Sunday, July 30, 2006

Check This Out

You check the MOSQUITO ACTIVITY forcast in your area. Neat... and WHY?

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Manicure Myth

I was up bright and early this morning. Keith had the clock set for 4:45 AM because he was opening at the store this morning. I tried to sleep after he left, but actually only tossed and turned until 6AM and then decided to get this day on the road!

First item of business... Housework. I did the dishes, cleaned the bathroom, swept all the downstairs AND the stairs, and even tidied the living room. Ahhhhh... I love a clean house!

Then I ran down to the car wash because my new car was getting REALLY dirty! So now it's squeaky clean inside and out. My next item of business...

My nails! They were getting really long and I have been overdue for getting a manicure. I never used to do this at all, but since Keith as been working, I have been treating myself to it about once per month. So what is this "Manicure Myth?"

Remember before I said Amanda and I went to this one place and there was a bowl of fruit in the waiting room... Which we soon noticed was placed infront of a Buddha statue? Well, I have a new place I go now. It's a clean place and they speak English that I can understand, and they are real nice. So today I was checking out the display counter of things they have for sale... And noticed this one spot where there was an old cup of coffee in a styrofoam cup. It looked like it had been sitting there for maybe a week. YUK. At further inspection, I realized that this place also has a Buddha shrine of sorts. (although not as large) There was a bottle of water, some incense, a few little statue type things, and this old cup of coffee. Interesting!

So I'm wondering... What's with the Buddha shrines anyway. I did some preliminary net-surfing to see if I could dig up some information on it, but it remains a myth. None of the sites I've tapped into have any clear link to "offerings," "shrines," or anything of the like. Oh well...

I suppose what I might learn from this is... These people believe in something enough to display it in the forefront of their business. Do we do this with our faith? How do people know we are Christian? Of course, we live our life a certain way and that speaks for itself. BUT... I'm thinking that we could do a better job of it sometimes. Anyway, I have yet to understand why they do this the way they do. On second thought... Do I really want to know? I think I'm just curious.

Okay, enough of that. My friend is meeting me shortly and we are going to go shopping at the Strip District. Oh what fun! It's been a while since I've been down there. And on that note.... I'm off!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Rat Race

I'm off! To another great day in the rat race! At the start of the week I was so delighted to finally be able to breath at work. All the deadlines had been met and emergencies handled. Finally I'd be able to work on the items that had been set aside for so long... And accomplish my prescribed duties of this position.

NOPE... Another emergency has come up. We need another temporary doc. Ugh. I give them good, explicit instructions, but they never actually follow them. They offer me bare-bones of information so to speak and then leave it to me to try to piece it all together... In record time I must add. Here's a clue... If they are working as a temp... There is a reason! I can usually piece one together in about 10 days time. The last one they only gave me 5 days, and this one... I got it yesterday and they want her to start MONDAY. Uh, H E L L O ... I'm only one person... And I do have a job other than sitting around waiting for these things to come up! So again, I put ALL my other duties aside and focus on this one sole applicant. So much so that I worked late yesterday and then brought it home and worked on it here for at least another hour. I will likely do the same today.

I realize that we have to make it work. If I can't get this person credentialed, then I believe that patient care will suffer and I'm not willing to offer that scenario. What would happen is that one of our current docs will either be overloaded and thus more prone to mistakes, or... We would have to cancel surgeries and thus the Hospital loses business, not to mention the surgeon, and ultimately the patient will be somewhat disgruntled because they will have to travel to another Hospital for surgery... And their surgeon may or may not work in this other area, which means that they might have to find a new doctor or post-pone for another time... By the time they find a new doctor, get an appointment, and schedule surgery, our hospital will be back on track and it will be deemed unnecessary to have done all that! It's a vicious scenario. Meanwhile, if I can just pull off a few miracles, I can make it happen and everything goes smoothly. That's what I'm striving for.

I have made it very clear to this department that THEY OWE ME BIG TIME. This group of docs is one of my favorites. I have a lot of faith in them. They do a fabulous job.

I so cannot wait for vacation. When? I'm still waiting to hear from Keith when he might be able to get the time off. Hopefully mid-August we will have a few days. Then I'd like to take some time off here and there in the fall too. Hopefully work things will settle by then. I think half the problem is that everyone takes vacation during the summer... Except for me. That's okay though. I prefer to take off in the fall.

Ok, enough babble. I must get this day on the road! YIKES - It's later than I thought!!!! OFF TO THE RAT RACE!!!!!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Things I (we) Miss About Our Old Kentucky Home

We were just reminiscing about things we miss about our home in Kentucky...

First - I miss our home. Here is a picture. We lived in a duplex. The front yard was small and close to the road with a nice tree offering shade throughout the summer. The back yard was substantially larger. It was a nice home, not large, but adequate for two people, and rather quaint. The front storm door was a full pane of glass where Crystal would stalk and litterally chirp at the squirrels that romped around our yard. Occasionally a squirrel would venture right up onto the step in front of the door, which would send Crystal into instantaneous fits!

I miss my home office. Working at home was the greatest opportunity. I had looked for a job and even interviewed FIVE TIMES at one particular place, but I was destined to stay with BMH. It looks like a mess, but it was always organized. Note the pictures of family and friends on the bulletin board. I worked a regular day, just like anyone else, but in the comfort of my home office. For lunch I would sign off and watch Becker in the living room. I frequently walked to the post office for work related mailings and such.

I miss the travel. I would fly home to PA for 10 days each month. While I hated to leave Keith behind, I was glad to have the best of both worlds. I racked up some frequent flyer miles, which at this point don't amount to enough to cash in for any travel, but... I did cash some in on some magazine subscriptions that we would not have ordered otherwise. We figured, why not?! Otherwise they would just be wasted anyway. A special thanks is in order for all those who gave me rides to and from the airport... Keith, Ashley, Chris, Amanda, John, Rene'e, Mom, and Dad. Did I miss anyone?

Speaking of rides... I miss our friends and neighbors there...

Joe - (the one that just got married) He and Keith were friends as soon as they got past the Cleveland/Pittsburgh rivalry type stuff.

Chris - He was the youth pastor at our church LKUMC. He has amazing faith! I just love this guy!

Ashley & Monty (and Hannah)- Our bestest ever neighbors there. (until they moved across town) They were the first to welcome us to Wilmore. I miss Ashley's sweetness.

Our church family... and youth group... Paster Choi... Grace, Hana, Ke, Jin... the list goes on. I loved the time spent with all of them. I will never forget having parties with the youth group... one was a Mexican theme and the other was a Summer Beach Party. Grace and Jin shopped on a budget for food and decorations and came to our house to prepare the food. They did a fantastic job. I only wish I would have taken pictures.

I miss my pony Penny. She came to Wilmore in September. She lives with the Greenway's at their plantation mansion style home. They have the hugest house... with TWO kitchens!!! She lives happily with some other horses, Diet Coke and Bright Eyes. I was so delighted to have her close to me, but now that I'm home, she's still there. They are using her though, so it is a good thing. I just miss being able to walk over with a handful of carrots and hear her squeal in excitement of seeing me.

I miss the chicken from Cluckers Market and the coffee at Solomon's Porch.

I miss Skyline chili, Ale 8, Sonic, and Big Boy Tartar Sauce (yummy on french fries).

I miss our family closeby there... Mom and Jim, Grandma Lehmkuhl, Aunt Nan & Family, and Denise and Randy.

We miss the Kentucky Legends baseball.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Taste of Summer

Today was a rather productive day for me, despite the idea that I might just waste it doing nothing but relaxing. I just cannot waste energy when it arises.

After sending Keith off to work with a fresh cup of coffee (Starbuck Sanani), I pondered over what I might do in his absence. It should be noted that he gave me permission to "do nothing" should I so choose. Nah. I thought about getting Joyce for the day and doing some girly stuff with her, but she had a couple "World Of Children" performances this morning. Oh well.

Anyway, I did a lot of laundry. In between loads, I rooted through some of the boxes in the back room of the basement... determined to find the title to my truck. YES - I found it!!! Anyone wanna buy a Blazer? I need to get it home, cleaned as best I can, and on the market!

Last night we realized that most of what was in our cupboards was not quite what we were looking for. In most instances we had only half of the needed ingredients for any dish. For example, we had pasta, but no sauce. We had fish, but no tartar sauce. (yuk anyway) Go figure! We needed groceries bad! So after delivering some laundry to the Blair Homestead, I set off for Aldi's where I got a lot of this and that type stuff. From there I motored back towards home and stopped at the Harvest Valley Farm Market in Valencia where I picked up some fresh fruits and veggies. Then it was onward to Giant Eagle to get some other much needed groceries. Ahhhh... I love when our fridge and cupboards are full.

Dinner was yummy sausage with butter & herb mashed potatoes and corn. Keith dipped into the leftover cheesecake after dinner, while I slaved over making a dessert of another flair... FRESH PEACH PIE!!! Yes, I can do that! I have done it before. Nothing fancy about it... just a pie crust filled with fresh sliced peaches with a water/sugar/flour sauce. It did overflow in the oven just a smidge, but this is not the first time... oops. Anyway I just had a piece and mmmm mmmmm mmmmm it is good! Wanna see it??? Here it is!!!

Well, my husband is wanting to take me out for a date... a movie I think. Have a nice evening folks!

Ah Summer

As summer hits full swing, I am reminded of summers past. We always had a multitude of goods from the garden to preserve one way or another. Uncle Charlie has been the "Star Gardener" for years and always has an abundance to share. I have this memory of picking beans, being surrounded in a living room full of beans, and spending hours snapping beans. Mom canned the beans... and later we would EAT the beans. Mmmm.... I love homegrown green beans.

Why am I reminiscing about green beans? Because Mom and Dad gave me a giant bag full of them this week. No question... from Uncle Charlie... Thanks! As soon as I got home, I started the preservation process of choice... freezing them. I've not ventured far into the canning world - mostly because we have never had a home to call our own that I could fill with those sorts of supplies. Anyway - - Keith and I snapped them while watching tv. (we just got cable finally) Then I washed them, blanched them (just like G'ma taught me) and packed them for freezing. I'm so delighted. I love fresh green beans... especially for Thanksgiving! I think that was probably about 5 or 6 pounds. I have no doubt... there will be more. Here is a sample... Mmmmmmm...

P.S. I broke down and bought a new digital camera. I had to. (LOL) When we were out East last week, Mom's camera was on the fritz and there were important pictures to take of the flood damage and of course the birthday party too. I don't usually splurge this much on things, but I think it was well worth it... after all... I can now share more of the real thing on my blog!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

No Rest For The Weary

Yes, I'm feeling weary. The summer seems as if it is blowing by, but not without plenty of excitement. We went on an overnite trip to Ohio for a wedding in June. We were back just in time for the Zombeck marriage celebration. The Valentines visited us in June. The Hudson's visited us in July. Mom and I motored out to the Valentine's last weekend. Last night I went to a movie with my good friend, Jill and her precious daughter, Joelle. Then I met Keith at Primanti Brother's to celebrate one of his coworker's birthday. I got home late and got up early. In between it all... Keith and I have been working mostly our usual schedule of hours and maybe even then some. I believe my work stresses stem from the fact that everyone else takes "summer" vacation, which creates a lack of coverage at the hospital, which means that we need replacement docs STAT, which in turn is my headache. It does not help matters that we are short-staffed in the office. I will be so happy to get to the "fall" season, where I might actually get to take some time off??? Who knows?

But where will we go? Don't worry - we have our priorities straight... First stop - Morehead Kentucky. We are anxious to meet Hayden. Perhaps by the time we get there, he will be more animated?! We really feel like we are missing out on this precious gem. We still aren't for sure WHEN we can go, but we ARE for sure that this will be our first stop.

From there.... we'd still like to get to NC to visit Dad and Rachel. This will likely be a separate trip. When? Again... unsure. Sorry, this used to be the first stop until Hayden arrived.

But what about all the summer things that I've been WANTING to do, but haven't done? I had planned to spend at least 1-2 days each week helping Rene'e at her place... and was hoping to get some riding in too. This has not happened. Why? It's not from laziness. It's not from lack of interest. It's just with visiting family and work constraints that this has not become a priority. I always find myself saying "After this" or "After that".... How frustrating! I need to do this... for me and for my friend and for the horses! Some days I think to myself that maybe it is time to hang the hat on this hobby.... but it's not a part of me that I'm ready to give up.

So yes... I'm feeling weary. All the fun stuff and work stuff is all blending together at this point. Keith and I haven't seen much of each other this week at all. Our work schedules have collided and then when he has been available, I have been out with my friends/family. An hour at the bar with his friends last night was not exactly "quality" time for us. I just need a few hours to sit and connect with him. This has to be today's first priority. (after work of course)

Well, I best get this day on the road!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

More Flood Photos

This is someone's RV that apparently landed on an island in the middle of the Susquehanna River.

These photos Mom already posted on her blog. If you click on the pictures, they will open larger so you can get a better look.

It's amazing how close this came to the Valentine's home. The creek behind their house re-routed itself through the neighbor's yard, carrying all this river rock high enough to half-bury this swing set.

Philippians 4:19

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."

Thank you... all who contributed... for those who prayed and those who sent necessities and other things. The car was packed to the hilt with donations for those in need. The flooding in Conklin, NY a couple of weeks ago devastated many homes and businesses near the Susquehanna River. The Valentine's have a dear friend who lived in this area, whose home is no longer livable due to the massive destruction of this flood. We set out with this one woman (Terri) particularly on our mind, but as she unfolded the multitude of things, she was already thinking of those less fortunate than herself. Bless her heart.

Mom and I went on somewhat of a drive-thru tour to survey the damage. WOW is all I can say. There is a rotten smell about the town and rightfully so. There are homes that have been condemned. There are others attempting to salvage something if only the very frame of their home. Garbage is piled high... really high.

Now this was an interesting sight. (picture below) We spotted this shed upturned on someone's driveway. When we got back, we told the Valentine's about it and they said "That's right where Terri lived!" I'm not sure if the house in the picture was her actual home, or if she just lived close by? Maybe someone can confirm for us? Anyway, they tell me that this shed did not belong to this home... it floated and landed there. Imagine that! There was another shed that floated and landed upright in a field beside this house. They say that when the search crews came through checking homes and sheds, that they opened it up and found an entire family of woodchucks in it!

This was a very interesting and rewarding trip. These few pictures cannot even begin to tell the story. There were Red Cross stations and churches offering free meals and assistance to those in need. The local school had a sign reading "Shower's Open" and I was told that their gymnasium was filled with clothes and other necessities for those in need. It certainly renewed the gratefulness in my own heart for all the blessings in my life. Again, THANK YOU to all that donated. These few items delivered to Terri certainly warmed her heart. She is most grateful. I trust that the Lord's glory has shown in abundance as a result of your giving... for He is the "Great Provider."

Treat of the Month

Wendy and Cory...
You think you got it bad???

Happy Birthday Gayle

I'm not posting late because I forgot... I have a WAY BETTER excuse... I WAS THERE!!! Yes, there was a dual purpose to our trip out east this weekend. We were fortunate enough to be able to participate in the Valentine Girls' birthday party! Saturday, July 15th is Gayle's birthday. It was a grand affair. She and Essie both opened their first gift before the party began.... new summer dresses from Aunt Mandy. Oh the squeals that rang out upon discovering the contents of the packages. Here they are sporting their new dresses and earrings... along with their good friend Clara.

Gaylie... now 2 years old... attempted to blow out her candle three times for the sake of pictures. The first time, her little friend Aaron jumped in to help her.

Add Image

As the adults visited... Little Gaylie helped herself to at least one extra helping of cupcakes. Not sure exactly how many... but she must have been especially fond of the ones with the green icing. Yummy!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Happy Birthday Essie

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday Dear Essie
Happy Birthday to you!

Are you having cake today? Did you put on your "birthday suit?" (For those of you who don't know... I got her a new swimming suit for her birthday.)

Leaving Friday

I'm leaving Friday for Wendy's to deliver the things we have gathered for her friend Terri. I'm so delighted to be afforded the opportunity to do this. It's like our own little mission trip. I love it!

In preparation, I have been working some extra time this week. Thankfully, I have had the energy to do it too. (another answered prayer) Today I have to put the finishing touches on all my files and make sure my priorities are in line. There is much to do... But it will all fall into place. I've actually been starting later in the morning so I can work later in the evening and not be completely drained. It makes sense... I love mornings, but most of them are spent organizing for the days work. (wouldn't they be better spent sipping coffee as the sun rises?) As I begin my work, I am inundated with calls and visitors needing this or that... Which I am always happy to attend to. Then the world goes home around 4 or 5 PM and that's when I begin the meat of my work... When I can concentrate on it. I'm wondering if I would be better off working a 2-10 or 3-11 shift? The truth is that this job requires me to read and interpret and dig for facts. It's difficult to do this under pressure. I love it though.

So anyway... If any of you are still wanting to donate something... Please get to me today. You know where to find me. Many many thanks!

And now I am going to finish my yummy cup of coffee and get this day on the road!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Today is Tuesday

Yes, today is nearly over already. I am very tired. I worked a long day of tedious tasks and I'm ready now to rest my brain.

Keith made yummy "Taco Soup" for dinner! He is such a gem. I was just too tired to cook, but I did manage to do the dishes while he was cooking. Anyway... the soup was superb. Mmmm... and the left overs are always even better.

Keith is off to the Clubhouse Lounge to watch the Allstar Game. He's so excited about it.

I think I will call it a night... rest easy... for tomorrow I must bust my butt once again. I'm totally cramming at work just so I don't have to work this weekend.

Gnight all.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Blessings Abound

For many years, I wanted to give to others so generously, but we were barely able to afford our own necessities. I wondered why God gave me such a desire to give without the means. A while back I prayed that the Lord would fill my life with the means to provide for others as my heart desires to give. He has answered that prayer many many times. Our move back to Pennsylvania was a stepping stone in that direction. Keith is working a modest job that he enjoys so very much. We are not rich in funds, but we give our tithe each week with a prayer that God will provide a little extra that we can "offer" to someone else. Another prayer answered over and over again. It feels so good. I love it! Blessings Abound!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

I Need A New Camera

Yes, this old camera is dying. I'm not sure if it is just old or somewhat damaged, or maybe it's the film? Many of my pictures recently are not so good. They are dark, as if the flash failed to work. The batteries are good. The flash works most of the time.

I've had Mom's camera for about a week now. I can't keep it and actually forgot to return it yesterday. Anyway... I'd like to get a digital one next time. I just hate spending a lot of money on a camera.

Here are some recent photos:

From the Watt's Wedding:

The Bride to Be

Getting Married

The New Beginning

Friday, July 07, 2006

It's Time To Lend A Hand

I'm collecting things to send to Wendy's friend who lost everything in the flood last week. If you have something to add, send it my way. I'll take care of the postage.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands,one nation under God, indivisible,with liberty and justice for all.”

Everyone's A Natural Born Something

Meet Hayden, our newest nephew. Everyone is a natural born something... boxer? fighter? Uh, shark beater? (You'd only get that one if you work with me.)

We are still aching to meet the little guy, but glad to have yet another picture to share!

Kenya Bold

Add Image with the image in its original context.Fig. 1. Woman stripping coffee berries in the highlands of Kenya.[Photograph by Per Gunvall, courtesy World Bank.]

From the mountain mists of Kenya comes this delightful citrusy bold blend. Kenya offers layers of complexity including a nice juicy acidity that makes your mouth water and unmistakable grapefruit and winey flavor notes and a smooth medium body. This coffee is definitely Keith's favorite!

Keith's notes: This coffee holds many different aromas on the first sniff. It has a blend of earthy, spicy and definitely citrus. The citrusy grapefruit aroma is pleasantly overwhelming. The acidity is very crisp, making your mouth water on the first taste and leaving a very clean, smooth finish. The grapefruit taste is refreshing yet there is a hint of spiciness to it. We paired this with an Entemann's Lemon bundt coffee cake. TERRIFIC!!!! The lemony overtones of the cake complimented the grapefruit flavors very well. I have also tried this coffee with a fresh orange and grapefruit. These two also complimented the beverage. My first thought was coffee and fresh fruit? ICK! But the two went fabulous with the coffee. I recommend this coffee as a definite buy!

Moving Forward

Keith has passed a milestone of sorts in his training with Starbucks. He is now a "Certified Barista." He is now knee deep in Barista 201 training, which comes about a month ahead of schedule. He is pressing onward in his quest to become "Coffee Master" and a shift-manager eventually. Congratulations Keith.

He will display this pin on his hat. As he earns additional pins for this or that, he will display those too. This way customers are able to recognize his expertise in various fields of Starbucks coffee making. This is his first of many!

What exactly is a "Barista" you might ask? Simply put, it is a coffee bar tender.

Speaking of Family

Mom and Jim (Keith's mom & step-dad) arrived last night around 10:30 PM. We are delighted to have them for another visit. They were here just after we moved... our first guests. Back then, the house was full of odds and ends, mostly in the living room. They graciously bought us a new stove, which was desperately needed. Mom helped Keith paint the dining room with the "sponge off" method. It looks really neat. Now if we could only get the dining room back to being a dining room I would be so happy!

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY EVERYONE.... Ok, now I'm taking a poll... What are YOU doing for 4th of July celebration?

Monday, July 03, 2006

Family Ties

This last week was a whirl of excitement. The Valentine's came for a summer visit and stayed with us. We were delighted to host our 2nd set of guests since we moved here. No, things aren't quite up to par with the home, but thankfully we are quite a bit further along than when our first guests arrived. The spare room is now primed, but not painted. It's rather empty aside from a closet full of tools, paint, etc.

The kids were delightful. Isaac is a silly boy. He likes to joke and it's fun. He seems to like wrestling with his siblings, and told me all about his new Starwars figures. I love his blonde hair.

Upon arrival Essie excitedly asked "Aunt J.J. may I please see your titty?" Surprised I said "My what?!" "Your titty. May I please see your titty?" As she pointed up the stairway. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... relieved I realized that she really only wanted to see my KITTY. She's so precious.

Gayle was rather quiet at first, but warmed up fast. She too was infactuated with the kitties. We did go shopping one day and I pushed her in a cart while Wendy pushed the other two. Gayle repeatedly referred to me at "Gramma." I corrected her a number of times "I'm not Gramma, I'm Aunt J.J." She would repeat "J.J." and a moment later I was Gramma again. Oh well... I know Gramma is very important, so maybe I am too?

They were delightful guests. At one point I went upstairs, glanced into my bedroom and saw three little ones flat on the floor gazing under the bed with hopes that the kitties would come out to play. Wizzy behaved acceptably. Crystal stayed confined to her hiding place... inside the box springs of our bed. She came out to greet me after everyone was asleep. She is very shy.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Glamour Girl

Wizzy's Playmates

Hair Do's... or maybe Dont's

Keith needs a hair cut BAD!!!!

What can I say? Wendy started it!