Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Finding a balance in 2012...

As most people these days, I'm always running in many different directions. Wether it's school functions, work or household chores...it always seems there's more to do than time permits. It's no wonder we live in a depressed obese world. I am committed to finding a balance for my world in 2012. That does not mean my life is going to as seemingly organized and mello as Martha Stewart's...but more than it is right now.

I've made a mental list of the things that are on the top of my priority list. My family, my business and my physical fitness. I believe the first thing I need to do is get organized! Yes, easier said than done...but necessary. I am calmer and more efficient when I know where I'm going, when, with who and have what I need to take with me. It's very upsetting to me to spend time looking for things that where "right there" and forgetting things when I'm too far from home to return for them. I like being ready for meetings and events. And the things I hate the most is forgetting a school function...i.e. picture day...GRRR.

If you were to look at the blogs I follow or my Pinterest account you would see I follow a lot of "foodie" blogs and organizing blogs. One my favorites is "Ask Anna". She is giving me (and hopefully you) the kick in the pants to get started. She has set up a 14 day cleaning plan to help us have sparkling homes. I can tell you from experience, once you get one area clean it's like an addiction...you want them ALL clean. Here's Anna's link if you want to join us. Day 1 is taking down and putting away all of the Christmas decorations. My addition would be to donate any unused decorations to a local shelter.

Another blog I enjoy that has many many homemade cleaners is One Good Thing by Jillee Oh the money you will save!  Not only on cleaners, but being able to "save" items from the trash because you will be able to get out the stains or repair it.

So join me, won't you! Let's get organized and find a balance in 2012. Let's get happier and healthier and enjoy everyday...because as I always say...each day is a gift!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A season of compassion?

At this time of year everyone is so much more likely to be compassionate, caring and giving. While this is wonderful...shouldn't we ALWAYS be like that? Isn't that what we are called to do in the Bible...CARE? I am as guilty as the next person of getting wrapped up in the everyday freight train called life, that I forget go the extra step to be compassionate, caring and giving. But I do remind myself, on a regular basis, to stop and TAKE THE TIME.

When I saw the post over at The Life of a Suburban Princess it spurred me to share it with you. Like her, I'm happy to say several things on the list I do on a regular basis. But I'm going to see how many I can "check-off" the list before Christmas. And will definitely make several more part of my everyday life.

So in this season of hustle and bustle, black friday mayhem, and trying to find the perfect gift. Remember...He gave us the perfect gift.

I added #26 because I whole-heartedly believe we should do this on a regular basis. These families give sooo much every day...missed birthdays and holidays, hugs and kisses, soccer games and bedtime stories. A simple thank you, a cup of coffee, a smile...something small in the face of their huge task.

I will work at keeping you updated on my progress and linking back to the Princess' site. Join me...won't you?

1. Work at a soup kitchen
2. Deliver gifts or goodies to your neighbours
3. Pay for the person in line behind you in the coffee shop
4. Host or participate in a food drive
5. Work at the food bank for a day
6. Tip your mail carrier and delivery person
7. Donate used books and magazines to a library or doctor's office
8. Offer babysitting services to a friend
9. Deliver care packages to the homeless
10. Visit a nursing home
11. Deliver goodies to your local fire and police stations
12. Smile at strangers and say hello
13. Hold the door for everyone you see going into a building and ask them to do the same
14. Write snail mail to 5 people
15. Deliver old towels and blankets to the animal shelter
16. Give your spare change (or more) to someone in need
17. Over tip your waiter/waitress
18. Send letters or care packages to soldiers
19. Forgive someone
20. Take a meal or coffee to an elderly person
21. Leave a wake up surprise for your spouse or children next to their bed
22. Start a conversation with a new person, welcome them to your community
23. Write a letter to a parent you admire letting them know what a great job they are doing with their kids
24. Compliment 10 people
25. Send a text/email to someone you haven't spoken to for a while and let them know you are thinking about them
26. Shake the hand of a veteran or soldier thanking them for their sacrifice and service.

Friday, October 7, 2011

What a fun night...

My children are 5 1/2 years apart in age. While it has some advantages, mostly financial...time between drivers licenses, prom and college to name a few. It also has some disadvantages. And one of those disadvantages is the fact that they never got to march together in the band. Mo graduated in the spring of 2010 and Jon was able to join the marchers in the fall of 2010.

Well tonight it all changed! Our band director had an alumni night. First I must tell you it made daughter a bit sad when she realized she is now in the "alumni" category. She was no excited! About 25 or so alumni participated, ranging in age from just graduated to Mom's of band kids who have graduated! It was pretty cool.

Jon plays mellophone/french horn and Mo plays clarinet and was field commander for her Junior and Senior years. Her good friend Tina, a fellow commander, also joined in on the festivities!

They played God Bless America, Star Wars theme and Land of a Thousand Dances...and countless stand tunes. They danced and laughed and just enjoyed the entire experience.

My Mom was able to join in on the fun and I left the concession stand (gasp) to watch them perform pre-game and half time. Wouldn't have missed it for the world.

FYI -- I realized tonight that I have been a Band Booster officer for 6 years!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A first for me...

What an amazing day it's been! Several weeks ago my friend, Teresa, mentioned they had started kayaking. I was so curious and was hoping she would take me with her one day. Well TODAY was that day. Teresa, Jacquie and I headed to a local lake and enjoyed an absolutely gorgeous summer day!

We have all been friends for years and years. We live within 15 minutes of each other but (sadly) do not take the time, make the time, to do things together. We each have 2 children, one of each with the oldest being a daughter.


We were sooo excited to get together and do something adventurous and physical. Teresa brought all of the equipment; kayaks, paddles, life vests and waterproof/floating cases for our phones. When we first got in the kayaks you felt really wobbly. But in no time at all I was very comfortable and stable.

We paddled up one side of the lake and back down the other. Teresa wanted to show us this lovely house with a beautiful waterfall. I was amazed at just how pretty it was. All of the houses lining Guilford lake are set up for relaxation...lawn chairs, big decks and fire pits...ahhh!

When we got close to the beach area we noticed a ball floating in the water. Teresa sped up ahead (that girl can fly when she wants to) unfortunately she overshot the ball and her wake sent the ball to the docks. She paddled to the shore and tried to retrieve it with her paddle. It made a quick retreat under a pontoon boat.

On our way back of the other side of the lake we stopped at Mark's Landing for lunch. We "parked" our kayaks between the boulder riddled shore and the docks. Getting back in is the hardest part...that's when it feels the most "tippy". I was holding mine next to the dock to allow the other ladies room to maneuver and decided I could probably jump in mine with no problem...so I did! The girls looked at me with wide eyes and just started laughing...yep Good times!

For the ending to a perfect day we paddled down by the damn and over to see the geese. The were fine with us until we got too close.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


This post will have very few photos. While I love to look at pics from other blogs...I want you to "see" the pics in your mind.

What brings you comfort? That kind of comfort that makes you sigh and calms your soul. Makes all the days worries and stesses fade away. All is right with the world....if only for a few moments.

Is it in the evening when the chores are done and your family has settled in for an evening of television and nummies (snacks)?

Is it watching your children sleep peacefully?

Is it sharing time with your aging Mama?

Staring at a camp fire on a cool summer evening?

Rolling over to snuggle with your honey?

One of the things I have always loved is....water! On a sweltering, hot, humid day to feel the cool water of a shower wash over your body,,,ahhh pure relaxation. On a cold winter morning, feeling the steaming shower warm your body...you know the kind when you don't want to turn off the shower. The local pool for the kids on a steamy summer day!

But my favorite water is night time water. Picture a backyard pool or spa with the blue lights glowing. The steam rolling on the waters surface. Your on the lake and the full moon is shimmering across the water as the sound of little waves lap against the boat. Or if you are on the river to see the skyline reflected on the water. Ahhh night time water is definitely my favorite.

My dream is to have a lap pool/hot tub out back. To end my day relaxing in a swirling tub, the cool night air washing over my skin as the days stresses float away...now that is a little piece of heaven...right here on earth!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Heaven has a new Angel...

My cousin Danny was 38 years old with beautiful thick red hair. He had a gentle soul. He suffered from severe cerebral palsy and has been in a home since he was 2 years old. He passed away in the wee hours of the morning today. I can just picture him standing up straight and tall with the heavenly beams shining through his hair.

My Aunt Linda (his Mama), my Mom and daughter (Morgan) went to visit him last year. My beautiful girl has a soft golden heart. He knew that! They shared a fun visit and made lasting memories.

Please pray for Aunt Linda, Uncle Bill, Grandma, Cousin Candi and all of us as we say good-bye "see you when we get there".

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Down time...

Hubby and I took the weekend off! It was supposed to be a family camping trip but turned out to be just the two of us. What a wonderful time! Nothing special...just peaceful time together.

We loaded the motorhome with food and clothes and headed south to Cadiz, Ohio. This little town was founded in 1803. It's basically a mining town. Lots of lush hunting ground, beautiful horse trails and very little phone service. While it was a little hard to be out of touch with the kids...they all had plans themselves...and emergency numbers they could turn to.

After we made camp Friday evening we headed out to do some sight seeing and get a bite to eat. There was this little eatery called Country Kettle that my husband and his hunting buddies eat at during archery. The food was fabulous! A real burger was $2.25!!! They had home brewed sweet tea and the most delicious and moist corn bread I've ever eaten. We scoped out his hunting grounds since they change year to year depending on where they are mining. Saw a few deer but it was still pretty warm and sunny out. Headed to the shooting range for some pistol practice, too.

When we returned to camp I laid a blanket down and enjoyed some reading while hubby got the fire going. It was so peaceful! We stay at a camping area designed for horseman and family camping. The areas are far apart with restroom buildings, water hydrants and marked trails for walking or horse back riding. With the exception of voices and horse hooves in the distance we were alone. Ahhh how nice!

Saturday we started the day with bacon, donuts and coffee over the open fire! Then we just relaxed. Hubby caught up on some sleep and I enjoyed reading my book...which I finished by Sunday morning. Later in the afternoon we headed out to get some pictures of the "museum". It's an area where they park old machinery and that's where it stays. Old drag lines, bulldozers, mining Eucs...all kinds of stuff. It's amazing to see up close how massive these things are. To think how powerful the engines needed to be to move not only the machines but the dirt and limestone ..WOW! And the men that operated them...strong and gruff probably with a cigarette hanging from their lips. The entire town oozes with history!

One of the blades has been hand painted to memorialize some of their beloved machinery. Very impressive!

We always have steaks and corn on the cob over the fire! First we marinate the steaks in red wine and seasonings...the wine helps tenderize the beefy goodness! And of course, you have to use a cast iron skillet! I think this was my husband's favorite part of the whole vacation. He set the table...even picked some black eyed susans for a centerpiece. We have been married almost 20 years and I love him more now than I ever have!

We had several "visitors" during our trip. Some not so welcome...flies, bees and misquitoes. Others were very welcome! There was this gorgeous black and blue butterfly who showed up Saturday morning and stayed to see us off on Sunday. The flash of the camera showed his beautiful blue hues...to the naked eye they look black. Stunning! Then of course there were the herds of deer who came out at night...you could hear their hooves on the blacktop outside the camper. And last but not least...the raccoons!!! When we finished eating we decided to clean up in the morning. No  need...the coons did it for us...hahaha. They ate every beef bone, the last ear of corn, the italian dressing and a pound of butter. I'm sure they wish we had left some tums out too! I got a couple of pictures of their greasy paw prints but their a little fuzzy.

  We are back home now...hubby is napping...one more day off from work tomorrow! So much better than a busy expensive weekend anywhere else. Looking forward to the next trip!

Monday, July 11, 2011

What do you do on Saturday?...

As I have mentioned before we are involved in drag racing. When I was a young girl (yesterday...hehe) we went to the drag strip occassionally. Now it's part of my life. As a matter of fact, I was at the strip up to my delivery date with Mo and back again two weeks later. My kids have celebrated many a birthday, 4th of July and Halloween at the strip. It's their extended family...and that's a good thing.

Hubby races a 1967 Chevy Camaro with a 350 small block tucked inside. He enjoys running the Nostalgia class and has won several times. In case your wondering, we run 9.29 seconds at 148 mph. To clarify, that means he goes from a dead stop to 148 mph in 9.29 seconds in 1/4 of a mile.

Both of kids raced junior dragsters. Unfortunately Mo is too old now...anyone over 18 can't run the "little cars". Jon is the only one running in the points system this year. We started out great but have stumbled a bit in the last few races. In drag racing every weekend is like the super bowl. You race multiple people before you are considered the winner. Briefly, if you have 20 cars they will be paired up in 10 sets, leaving you with ten cars. Then you pair those 10 drivers up and they race. And so on, until you have the final two drivers and they will determine the winner and runner-up. So for a 20 car field you would race 5 times before you could be considered the over-all winner.

Here's a few of us getting lined up in the staging lanes. This is where you get all your gear on and get paired up. There's lots of safety gear...helmet, fire suit, 5-point seat belt, gloves, wrist restraints and neck ring. The engine on the juniors is basically a 5 hp briggs and stratton...with a few modifications. Jon runs a 9.47 seconds at 65 mph in the 1/8th mile...from a dead stop. I know some of you are thinking...isn't it dangerous. Honestly, not really. There are so many safety features both on the engine and surrounding the drivers that they are safe. Certainly safer than being in my passenger vehicle out on the highway with so many crazy drivers talking on the cell phones, eating their lunch or just trying to be there before you.

The cars have little slick tires on them, so they roll through the water box and do a burn out. This heats up the tires so they "stick" to the starting line when they launch.

Dad makes adjustments to the idle so it will pull itself into the beams. What does that mean? To be sure both cars are lines up in the same place there are staging beams. It's a laser that runs across the track. When your front tires roll into the first beam it turns on your pre-stage bulb. You roll just a little more and you reach the second beam, this turns on your stage bulb...this means you are ready to race. Once both drivers are staged the "tree" is activated. Three yellow bulbs come on and then you mash the gas! Reaction time is a big deal...many races have been won, and lost, on reaction time (how fast do you react to the lights?). Imagine sitting at a stop light with a car next to you, the green light comes on and you hit the gas pedal before the one next to you...you had the better reaction time.

Drag racing is a great family sport. Is it expensive...sure, but isn't any sport/activity that you really get into?! But it's worth the money when your kids want to hang out with you on the weekend and tinker on the cars with you throughout the week. If you have a drag strip near you why not head out on a friday or saturday...I bet you get a few butterflies in your tummy and want to go again!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cleanliness is next to Godliness...

I have always enjoyed being neat and organized. When I was a little girl I would play with my toys and put them back in their box...every time! A good example was my set of Peanuts gang finger puppets. When I was done with them I would put them back in their little holders, in order, and put them away.

After I had a family I became overwhelmed with trying to get and, more importantly, stay organized. Blogland has been a big help! Offering inspiration and ideas. Caroline over at The Feminist Housewife has been offering inspiration with a "What's in Your Fridge?" linking party.

My fridge was driving me crazy! So while Doug was putting in my new floor I decided to thoroughly clean my refrigerator. WOW!!! What a difference. And I have maintained it...for the most part...for a couple weeks. I think I could get addicted to everything being neat, clean and organized.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

New floors (Part 2)...

It is finally finished! The flooring "project" throughout the living room and dining room. And what a project it was! I'm sure it has something to do with me. You see, I'm like a dog with a bone...can't stop until it's finished. Everything else goes on hold when I'm in the middle of a project.

Because of our schedules on the weekend, my son and I tore out the old nasty dirty carpet on Thursday. The new beautiful clean carpet was being installed the following Monday. Let me tell ya...walking on this icky bare floor for 3 days nearly drove me bonkers. I wore shoes ALOT (a big no no in my house). When we pulled the carpet off of the stairs you could see three distinct colors. In the crease was the original color of the carpet. On the rise of the stairs was what it had faded to over the years. And on the tread was the gross part from two decades of people and pets walking on it.

We had considered leaving the stairs exposed. I think they are beautiful! But to appreciate them I would've had to strip the paint on the sides and refinish the treads, something I am just not up to right now. They are still waiting under the soft carpet for their day to shine...and I'm sure someday they will.

I have to say it was cool to see the outline where, at one time, there had been an area rug. They had painted the perimeter black. I could picture the rocking chairs and couch pulled up to the rug around the fireplace with the radio crackling in tempo with the fire. My house is over 90 years old...it's seen alot of changed in its lifetime.
We had to have the living room completely empty by the time Dowd Floors came to install on Monday morning. We had dispersed all the small stuff throughout my office and the kids rooms. The big stuff HAD to fit in the dining room. Well...it fit...kinda!

It is amazing the difference with the new carpet. My living room looks HUGE! The measurement of my room is reminiscent of a bowling alley, 12' x 23', with two focal points (TV & fireplace). We are a very active family with many hobbies. i.e. hunting/shooting, racing, crafting, music to name a few. This can present a challenge when trying to fit everything into an 1200 sq ft house. But I'm getting there. Since the new carpet has been installed I've been organizing everything...even the shotgun shells!

I have plans to paint the living room a sand color and re-paint the trim white...the chips need to go bye-bye. But for now I'm going to bask in the clean comfort of my "new" living room and dining room. You are welcome to stop by to see it in person...just remember to take your shoes off.