Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Surprise in the mail!

beautiful ornament, filled with candy, notice the wrappers
What a great surprise we had today in the mail.  A large box from Andre'.  Andre' stayed with us a couple of years back as a foreign exchange student from Germany.  He was so much fun to have around.  I miss him and the little laughing jags we had. 

I feel like I won the lottery, chocolate and teas, really good stuff.  Enjoy my pictures.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, in this case I agree....

mailman caught me in my pajamas, again
had to sit and try some out
Teas, love them and sugar stirrers

A special thanks to my friends in Germany, we loved the surprise!
Joe hamming it up for the camera          

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year

So glad to see the new year come, in my last blog I said bring it on, and so started the beginning of my new year.  I had the flu, was unable to work the one day they called and asked me to in months, just now, today, I am feeling like myself again.  I slept till noon...mmm .. told my husband that I MUST have need to.  In those few days I had some of the wildest dreams ever, hope that wasn't a preview of the new year, no way, right ?
Well the good news is I have had my spell with the flu, no more for me,  not going to tempt the fates again.  I am so happy to feel like myself.... woow woow...

A little place near us had a contest  wanting you to tell about something you had done to "pay it forward".  I never have been able to talk about the little things you do every day to help out someone.  I think it is just part of our lives, to help others.  I figured my entry would be booted out because I said I was submitting my daughter for consideration.  She had taken me to Davenport and treated me to a wonderful meal at a place called Oska.  One of those reasturants that the guy comes out and puts on a show while he cooks your meal.  It was great food and really fun since it was my first time to go to a place like that.  I wrote how I didn't have 2 dollars in my pocket that day.  We went to a mall after lunch and she told me to pick out some things I needed at Bath and Body, bought me a pretzel at the mall and smiled so happily all day long.  I was so touched by her doing all of that and all the things she does everyday.  She is such a sweet person, and I helped make her that way.  Anyway, I found out last night that they picked my entry and my daughter won a one night stay at one of their cabins.  I was about in tears last night as I read the nice complements they gave me on how proud I must be of her. 
If you would like to see their web site just go to www.hickoryhideaway.com and check them out.  If you do look them up could you please tell them Sandy mentioned them in her blog. They are some of the nicest people and work very hard at making everyone's stay a wonderful memory. Plus, it is just fun to look at places like theirs.

Below are some pictures of my WINNING daughter.  Enjoy, have fun, and be happy.
being Lacey

wet thumb cleaning my face  ugh!

Friday, December 30, 2011

December 2011 nearing the end

Wow, I just can't believe another year is ending.  I turned 60 this year, which I am good with, went to a friend's who turned 60 also and jumped out of a plane, tandem style. That, I think was the highlight of my year. Looking back I am so glad I did it.  Still feel the thrill of being 13,000 feet in the air, what a rush that was. 

I had a wonderful stay with my friend in Arizona, a vacation that was greatly needed.  We always have fun together.  Some of my friends from Illinois thought I was nuts to go to Arizona in August but it worked out great. The weather was nice, not to hot, I was able to enjoy the pool more that the other times when I went in May. 

My hubby's health is a little better, I am so thankful for that. We still are faced with some problems, but look forward to the small improvements that continue to happen. 

My daughter and I have such a good time when we have a day together. This year she faced a lot of turmoil in her life, I am so proud of her for the way she handled it all.  I think we are both glad to see a new year begin.  We have lots to be thankful for.

I think I should share this, when we go on an outing we usually end up at a Target store and it turns into a hat trying on marathon.  The last time was so much fun because we went to opposite ends of the hat display and would find each other with silly hats and and surprise each other.  I really have been wanting to send Target a thank you for the fun we have there.  It is something special my daughter and I do together and enjoy. (maybe a little to much)  We always take our camera and capture the moments, laughing and making fun of each other.  I just had to include another picture of us having fun.  The cost is free and so are the laughs.

We are still trying to sell our home.  We have 4 acres and it is way to much work for me.  The market is bad and we have been trying to sell for about 3 years now.  I am unemployed and unable to find a job, so that means I have no insurance, the prospects in our area are nowhere to be found.  I had a summer weekend job, that is over for now.  I hoped someone would see what a great job I do and ask me to work for them.... dreamer right.....  but that's who I am, I believe in the impossible.  Hope I never change, I love a good laugh, try to remain optimistic and go day by day..

It just wouldn't be right ending the year without a picture of my dog, Baxter.  What a wonderful dog!

I am so ready for the new year to start..... bring it on. ..

Saturday, December 17, 2011

New Toro snow shovel

I am no rocket scientist but I did have a little trouble with my new electric snow shovel today.  We had about 2 inches or more of snow and right away I wanted to use my new toy.  Plugged it in and was ready to go.  It was not as easy as I had seen in the videos.  I had to bend over in an awkward position, I thought I am short so why would I have to bend over so far to make this dang thing work?!  If I didn't bend way over and have it tilted just right the snow would blow back on me and the blower part would make a little rattle noise.  I was about to the point of returning and letting my husband have the last word.  He didn't want me to buy it, said we didn't need it and wouldn't do the job.  I stood outside looking the blower up and down, trying to figure out what could be changed.  I tried again and again with the same result, not so good.  It was not throwing snow 20 feet like it should and I hated the bending over to push it.  What the Heck was wrong!!! 

I wanted to start on our deck since it was the smoothest surface to experiment on.  Well, after fighting with it for a while and standing there trying to figure out what was wrong with the handle I gave up and went inside.  I told my husband that I was having a problem and was going to go on line on the internet to see if I could figure out what was wrong.  I went to the Toro electric snow shovel sight and watch their video with no luck, looked the same to me and the gal was bent over a little while she was using the blower.  Crap, I thought I had bought some stupid back breaker.  I went to YouTube and typed in Toro snow shovel and watched some videos regular people had posted and right away I saw my problem.....I really hate sharing this but we are all family here, right?  The handle was on backwards so the blower part us upside down.  I did not put it on, it came out of the box like it was and no where did it mention you had to turn the handle around.  Thank goodness for You Tube.  Thank goodness for the internet, I might have boxed it up and shipped it back.  I can just see them reading my note that it didn't work right, with the handle on backwards... Some man would be standing there shaking his head saying it had to be a woman... grrr....

At least that is over now and I got it all figured out.

  I made some really good potato soup today and added a lot more than I normally do and it turned out great.. here is what I did for the soup
about   4-5 potatoes
            cover them with water so they are not crowed
            some onion
           little left over ham
           spinach, shredded  ( I do not like spinach, so sometimes I try to sneak it in to some of my dishes) 
           I used about a half a cup, you can add as much as you like
           couple of teaspoons curry
           couple teaspoons basil
           salt,pepper to taste
           1 can cream of chicken soup
           you can add water to make it as thick or thin as you like.  This is a add whatever you have type of
          soup.  you can add corn or anything, I think it would still taste great..... let me know if you try it.

Enjoy the pictures and have a great day!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Finished Caregiver Class

What a great surprise, at the end of our 6 weeks of a caregiver class we we all handed certificates!  It was a pleasant little surprise.  They also included a small note book to push us toward writing a journal.  I can not say enough good things about this class.  The class was free but surpassed my expectations.  The teachers were caring and understanding, able to relate to all of our concerns.  I have told others about it and hope that they will sign up when it is offered again.  The one really great thing about this class was sharing our problems and ups and downs.  Have you ever noticed that when you think you have it bad someone always has it worse.  As I am just coming into the caregiver roll I heard and learned a lot.  I am in the wilderness area right now where there are consent changes from day to day.  Wilderness was the right word, there are times I think I can hear the wild sounds, total chaos all around, like living in a zoo. Until that calms down this is where I will be.  Not so scary when you understand it. 

This is a class to teach the person who is taking care of someone they love to care first for themselves.  If I am not happy, rested, strong and able to do so, how can I care for someone else.  I see that all the little things you do for yourself help both of you.  I know when I miss a few nights sleep or am not feeling all that great I am frustrated with every little thing that happens.  My temper can be quick on those days, and although it is not always directed at my husband, I can sure make it sound like it.  They told us to make an action plan every week, like; I will read 1/2 hour, four times a week, or I will walk with the dog 1 hour 5 times a week.  It helps to motivate you, and we all need that little push.  I hope with winter coming I can practice what I have learned and care for me first, (sounds so odd to put one self before others) I know it is going to be a challenge but I am better prepared for it now.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Salsa is done!

Yesterday, Nov. 9th, I finished my last batch of salsa.  I have not seen my stove clean or my kitchen counters for a few weeks.  I didn't want to put everything away until I was all done.  This year I got my tomatoes very late, I think everyone else was done canning.  I had almost thought that this year there would be no salsa, but the person I get my tomatoes from called and said he had them ready.  He had a very late ripening time.  Our weather had been cold, hot, cold, and so on. Not the best kinda weather for tomatoes.
My recipe for salsa starts out with 35 cups of tomatoes, so when I say I made 3 batches, I mean big batches.  Last night when I heard the ping of the last jar, it was such a moment.  Done.  I even enjoyed cleaning my stove and counters.  I was happy about a job well done and that it was over.  I love getting my salsa out all winter long and I use it in everything.  When I make my homemade chicken soup I add a jar, chili, scrambled eggs, usually any soups I add some salsa to it.  It gives it a little extra zing.

I am happy it is over.  Enjoy your day

Monday, November 7, 2011

Stupid time change

I have not handled the time change very well.  First, I had to work Sunday morning and was very tired when I went to bed. I remembered to change the alarm clock but in the wrong direction, so instead of getting up at 7:30 I got up at 5:30.  NOT a good beginning to my day.  Of course I had to stay up then because I don't sleep well anyway and once I wake it is all over.  I thought Sunday night I would sleep great because I had been up since 5:30, but no.  Woke up off and on all night, ended up get up out of bed about a quater to 6.  I had my coffee, did the Facebook thing, fed the dog, walked the dog, started laundry. About that time the coffee must have kicked in because I called my neighbor to tell her to come over and have her coffee here. I wanted to talk to her about taking her Christmas card photo.  I had all these brilliant ideas that just came to me.  When I called I was surprised no one answered the phone, it went straight to the answering machine. I left a message to call me and about 10 minutes later the phone ring.  It was her wondering if everything was alright and what had happened.  I called her without looking at the time since I had been up for what seemed like hours I figured she had to be up to.  She was not.  I got to laughing and saying how sorry I was to wake her, ususally she is up before me.  I had no idea I called her before 7, and she thought something terrible must have happened.  So here she is on the phone listening to me go on and on asking her to come over and talk about the photo for Christmas, good neighbor that she is she just let me go on. 
She did come over and all those great ideas I thought I had I could tell as she is sipping her morning cup of coffee, she didn't think they were that great.  The look on her face as I scratch one idea after another off my list was priceless.  Maybe I should start keeping those GREAT ideas to myself from now on or at least wait till later in the day when I have had time to think it over. 
But isn't it nice to have a neighbor who will run right over and give you those looks.  You know you have a friend.