Monday, December 29, 2008

Why Christmas comes only once a year.

Christmas is over and I am hoping to be back into routine schedule this week. I always enjoy Christmas, but with this Christmas came hectic and leaving me frazzled most of the time. Christmas will never be the same and will never be easy again like it was when I was living with Mom and Dad. I no longer have just one Christmas to plan for. I have four Christmases! No joke either.
My first Christmas this year was our Christmas party we hosted the Thursday before Christmas. We were given a free turkey from a member of our Church the end of November. Putting it into the freezer to save for a later date, became our plans for a Christmas party at our place. I never thought I would ever see the day when I would roast my first turkey. I never imagined it would be this early in our married life. It proved to be the best turkey I had ever eaten and the most fun time I have ever hosted. We had corn, stuffing, turkey, green beans, sweet potato praline, rolls, and chocolate coated pretzels for the h'ors-doevres. Afterward, we drew numbers for the white elephant gift exchange. I was the only one there who had ever played this game so I explained the rules and then we had fun picking out our gifts.

My second Christmas was with Mom and Dad and the kids on Christmas morning. We drove down to GA the night before Christmas Eve and told all the kids we would only be spending Christmas Eve with them and leave after dinner. Well on Christmas Eve during dinner, we told them we couldn't open presents that night, but that we could in the morning. I loved the looks on their faces and the sputtered questions when they still didn't understand that we were staying for Christmas. Presents were opened the next morning. We received mostly home decor gifts and one book for Nathan. I enjoyed all my gifts and enjoyed giving our gifts to the kids.

The third Christmas happened at 10am at Gam's house. We all drove up to her house, brought our gifts to her, and exchanged gifts. Gam gave us a plant stand, a cookbook, two small bird houses, and an item that has slipped my mind at the moment. Nothing really that Nathan could enjoy, but he was a good sport about it and told me he was happy we got things for our sunroom. Most of all the decor we received is because everyone knows that we have a sunroom and wants to help us dcorate it. I got a kick out of all the sun room items we got out of the GA gifts. It really tickles me to think of how Mom and Gam thought of my sunroom when buying gifts for me. Ends up that I left half of my sunroom decor in Mom and Dad's house by accident. We remembered everything else, just not the ones that I could use the most right now. The watering can meant for a plant, a wheel barrow that is oh so cute. A cow bell that would look cute hanging on the wall. And one other item I am forgetting. Oh well! We will be down there hopefully in February. Mom is holding onto those items for us.

Finally, our fourth and last Christmas came Christmas afternoon and after our trip back to NC.
We dumped out our stockings and watched Cecilie open her gifts around 4:30 and 5 (really can't remember exact time). We then greeted the Greer's as they showed up soon after Cecilie opened her first gifts. Actually they greeted us since we were told to stay seated and not get up. I won't mention any names, but we were instructed not to go to the door as it was interrupting our stocking openings and Cecilie's first Christmas. That was very harsh on Mama and I. We wanted so much to go say "hello" and be at the door. After Cecilie went down for naptime, we ate dinner and cleaned up. Jake arrived and we all sat down to open presents together. Nathan got a new shirt and over jacket, a couple other items, and, his favorite of all, a flat screen LCD monitor for his computer. This, he didn't ask for and didn't expect, but we knew he wanted it. Oh the look on his face!! I couldn't express my joy for him enough. Everyone was excited to see him open that. He didn't know what it was at first and didn't read the box until he turned it over to see the other side (which looked exactly like the front side). I got a cookbook, photo frame, a coat, a much wanted book called Dewey, and a Zune mp3 player.

All the gifts we gave for Christmas were: two movies for Chad, two teddy bears for Susanna (I made the scarves for them), a book for Nathan, plates for Mama, a clock for Daddy, a scarf for mom, a covered brick bookend for Dad, books for Sarah, Hannah, and Marjory, a kite for Laura, Hannah, Marjory, and Alaina, a book for Michael, a chopping block for Jack and Miranda, cookies for all my siblings, a movie for Gabe and Lacey, cookies for the Greers, a Monopoly game for Jake, a scarf for Samantha, a picture in a frame for Gam, and a picture in a frame for Aunt Laura. I think that covers it all. I have to say the framed photos were the easiest gifts. But now that my camera doesn't work, I can't do that for Christmas next year, unless I get one for my birthday. My favorite gifts I gave this year were the cookies, the book for Nathan, and the teddy bears for Susanna. My favorite gifts I received were the book Dewey, my Betty Crocker cookbook, and my mp3 player. Though I enjoyed all the gifts I received and all of them involved a lot of thoughfulness put into them.

My new years resolution for 2009 is to work on the presents starting in January. That way we aren't broke working on Christmas just in December. I agreed with Nathan that I will at least work on two or three gifts a month. That isn't too bad and isn't hard at all. Even if a gift is bought, it is the smarter way to go. Only one or two gifts bought a month is not going to put us on the streets. I really like this idea aned am going to start right away at writing a Christmas list.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

Friday, November 21, 2008

How would you like your salt?

Last night, I made a crock pot roast beef for dinner. With it I made mashed potatoes, gravy, biscuits, and a side of mixed vegetables. Our all time favorite southern meal.
After Nathan blessed the meal, I grabbed a biscuit and was buttering it while Nathan was cutting his roast beef and salting it using our dove salt shaker. I started for the beef plate, when there, in the middle of the beef juice, was the dove shaker looking much like a duck in a pond. "Nathan!" I shrieked his name. We both stared at the salt shaker, like it just happened to land there, then we burst into uncontrollable laughter while Nathan wiped down and replaced the shaker to its stand. I would expect this out of my brother, with no surprise, but never Nathan! What was he thinking?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What we have!

When I woke up this morning and found that Obama had won the election, I was sorely disappointed, but I began to think. Will this really change things for us? Will it make us completely different people? Obama speaks of changing things. He cannot change our voice as Christians. I have hope that America can become better than this. That we can change things for better in this nation. We need to quit hiding and being embarrassed to stand up for Christ.  

I wanted to be angry at all those who refused to vote altogether and at those who refused to vote for the lesser of two evils in order to assure that Obama didn't become president. But I must not let my anger drown out what I, as a Christian, should show the nation. The light! We mustn't let our anger drown out what an awesome opportunity we have to share His light to the nation. We still have the freedom of speech here! Be thankful for this! 

I know that God still is. "I AM that I AM." He is the Alpha and the Omega; the beginning and the end. That gives me hope. Romans 8:28 reminds me that He brought this about, he knew Obama would become president. He allowed this to happen. It will bring about good in our Nation. I have Him to thank for that! I can thank God for this newly elected president, because of our opportunity we have to proclaim His Word to our nation. Obama may try to stop our voices, but he will fail. God never fails! We shouldn't be afraid of what will happen to us, but what will happen to those around us we care about that are not saved. The everlasting result is what should be our concern today. Please remember this.  

As I was going about my morning routine, I was reminded of a hymn that is most familiar to us.

Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see.

'Twas Grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved 
How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed!

Through many dangers toils and snares, I have already come;
'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be, as long as life endures.

And when this flesh and heart shall fail, and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil a life of joy and peace.  

These stanzas John Newton wrote in 1779. They are still words we remember today, 230 years later! And they are a reminder that God's grace will still be with us. Romans 8:28 comes to mind when I sing the line "The Lord has promised good to me." I am reminded of this verse daily. 

God's grace will prevail! His Words shines ever on! It will never fail! We must not be angry and must not let our anger get in the way of using this time to witness to those who don't see the light and who want to give up on America. We shall not give up! We have God on our side! What a wonderful opportunity it will be to show our faces and let His light shine through us! We must remember to "Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord! Let the earth hear His voice!" Do not forget His voice!

Friday, October 31, 2008

What makes unpacking a house similar to Christmas?

You never know what you are going to unwrap when unpacking boxes labeled 'breakables' and 'knick knacks.'  

Yesterday I found sea shell after sea shell and other treasured collectibles that had so many memories attached to them. This has truly been the highlight of unpacking. Remembering much of my past in these object. I am nearly done with the un-boxing and I almost don't want to see an end to it. Every little item boxed up has an event and memory I treasure. It is the memory behind it that makes it more special than the object itself, ho
wever ugly or knarled it may be. 

Yesterday, I came accross this small, tan, and ugly donkey statue  that my Mother once had in her bathroom and that previously used to belong to our Lake Burton house. No one else had wanted this donkey when Mom's siblings divided the possessions among themselves after the lake house sold. Mom reluctantly took it home with her remembering that it used to be hers. She came to find out that Dad really liked it, so we kept it in o
ur living room for the longest time until Mom decided to put it in her bathroom.

Since then, there have been so many memories attached to this donkey, but the most memorable one happened when Hannah was just learning to use the potty...

Hannah was 2 or 2 1/2 years old. Because Mom showed her how to use the potty in her bathroom and because that was where
 her step stool was, she only used Mom's bathroom. One day Hannah was needing to use the bathroom and had run to the the toilet, but came running back sobbing and shouting out, "Mommy, he is looking at me." Hannah took Mom's hand and led her to the bathroom pointing emphatically to the donkey statue that was posing by the sink and facing the direction of the toilet with that whimsical smile on his face. Thinking that Hannah was merely scared of the donkey,  Mom removed him from the bathroom momentarily while Hannah was in the bathroom and placed it back where it was when Ha
nnah had finished washing her hands.

This went on for a couple of weeks. One day, Mom happened to be in her bathroom cleaning or taking out the laundry from the hamper, when she noticed the donkey was turned with its face to the wall. Hannah must have had to use the bathroom so bad that she couldn't wait for Mom to take Donkey away from the room so she turned it around instead. What we had all mistakenly thought of as a fear of the donkey itself, was really just the need for privacy. For several weeks Mom had grown accustomed to seeing the donkey faced away from the toilet and often would forget to shift it back to its original position. Then Hannah grew out of her ways and the donkey was forgotten and later put among a pile of give-aways in the hallway. In memory of Hannah and the donkey, I couldn't resist and adopted him as my own. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Truly a Miracle

Now that I have a little bit more time to relax, let me tell you what has happened in my life recently.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 started out like most days for me. 
We had our friend Jake over for dinner the night before and he had asked about the apartment for rent of which the sign at the top of our drive was announcing. I knew it wasn't one of our apartments in our complex. So I told him I hadn't a clue. 

On Wednesday, I told him I would call and ask for him. His friend needed an apartment that was affordable and that was a little more private than the one she is living in now. I called and found out it was $450 a month and a $200 deposit. I was shocked at this information. Surely she would be able to afford that! I began to get excited for her, hoping I would be her neighbor. I relayed the information to Jake and left it at that. The next day, I found out that she wasn't interested, but I thought maybe I could take a peak at the apartments just for curiosity sake. I called the owner and asked more detailed questions. "How many bedrooms?" was my only curiosity about the apartment for rent. She told me there are really two apartments with two bedrooms, one is a cottage and one in the complex and they are both the same price and deposit. I set up an appointment for the next day to see both of them. I thought about our friend Keith and how he has been wanting to move into a more private apartment. I knew that the cottage would be of interest to him. 

Friday, October 17, I met with Helen Henson and saw the complex apartment and was in shock that for two bedrooms, a bigger kitchen than ours, a sun room, dining room, living room, screen porch, and washer and dryer it was still only $450 a month. And still just a $200 deposit. Even though I was in awe, I knew it wasn't for us. And that is how I was going to view it, no more, no less. The cottage came next. It was just two bedrooms, a screen porch, kitchen, and living room area attached to kitchen. Nothing big, nothing fancy, but cozy. Just a tad bigger than our apartment. I went home and relayed the information to Nathan. Keith had already set up an appointment with Helen and was going to see both as well around 5:00. Nathan told me, "let take the big one." He didn't have to see it to know he wanted it. I had already asked the lady about cats and found out she didn't want animals in her apartments. I decided not to tell this to Nathan and called the lady up. I asked her if I could please pay a pet deposit on top of the $200, because my husband really wanted the apartment but would be broken without the cats. After thinking it over, she told me we could keep the cats and only pay the $200 deposit. Nathan saw the apartment, didn't say anything about wanting it, and went on to the cottage and spoke with Keith. Keith was taking the cottage. I was so happy I could cry. I was getting a dear friend for a neighbor as well. When we got to Helen's house, Nathan spoke up, "We'll take it." I quickly replied to him, "really?!?" My excitement overflowed. Tears were unstoppable at this point. On our walk to the car, I do believe a tear escaped. We talked it all over on our way to Cashiers for the weekend.
Saturday October 18, we paid the deposit and started packing some of my knick knacks. Monday and Tuesday all our possessions except our bed and cleaning solutions were moved. Wednesday we were officially living in our new apartment. This was a miracle that it even happened. Truly a miracle. Nathan and I had always planned that he would have to get a better job in order to be able to live in a bigger apartment. Never did we think we could get a bigger apartment with a second room on what we make now. And with a second room, we can have guests, a baby one day and still have room for another baby another time. There are two rooms right now, but our sun room will convert into a bedroom as soon as we can get rid of one of the sofas in our apartment one day. It belong with the apartment. I am going to ask if I may buy it from her. If that happens, then I will trade it at a thrift store for a chair. God has provided us a miracle that I never dreamed would happen. And it only took three days to get moved into our new home. Though it is new to us, the apartment complex is an old old building built in 1929. It was built with cement walls and floors. No need to worry about termites. We went from having one window and a sliding glass door, to having 27 windows. Literally, I am counting my blessings one by one. I was happy with where I was and saw no need for another place for a long time, and here I am sitting in a miracle that happened in our lives. I call it a miracle and that is what it is. Truly a miracle!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Busy!

Well, we are moving! Up the driveway to a bigger complex where we live on the third floor. Well depending on which side you look at. On the one side, we are the third floor, but on the other side, our entrance is up one flight of stairs and on the second floor. Because of a bank on one side, we are the second floor up through the entrance. I will be very busy for the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sorry...

I know I haven't been updating as often as I should. Lately I haven't had much happen in my life. I applied for three jobs at the Macon County Library, haven't heard from them yet. I will be applying for a job at a  bank as soon as they post the job on their website. I know it is available through a friend who works there, but I just haven't seen it on the website yet and online is the only way to apply. Besides that, I don't really have much to talk about here. So I am sorry you don't have an interesting update. I have been cooking, cleaning, eating, making sure Nathan eats only the good stuff, finding ways to preoccupy myself now that I am not working at the chocolate store. They aren't doing a lot of business. I do struggle to find things to do all the time. I can't read all day, and I can't clean all day either. And there is no driving if I don't have a licence. If I get one of the four available jobs, I will go ahead and take the test and put my name on Nathan's insurance and start driving Nathan's car myself since he doesn't use it. He carpools with a friend and saves gas. Well that is really all that I have to say right now. I wish there was more for me to write about. 

well I am hungry. When I am inspired to write something I will do so, until then, this is it!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Christmas preparations must begin now!

I can hardly believe that Christmas is just a few months away. Although I have trouble imagining that we will already have elected a president by then, I know that Christmas time will come no matter which candidate is in office. For now I must not worry but leave all things into God's hands and begin on Christmas presents. I have already wrapped one Christmas present and set it aside and am working hard on hand-crafting most of my gifts for this year. Last year's plan for Christmas presents were a success in my opinion and so I have already come up with new ideas for hand-crafted presents for this year. I have written out my ideas next to the gift receivers' names and have embaked on a journey that will probably last me until Christmas time at the rate I have started and at the looks of the list. This should keep me busy for the "home season," as I have decided to call the cold season where I have to stay indoors until spring rolls around or until I get my drivers license. As long as a list is made, it will get done. The feeling of accomplishment is worth it in the end.
 I  believe that there are only a small handful of people on my list for whom I am buying gifts. The rest get hand made items. And then there are those on my list that I have no idea what to get them. Generally that means it must be a male gift receiver. Guys are just too difficult to get gifts for and generally have no clue what in the world  it is they just opened up on Christmas day. It then becomes the present of the day he least wants to open because of the guilt in not having the knowledge or understanding that it takes to be able to say, "thank you so much for this _____, I am looking forward to using it!" If I make anything for those few guys on my list, I will be sure to attach instructions to the gift!

For now, I have only one hour left of the day before Nathan comes home. Although I enjoy the sound of the door opening and Nathan's greeting to the kitties at the door, I know that I won't get much done with my big baby being home. :D He is a big distraction and will attempt to foil my plans of trying to accomplish anything important! 

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A blessing from God

Thursday September 2nd I went to my chiropractor for and adjustment of my lower back, upper back and kneck. It was while he was feeling my spine that he said the words to me that I hace been longing to know all these months of going in and being adjusted. He described to me that what he felt now and what he saw on the x-ray were not the same, that he knows if I had an x-ray done sometime soon that it will show that my scoliosis is going away. He believes that it is much different than it was when I had x-rays taken. He also thinks that in time my scoliosis will be completely gone. Some of it will depend on my body and how well I take care of it. I did nearly cry while sitting there with a dumb face while he told me all these things. I had been wanting to hear those words for some time now. My scoliosis came about because of my horse accident when I was 14 years old. I just didn't know that my hip would come out of place and cause all that at the time. I used to wish none of that had happened to spare me from all the pain I suffered to my hip and lower back. But as Nathan tells me again and againg, if that had never happened, I may not have become the person I am now. That God causes these things to happen for a reason. I may not have been content with what I have now and how I am now. I truly believe Nathan is 100% correct when he tells me these things. 
    He is right. I know it in my heart that God wanted me to feel the full effects of a blessed Christian by going through what I went through in order to get better and know that He is the one who heals and takes care of me. At the beginning of my visits I had my doubts and the chiropractor had his doubts that my spine would ever allign itself to  the normal spine curvature. I know that even if it doesn't completely return to the norm, I will still have gone through all this for 
a reason. To see God's hand in all this. He truly is an awesome God. He can heal me where other doctors don't believe there can be a change! Through my chiropractor, God is healing me. Most doctors will tell you that there is nothing that can be done about scoliosis. They don't always tell you that there is the option of chiropractic care. Most doctors don't really believe chiropractors will help. It is only in the last few years that chir
opractors have been accepted by medical and health insurance companies. 
   I pray that my scoliosis will completely go away.
 Even if it doesn't, I know that all this did happen 
for good and was not in vain. 

I recently got a laptop (as of yesterday) and am having so much fun with the web cam included. It is fuzzy and not the best camera, but it works!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

plans of poundcake and how it turned out...

Yesterday, between five loads of laundry, I pulled out Nathan's mother's sour cream pound cake recipe and got to work making his birthday cake. After making a royal mess and enjoying the work, I filled up my castle bunt pan with the wonderful smelling pound cake batter and put it into the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and let it bake for an hour. During that hour, I cleaned the kitchen and folded clothes, every once in a while checking on the cake and the next load of laundry. And to add to my growing list, I still had yet to get him a birthday card or birthday cake candles. Not only that, but I had no idea how I was going to sneak getting ice cream to go with his cake, since Nathan was going to be going grocery shopping with me. It wasn't until an hour before he got off work that I found the perfect plan. It happened like this...

Nathan got off work, came home to me, dropped me off at the grocery store while he went to Wal-mart to get the second season of Stargate SG-1, picked me up at the grocery store, then drove home where I unloaded all the groceries without him ever noticing the ice cream. Not to mention that I sneaked the card by walking to town at 3:50 to purchase one in a local gift store.
The first surprise came when we were sitting down to eat his birthday dinner, an egg and sausage quiche. I had ordered him the third season of Stargate SG-1 thinking we would already have ordered or bought the second season, but not knowing that Nathan would be getting it on his birthday. This I had placed, fully wrapped, by his dinner plate just prior to him getting off the computer to join me in his birthday dinner. After he had finished his second helping and gulped down the rest of his milk, he unwrapped season three and was totally surprised and had quite a joyful expression on his face. After the kisses I received, we cleared the table and called my mother to ask her how she was doing. Just prior to Nathan's departure from work, I had called Mom to ask her a question only to receive a hurried explanation that she had been in a car accident. She is ok and all the kids that were in the car with her are fine as well.

Earlier in the day, a package had come in the mail (from my family) for Nathan and me. We opened that package but only Nathan opened his present. A G.A. Henty book that he didn't already own. I had several presents wrapped, but a message telling me "Please on the gifts on the birthdays 18th and 22nd." While I was on the phone with Mom I asked her about this message and she replied, "I had to rewrite that message two times because of Alaina and it still isn't right?" The first "on" of the message was supposed to be "open" as I had already figured out. I liked it better the way it was though, knowing full well that love was spend in writing it and besides, that is the mother I remember. I will never forget seeing her handwriting on a grocery list saying "pink ponk balls" and knowing that she wanted us to get ping-pong balls.

After "happy birthdays!" were shouted over the phone to Nathan, I spoke to Hannah on the phone until the phone's battery started chirping its dying "beep" song. Saying "good-bye," I hung up the phone and plugged it in to the charger and then cleaned up the dinner mess and threw away the gift wrap while discussing with Nathan which we would watch that night, Walking Tall or SG-1. It was decided that we would watch a few episodes of SG-1. I figured that would be the birthday decision. Just prior to going to the bedroom to watch, I pulled out Nathan's hidden castle, inserted a lemon votive candle in the middle, and lit it singing "happy birthday" and walking to Nathan's computer chair. Sitting in his chair, Nathan's face showed complete ecstasy and surprise at the castle cake. I don't think he knew that I would make it in my castle cake pan, but I am sure he was expecting a dessert of some form. Nathan blew the candle out slowly and said "thank you, Dorry. I don't think I can top this!" He was referring to my birthday this Friday. I told him, "well I did have all day to plan this, but I am sure you will do fine!" While he had his back turned I hurried to the freezer and popped out the pint of vanilla ice cream and quickly served the plates of cake, topping it off with the ice cream. That was another surprise for him. I still had two more surprises left.

Upon finishing the dessert, Nathan gave me a big hug and kiss and expressed his love and appreciation for what I did to make the end of his day special. While he put the cake back in its place, I hid in the bathroom to write on his birthday card. I placed it in front of the tv, where he would surely see it while he inserted the dvd into the player. He did discover it and enjoyed it. The last surprise of the day was our newly washed sheets. I had been behind on changing them and finally got around to doing it and washing it. Upon slipping his feet under the covers, he sighed and told me he loved me so much and that he was proud of all that I had done for him in just one day. We cuddled up together in bed and watched two episodes of SG-1 then turned off the light and tv, snuggled up, said our "I love yous," and somewhere between giggles and kisses, we fell asleep.

Monday, August 18, 2008

a break...

While working at the chocolate store just last week, I noticed a huge slow down and change in the days. Hardly anyone was coming into the store and buying products or gift merchandise. I suspected that I probably wouldn't be needed for awhile until tourism picks up again in October. My suspicions proved correct and so I offered to be considered an "on call" employee of Chocolate Obsession. This brought relief to Sharon, since I could tell that having to let me go for the rest of the season would not have been an easy thing to tell me. I am glad that I spoke up and suggested it first. This way she knows that I am ok with her decisions and nothing she says will hurt me or cause our friendship to end. After giving her a hug on Thursday afternoon and leaving, I knew I would miss being busy all day everyday during the weeks, but I also knew that this means that I have more time for making salsa. It is my prayer that I will be able to make enough money through selling salsa in order to live a little more comfortably financially. I have already dropped off my first batch at the chocolate store where I hope they will sell. Now I just have to wait. Until they sell, I will not be canning any more. These two recent happenings are sad for me, but are for the best. However, I am enjoying planning out different ways to please my husband! Today is his birthday. I have lots to plan and lots that I have already accomplished. So far five loads of laundry are complete, the kitchen is clean, the bedroom is clean, and my plans are already set in motion and working, only they won't be done for a good bit yet. I will get back to you on how the day goes, seeing as Nathan may read this (then again he may not). God's timing is perfect. If I hadn't taken off for the season at the Chocolate Obsession store, then I wouldn't have been able to accomplish all that I have done today!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

wish I were working

SO I get to stay home today from work, but I really needed to make the money. We are trading our new tv for a better and bigger one tomorrow, but we may not be able to afford it then. I hope we can sell some salsa soon. I am making several batches today since I am home, and will have Nathan take them to my work place tomorrow to display them for sale. Maybe they will sell well. I think they will, I just need to get them all made. I am not looking forward to cutting the onions! I have seven onions to cut by hand! At least I don't have to cut all the jalapenos by hand as well. That part is easy since i have a food processor attachment on my Kitchen Aid mixer. I just don't do onions that way because it becomes liquid onion, and makes the smell take over the kitchen. One day soon I will get myself a vegetable hand chopper to make things easier.

ok, so I do need to get to chopping onions. Any suggestions as how I can do it faster by hand????

Saturday, August 9, 2008

earwax candles... do they really work?

Recently, I have been battling an earache off and on for about three weeks. I figured that maybe it is due to earwax buildup and that I needed to use earwax candles that many people speak so highly about. Nathan had never used one before and thought we could give it a try, but he first decided to read a little bit about it by typing "earwax candle" into a google search. Have you ever tried typing it in and looking up all that there is to know about those things? THEY ARE A HOAX!!!!! Anyone that swears by those candles or says that they really work, then they are falling for those things and are blind to what really is going on behind those things. If you take an earwax candle and burn it while it is in your ear and then unravel it, there is a whole bunch of orange "earwax" sitting in the cone. Well, if you take another candle and burn it into a glass jar, the same orange "earwax" globs/balls will still be the result!!!

When the earwax cones/candles are made they are coated in a clear wax. When the candle burns, the wax itself melts and forms into orange balls on the inside, thus creating the "earwax" on the inside. The earwax candle companies claim that the candle will remove earwax and toxins all in the same burning. Don't believe this!! Even though some people will say that they hear much better after their earwax burning sessions, it is probably just from the pressure created by the burning of the candle, not from removal of earwax though. If you need to have earwax removed, then see a doctor or get ear droppers that are for dissolving or loosening earwax. Our family favorite is garlic droppers. The old fashioned way of loosening the compacted earwax. I had Nathan put droppers in both of my ears, and I have had over a period of weeks relief from earwax buildup. Earwax is good for you so you don't need to have all of the earwax out anyway. The purpose of the earwax is to protect the inner ear.

I would not reccomend earwax candles to anybody and highly suggest you either see a doctor and/ or get ear dropper at your local pharmacy for much cheaper than an earwax candle and save your money!!

Here is an informative site you can read about earwax and the different methods of removing it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earwax

Friday, August 1, 2008

Finally ...

I get to relax! But even in my relaxation I have to crochet a gift I promised myself I would get done by today. I am so glad the weekend is here and that hopefully I will get to sleep in tomorrow and not worry about keeping to a tight schedule. This week has been crazy!! I am a bit sleep deprived! I go to bed exhausted from a full day to have Nathan sleep walk twice or three times in one night and every night this week! I know he can't help it, though, and he doesn't know he is doing it. I want to help him, but I am too exhausted to figure out how. Last night, I just let him sleep walk and didn't even try to wake him up, and he went back to bed on his own time. But I found objects where they don't belong and some objects I didn't even know we owned all astray in our room. Not to mention that my razor that is usually on the sill of the shower was on the floor with the cap off and missing. Weird! Nathan has no cuts as far as I know, but I know this, the cats wouldn't have done that! I can't ignore him when he sleepwalks. I don't remember him sleepwalking, but I remember looking at my clock after he got back into bed and finding that it was 3:20am. I wonder what else can be done to prevent his sleepwalking. I sometimes wish I had all the answers to that question.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

sorry

I have been so busy lately!! I just haven't had much time to write. Recently I made a Boston Cream Pie, which actually is a cake. A lady had called and asked us at work if we make it and Sharen told me about it the next day and asked me to make one and sell it. So I made the cake Monday, and put it together this morning. I was working on the chocolate frosting when Sharen called me and needed me to make brown rice, her dog was sick and someone told her to feed her brown rice. So of course I would say yes, while I am up to my elbows in custard filling and chocolate frosting. I had also promised to make fresh salsa to the lady who wanted the cake made. So that still had to be made. I hurriedly cleaned up my mess, put together the cake while I had the rice cooking in the pot. And on top of this, I had laundry in the the dryer! Somehow I managed to get the cake down to the store (I walked) and not drop it or fall flat on my face. And it is all in one piece and by now probably in the family's stomachs. I did enjoy making the Boston Cream Pie (Cake) and hope to make another one soon, but this time for ME and nobody else!!!(I might share some on a Friday night, maybe ;) ) It smelled like an ├ęclair or a cream puff.
Well now I have to make dinner. Tonight is vegetarian dinner night, so I am making broccoli soup.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Plans

Nathan and I are going to be having my sister Hannah up on the 27th of this month through the 6th of July. I am bubbling with excitement and Hannah is counting down the days. I didn't think we would be able to get this far along with plans, but so far everything is going smoothly and is all set for her to come stay with us. She will be sleeping on the sofa with sheets and her own pillow I believe. I have already sat down and written a list of our favorite things to eat for dinner and have asked her what she has thought about it. She can't wait to start helping me in my own home. Hannah and I will be making dinner every night with a possible night where we will eat out. We are leaving one night open for a movie theater and a special dinner at either the Motor Company Grill or the Sunset.

One thing that she will not be used to is getting up at the crack of dawn and dinner being later than she is used to. My family eats dinner no later than 6:00pm, and we eat somewhere around 7:00 and at the latest 8:00. If I had to wait longer for Nathan, I would. Basically, I run a very loose schedule when it comes to meal planning. It doesn't matter when I make dinner as long as it gets made and is going straight to our bellies. Dishes are usually left in the sink to sit in water until after breakfast. That is the time I get them all washed because by the time I am done with the meal and we have eaten, I am tired. Mom always made sure the kitchen was cleaned the minute everyone had eaten.

There are quite a few things around here that will take Hannah the entire visit to accustom herself to, but I am sure she won't mind the change in environment for ten days.

Friday the 27th we will be picking her up at my Dad's work in SC and from there will drive back up the mountains and show her all the waterfalls that we can see on our way back. Saturday we plan to take her to our lake: Fairfield Lake. The location where Nathan proposed. We plan on walking around the entire lake with her and then going back home for lunch. After that, we have no other plans yet except on one of the days that Nathan has a half day off the next week, we will go to see some waterfalls. I don't know if Dry Falls is opened to the public yet or not, but that was one of the places we wanted to take her.

I look forward to planning more for our week with Hannah, but I am going to make her feel comfortable, relaxed, and make it worth while. I don't get to spend a whole week with any of my siblings anymore and finally, for the first time since I was married, get to spend a week and three days with one of them. Sarah will be the next one to spend time up here with us for a week. I will have to wait until Alaina is older to be able to have her up, but Marjory would be next in line after Sarah. I would have to ask Michael if he would want to spend a week up here or not. He may prefer just coming up for a weekend one of the times the Greer's come up.

I need to get back to a few chores before I go to work for the day. I have a bed to make, a couple of dishes still in the sink, and a cluttered cork board I want to clear off and throw away.

Monday, June 16, 2008

House Centipedes!

I had found this unidentified bug in our apartment and had previously assumed that they liked moisture for as far as we knew, they were hanging around our tub and sinks. Well our assumptions weren't that far from the truth, but they don't come from the drains like we thought they did. I found out today that these bugs are called house centipedes!!!! They have 15 sets of legs that are long and have white bands on them. The centipedes get to be around 2 inches long. They are grey and love the spring! Oh and the main place where they are found are in basements, dark and damp places, and always on ground floors. Well, now I wish we lived upstairs!!!

house centipedes are now what haunts my everyday living since Saturday! I was sitting in the computer chair minding my own business and checking my email. I was also waiting for 11 o'clock to roll around so that I could go to work. I saw from the corner of my left eye a quick movement. I turned my head to look and saw my enemy from last year! I had already seen five of these insects in the apartment from the day that I first moved our stuff into this apartment. It was running across the floor and scuttled under the desk! I was in no mood for this creature! Oh how I hate these things and had hoped we had gotten rid of them. No! They are back for the spring! EW EW EW EW EW! That is all I can say about them. I shudder at the sight of the pictures of them. EW!!!!!! SO I am mortally terrified of them now and Nathan wants me to clean behind the shelves and behind all furniture so that we can get rid of them by keeping the place clean, but all I can think about is their long legs and how gross and scary they look to me. I know that my sister in law and Nathan like to pick at me and make fun of me about this new fear of mine, but they can pick on me all they want, it won't change the way I feel about them. I am in no way offended or upset by their picking on me and rather like to laugh with them both, but I shudder when I think about those legs and what they must feel like when crawling over my body.

So this house centipede was under our desk and I didn't know what to do. I had frozen in my place and couldn't move. I of course had my feet curled up on the desk chair and had the desk chair removed from the original location up against the computer desk. I waited a while and called for Scrabble repeatedly. Only I was afraid that this bug was able to hear me and may run out from the desk at any moment because of hearing my voice. What if it knew my plot was to destroy it by way of my kitten? Well finally ran out, and I mean ran!! And this time Scrabble saw it. I shouted for Scrabble to get it! I sounded like I do when I am watching one of the memorial day backyard baseball games. "Get it Scrabble Get it get it get it!!!!!!!!!" I was desperate! Scrabble heard me as she was crouching to get the monster and turned her head to see me and then ran up and sat in my lap. She was distracted and forgot about the centipede. It had now gone under the piano where I couldn't see it. And that is far worse than seeing it and knowing where its exact location is. I wanted it dead but was deathly afraid of killing it myself. Besides I had no idea if it could jump high like some weird insects can. Or if it would bite me. And I didn't have sock on under my crocs. There are breathing holes in my crocs that are big enough for that bug to crawl through and I didn't like that idea.

Scrabble decided she wanted to go to the couch and nap with Copper. This was no help to me. Two minutes later and I spotted the critter beside the coffee table. I didn't know how to get Scrabble to see it when I was between the cats and the monster. Thinking fast, I grabbed a piece of cat food and rolled it across the floor purposefully missing the insect but just to where I got both Copper and Scrabble's attention. It worked! After the third piece of food, they were both interested in this game and wanted to catch the cat food pebble as it skidded across the floor. Another piece and they both found the centipede and pawed at it. With no success though! It got away and was under the piano again. I am not deathly afraid of practicing the piano and using the damper pedal. I prefer playing without the pedal for now and curling my feet up under me or sitting Indian style on the piano bench.

Now anytime Scrabble is chirping at me or at something in the room, I assume that she has found my monster and haunter and I jump to the nearest piece of furniture in mortal fear. Was it caught and killed while we were gone on Saturday and Sunday? Will the cats kindly communicate? I search Scrabble for evidence that she ate it, but I have no idea whether it was found or if it is still here. They live their wholes lives in houses! I don't want them living a second in my house! Oh I hate the looks of them and can't stand to look at even pictures of them. Even now as I search for a picture to show you, I close my eyes while I right click on the pictures and copy it.

The first time I saw one I wasn't afraid of it, until I saw how fast it could move and when I used the zoom on the camera to find out that it was very creepy looking up close. No amount of looking at one or seeing a picture of one will help me be cured of this new phobia of mine. I really just picked the closest picture on a google image search to come up with this picture. I can't stand the sight of them. I will have to write a lot of blogs soon to get it so that it is farther down on the screen when I go to view my blog. That is also why it is at the bottom of my blog entry and not the top. Ok enough said, I can't bear to be reminded of this any longer. Nathan and I will definitely be getting something to spray the house with. Only my body doesn't handle pesticides well so we will be trying natural sprays that can be found until we find one that works. I have heard that MQ7 works. So we will see. Until then, I am supposed to clean the house from top to bottom but I don't want to discover one hidden in the closets or under the bed or behind and between books and bookshelves. I feel like the apartment has become my enemy! I don't want to be here any longer until I am assured that they don't live here!!! EW EW EW!!!!!!!


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Movie Theater and Bagpipes

It has been nearly two years since I have been in a movie theater with just Nathan. We went to see the Incredible Hulk last night and loved it! It was a lot better than the first one! A whole lot better. Liv Tyler played as Betty Ross, and Edward Norton played as Bruce "the Hulk." The whole plot was great! I would recommend it as a movie to see. The only thing I didn't like about the movie was that there was another scene of brief nudity of the backside of Bruce. They had that in the first movie also. Other than that it was pretty clean, some brief cussing, but a great movie to see in theater screen.

Today was the second day of the Taste of Scotland in downtown Franklin, NC, so there was a lot of people in the street. I took some pictures and even took a short video of the bagpipe players on the green platform in the middle of the gazebo square. I wished I had been able to see the Irish Dancers. That was a great show to watch, from what I have heard. I had to work soon after I took some videos and photos. It was a busy day! We had so many people come in and get ice cream and chocolates. More people came in for the chocolates than the ice cream, but there were still plenty of people that came in to get ice cream as well. It was a pretty hot day! Then it started raining around two o'clock. The show still went on and people still came in and stayed around town. I left to go home around 3:45 when the rain slowed to a drizzle. Just as I got home the rain picked up. I am tired now. Nathan kept me up by sleep walking. He thought that there were bread crumbs in the bed and he wanted to brush them off with our lent remover. Ugh. I told him to go back to bed and that I would be fine with the bread crumbs, that we will deal with it later. He went back to bed, while I struggled with falling asleep again. Then we woke up around 6 something so that I could make him breakfast, pack our bags, and make him a lunch. He ended up leaving his lunch here on accident. I think I will stop now. I am pretty sure I am rambling...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

First Day of Work

Today I went to work at 10:45 and ended up stepping onto a thorn on our path from the complex to the side road. It went through my right Croc shoe and into my toe. That took me ten minutes to get out of my shoe so that it wouldn't hurt my feet while I walked. My big toe was bleeding from the puncture, but I didn't care about that, I was fretting that I would be late to work for my first day! Finally I was on the road and walking again. I just had to stop by the pottery store to say thanks for my tea cup that is oh so cute! And happened to be there when the pottery man was taking a mug off the shelf to take home because the rim of it was uneven and he didn't want to sell it to a customer so he handed it to me and said "you want it, we're tossing it!" I said, "sure, you better not toss that, I'll keep it." So for now I am going to use it to keep loose change in it. It will make me feel rich.

After those five minutes of talking I ran across the street and was at work right before the town bell rang 11 times. She showed me around the store and showed me the cash drawer and how to use it. I followed her around for a bit until we had customers. I made some waffle cones!
Just like old times! They smell wonderful! It reminded me of all the times that Jack and I would be making the waffle cones and would have three of the waffle cone makers going at one time! Sharon took this picture and told me I should post it. I will have her take more pictures and I hope to takes some myself.

The store has to have pictures for some advertisement and for their website that they will have to develop for the down town Franklin advertising. All of the shops in downtown Franklin get together once a month and discuss things for further development of the old town look. This is a historical location and a tourist town. They are all trying to promote downtown shopping.

Anyway, I had so much fun! All of the work I experienced today brought back wonderful memories of the days when I worked at Bruster's Real Ice Cream store. We are both putting together our ideas from our past experience of working at ice cream stores (she worked at Baskin Robbins once) and coming up with new things we could make and sell to help the store's business.
gotta go eat dinner! I'll update later. I will be working every day except Saturday and Sundays.

I have a job

So Friday, I went to pay our Dnet bill and came back home with a possible job. I ran into a dear friend of mine who owns a shop in town and was chatting with her when the owner from the Chocolate Obsessions store came up to us and chatted. I found out that she needed help, so I spoke up and said that I used to work at an ice cream store and since she sells ice cream also I had experience in that field of work. She got excited and straight out asked for my number. I gave it to her and then went over to her shop just to talk. Yesterday I was in her shop to get a smoothie and then today she called. She wants me to work at 11. That is in 20 minutes. It takes me two minutes to walk there. I better start getting ready early though. I will keep you all posted on how things go today!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Shortbread recipe (This one is for you, Zanna!)

This is an easy recipe. After familiarizing yourself with this recipe, it will become faster to make. Cleanup is faster if you form the dough shapes on a cutting mat rather than on a cutting board or just your counter top. Cutting mats can be bought at Wal-mart cheap and are easier to pull out and put away for when you are baking and cutting. They are found in the kitchen aisle with the other cutting boards and chopping blocks.


Ingredients:
1 1/4 C flour
3 T. Sugar
1/2 Cup butter (softened)

Preheat oven to 325 F.
Mix the flour and sugar in a bowl and cut in butter. Knead the mixture with your hands until the dough starts to cling and form into a dough substance. You may have to play with it a bit ;). Form into a 10x6 inch rectangle and cut into whatever shapes you like. I prefer cutting them into smaller and equal size rectangles. Place them an inch apart on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Place the pan on a rack and let cool for 10 minutes before transferring the shortbread from the pan to a plate. Enjoy with your hot tea or with a glass of milk!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Spring Cleaning

I am doing spring cleaning this week and the next. I recently bought a book called Mary Emmerling's Quick Decorating Book and was inspired to redecorate a bit and organize. So that has lead me to do spring cleaning as well. I am enjoying it and looking forward to acquiring some more baskets to help my clutter control (as Mrs. Emmerling calls it). Clutter control is just another term for collecting together junk, putting it in some sort of pretty or old container or basket and therefore transforming that junk into a whole new form of decorative flare. This will be fun. I will be taking pictures when I get to the point where I am satisfied with my accomplishments.

Here's to the beginning of a new form of clutter control and redecorating...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

stupidity and refrigerators don't mix very well....

Well, can you guess what I did recently? Well actually Saturday? I went to shut the refrigerator door after putting away the orange juice. We left to go to Cashiers for the weekend and when we got back home Monday night (5/26/08), the refrigerator door hadn't been shut all the way! Our "new" refrigerator door doesn't shut unless you actually use your brains. I apparently wasn't using my brains and didn't make sure it was all the way shut. Everything in our refrigerator is ruined now because of my stupidity!!! Yep, I have had to throw out everything! And now am going to be writing a huge grocery list of all the necessities that were ruined.

Here is what my list looks like so far:
~ milk
~ eggs
~mayonnaise
~ketchup
~mustard
~ cheese
~ italian dressing (yes this is a necessity to me since I am a salad queen)
~ orange juice
~ lunch meat
~margarine
~vegetables (the ones in the fridge turned brown and black)


Our apartment complex is not level. It is a bit inclined. Not enough to notice it when walking, but if you were to pour out a cup full of water directly onto the floor, it wouldn't spill in all directions it would head south in a straight line. So when we got our replacement refrigerator, its door was hinged on the wrong side and now it no longer closes on its own when it is open. It won't close when being swung closed. It has to be manually closed all the way in order to insure its sealing. I have been promised by our landlady that she will get a guy to come and rotate the door so that the hinges are on the other side (making it easier to move in our kitchen as well). That was about three months or so that I was promised that. I beginning to wonder how easy it is to do the whole thing ourselves...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I've been tagged

Here are the rules:
1. Link your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I am deathly afraid of heights. Even seeing other people go near balconies and lean against the rail makes me nervous that they will fall. It is mainly a neurotic problem of mine. Haven't really found out what it is. Something to do with my terrible gait and balance. I have nearly fainted being up four stories high at the High Museum of Art in downtown ATL. We were finished touring the place and had to walk down the narrow ramp four flights down. I had to sit down because I felt dizzy while Mr. Price asked the elevator man if I could go down with the old people. I could, and I did. Mr. Price and that elevator man were my heroes!!! I found out, that the reason the man was on elevator duty was because he too was afraid of heights!

2. My hobbies consist of: crocheting, knitting, cooking, playing the piano, talking, sewing, reading, getting involved in unique and different crafts, home decor, and blogging.

3. I am obsessed with bricks. When I see a stray, unclaimed brick, I grab it and plan on using it for a bookend. And let me tell you, I even have my Mom and Dad asking for me to make bookends for them out of bricks. All because one day I decided to crochet around a brick and call it a bookend. I do not have a brick bookend in my name anymore because I have given them away as presents to Mom, Dad, Sarah, Hannah, and one to Brittny (who used it as a door stop). If you see and know of stray bricks, I would love them!!!! I own two door stops, but no bookends (YET) and have a couple that I will crochet around soon and dub as bookends. I can't have enough bricks. I have used even half of bricks and make bookends out of them. Even half of a half has been useful to me as a paperweight.

4. When my fingernails grow long enough to where there are the natural white tips on them, I must clip them soon or it distracts me. I can feel them when they are that long and they feel annoyingly strange. I have been this way since I was eleven. It used to distract me on Sundays and I would end up biting them until they were short enough and then I could concentrate on the sermons.

5. I can't sleep without socks on my feet and haven't been able to since I was two years old. I have had to wake my Dad and Mom up in the middle of the night, while we were staying in two hotel rooms in Virginia, just so that I could borrow a pair of socks because I had left my socks in the car. I was 18 when that happened!

6. I have two cats and am now a cat lover and wish I had another cat, but because of living in an apartment that is small and because of the rules, we can't have more than two. Life isn't worth living without cat hairs in my life even though I am allergic to the hairs.

7. I love books and owned just over 700 before getting married. Between my husband and I we have over 1000 put together!! Most of his are in his parents garage attic, and mine are mostly around the apartment with only three or four boxes full in my closet.

well I am not going to list anyone, because most everyone has already been tagged once and twice.

Friday, May 23, 2008

So far...

~I have done two loads of laundry today
~I have not eaten breakfast because I am lazy and don't want to make it
~I have made up the bed
~I have washed all dishes
~I have not mopped the floor like I said I would yesterday
~I have not made tea cakes like I promised I would for tomorrows tea party with my neighbor
~I have utterly failed at writing a to do list for myself today but am enjoying this list
~I have one load of laundry left to do
~I have read six chapters of The Last Battle for the first time in my life and am enjoying it greatly
~I have practiced piano everyday this week
~All week I have successfully prevented Nathan from getting into his violent sleep walks just by asking him random questions that make him think!
~I have succeeded in producing a second blooming on one of my Kalanchoe plants!!!
~I have also succeeded in blooming my African Violet
~I have been very happy with married life
~I have been blessed by God in so many ways and am truly thankful for all that I have been given in my life

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

May 21,2008- how my day is going so far

Ok so I wake up and guess what I find out? That I was supposed to be at the chiropractor's office YESTERDAY at 2:00!!!!!! Clumsy me! I had thought it was supposed to be today that I was going! This is the first time that I have forgotten and I have been going there regularly for two months now. I called up the office and left a message apologizing for my forgetfulness and pleading for forgiveness while wondering if it was possible to reschedule. SO I will be waiting in torment until next Tuesday to go in to the chiropractor for an adjustment.

Aside from the horror of missing an appointment, I am happy to share with my readers that I am going on a picnic with my husband today!! Nathan is getting off work at 12:30 and we will be spending nearly the rest of the day all by ourselves and all over Franklin, NC. We plan to go to Wal-mart after lunch and buy some clothes. Yippeee!!!!! I love clothes shopping. I used to hate it, but I love it now. This will be the first time that I have gone clothes shopping since before Christmas. Even though it is Wal-mart. But hey, they do have some cute clothes. I probably will only be buying one article of clothing, because of our financial struggles we have had for about two months. A five dollar shirt is affordable though.

After the Wal-mart trip we will scoot ourselves back into downtown and just meander the among the shops, probably deposit the $20 check we were given on our anniversary that I have neglected to deposit all this time. If I can remember to bring it with me. I am looking forward to this happy occasion of getting to spend precious time with my husband. We don't get to spend much time with each other at all except for a couple of hours in the evening and hardly any time on the weekends.

Oh, and I almost forgot, we will be having Jake over for dinner around 6:30 and will be going to see Prince Caspian in the Franklin Ruby Cinemas at 8:00. That I really look forward too, but will enjoy every minute I get with my husband alone before dinner and the movie. Jake has been waiting to see this movie and really doesn't like going alone, which I don't blame him. It is nice that we don't have to travel far to get to a theater. Even if it is a small and not stadium seating theater. The nearest "nice" theater is an hour away.

Most things up here you have to travel far to get to. Like the nearest mall, theater, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, Starbucks, Borders, American Bread Company, and any kind of mall type shopping. The only thing we have up here is Wal-mart, K-Mart and Lowes. Then the local shops and chain fast food restaurants like Hardees, Wendy's, and Mcdonald. There are three Ingles and one Bi-Los for grocery shopping in Franklin. And surprisingly, the K-mart is more popular than the Wal-mart and they are both old stores. Not the super marts like they have in GA. Our thirty minute drive neighbor town, Sylva does have a super Wal-mart thankfully for when we do need something that none of the other stores have.

Ok I am rambling and need to get lunch made and dinner in the crock pot.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

News from the Forrester Front!

So I am currently reading Three Musketeers and have found it an incredible adventure and so amusing to read. I have found also that I may have a talent for baking homemade bread!!! I didn't get an excellent shot of the bread and had forgotten to take one before eating a slice of the warm bread. The braids did not come out like the pictures in the book showed, to my dismay, but it was still fascinating to see the end results of my efforts. I will try to perfect this one!

Monday, May 12, 2008

What I heard when I woke up!

Today, I woke up feeling special and knew in my heart that today would be a wonderful day! And indeed it already has been a wonderful day. Today is a milestone in my husband's and my history. Today, we celebrate our first year anniversary. It has taken months of waiting and counting for this day, but it has finally come and I don't want it to end. Nathan woke me up at 6:45 with whispers in my ear, "Hello, my one-year anniversary wife! I love you! Did you sleep well?" What a wonderful way to be woken up. All these months Nathan has been the most loyal person in my life. He has woken me up every morning, helped me to my feet, and assisted me to the kitchen in order for me to make our breakfast. I couldn't have done it without him and often wonder how I managed to walk immediately after waking up each morning before I was married to him. There are so many things that I love about being married and rejoice that the Lord gave us to each other. We hold a special relationship with one another. One that will last until death parts us on earth.

I want to share with you a few things that I love about Nathan.
Nathan, like his name means, is a gift from God to me and those around him.
Nathan is special, talented, has a wonderfully big heart, knows how to make me smile even when I don't want to be cheered up. He is comical. And even though he does splash water all over the mirror when he wets him comb to fix his hair (creating smears all over the mirror), he still remains my best friend and I could never get angry at him for the little things he does that may drive me a little bit crazy. I love all those things he does that are a bit wacky or insane. Everyday, he loves me and I love him back. Everyday, he not only tells me that he loves me, he shows me that he loves me. Not a day goes by where we don't share true loves kiss and hug.
Nathan likes to pick on me nearly every day, but that is what makes him even more love-able and cute. He knows when he needs to be serious and when I am hurt.

How can I tell him enough how much he means to me? I love him for all that he was, is, and will be. I love him in our everyday and all day. Even if I am frustrated or upset with him, which is not often, I love him. I could never see us separated and know that our love is deep and will last. Not even in my dreams am I angry with him. He is the only man I care to love like I do now. And the only man that I want to grow old with. God bless him! He deserves so much for what he does for me and for loving me as much as he does.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Recent Accomplishments

About two weeks ago, my husband Nathan asked me why I hadn't been on my sewing machine in a long while. Good question! I don't believe I have been on it since Christmas. I decided it was best for me to bring out my sewing machine and try to get something done. The problem was that I didn't exactly know what I wanted to sew. I remembered that I had bought eight bandannas for a tablecloth idea I had seen in a Martha Steward book. I walked into my bedroom and spotted them on my chest of drawers still folded and waiting to be ironed. There were four red and four navy blue bandannas of the common paisley pattern. I fetched my iron and table top ironing board out from our linen closet while tucking the can of nearly empty starch under my arm and plodded to the kitchen eager to start on my new project.

I really don't enjoy ironing too well, but do it only when I find I have to or am excited about something that I want to do. This project needed to get done, but had been stalled at the time because I didn't want to iron the wrinkled bandannas. Upon taking out my sewing machine, I had found I really did miss sewing and was eager to plunge into this project. Ironing took all of five minutes to accomplish plus wrinkled napkins that had been waiting to see the iron for a month.

I cleaned off the counter and got everything set up and ready for me to begin. The foot pedal and electrical cord installed and the bobbin and needle already threaded, I began a little journey that ended in a cute-as-a-button red bandanna tablecloth that I placed immediately on our small, round kitchen table. This was too much excitement for me to handle alone. I couldn't wait for my husband to get home and see. When he did finally get to see it, we were using it for lunch and then later for dinner. I have been using it for breakfast and dinners since the day I installed this new luxury into our kitchen. I hadn't used the table since my "monster" of a kitten ;) had taken over that table as her own. This time, I fought back and showed her that it is my table and squirted her incessantly with a mister bottle for the next couple of days until she finally came to understand that it was unsafe to go treading in that territory.

A day or two later, I covered the seat cushions for the chairs around the table by pinning down navy blue bandanna around each cushion to complete the ensemble. I now have a doily in the middle of the table on the tablecloth and a fake vase of red flowers to complete the centerpiece. I am in love with this new look to our kitchen and want so much to have a tea party for two on this table.

I am now working on a seat cushion for my piano made out of bandannas and quilt batting. It may take more effort and a lot more energy and thinking, but I will carry it out to its end and not stall and procrastinate on this one. It will cost my back the more I stall. When I sit down at the piano for longer than thirty minutes, I can feel the stress in my back and neck from the hard seat of the bench. I needed a seat cushion and had looked online for some, but in the end bandannas from the dollar store only cost me $4 and a huge bag of quilt batting was given to me for free. That is a far greater deal than what I had seen on the internet. I hope to be done with this project in a couple of days. After that, I plan on making a reversible lap quilt that is blue bandannas on one side and red on the other. It will only take me eight bandannas to make that and very little time.

It has been easy sewing with bandannas because the bandannas already have a hem. The casualness of a simple bandanna has never looked more luxurious or formal to me than it has been over the past few weeks since I have discovered this new hobby and obsession of mine.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

What's in your quesadilla?

Recently, I was sitting at our bar reading through a cookbook called "How to Boil Water," very much wanting to make something new for dinner and something I had never made before, when I came across a section on how to make quesadillas. On that page, it instructed me step for step how to make one. I was much impressed and enthusiastic on this idea. I threw the rest of the ingredients out of the list and decided that no cookbook was going to tell me what to put into a quesadilla. I would do that part my own way.

Nathan came home from work just as I was ready to come up with my own concoction of what I wanted to see in my quesadilla. I realized, "what kind of quesadilla would Nathan want?" So I informed him, "I am making quesadillas for dinner tonight and would like to know what you want in yours." Nathan of course first had to hear my story of how I stumbled across this idea for dinner. Before getting his answer, I informed him that he may have anything he likes, that we have in the refrigerator and cabinets, in his quesadilla.

He answered me and with a few suggestions on my part and decided that he would have his quesadilla with cheese, stir fried chicken, my homemade hot salsa and sour cream. He was brave to try his this way, but I was dead set on him getting his quesadilla just the way he liked it, no less than that. It was to be just the way he wanted it and I was going to make sure of this.
I decided that my quesadilla was going to go first in case of mistakes, though I was doubtful of this. I knew from the minute I layed my eyes on the cookbook page that I could do it and with flying colors. But still, I had to do mine first so that my husband got the best one.

Following the instructions from the cookbook, I melted cheese in my biggest frying pan and made sure it coated the bottom and a bit of the sides of the pan. I then Placed my white corn tortilla on the pan and sprinkled shredded cheddar cheese on the surface of the tortilla. I placed a portion of the chicken, that I had stir fried in olive oil previous to buttering the frying pan, onto one side of the tortilla and then smothered that chicken with sour cream. I had to do all this quick like so that the tortilla wouldn't brown before its time to brown. I then folded the softened tortilla in half covering the chicken and sour cream. Waiting about a minute or two I checked to see if the bottom of the quesadilla was browned a little and when it was just that I flipped it and let the other side brown.

When it was finished crisping up, I transferred it to the preheated 200 degree oven and let it rest on a cookie sheet to keep it warm while I cooked Nathan's. In order to cook his, I put more butter in the pan, after first wiping out the pan a with a paper towel, and let his butter melt. Keeping to the instructions I proceeded to follow in the same manner as I had done before and cook his quesadilla.

Placing his along side my quesadilla, I shut the oven door and set the table in a jiffy while letting my computer geek of a husband know that it was time to finish up his game and come eat dinner with me. Actually, I probably only said, "dinner is ready my love." But of course that is understood that he better be done with his game for the moment. I have no problem with him playing computer games while I am making dinner, but when dinner is served, my stomach waits for no one. :)

It was a hit and a favorite instantly at our table. I made the decision right then and there, that we would try many different quesadillas and that I would search for the perfect filling for a quesadilla until I found one. But I found out that our first quesadillas we ate were the ones that both of us thought highly of and felt was the perfect ones for us. It fit us like a glove.

I have discovered that quesadillas shows the character of the one who is eating it. Each eater of a quesadilla will let you know how he/she likes their quesadilla. It is as if each quesadilla was imprinted with a tell tale mark of the person eating it. Some prefer theirs with meat, some with veggies, some without. When you go to a mexican restaurant, you can go up to any person eating a quesadilla, and I bet you will find that each person out of the whole mass of quesadilla eaters is going to have a different quesadilla than the rest. When it comes down to it, not one of the mass of quesadilla eaters will have the same quesadilla as any of the others. Each person is unique in their own way and their quesadilla will tell you that!

Each person likes their own quesadilla the way they prefer it. Their own favorite quesadilla. It may take them time to find their perfect quesadilla for them, but if they truly are into quesadillas, they will spend the time to look for that perfect quesadilla. And I promise you that quesadillas are worth the time to try to find the perfect concoction for the perfect flavor for you.

And now I ask you this, "what's in your quesadilla?"

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A replacenment for our refrigerator!

Yesterday evening, after deciding that I would cook my chicken after going to rent a 99 cent movie at the movie rental store. Mondays are 99 cent days on all movies even new releases so we take advantage of it every Monday. We were heading out to get a movie called the Ultimate Gift when I remembered that we left our weekend movie at home that we needed to return. We turned back and was passing our landlady's house when I noticed her waving to me as if signaling to me. I shouted at Nathan to back up the driveway. Rolling down the window, I heard her say, "we're coming down the hill, we have a strong man to help with the refrigerator."

He was about Nathan's size only with more muscle than flab. (Sorry Nathan, it is true!:) So we drove down to our apartment and after moving furniture aside from the doors and after locking the cats in our bedroom so they wouldn't escape, I pulled everything out of the refrigerator and freezer in a flourish. Just in time too! Nathan and the muscular man, whom I figured was the Landlady's future son-in-law, had brought the refrigerator through the sliding glass door and set it down in the hall to make room for pulling the other refrigerator out of the way. I swept up cobwebs and dust that had gathered behind and beneath our old refrigerator and then took a wet rag to mop up old liquid residue.

After that, they had the refrigerator in there in no time and I was set to put everything back into the refrigerator after thanking them for everything. I am sure I was glowing by this time. I had a newer refrigerator and it was a lot bigger too! I have way more space than ever now. The only thing I don't like about it, is that the door opens the opposite way and gets in the way, and the top shelf on the door to the refrigerator has little egg dimples where eggs are supposed to sit. I think I prefer leaving the egg carton in there without taking them out each time that I buy eggs. I will find a use for it. And no, the egg dimples do not detach or I would have given it to the landlady for holding until we move out.

Finally I told Nathan I was finished putting everything in its place and was ready to go to the movie store. This time we grabbed the other movie before forgetting it again. We got to the movie store and waited in line for twenty minutes and asked for our movie that we had reserved for us for that day. Come to find out they didn't get it reserved after all. But the lady working remembered putting one on the shelving cart to be shelved. So we got to see Ultimate Gift finally after waiting nearly a month or two to be able to get a hold on one of the four copies that they own.

To end the day off Nathan and I watched that movie and thoroughly enjoyed it. I enjoyed crying at the same places in the movie with him and laughing together at the good clean humor in the movie. Not one single cuss word either. I highly recommend it! Great storyline too!

Well, Nathan will be getting home for lunch soon so I need to plan his meal.

Monday, March 17, 2008

My freezer quit on me...dinner time!

Well my freezer quit on me today and all my ice melted. I do not have a cooler that will fit everything that is in the freezer at the moment. And even then, I can't get ice until tonight when Nathan comes home from work. I think it may have been melting on us since last night when we got home and discovered that the ice had melted again. This has been happening for nearly three weeks now. I would notice the ice cube trays with water in it instead of ice and then they would freeze up in the next three hours. So it was working a little. My landlady still hasn't been able to get two guys together to move a fridge she has for me in the garage. I had cleaned out our fridge about three weeks ago in anticipation of an exchange of refrigerators. I was right. We are getting a used new refrigerator. I am grateful for this. Because I really didn't want to have a man in our apartment working on a refrigerator that is older than me and me be alone with him here and only cats that I could sick on him if I needed to.

So anyway, it has been nearly twelve hours since I discovered all of the ice melted instead of just the top two trays. And I am wondering, do I do chicken on the Foreman grill for dinner tonight or hamburgers? I have chicken breasts that have thawed in the freezer that need cooking, and then I have beef in the refrigerator that really cannot go another day without me cooking it. Nathan says "HAMBURGERS!!!!!" And I want chicken 'n dumplings. Or marinaded chicken grilled. And then I get Nathan telling me, "make a HUGE meal, and then heat it up tomorrow for more. " I can't have chicken and hamburgers for dinner tonight!!!! Oh and I also have a wedding cake in the freezer that I am scared to see what it looks like. Our top piece that we were saving there for our first anniversary. I think we will be using over the weekend for when the Greer's will be coming up. No sense trying to freeze it up again when it probably already has thawed out in the freezer.

Oh on top of this, I just got our electric bill and come to find out, it is higher this month that we have had it in the past six months because our freezer decided it wanted a helicopter's motor, to a freezer's compressor! Really! It sounded like a helicopter from in my bedroom with the door closed and with our fan on high. I could still hear it. And I really did think it was Big Mama, the hospital helicopter that belongs at the hospital that is walking distance from here. The freezer only made that noise when it was running. And that was usually every five to six hours. I counted. And then we no longer heard the noise for most of the time and that is when it began to die. Well our monthly bill we have worked hard at keeping it $50 for the electricity. And now it has gone up to a $70 bill. Yeah, we haven't used the heater at all in winter and haven't needed to what with cooking, neighbors who are old and cold in all seasons, computers, laundry room next door, and only one wall being an exterior wall. That has been nice. All winter long and just a $50 bill each month and sometimes lower.

I love to cook dinner, but am in a dilemma for what to use, beef? or chicken? I have so many ideas, but I really don't want to mix chicken with beef for dinner. I only want to cook one meat to go with dinner tonight, not two. Otherwise Nathan will gorge on more that he really needs. He is picking up hamburger buns, he insists, so that I have no excuse for why I can't make hamburgers on our George Foreman grill. Of course he would get buns if he wants it, but that doesn't mean I will make it. :)!!! Nathan is cute when he insists on getting a meal that he likes. He doesn't do that often, but when he does, he knows that is what he will get for dinner. LOL. I can't resist those big eyes and that face. When he asks for a meal, I have to give in and make it his way. Hamburger mixed up with seasonings and marinaded with Worcestershire sauce with mustard and ketchup smashed between wheat buns.

Well I need to plan the sides to go with dinner, but all of our vegetables are mushy from being in the freezer and thawing out!!!! Hopefully we will get our refrigerator tomorrow and no later! Nathan has volunteered to help move the refrigerator and so has our landlady's daughter's fiancee. The problem is it can't be moved before 6pm on any given day because they both get off work around 6. Otherwise it is an early morning before-the-crack-of-dawn exchange of refrigerators.

Hopefully, something will be worked out, or we are camping out in our own kitchen for another day.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Another chiropractic visit

Yesterday I went for my second visit to the DC (doctor of chiropractic) and had adjustments made to my spine, neck and hip.
Living two minutes away from downtown is a very convenient thing for me right now since I don't have a car and can't drive legally. I have found it can be enjoyable taking strolls through downtown or going to the dollar store and grocery store on days when the weather permits it.
Yesterday though I had an appointment to see my DC at 4:30. I planned my whole day around this time and made sure that everything I needed to get done, would be finished before at least 4:00. In case you didn't know, I have a fear of being late and prefer not to think of what would happen if I was late.
I was ready a long time before 4:30 and wanted it to come so that I wouldn't have to look at the clock constantly making sure that I didn't loose track of the time. Well 4:00 came and I was ready, but since it only takes 5 minutes to walk to the DC office it wasn't time for me to go yet. My instinct was telling me "oh it may take longer though because of the traffic lights and having to wait for the crosswalk signs to tell me to walk!" But I just had to ignore instinct this one time. I decided to place my tote bag at the door and then sweep the floor to pass the time. When I was finished sweeping the floor it was still only 4:10. I then decided to wipe off the counter tops for the second or third time in the past hour. By 4:13 I decided it was time to go.
I walked fast down the street and got to the two crosswalks in perfect timing. It was as if they both were in sync to my walking and changed right when I needed to make the crossing. Well this was great. I made the walk in two minutes getting to the office with 15 minutes to kill. Good thing I brought Johnny Tremain along with me. I read about two chapters into it after signing in and sitting in one of the waiting room's ergonomic chairs.
I ended up being admitted five minutes early only to talk for about ten minutes on the topic of the book I was reading. He happened to see me put the book into my bag while he was helping an old lady patient of his into her jacket and out the door and had inquired of what I was reading. It turns out that my DC has two children that are home schooled and that are reading through the Little House On The Prairie serious with their mother. She happens to enjoy reading out loud to them and Dr. Barnes happens to be interested in knowing what kind of books they would be interested in. He kept apologizing and trying to get on with asking me questions, but then he would ask again, "now are there gory details and battle scenes in this book?" I would assure him it was great for kids and adults and that it didn't describe gore at all. He was fascinated with my account of the book and couldn't wait to get his wife the book to read to his kids. I told him I would write down the name of the book and author for him.
Finally we got down to business and he took me to get three x-rays done of my spine. One from the side, strait on, and from the neck up front on. After they were developed, he spent time studying them and telling me exactly what he saw and the numbering of the lumbars. He then counted my lumbars and put pin marks on the ones that he needed to adjust so that he wouldn't have to recount them to find them.
It turns out that I not only have scoliosis in my lower back, but also a bit of a curve in the upper spine and then my neck is straight instead of curved with the top most bone of the spine, the atlas, being off to the side. The rest of the time he spent adjusting the pin marked bones and then asking me a little more about the book. I wrote down the title and author of Johnny Tremain on a business card of his.
It ended up that he was a bit concerned that Nathan and I would have trouble paying for the x-rays and decided that he would give it to me free and I ended up paying $24 for spending a little over an hour in the office, half of which was spent discussing books. I asked him how long he thinks it will take for my spine to be straightened out, knowing in the back of my head that I want it to be straightened out before a year is up, but not thinking it possible. He said he didn't know for sure and that it all depends on each person as to how long or short it takes. He knows that Nathan and I want to plan on having children, but he can't tell me an exact time period.
I told him I understood, but inside I was screaming to know. How long will it be? A year? Two years? My mind goes crazy with not knowing the unknowable. Only God knows. And only God can know. But still I wonder if a DC could know an estimated time based on experience. I will work hard to have our first child and I will promise to do whatever it takes. Exercising it half of the healing process, and the adjusting is the other half of it. But ultimately it is up to God himself.
I pray that I may have the patience I need.