Wednesday, June 24, 2009

In the good 'ol summertime...

Where, oh where has my little blog gone? Or maybe I should be asking where, or where has June gone? Chris took that photo above on a little rafting trip he, friend Gary and M&M went on. I opted out because I was working on something else. But, gorgeous day and gorgeous photo.

I was sick last weekend. I even had to miss the last two days (including the closing program) of VBS. I was so sad about that, but what can you do? It was "just" a cold, but it just sucked the life out of me. At least it traveled pretty fast and I'm about over it now, but each day there was some new thing that just put me down. I was in bed a LOT! Ugh. It feels like I lost a month of my life.

And I haven't exercised in a week. I hate that, too, because I had some GOOD momentum going there. I was just about done with the Wii Sports Active 30-day Challenge. But, I do want to continue and I will.

Today and tomorrow I'm packing up for the SIStv 2 year anniversary crop and celebration event in Nashville, TN. I'll be leaving in the wee hours Friday a.m. and will be home late Monday evening. So, this is my birthday present to me! ;)

Emily is about ready to burst with child. Lookie here:

I just hope it doesn't happen while I'm away. They're going to induce her July 13th if she hasn't already popped our little girl out by then. The photo is from a Sunday afternoon we had at World's End State Park a couple weekends ago. Chris's birthday weekend, actually. Or, at least, that was our excuse to go picnic.
So, yes, summer is beginning to show it's lovely self around here - in between the torrents of rain and chill. Hopefully, she's just shaking out the last of winter and spring and is here to stay now.
With that, I'm off to get packin' for my trip!


Monday, June 08, 2009

What a gorgeous day in PA. It wasn't sunny all day - it even drizzled a little at one point. But it was the perfect temperature and the birds were singing and it was calm and just really pleasant. Oh, how I love these kinds of days. We chose to spend it finally buying some flowers for the window boxes, the porch and the deck. Well, really, we didn't have much choice because it's just been either too cool or too rainy or we've been too busy to get them before this. And Chris leaves Wednesday for a golf tournament (and works tomorrow) - so TODAY was the day. And even though this is something I've done on my own in the past, I really appreciated having Chris to help lug things around for me. :)

I do have some perennials blooming - the knock-out rose and the lamb's ear pictured above, left are a few of them. It had just rained the morning I took those photos and the drops were all lit by the sun. So pretty. The photos on the right are of a butterfly that was just as delighted as I was that I had flowers strewn about waiting to be potted. It's such a great feeling of accomplishment to get this chore done.

And, apparently, I had energy to spare because I decided to clean off and wipe down the entire front porch after getting all the flowers in. I still have a few more plants to add, but it's almost as if I felt for the first time that NOW summer had begun. Yeah, yeah - I know it's not really summer yet, but it feels like it now! And I just so enjoyed sitting in one of the porch chairs enjoying my little lunch while hummingbirds, bees and butterflies buzzed by. Lovely.

We invited the younger of the two Barlow offspring and family up for dinner, but Emily wasn't feeling well, so it was just Eva and Dustin. Eva is SO in love with our little Beatrix, she just wants to carry her around all the time, which I felt a need to limit because I do want the kitty to be blissfully happy here, too. :) But that kitten is truly the sweetest - and funniest - little thing ever. And Chris brought out this train whistle which Eva also giggled and giggled over as we made a big deal about the "Eva train" 'a comin'! She just delights in everything. And it was so fun to watch her watching a hummingbird feeding for the first time. Everything is new again as we see through her eyes.

So, all in all, a good day. I'm going to go shower off the dirt and sweat of the day and hop into bed...


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Where have I been? To the annual LYFE conference for ladies! LYFE stands for Living Your Faith Everyday. It's an excellent conference that's 2.5 days of excellent teaching, great food and just the kind of good 'ol FUN that you have when you get away with your friends. This year they offered the photo shoot, so we had fun with that.

I also took a class from SIStv last week called Home Is Where the Art Is and given by one of our more "famous" Fashionistas, Claudine Hellmuth. She has her own line of paints and medium and sticky-backed canvas AND she's even appeared on the Martha Stewart show with her unique artwork techniques. I can add that she's a great online teacher! I loved the class, which involved making a little sampler of various mixed medium techniques. So FUN! I can't wait to begin incorporating some of the techniques into my other projects. I'm so glad I'll have this project as a reminder of what I did!

Chris and I went away Memorial Day weekend. Normally, we go on a one-day road trip. But this year, Chris suggested that we do an overnight and since it involved a meal at Teresa's Next Door AND a night in a hotel, well, how could I resist? There was a parade right in front of our hotel on Memorial Day and then we headed out and stopped briefly to visit Kevin and Ann and meet little Ava for the first time. We also stopped at Bill and Julia's in Mt. Gretna. I guess I forgot to pull out my camera for that short visit. Too bad, because they live in a really cool setting. Here's my collage of the parade AND little Ava is in there, too:

Last week was VERY full with getting caught up from being gone and then going away yet again to the LYFE conference. LIFE has been a whirlwind of activity! We finished off the week by going to Milheim, PA to see a local (sort of) Zydeco band. Unfortunately, Matthew had to work, so he missed it, but Chris and I went with Martha and Gary. (Deborah also had to do some catching up after being at LYFE with me, so she missed it, too.) And when I say, "missed it", I do mean "missed it" because they were fabulous. They were playing at a little natural foods cafe out in the middle of NOwhere. And it was pretty filled up with people. At one point, every single person in there was up dancing. You just couldn't help it! Fantastic and soooooo fun!

Yesterday was MY day to try to begin catching up. And I'm sort of continuing in that mode today. I went through my entire wardrobe yesterday morning - throwing out the unsightly and the unfitting, putting away the fall/winter and bringing in the spring/summer - all before ever coming down for my morning coffee. That happened finally at 11 a.m. Then I did some laundry and went about getting caught up on a few other things. M&M came over in the afternoon, so we took a break with them. Then Chris took Eva to a pet parade and carnival (I wanted to stay far, far away from the carnie food...) and I made my dinner and went down to crash in front of tv - something I haven't done for ages. I watched the 3 latest and newest episodes of John & Kate Plus Eight. *sigh* It's almost too sad to watch now knowing that their marriage may be breaking up. What is wrong with people? I'm sure it's complicated and I don't really know anything, but by their own admission they may not stay together. Eight little kids. Sooooo sad. If other people feel the same way I do, (too sad to watch) it will kill the show.

ANYway... THIS was a morning I've been looking forward to ever since we've adopted this little cutie:

She went to the vet's to get her claws removed. Now don't freak out. I fully intend on keeping her exclusively INside (although, she has actually escaped outside a couple times, but only for a few seconds - she's FAST!). That's our little Beatrix. Yeah, she's awfully cute, but don't be fooled. I wear her scars. She has inflicted more pain, drawn more blood and left more scabs on me than any cat I've ever owned. I covered the furniture just enough to keep it from being ruined. And she was light enough that the several times we caught her hanging from the TOP of the still like new, very expensive sliding door screen, it didn't actually do any damage. Geesh! That cat is CA-RAzy! She will be in for a bit of a surprise once she heals up, but I'm sure she'll adjust well. She'll just have to perfect her jumping (and landing) skills, because she will no longer be using her claws to do it. I'm sure she'll continue to entertain us with her antics and I won't be surprised if her attempts at jumping without claws will cause some accidents, but overall, I will be breathing a huge sigh of relief. And I think Rocky will like it better, too, as I've seen evidence of her boldness on him, too! Geesh.

Now I'm off to exercise and get some meal planning done. Perhaps, if I find the energy to brave the masses, I'll go get groceries this afternoon. I think a trip to WalMart is definitely in the plan. But Wegman's may have to wait until tomorrow when it won't be so busy (because I couldn't get there until after 4 p.m. at the earliest today and that's when everyone's getting out of work, too). Sayonara.