Saturday, September 30, 2006

Bring On The Fall

This morning was brisk and wet. Brrr... I wanted to stay in bed. I did for a while, but then I got up and started my day.

First item of business was coffee and breakfast. Following that I joined "Kick The Pig" and made myself a new blog for that. Then I went for a walk. Shortly after I got back, Keith arrived - famished as usual. I made broccoli cheese soup and homemade whole wheat croutons for dinner. YUM

Here are some pictures from my walk today. What are these berries? First I thought they looked like Elderberries, but when I got close I realized they are different. Any guesses?

We have tickets for a show tonight - "Late Nite Catechism." WOW - I've got a date!

Join Me If You Dare

Another blogger friend of mine has turned me on to the "Kick The Pig" mentality. See KICK JENNYV's PIG link for more information. Join me if you are so inclined to do so. Create your own pig-kickin link and blog your way into a healthier lifestyle!

Thursday, September 28, 2006


There are many names to describe Thursday activities... just listen to the radio, "Thirsty Thursday," "Theological Thursday," "Thoughtful Thursday," etc. What's your favorite "Thursday?" Today might be best described as "Thouroughly Soaked Thursday" as it is raining pretty steadily. Dreary, but a blessing in the long run. I woke up with a headache this morning. I wonder if the weather is the culprit?

Last night Rene'e and I went riding. We both got to the barn just after 7PM and the darkness of the evening was already evident. We opted to ride in the ring, where there is some light. I am grateful of the perfect evening climate last night. I hope we can ride again before the week is out. My ride is Duke. I must take some pictures. He's a gem. Just my size and we "click." I've been riding him off and on for a couple of years. He and Penny are/were in love. I wish I didn't have to separate them. Oh well... I hope they meet again in the years to come. Rene'e's new ride is Blaze. He is big. Part draft horse, but a paint. He has an upsidedown heart on his butt. He reminds me a lot of Magnium. :( So the riding idea has been going well. The new saddle helps I think. Rene'e and I are both enjoying it. It's like stepping back in time - so to speak.

Have a "Thankful Thursday." C'mon everybody... tell us ten things you are Thankful for today! I'll start -- (in no particular order)

1) I am thankful that I have a good job and that my employer has been so good to me
2) I am thankful for my loving husband and his undying love and patience
3) I am thankful for my good friend Rene'e who lets me ride her horse all the time and then tells me that he's mine. :)
4) I am thankful for such a wonderful loving family and extended family
5) I am thankful for my faith -- a gift from God
6) I am thankful for our new car, which so far has proven to be way more reliable than the others
7) I am thankful for having a place to live and that all of our immediate needs are met
8) I am thankful for my doctor friends who are always looking out for me
9) I am thankful for my work ethic - I must have inherited it - It is probably why my employer has been so good to me for these past few years
10) I am thankful for the freshness of each new day

I have to work now. I'm leaving early today... another doctor appointment. UGH!!!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Lunch Time Blogging

It's lunch time, actually maybe a little past that. Thought I'd check into the world of blogdom and see what's shakin.

I haven't posted pictures for a while. I was going to take some of our new bathroom, but was waiting for the finished product. When will that be? Who knows? I guess I should explain the issue with the little closet bathroom...

First we took out the trim and found mold/mildew on the drywall behind the toilet. We thought we'd have to replace the drywall and maybe some studs. Instead, we treated it with bleach and let it dry out for over a month. Then we patched some spots with plaster, sanded, and then re-painted the entire room, and replaced and painted the trim. We re-did the floor with linoleum tile. We removed the old toilet and found that the closet flange was installed sideways. So we were able to buy a closet flange repair device and all was good. We replaced the toilet and it works!!!! Then on to the sink... The old sink sat ontop of a tiny cabinet. Nothing was actually adhered to the wall. It was pretty much so held up by the plumbing. That's it! So we bought a simple pedestal sink - easy to install. First you adhere the pedestal where you want it, then you place the bowl on top and affix it to the wall with a couple of screws. That's where the project fell apart. There isn't anything to screw into except drywall. There is no stud behind the sink. So now what do we do? Do we have to rip out the drywall, install a stud, re-drywall, re-puddy - sand - paint??? Just for a simple cheap sink? We shut the door and decided not to do anything just yet... out of frustration.

Let me just say that when I say "We," I am most often referring to Keith. He's done the bulk of the work. I'm just there for moral support and to hand him tools whenever he needs them. :)

Ok - so that took up a lot of my lunch. I suppose I should get some work done now. Prime time - everyone else is still at lunch so it's really quiet here right now.


Monday, September 25, 2006

Again... No Rest For The Weary

It is Monday. I'm already into my work, so I have very little time to blog.

Last Friday we had our annual Medical Staff Golf Outing at the Country Club. I dont' golf, but it was fun to cruise around in a golf cart with my boss taking pictures. We stopped and visited with Rene'e for a while. That was nice. There was also a dinner, yummy. I had to speak a couple of times... welcoming everyone and then awarding the prizes. At the end one of the docs said I did a good job. I tried to say that I really didn't do anything, but he interrupted and said "It's ok. You can take the credit." Nice nice guy.

Anyway Saturday we worked some more on the bathroom. We have a toilet now! Keith is so good. We almost have a sink, which should not be as troublesome to install as it is... however this appears to be the theme in this house! More on that later. Let's just say we closed the door and ignored it for the remainder of the weekend out of pure frustration!

Saturday night we attended a Starbucks Coffee Seminar put on at the Gibsonia store by Fred. It was very well attended and quite interesting. We tasted three coffees and learned some interesting facts about its origin. Did you know that all coffee is from the center of the world? Did you know that coffee does not have a specific harvest season? It grows and produces continually and the berries are harvested as they are ready. I could go on and on, but I won't.

Sunday we found out that our membership has been officially transferred from the Butler church to the Bakerstown church. So, we are now considered members. It is a bittersweet thing. We love our Butler church family, but Bakerstown is so much closer to home. We are looking forward to new things with this church and will always be close enough to visit our Butler friends whenever we want.

I also squeezed in a quick ride with Rene'e this weekend. We have been riding about once per week. I have a new comfy saddle that I love. Thanks to Rene'e's help on that. We need to step up our riding efforts in preparation for a short camping trip at the end of October. We are going to take the horses with us. I am SO looking forward to this!!!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Walmart Waugh Compliments Of Wizzy

Our pets keep us in stitches... Here's a snippet of our most recent laugh... although it was SO MUCH funnier in person! Wizzy was being nosey and got into the Walmart bag... and couldn't get out!!!

No Rest For The Weary

We are still working on making little changes with the house. Keith was off today and painted the ceiling in the spare room. I can finally stop bothering him about that! Next up... painting the headboard for the bed in the spare room. It's going to be black. We are going for somewhat of an iron look. Once the bed is back together, we need to replace the shelf in the closet, paint and hang the closet doors, paint the trim, get a new curtain rod with country style curtains, and add a few decorations. This will be the "country" room. I already have lots of stylish pictures to hang. I need to get some sort of shelving unit, where I will display some of my collectibles. When the room is closer to completion, I'll post pictures. Right now it is an organized mess.

Oh look! He painted the cobwebs too! LOL

Last week we were working on the bathroom. We have a new toilet and sink that we'd like to install, but there is trim work to be done. It doesn't make much sense to install these things and then have to trim around them. So, today we made a short cheap trip to Walmart. We got the trim paint, a couple paint brushes, a clamping mitre box, and some finishing nails. We are recycling some of the trim that was originally in the dining room or living room. He cut the pieces to fit and has painted them already. At this very moment, Keith is in there measuring and fussing with the trim. Hmm.... maybe I'll have a new bathroom this week afterall??? Who can tell?

Here he is measuring and marking... I give him so much credit for improvising on things as we have very little work space and tools.

Dining With The Vulhops

Tonight's dinner special was Zatarain's New Orleans Style Jambalaya Mix. The mix alone has no fat, but enough sodium and carbohydrate to keep the serving portions to a minimum. I mixed in some lean turkey sausage chunks and it was yummy.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Week in Review

Monday - Nothing exciting happened on Monday. It was business as usual at the Hospital. Plenty of duties to be done with a one-week deadline. YIKES.

Tuesday - Keith took me to work. We dropped the Saturn off at our new mechanic's garage to have a couple of things fixed on Wednesday. Much to our surprise, it was fixed and ready to go before lunch on Tuesday. Keith came back, took me out for lunch, and we picked up the car. Just as I got settled back into my work duties, he called to tell me that his work attire was in my back seat and he had no time to come get it. So, I left work early and delivered it to him. I spend the evening playing catch-up on work at home.

Wednesday - My friend Jill met me at my office for a cup of coffee and a chat. Moments after her departure, Amy and Luke paid me a visit .How delightful.

Thursday - Keith was off work. He took the car to get inspected and it cost over $600 - YIKES. I have no idea where I'm going to dig up the money from, but I have faith in God to provide for our needs. He always does. Thursday afternoon I left work early and met up with Amy and Luke again. We visited Joe at his work and then Amy and I enjoyed a coffee at the mall while Luke played in the really cool play area there. It was a very nice visit.

Friday - After work I met up with Rene'e at her house. We bought a new saddle a few weeks ago and she had picked it up at the Amish shop. I tried it out on Duke and we had a nice ride. The new saddle is black, synthetic, and very light. I like that. I can rinse it with a hose to clean it. It is built with the widest tree you can buy and it is supposed to flex to fit any horse - awesome! Now I need to get some accessories. I need a new black bridle, maybe a new saddle pad, and definitely some new riding boots because my old faithful duck-boots are too big for the stirrups. I don't have the money for these accessories at this point. I will make-do with what I've got for now. We ended our visit with fresh boiled zuccini and chicken quesadillas. YUM.

Saturday - Keith and I both slept in until 8AM. Yes, pretty late for us... but every now and then you should do that. We had coffee together and then suited up for a walk at North Park. We stumbled upon an interesting event happening in the parking lot at the Pool House. There was a timed course for running mini-coopers. It was pretty neat. We watched a while and then went on our walk. There are lots of options for walking at North Park. We opted to do some hiking and some walking. There are trails and paved areas and we take advantage of both. I like the paved areas because you can measure how far you actually walk. Keith likes the trails because they are generally more challenging. Then we had lunch... he has gone to work now. Should I work? Should I play? Should I veg-out? Hmmm... decisions decisions....

Sunday - Tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. We have asked to have our membership transferred from the Butler First UMC to the Bakerstown UMC. Since we are technically considered to be "new members," we will be attending their "Bakerstown Beginnings" class for the next few weeks. This should be a good way to get to know some other new people at the church. We are both looking forward to it.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Has everyone met my new pets... Speeder, Bubbles, and Queeny? You can feed them and play with Queeny. Try it! There is also a link to get your very own pet if you'd like!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

One Of Summer's Last Sights

Summer is rapidly coming to a close in Western Pennsylvania. These Zinas are probably some of the season's brightest blooms patiently awaiting their demise. Most of the other flowers at the park were beginning to wither. Enjoy...

North Park Reflections

I've been walking at North Park lately. Here are some of the views... Notice the many reflections, especially in the water.

Don't be fooled... this picture is looking at the water, not the sky. Neat!

Half-Bath Changes

When we first moved here, one of the first projects we started was the half-bath. Keith basically gutted all but the toilet and then spackled some spots. We found that the leaky toilet had wrotted out some drywall and there was mold on the wall. We treated it and it seems to have dried well. Last night he fixed some of the drywall and removed the old toilet. Here he is removing the old asphalt tile.

He primed and painted it and put in this new vinyl tile. Nothing fancy, but it sure does look nice. Now he's looking for a miter saw to cut some trim. Once the trim work is done, he will install a new toilet and sink.

Does anyone have a miter saw for hire/borrow? It won't take much. It's such a small room. We are not ready to trim the rest of the house -- just this one room.

A Mess In The Kitchen

This is our kitchen. It is filled with "stuff" because we have been moving things around. We have very little counter space. Notice the dishwasher... I unbolted it and tried sliding it out, but it will only move a few inches. Keith and I tried again today to no avail. You see - the water line is not a hose like most homes would have. The copper water pipe is connected directly to the dishwasher. WOW. How in the world are we going to disconnect it? I'm rather annoyed. You might also notice that we need new cabinetry. This is not happening any time soon I don't think.

We've got a new refridgerator. Rene'e and Lee very generously gave us their refridgerator because they got a new one. This one is bigger than the old one - which is now the "Beverage Box" in the basement. We were rather disappointed to see that the floor board under the old refridgerator was pretty sad and will likely need to be replaced if we ever get to the floors. I'm so delighted to have this fridge. Thanks Rene'e and Lee. You guys are the best!!!

Overall, Keith has mapped out a new kitchen layout that would give us more counter space and more cabinet storage; however this will likely be a pretty huge project so it's not on the To-Do list just yet. I admire his eye for these things.


I love change. I embrace it. I live for it. I am one of those people who requires constant change in one way or another. I don't know why I'm like this, because I think my parent's aren't so much like this... but I am. I love it.

So what are some of the recent changes in our life? Read on...

Diet and Exercise... I'm really putting some emphasis on what I'm consuming. Whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean meats. Keith - not so good. He asked me to get him Big Macs for lunch today. I thought - HOW DARE YOU EVEN ASK... but it's not his problem at this point. I handed him his "Heart Disease In A Bag" and humbly sat down with a scoop of cottage cheese and gazpacho for myself... Ugh. Mom and Amanda and I have exercised a couple times together. Keith sometimes walks at the park with me. Sometimes I just go walking by myself. Rene'e and I occasionally ride - and I'm looking forward to doing some more of that this fall. At this point I'm very aware of my activity level (or sometimes lack of) and trying hard to keep up with some sort of routine exercise. I completed the health coach packet for work, but they say I have to have physician's clearance before I can participate in their exercise program. That is because I have recently had some issues with my blood pressure. I've had occasional headaches and a couple short dizzy spells, but the other night Keith and I were at Walmart and I was looking at the shoes, but couldn't read the sizes. I couldn't focus. It seemed like I was all of the sudden cross-eyed. So - like a good employee/student/patient... I will ask my doctor before I step up the exercises to anything more stressful. What a set-back.