Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Fall Time Fun

Cheap entertainment!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Planning Ahead

I have been trying to plan at least 3-4 meals each week. It seems like we do not always use all of them, but then we are one ahead for the week to follow. Our weekly grocery budget is $40-50 and seems to be adequate.

I do not generally specify which day we will have what. I just like to have the option to choose as the days approach. Here are some of my menu plans for this week:

Option #1: (probably today's pick)

Beef Chuck Roast - cooked long and slow with onion soup mix, served along side baked sweet potato and veggie mix.

Option #2:

Sinful Chicken Casserole - This one has been requested by my hubby, but really breaks my diet in every way!

Mix cooked chicken chunks with cooked egg noodles, dump in a couple cans of cream of whatever soup, some cream cheese, and some sour cream, and some peas and carrots from the freezer. Top with crushed butter crackers and bake.

Option #3

Cabbage and Smoked Sausage. This one is great for dieting! Sauted sausage chunks with onion. Boil/steam cabbage. Then mix together and enjoy.

Join Menu Plan Monday by visiting Laura's blog. She also is passionate about organizing... something most of us can use endless tips on.

Enjoying The Season

Thank God for the change of seasons. It truly attests to his creativity. At one point I looked out my dining room window and saw nothing but yellow blobs of tree tops . Now that the leaves have been falling, I see the homes that those trees had secluded. It's amazing how fast the beautiful leaves change and then fall.

This past weekend was a rainy one. I tried not to be too disappointed. I went on a trip to the eastern end of PA overnight Thursday to Friday. But Saturday I did my best to enjoy the weekend. Rene'e and I drove out to the Cleveland, Ohio area to watch some of a horse show. We knew someone riding and she did well. It was refreshing to be in that environment once again. It was also nice to just travel and chat with my friend.

Sunday was truly a day of rest. We went to church, had a little lunch together, and basically shacked up on the couch with a blanket enjoying each other's company for the afternoon. I baked last night. Banana-nut muffins and apple cinnamon bread. Keith says I'm a better baker than a cook, but insists that he doesn't mean any disrespect by that. He's just trying to tell me that I'm a good baker. Thanks!

I'm off work today!!!! I LOVE DAYS OFF!!! Although I can only imagine the piles of work that are heaping up in the office. Especially since I have been out of the office since Thursday. How do people manage to take week-long vacations? That would be really tough for me. Anyway... what are the plans for today?

Hmmm.... definately going to ride horses with Rene'e. The weather is supposed to be 65 and sunny. PERFECT!!!!! I can't wait!!!! My other idea is to prime and paint the hallway upstairs and sweep the house throughout... but riding will be first! I'm anxiously awaiting notice that it is time for that!

Keith is trying on his costume for tomorrow... I wanted to be sure it fits. It does.... details on that tomorrow... Don't worry. It's not as outrageous as you might guess. Anyone want to take a stab at guessing what he's going to be??? LOL

Ok... on with the day!

Rubbing It In

Cardinals win!
Cardinals win!
Cardinals win!
Oh wait... did anyone mention that the Cardinals won the World Series?!!!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Useless Knowledge

The face of a penny can hold about thirty drops of water.

Riding Once This Week

Well, today was probably the one and only day that I will ride, or get any substantial exercise. I went to the barn, cleaned some stalls, and rode Blaze. He is SO BIG! He was like riding a tank! This took me back to my teenage years when I rode the big thorobred draft horse crosses. This was so different than my little Duke. It was fun though. I also helped Rene'e exercise Riley, who just returned from the trainer's this pas weekend.

Thanks, Rene'e, for letting me play with your horses tonight. I always appreciate it. I do hope you are feeling better soon.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Stressed Out????

Stress Management Technique

Just in case you've had a rough day, here's an eight-step stress management technique recommended in the latest psychological texts. The funny thing is that it really works.

1. Picture yourself near a stream.
2. Birds are softly chirping in the cool mountain air.
3. No one but you knows your secret place.
4. You are in total seclusion from the hectic world.
5. The soothing sound of a gentle waterfall fills the air with a cascade of serenity.
6. The water is crystal clear.
7. You can easily make out the face of the person you're holding underwater.
8. See? You're smiling already.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Crystal's Modeling Portfolio

Isn't she pretty?

Random Thoughts

Keith and I played tennis today. This is a new sport for us. We got racket's just like this one. We enjoyed one another's company and the exercise. I'm delighted to say that we will definitely go again.

Does anyone have a favorite way to clean the bath tub? I hate cleaning the bath tub, but I also hate having a dirty bath tub. I would rather scrub the toilet than the tub. Why? I don't know... maybe it because the tub is bigger and harder to get it squeaky clean? "The Works" cleaner is by far the best grime-cutter, but it's probably the most deadly stuff I've ever come across. I definitely wouldn't recommend it for families with kids. Sometimes I take a fabric softener sheet and wipe the tub with that. It works quite well and smells good too. I also have a spare back scrubber that I use so I don't have to get on my knees to scrub the tub. Anyone have any pointers to add?

Does anyone have a good recipe for squash soup? I love squash, but Keith... not so much. I tried Campbell's Squash soup and it was pretty good, but it's kind of expensive. I think I could make my own.

Who's idea was it to put laundry rooms in basements? Who wants to carry their laundry up and down the steps all the time? In our old Kentucky home, the laundry was actually in our BEDROOM behind closet doors. That was the greatest!!!

Keith is taking his Coffee Master certification exam tomorrow. I'm very proud of all his accomplishments. I can't wait to hear about how he passes with flying colors!

Did you know that if you give to the United Spinal Association, they will send you BEAUTIFUL Christmas Cards and holiday return address labels. I usually give a little to the Disabled Veterans Association and the National Wildlife Association and they all generally send nice things like this for the holidays.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

What are your plans this weekend?

I hope to enjoy a little more of the fall season. The leaves are falling fast. I took this picture at the farm a couple of days ago. Each time I'm there, the leaves are less and less. I wish they would hang on for a while longer, but with the frost upon us they are falling fast. We are planning a camping trip for next weekend. Well, we are now contemplating alternative plans, but one way or another we plan to RIDE RIDE RIDE next weekend. I even took Monday the 30th off work for this. I just hope that the beauty of the fall hangs on for this and that the weather will be enjoyable. I'll take lots of pictures!

For today, I should add a short trip to the grocery store. We have been budgeting $40/week for groceries and it has proved to be working well. We get some fresh veggies, meat, milk, and a few odds and ends and we are good for the week. I have been planning about 4 meals each week. Usually there are leftovers so we don't need to plan more than that. Plus, there are days when we don't actually have dinner at home because one or both of us are working late.

So, what are your plans for the weekend? Anyone doing something exciting?

Well blogger buddies... I must get this day on the road! Have a great weekend and don't forget to get out and enjoy the change of the seasons!

I Love Weekends

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.... the weekend has arrived. I got to sleep in until almost 7 AM. Keith got up first, so I got to hog the bed for a while too. He's working today, which on one hand is a bummer because I'm sitting here all alone. On the other hand, I will get to do whatever I want and not have to compromise until he gets home! LOVE IT!

Hmmm... what to do??? I made myself some coffee. Starbucks Serena. It is very good. I had a little breakfast. I don't really like to have breakfast, but I promised the doctor that I would start eating breakfast regularly and what do you know... I feel so much better. She's so smart!

I have the urge to turn on the tv. Hmmm... what would I watch? I really like to watch the Food Network. I don't really cook that much, but I like some of the shows they have. OR maybe I should do an exercise video? But why would I do that when it is such a beautiful day outside? It's chilly at 43, but sunny at the moment. It's not terribly windy, but there is a breeze. I just need to dress in layers and roll with it! If I would hit the hiking trails I would be warmed up in no time! Or, maybe I want to ride the horses today? Riley is coming home from the trainer's today. We have been riding at night. I'm not sure if Rene'e is available for an earlier ride, but something mid-day would be very inviting!

So does everyone have big plans for the weekend? I think I will do some laundry. The house needs tidied badly! We don't have kids... there is no excuse for things being in such disarray! We would like to finish working on the spare room. It is painted, but there is some touch-up painting to be done and I think the window sill too. I was going to put a border in that room. We didn't put borders in any room as of yet because we do not have standard ceiling height. We didn't want to make any rooms seem smaller than they already are. However, we thought maybe just that one room would be ok. The next idea is to find a border that we like, but is not too big. Does anyone have any favorite places to buy borders? I found this one on the internet... I like it because this is supposed to be my "country" room. I wanted to get some small barn stars to hang on one wall... what do you think?

We also need to hang some curtains, put the headboard back on the bed, hang the closet doors, etc. I was hoping to replace the shelving in the closet, but this isn't going to become a priority. There are things we need more than that, so we will wait.

Once this room is completed, we will start on the small room. It is FULL of this and that. We are getting company for Thanksgiving and we may actually need this room by that time -- depends on how much company we get. We are excited to be hosting the Valentine's again. We may also be blending some additional family... some of Keith's family... although that has not been positively confirmed yet. I love the fall family get-togethers!

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Yes...something is terribly wrong. I got an email the other day from JJ...that I had to agree to become a member of her blog in order to post comments...but hmmmm...how am I managing to POST posts...hmmmm. I thought that it was very interesting.

So anyways...Here I am journaling on her journal page...about absolutely nothing...yes...something went terribly wrong...wouldnt you say JJ?

Love, Wendy

Meet My Ride


I know there should be pictures of me riding him, but it is usually dark by the time our riding starts. We took these ones in the barn afterwards. Isn't he a cutie!? He is the perfect size and has a wonderful personality. I just love him!

p.s. His eyes do not really glow - I guess I need white-eye reduction on my camera now?


I went riding at Rene'e and Lee's place last night. Here are some of the greeters upon my arrival:

Chester is the newest male kitty at the barn. He is full of personality!

Bambi is one of the oldest members at the farm.

Rene'e rides Blaze. He is huge!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Butt Shot
I miss my girl... :(

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Morning Bloggers. I'm being a little bit lazy this morning. I'm not heading into work as early as usual. Remember... this is the day after Credentials - The day I show up and announce to my boss that I am present, but doing nothing. That is not actually the case. I do plenty, but I pretend to relax and try not to make many priorities. We laugh about it. It's all in my head I suppose. Actually, I am enjoying a little time with my hubby this morning. When Hubby makes coffee.... ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... relief. It's like being pampered!

This Morning's Coffee Tasting

What are we having this morning?
Serena Organic Blend This is a medium multi-regional blend that captures the best of Latin American and African blends. The aromas capture a slight nuttiness and a hint of citrus, most notably lime. It is a light bodied coffee with mild acidity. Purchasing this coffee enables Starbuck's farmers to follow some of their best growing practices. As an organic blend, the farmers are required to not use pesticides or if they do, they must use organic pesticides. Ten cents of every pound sold by the farmer must be used towards agricultural methods that promote healthy soil and ground water. If the farmer neglects these practices, their contract is nullified. We are not actually pairing this with anything this morning - just with the company of eachother. However, it would be best paired with something lime/citrus, nutty, or chocolatey. A good suggestion would be a chocolate covered orange cream found in most chocolate samplers or candy stores. You can find this blend at your local or online Starbucks or wherever Starbucks coffee is sold.

Keith will be certifying for Coffee Master this coming week. YIPPIE!!! His manager will be presenting him with a new BLACK apron, indicating his new role. He understands that he may be getting transferred with promotion in the months to come. Again - YIPPIE!!! The transfer will most likely be a store closer to home. Triple - YIPPIE!!! Higher pay, better tips, and less gas money... Quadruple - YIPPIE!!! We'll keep you posted as these changes progress. And on top of all of this - he just got a 75 cent raise last Tuesday!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

We are winning!!!

Go Steelers... Go

I hope this finds everyone having a really good weekend. It is rather chilly here in Western Pennsylvania. There was frost this morning... Fall is heavy upon us. The leaves are falling fast. I love the fall, but I hate the part where the trees become bare.

We went for a brisk walk at the park yesterday. Brrrr... at about a half mile I finally shook the chill. We noticed that there are certain trees that have completely lost their leaves and appear completely bare now. There are others that seem to be holding on for a bit longer. Thank goodness. The woods are full of bright reds and yellows. It was a beautiful walk and it was good for us too. I am so thankful that my hubby agrees to walk with me occasionally. He doesn't find it very exciting, but it is good for our health, so we do it.

Our bank now has Bill Paying services where they will either deduct funds from your account to pay designated bills electronically or they will generate a check and mail it for you. I'm still in awe that they are not charging for this service yet! Anyway, I am finding this to be a real treat when it comes to our tithe. When we get paid, I generate the electronic check for 10% of our gross income immediately. This gets it out of the way and assures me that what we place in the offering plate on Sunday morning is actually an "offering" above our tithe. In return for our tithe, God has blessed us richly in so many ways. We are so grateful.

Speaking of offerings. That is what is given above one's tithe. We don't often feel like we have a lot extra to give, but we always seem to find a little extra that we can do without. There are so many needy people in this world. It warms my heart any time we can help even a little. Offerings too have returned many blessings. One of my daily prayers is that God will provide the means for us to give as generously as our hearts desire to give.

The sermon this morning was very heartfelt. Basically it was reminding us to cling to the scripture when times are tough. The pastor allowed the congregation to share their favorite verses that have proved to be meaningful and reassuring during hard times. It is interesting that this topic would arise. Someone close to me has recently expressed the same reminder lately. I would not consider us to be enduring "hard times" at this moment, but we have been there and will no doubt endure it again at some point.

The rest of the weekend...

I did some grocery shopping. I don't like to shop on Sundays. Today was no exception. I should have done so yesterday. Anyway... we got our weekly groceries for about $10 less than we had budgeted. Thank goodness, because we need that $10 elsewhere.

I did some laundry. I love the smell of fresh clean laundry, especially that done with a little bit of bleach! I washed all of my work clothes - dress pants, shirts, sweaters, etc.

I washed the dishes. I made lunch today and at the same time cooked up a pot of taco soup - YUM!

Keith is watching the Steelers game... GO STEELERS!!!!!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Weekend Plans

Good day fellow blogger friends. It is FINALLY the weekend! What will I be doing this weekend?

1. Work- it's that time again. Ugh! Monday is the deadline, so maybe I can relax after that?
2. Laundry
3. Trip to Barnes & Noble to get a gift for Boss's Day (Monday)
4. Dishes - Is it bad when you run out of silverware because you haven't done the dishes lately?
5. Meal planning & grocery trip for upcoming week.
6. Remove air conditioners.
7. Take out the trash
8. Tidy the house
9. Relax a spell
10. Exercise - Horseback riding or Hiking

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Thankful Thursday

Don't forget. Today is "Thankful Thursday."

Today I am especially thankful for my good friend Rene'e helping me to buy a new saddle. This has proved to be great for us. I'm riding more now and enjoying it more now.

Rene'e also lets me ride her horse, Duke. Then she tells me that he's mine. I love riding him. I love having a horse to ride.

Rene'e has always been very gracious to me. She and Lee let me keep my pony at their farm for several years. Penny loved life there. (and she loves Duke) I really appreciate that time there.

I could go on, but I'm out of time. Sorry. Thanks Rene'e. You are the greatest.

Trying to Catch Up

The week is flying by and I'm trying to catch up! I just wasn't feeling well at the start, but I think I'm mostly well now. My only complaint is my sore neck. Ouch.

I rode Duke again last night. I know I know... pictures. Well, we often begin riding when it is dark outside, so getting pictures hasn't been working out. One day. Anyway, he's getting more fit, more agile, and more settled into riding and I suppose I am too. I feel more flexible and my confidence is up. I love riding! It's always been therapy for me. Ahhh... I love it!

Ok. Getting an early start today. Got an early meeting. I have several smaller meetings scheduled for later in the day, which I am not yet fully prepared for!!!! I hate that feeling!!! So, here I go... I also have plans to go out after work for a "going away party" for someone who works closely with me. That should be bitter-sweet.

Ok- gotta run!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sorry Bloggers

I haven't been feeling well the last couple of days. I wanted to post about Keith's coffee seminar, but didn't get to it yet. Head on over to my Mom's blog for details.

I'm feeling a little better today, but time's ticking and I've got to get to work already! I'll try to catch up soon.

Friday, October 06, 2006


Thank God It's Friday - he knows I need a break!

Working today. I asked the Big Cheese if I could leave early today. His reply, "Sure." YIPPIE! I think I might actually do that! I have much to accomplish before I can go though.

Plans for today/tonight: (Keith is off) I need to deliver some laundry out to my parents. While I'm there I'll pick up any laundry that needs done. I also want to sweep out my truck and possibly take it to my friend's house and put a for sale sign on it. Dinner MIGHT be meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Please Come

Keith is hosting his first "Coffee Seminar" at Starbucks this weekend. Everyone is invited! It's FREE.

Title: "Taste The Aroma"

Time: 1 - 2 PM

Where: Starbucks - Freedom Road, Cranberry

Keith will be so happy to see you there!

Same ol' Same ol'

  • I woke up
  • I ate some oatmeal
  • I drank some coffee
  • I responded to an e-mail that my Mom sent me
  • I went to work
  • I worked on one file - the SAME one as the rest of this week
  • I worked alone most of the day because my co-worker's husband got hurt at work and she needed to be home with him. Pray for him. He's banged up pretty badly
  • I went to lunch as usual
  • I got the mail
  • I worked on that same darn file for a while longer
  • I put in a work order for a lightbulb change in our closet
  • I talked to Rene'e
  • I watched the maintenance guy change the lightbulb (didn't take long at all)
  • I chit-chatted with my other co-worker about this and that
  • I faxed some stuff for that same darn file
  • I took some leftover food to my friend Dawna after work (thanks JoBad)
  • I visited with her and her family for a spell
  • I drove home
  • I sold a book on Amazon.com
  • I fixed myself some dinner
  • I updated my "Kick The Pig" site
  • I watched some TV
  • I exercised - video workout - it was already dark outside
  • I pet the kitty
  • I am waiting for Keith to get home

That's about it for today.

Looking Back At Tuesday

Tuesday I worked as usual. I actually had a student, who turned out to be an old co-worker of mine from when I worked at Passavant. I was delighted to see her and catch up.

I worked until 5PM and then met Rene'e. We went to see her horse, Riley, who is at the trainer's. He did very well and Rene'e rode him for the first time. I think he will be a delightful horse to ride as long as she keeps him going. Young horses especially need a routine - riding included. If you ride one day and then skip too many before the next day - they forget everything you taught them the last time you rode. I would have liked to ride him myself, but it was getting dark fast. So - maybe she'll let me ride him another time. It looked like a lot of fun!

So that was it for Tuesday... stay tuned for today's happenings!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Happy Monday

Happy Monday everyone. I know we all mostly cringe at the thought of MONDAY. The bliss of the weekend is over and it's back to the grind. But Monday also brings a new beginning.

Today was a busy Monday for me. That's the norm. The mail pile was stacked a mile high and my desk is cluttered with priorities of this and that. We are getting yet another temp so my energies were primarily devoted to that file today, as they will be tomorrow as well.

Hey, is anyone coming to Keith's coffee seminar this weekend? C'mon out and support him. He will be so appreciative.

We stopped at Walmart tonight. Keith got a few things we needed for the half-bath. You know - it is STILL not done. Not for lack of effort, I assure you! Keith is at his wits end on this project. He would be so happy to be able to bring this project to a close.... I guess it's going to be a while longer and who knows if we'll ever accomplish it?! How frustrating!

Ok, that about sums it up for today. Keep kickin the pig gals!