Tuesday, October 27, 2009

We Danced...

We really didn't think our annual Dancin' on the Deck party was going to happen this year. In fact, we'd kind of decided not to have it, especially since I/we were gone so much of September, when we usually have it. But since D&T and M&M are moving to AZ before we'd see another autumn in PA, and knowing that they really looked forward to it, we decided to go ahead and try. So we scheduled it for the 2nd weekend in October, hoping that the weather wouldn't be too bad by then. But people dropped out like flies due to, mainly, illness. So, we tried for the following weekend, but the weather reports weren't good and we finally called it on Saturday and said we'd give it one last try for this past weekend.

The dancin' gods were with us (so to speak) because, even though not everyone originally invited could come on this particular date, we did have 10 people - not too much smaller of a gathering than usual. And the weather? Stellar. It was a gorgeous clear, starlit night. A little chilly, but that's actually ideal when you're dancing your heart out. And that we did. I'd have to say it was probably one of the BEST DotD parties evah.

One of the best things we did was ask each couple to burn a CD of about 5 of their fave dance tunes. We were afraid (Chris was afraid) that no one would actually get their act together to do this. But, possibly due to all the postponements, everyone DID come through. So, we threw everyone's CD on the player and "shuffled" the mix. It was a blast not only dancing to all the different KINDS of songs, but also guessing WHO picked WHAT song. It really was FUN!!!

So, now we're inspired to do it again next year, even though we'll be missing two of our most favorite dancin' couples. :( We told them that whenever they come back for visits, we'll have an honorary DotD party!

It's random laundry day around here. And I'm continuing to work on my biggest Christmas project, so I'm off to get at it. Soon, M&M will be living here (this week) and I know I will be (happily) distracted by their presence. (Yes, we get 4 months - or so - of them here at the house before they head back to AZ for good. They're goin' out just like they came in by spending 4 months with us. It will be a bittersweet time...)


Saturday, October 24, 2009

October Rain

Last week we had snowflakes in the air. Today, we're getting pummeled with rain. That's October for ya. Can't make up her mind. At least we had some glorious and fairly warm days in between. And we're taking one more stab at having our annual Dancin' on the Deck party tomorrow. It's supposed to clear up and be near 60 during the day, chilly at night, but we should be creating plenty of warmth with all our hot dance moves. Uh huh. We'll see. Since my hip has been giving me a ton of pain lately, maybe I'll hide behind my camera lens instead.

Look at these two babies. Aren't they so cute? They get along quite well at this point. Obviously, they're very comfortable with each other. The most remarkable thing that you can see in this photo is that Rocky, the white one, is 15 years old and Beatrix is only 4 months old. I think she's going to be much bigger than him, since she's already AS big as him! He's always been a runt, though. She's spayed now. I'd say it's slowed her down a tad. She was ca-razy before and now she's just a frisky, playful kitty as you would expect. When she's not running around, she's just the most affectionate, sweet thing. And her gorgeous fur is sooooo incredibly soft. I sure do love my kitties!

I took this photo last week. It's the last blooming thing in my garden at this point. Everything else is just spent or has gotten bitten by the frost we had last week. This is from a knock-out rose bush. I learned about them when I worked at Penn College because there was one outside my window and I was always amazed at how many blooms it put out and for how long. So I asked the gardening person about it. Yep. Knock-out rose. We put ours in this year and it has not disappointed. A gorgeous rose is my favorite flower.

Last weekend when Eva came up, we had a little cooking project. Chris found this cookbook where you make healthy stuff for kids by "sneaking" in healthy ingredients. And then, theoretically, they gobble up the good stuff. We thought these cookies would be a great thing to have on hand for a hungry little girl that likes sweet stuff. We (and especially me) don't want to be giving her junk food and unhealthy crud. So, she very enthusiastically helped make the cookies (with the same happy attitude that she has no matter what she's doing). And, though she quite sweetly posed for the photo of her tasting the results, unfortunately, that was the last bite she took. She sort of set the cookie down on the table after that and very politely said nothing - but ate no more of it, either. Ha! Well, Chris and I happily ate the rest of them over the week. They weren't very sweet at all. But, really, that's what I found the most appealing! But not miss Eva. Oh well, chalk that one off the list! :)

So, on this ugly, rainy day, I need to dust and clean the bathroom and then get the song service for tomorrow together. I'll have to push myself to do the cleaning. Not my favorite thing to do. Sigh. But, alas, it must be done. What I'd REALLY like to do is go cuddle up on the couch with my kitties, a blankie, some hot tea and my book. Not bloody likely, though. Nice try.


Friday, October 16, 2009

A Few Prompted Thoughts...

I thought it would be fun this morning to borrow these little prompts that I saw on Ali Edwards' blog. She credits them below.

Inspired by The Simple Woman's Day Book. I did one entry last June and felt like it was time to do it again. (says Ali)

Outside my window...the deck is wet with the rain - and snow - of the past two days. And pretty little colored leaves are scattered all over.

I am thinking...about my daughter-in-law's dr. appt. today (a neurologist for help with her constant headaches) and hoping that he gives her real help.

I am thankful for...the fact that I can stay home and determine how I spend my days. Still so thankful for that.

From the kitchen...a whole lotta nuthin'. We determined that we'd not get groceries this week and just make meals from what we have. We've done well. There's barely anything left!
I am wearing...navy sweat pants, a tee with a comfy red sweater over it, socks and slippers

I am creating...something I've been meaning to start for a long time. Shhhh - it's a secret!

I am going...to start scrapping as soon as I'm done with this post. Sweet.

I am reading...Brennan Manning's Ruthless Trust. Just started yesterday. I'm already inspired and challenged. I just finished My Life in France by Julia Child. A friend gave it to me for a quick, fun read and it was just that. My next fiction up is Abundance: a novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund (Ahab's Wife). That should make me appreciate my simple little life all the more!

I am hoping...to see both of my granddaughters within the next couple days. (I go through withdrawal without them...)

I am hearing...the fan of the wood furnace going (indicating that cold weather is here to stay) and Chris fixing his breakfast.

Around the house...things are neat and tidy and it clears up my head like you wouldn't believe!

One of my favorite things...this second cup of coffee in front of the computer.

A few plans for the rest of the week...we may go see "Where the Wild Things Are" tonight. Hope to pick up Eva for an overnight Saturday and get a visit in with Maggie, too (aforementioned granddaughters). We were planning our annual "Dancing on the Deck" party for last Sunday, but too many people were sick so we postponed til this Sunday. But it looks like the weather's not going to cooperate. We'll go back to "plan A" next year which will be to have it in September when the weather's milder. But I was gone too much this September.

A picture to share...Chris took the photo - and I photoshopped it - of me walking along Pine Creek on our recent trip to the Cedar Run Inn. Lovely.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

I won!

Wow. I won the word challenge at One Little Word - for the second time. I'm SO honored and blessed - and humbled. The two I've won for have been about real personal challenges I have and, well, it keeps me accountable! :) This is the layout I won the challenge with:

Here's the link to the announcement on One Little Word.

In other new, the leaves are getting really nice around here. Emily took the girls over to her mom's (also my long-time friend, Deborah) and they had a little photo shoot. So, these are photos by Deborah Leverette Shaw, but I just wanted to share them here because they're just so gorgeous and, well, they're my (our) grandchildren! ;)

Isn't this last one just beautiful? Sigh.

Oh, the hot tub guy just came and - YAY - it was only a fuse. I've been freezing around here lately and one of the ways I love to warm up is to hop in the hot tub. And, people, prime hot tub season has begun. But, Chris opened it up the other day and the panel was blank. Dang. So we set a limit as to how much we'd be willing to spend. As much as I LOVE that thing, it's over 10 years old and we're not willing to put tons of $$$ into it at this point. BUT. As I said - thank goodness it was just a fuse.

Ironically, the new word up at One Little Word is "grateful". Would it be too superficial if I made my layout about being grateful for my hot tub? Because I am really grateful for it. Just sayin'.

Of course, now I won't be freezing for a while because Chris also just lit up the wood furnace and it makes it quite toasty in here. Kinda kills the hot tub desires. I just never feel like getting in there when I'm already good and hot, thank you very much. :( Hopefully, he'll be able to tone down the temp a bit.

Oh, and here's more exciting news. (Kidding.) The first snow flakes were out there today. Mixed in with rain, yes, but there it is. Well, I guess it's not that unusual. I do have photos of snow on my beautifully colored fall leaves. But I am SO not ready! Ugh! And "snow" is forecast for Friday and Saturday. I have no idea if a) it will come and/or b) it will accumulate. I'm just simply not ready for that. However, it will be interesting to see how much easier driving will be now that we have the two new vehicles. My Matrix is all-wheel drive and Chris's truck is 4-wheel drive. I'm sure we'll see all too soon enough.

Okay, it's banking day and it 11 a.m. already. I've gotta get to it. Have a good one!


Saturday, October 03, 2009


Here I am again - stunned that another month is just... GONE! Admittedly, I have been away most of the month. I just returned from yet another week away, visiting my mom in Madison, WI. We had a great visit together. I even managed to get her out twice to two of our fave restaurants. She seemed in really good spirits. We played games, did crosswords, chatted and laughed. Her situation hasn't really changed much. In fact, I'd say it's gotten a little worse and being her sole caretaker during the day presented its, er, challenges. It will help to have Chris along in some respects and he will go with me next time - in the spring. (Oooo, that almost sounds ominous, doesn't it? Here we are, at the threshold of fall and I'm talking about spring. And we all know what must come in between... I'm SO not ready for that yet! It seems like we just got done with, with, you know, the "w" word.) But, all in all, it was a good time together.

I stayed in a nice hotel in the evenings (I was at my mom's from 10 a.m. to 8-8:30 p.m. daily) and discovered their belgian waffle maker on the 2nd morning. Yikes. And one of mom's caretakers, our beloved Gail, gave me an hour and a half out one day and I went to Archiver's. Oh, joy! What luxury! :)

I did miss Dustin's 29th birthday party and a great family gathering on Sunday night. :( I'll share a photo or two that Chris took in a future post. Of course, I had to run down to squeeze my two granddaughters the day I got back. Ahhhhh. I was definitely suffering grandma withdrawal...

And, speaking of withdrawal, I'm sooooo longing to get some paper scrapping done. My scrap room is so lovely, with some new goodies awaiting my attention. But, I have yet to get in there. It's hard both catching up from being away and preparing to leave again - all in the same week. And, guess what? I'm doing that very same thing yet again this week. On Wednesday - after having been home exactly one week - we will take our annual fall excursion north to the lovely Cedar Run Inn for three days, two nights. Fabulous food. Gorgeous scenery. And relax, relax, relax. It's always wonderful and I do look forward to it.

But THEN....then I can come home and BE home for, well, til spring! And scrap room, here I come!

I did manage to get another digi done today for One Little Word's present prompt: open. It's pretty, um, open. It's kind of hard to know how much is too much to say sometimes. But I do want to be honest at the same time and share myself. So, here's my layout:

(Click on image to view larger. Page credits: distressed edge overlay by Trish Jones; green stitches, heart by Gina Marie Huff; circle overlay by Jan Barlow; texture brush by noctourniquet texture tiles 1; gold brad by LivE for Jessica Sprague; paper hearts by Patricia Christensen; cross stitches, ticket by Heidi Williams; muslin strip by Jen Wilson; Fonts: Artiststamp Medium (quote); Bleeding Cowboys (“open”); Century Gothic (journaling)

Seeing that it's after 1:30 a.m. (even though I can sleep in tomorrow) I feel the need to crawl in bed. Later...