I worked on my current project. I made some decent progress, I have yet another issue to solve with this piece. Will have to work on that with a fresh mind. LOL! That's for tomorrow. No more "brilliant" ideas. LOL!

Sunday hubby and I slept in. He woke up at 9:30... for someone who typically wakes at 4am, that's some serious sleeping in! We got a late start, went to our breakfast joint, and then to Costco. That took up our day.

Then I put on a netflix movie and started deep-cleaning the kitchen. I've got a hankering to bake, so I need to get the kitchen all sparkly. Yep, just to mess it up again. To me it's counter productive, but necessary.  I want some cookies.

This week is a busy one. The cool rainy weather will make my schedule easier. Tonight is a board meeting, tomorrow is sewing with the ladies, Thursday is our guild meeting, and Saturday and Sunday is sewing at the fire station with the guild. I have three months left for my committee chairmanship with the guild. I'm excited. I'm looking forward to just being a member again. I ned the break, plus I think my self-imposed term limit keeps things fresh.

Well, it's time for a quick trip to costco. Gotta go exchange those sheets.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mid-Week Musings

Right now I'm waiting for my tea to steep. Got a pot going, and will take it up to my studio. It's a rainy day here in the Pacific Northwest. A real rainy day. None of that namby pamby misty stuff. Real rain. I've got on my comfy clothes for the day and I'll be sewing until about 2-ish, then heading over to a friend's shop (in her home) to buy some fabric for a swap I'm entering. Funny part is, I might not even change from my homebody comfy clothes. She's that kind of friend.

Speaking of friends, please keep a dear friend in my life in your prayers. She's battling her second bout of breast cancer. She's been having breathing issues and was put in the ICU on a ventilator to help her out. They ended up draining a lot of fluid from her chest. I think the vent will go out today, pending good news, but I know this can be quite discouraging for her and her family. She's a fighter, so I know that this battle is far from over. She's one of the VERY special people in my life here.

Hubby's been busy as hell at work. He has clients in the office this week and the machine they are working on is not behaving. Poor thing has been stressed to the max. He's one of those types that totally obsesses with the issues until they are solved. I'm trying to keep him fed and rested... I'll be glad when this stuff is over.

Like I say, Today's a house day. I think tomorrow will be a field trip. Then on Saturday I'll be sewing with the ladies and one of my favorite teachers. I'm nearing the end of completing a quilt top and I'm starting to get excited about it. It's the second top in a series I'm doing. I'm excited to see how it will look. My plan is to have it done by the end of the day on Saturday.

Yesterday I fixed the best salad. I made it from a bunch of romaine, apple pieces, salty cheese, red onion and a honey/poppyseed dressing and walnuts. Next iteration will have a slightly more vinegary dressing and smoked gouda. May even spring for some shaved brussel sprouts to green it up more. That was my dinner, along with a roll. Tonight's dinner is soup... and maybe some salad.

That's about it in my world. I know, I'm Mrs. Excitement.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Birthday Summary

Good morning! It's a tea kind of morning. And it's a full pot of tea kind of day. I woke up to rain and overcast skies. And ya know what? I needed it. So I sat in bed until about 9:00 and listened to the rain on the leaves. I love that sound.

Yesterday was a good day. Yes, it was my birthday, but what we did with the day made it more special. It was hubby's day of rest, so we did what he wanted to do.

We got up early and went to our favorite breakfast joint -- The Rusty Pelican in Mill Creek, WA. This is a new discovery for us and we are now "regulars". I had corned beef hash (homemade) with two poached eggs and a half of a biscuit. Oh, and lots of their yummy coffee. I love their hash. It's corned beef, onions, green pepper, and a small bit of shredded hash brown taters. I think they add a wee tad of balsamic vinegar to it. I put lots of black pepper on it, mash my egg into it and call it dog throw-up. LOL! I know, TMI...

After that we boarded the wrong ferry to go to Whidbey Island (when we got to the ferry we both realized we weren't in Mukilteo. The truck took us to Edmonds instead). We ended up on the Kitsap peninsula instead. But in our true roll with the punches style, we trudged onward. We first hit my favorite quilt shop, then we headed to look for migrating salmon at the Elwah river. I was hoping to find some, but that was a bust. they took down the dam and the roads were crazy, so we continued to our main destination.

God's Cathedral

Being in nature is like being in a cathedral. I'm one of those types that doesn't feel like I have to be in a church to feel holy. Now, don't get me wrong, I love a good cathedral and all, and I can definitely feel the worship in buildings... but when I see nature, I see God's cathedral in it's purest form.

Looking out onto these peaks -- breathtaking!

We drove up the parkway to Hurricane Ridge, part of Olympic National Park. Being 5600 feet above sea level and looking out onto a mountain range that towers over you is an awesome holy feeling. The panorama in front of you just leaves you speechless. In a good way. We are supposed to feel awe. It's part of the reminder that we are human and not master over our universe. It's a lesson in humility.

Love these rocks!

We spent a good couple of hours up there just taking it all in. It was a dry day, so the scents were of rock, spicy dried grass, evergreen, and sun-warmed wood punctuated by a cool breeze.

It was time to start heading home. We stopped at a BBQ joint recommended by a friend. Blue Flame BBQ in Port Angeles. Being a native Tennessean and growing up on true southerner BBQ, I'm learning to adjust my tastes to regional versions of BBQ. Pacific Northwest BBQ is different. They use different woods, hence the difference in flavors. This place didn't disappoint. Hubby had ribs and I had a pulled pork plate. He said his ribs were really good. I liked  the pulled pork very tender and juicy. The sauce they use came from Trilby's BBQ, a local company out of Ferndale, WA. The sauce had a fruity hint of marionberry, which lent a good flavor to the wood-smoked meat. I found the sauce at our local grocery store. It's mighty good.

The Pork plate was a mound of pulled pork, served with a roll, a side salad of romaine onion and blue cheese, topped with italian dressing (it was a refreshing change from tasteless cole slaw, which is usually paired with fish up here),  and beans or potatoes. I chose beans. If you like garlic, you'll love their beans. We'll be back to this spot. I want to try the ribs next. Hubby didn't offer any tastes... LOL! Sorry, I didn't bring in my camera. Didn't want to be rude.

After a long wait for the ferry back, we made it home after 12 hours and 300 miles. It was a good day!

Don't worry, I found some cake today. So tonight there will be cake!!! In the meantime I'm having my day this afternoon and relaxing with a couple of quilt magazines and a cool drink :)

Friday, September 19, 2014

A lesson for us all

It's my birthday weekend and I can blog about what I want! I've been thinking a lot about growing older. This year I'll be 52. If my parents are any indication as to how long I live, I have between ten and thirty years ahead of me. Doesn't seem like much when you look back at 50+ years... YIKES!

Today my blog is about aging. Don't worry, It's not the veritable "organ recital" post on aging, but a small observation about aging and a lesson that smacked me in the head earlier this year. This post has been running around my head all all year and it's time to write it down and share it.

Many of you readers know that I have an older brother who born with Down Syndrome. He's 55 years old. Intellectually he's at about a 4 year old level on average. In some ways he's mentally older; other ways he's not.

I've been watching him over the years, thinking about how the aging process is for him. His eyesight is not so good, hearing not so good, but he still has that get up and go he's always had. He is still basically the same guy he was at 20, 30, and 40. Yes, a bit slower on the vision/speed, but it's apparent he knows nothing about being/feeling older. He is just who he is.

This observation has led me to a conclusion: It's all in the mind.

My older brother doesn't know he's old! He has no concept of what 55 years old is. He's still going and doing the things he's done since I've known him. He has no pre-conceived notions of what aging is.

Are we missing something?  Maybe we need to skip all the news articles and features about growing old and just live oblivious to our age..

Maybe this is a lesson we can all take from my brother...

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!!!