Thursday, November 30, 2006

Cats and Dogs
She definitely earned her ride...

Essie waving... HI MOM... for the picture.

I love this picture!
Annabelle, Essie, and Chester

Essie Petting Faith

Essie greets Henry

A Special Day For A Special Gal

I remember as a child that everytime we did something "fun," we had to share with our siblings. This is so "Middle Child Syndrome," but that's what I am... I always wanted to just do something special by myself. No, not alone... with somebody special, Mom, Dad, Aunts, Uncles, whatever. I just didn't want to share with my siblings. I'm very sensitive to that idea as an adult, which is why I like to single out my nieces and nephews for special one on one time if and when I can. You know, the experiences of our life are what shapes us into who we are.

Anyway, last week I had the pleasure of spending a special day with Esther. She is so darling! She is all about animals and that is right up my alley! So I took her to Rene'e and Lee's farm to enjoy a couple hours of good, down-home fun at the farm.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by two big anxious dogs who just wanted to love her right up. She was not the least bit afraid of them. She petted them and hugged them and they followed her at her heals. Inside the barn she met the kitties, Chester and Annabelle. Annabelle chose to sleep through the visit while Chester couldn't get enough of Essie's attention. She really loved the kitties. We fed the horses carrots and the goat too. We brushed Duke, dusted off an old childs riding helmet, put a saddle on the horse, and set out for a walk around the yard. Again... she was so brave! We walked all around the yard, up and down some hills, into the field, and back around again. It was wonderful. When we were done she told me she could get down herself. Uhhhhh... No. Too far down. So we put him away, fed him some more carrots, and cleaned the stalls. She's a real trooper when it comes to chores. She did a fine job. She's a natural when it comes to this stuff. After the barn was clean, we headed for the house.

At the house she greeted Rene'e with a heartfelt "Thank you for letting me ride your horse." Rene'e assures us that she is welcome to come ride again any time she's in town. We also pet the little doggy at the house, Speedy.

We washed up and headed out for the golden arches. I asked her, "If you were going out for lunch, where would you want to go?" Her reply "Um, I don't know." So I persisted "If you were going out to a special lunch, where would you go?" Her reply "Um, I don't know.... with you?" Awwww... I suggested McDonalds and she was all about that!

It was an excellent time. I enjoyed chatting with her about all sorts of things and she was so excited to go play with the animals. I'm glad that we got to spend some special time together. I need to do that with the others soon too.

Happy Endings

Ok, so today is actually the last day of November. There are times when I could sit and think.... where did it go? It never seemed like November in the midst of it, but hey, we'll take it!

So the month is ending on a pleasant note so far. Last week we cleaned and played fix-it until we were exhausted. Our company was delightful as always. The holiday meal was superb. (even though our turkey was done 4 hours early!) Now the house is rather silent, although I hear the humming of the refridgerator, some birds outside, and the tinkle of the bell on Wizzy's collar as he bounces around the living room. Mornings are rather peaceful here.

Keith is a shift supervisor now. He was promoted last Saturday. I'm so proud of him! This means that he has pretty much been closing the store every day this week. It's likely that this will last for a couple of weeks as he settles into his new responsibilities. He seems to like it, although I have not had a lot of time to absorb his stories of these times as I am most often well asleep by the time he rolls in. I love that he loves his job.

I need to make a grocery list and get some much needed items... water, milk, oatmeal, etc. I'll work on that later.

Hey everyone, enjoy the last day of November!

One More Thanksgiving Funny

Thanksgiving... Seseme Street Style... LOL

Sunday, November 26, 2006

A Christmas Gift That Rocks!

Gee Manda... I don't know if she liked it or not... What do you think?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Turkey Day!

One year at Thanksgiving, my mom went to my sister's house for the traditional feast.

Knowing how gullible my sister is, my mom decided to play a trick. She told my sister that she needed something from the store.

When my sister left, my mom took the turkey out of the oven, removed the stuffing, stuffed a Cornish hen, and inserted it into the turkey, and re-stuffed the turkey. She then placed the bird(s) back in the oven.

When it was time for dinner, my sister pulled the turkey out of the oven and proceeded to remove the stuffing. When her Serving spoon hit something, she reached in and pulled out the little bird.

With a look of total shock on her face, my mother exclaimed, "Patricia, you've cooked a pregnant bird!" At the reality of this horrifying news, my sister started to cry.

It took the family two hours to convince her that turkeys lay eggs!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Half A Day... YIPPIE

Today I'm only working a half-day. So is pretty much everyone else in my office. Well, one of us is off, but the rest are half-dayers. Tonight is the employee dinner at Heinz Field. That should be a good time. This is the first time I've been afforded an invitation to the event. We have to have 5 years before we are invited. That's me! FIVE years here already! Wow. Looking back... it's been a rocky road. I've been through so many changes... so many bosses... so many co-workers. Things in our office are at an all-time high these days. I have the greatest boss. My co-workers are exceptional to say the least. We all meld together so perfectly. I love it.

My employer has been good to me over the past five years. I have been afforded much opportunity for education and positive change and work with some of the greatest leaders one could ask for... They took care of us when we moved away. Let me work from home - unheard of in my profession - and gave me a big raise ta-boot. God has really blessed me here!

So today I'm calling it short after lunch. I'm SUPPOSED to be getting a replacement for my cell-phone... a Blackberry. Yep - another improvement. My boss didn't even get himself one! WHAT?!! Anyway, once that conversion has been taken care of, I'm outa here.

I must make a short visit out to see Rene'e before she leaves for Maine. **Have a safe trip!** Then I'll scoot home to finish up some laundry. Not sure if I'll have time for delivery tonight or not. We'll see how the afternoon transpires.

Maybe I'll take my camera tonight?

OK - I've got to do some work!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Small Improvements

We bought a new front door last night. It's nothing fancy, but it will look SO MUCH better. I'm going to have to take before and after photos.

We paid for it, but we haven't picked it up yet. Not exactly sure how we plan to haul it... maybe we'll just splurge and rent the truck to bring it home. Not sure yet. I wish my truck was inspected.

I guess that's all for now. Still waiting for repairs in the kitchen and the upstairs toilet is on the fritz! Thank goodness the downstairs one finally works!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

This Is The Day...

Finish the sentence... "That the Lord has made." That is what comes first to my mind, but what I was actually going to write about is...

This is the day after Credentials. I work all month long to prepare for the Credentials meeting. My co-worker helped me prepare for hours yesterday to make everything just perfect for a meeting that sometimes lasts less than an hour. Whew! It's over. It was interesting. I'm proud of my guys for discussing things that I felt were very pertinent instead of rubber stamping everything. Yeah! It's done. Today I rest... and tomorrow I start it all over again!

My boss is fully aware that on the day after Credentials I announce that "I am only here to make an appearance. I don't actually intend to do anything." Some bosses would flip at that sort of remark, but my boss knows me all too well. You see, I never come to work and do nothing. I always do something. I will push some papers and accomplish a few tasks. Plus... I've worked enough overtime in the past week to compensate. (which doesn't really matter because I'm not paid for overtime anyway) The thing is, I like to THINK that I don't have to do anything. He lets me think it... and all is well. (smart guy)

What else can I say about today....

Today is the day that I plan to go horseback riding with Rene'e. I didn't get to go at all last week. Not even once. I really missed it. Believe me, I thought about it... especially over the weekend. I needed to ride this weekend. So, I'm hoping the weather will cooperate. Maybe I'll get out of work just a little bit early so I can get there early. Rene'e has school, but if I can have everything ready to go by the time she gets home... we can get a good ride in. We have to be careful because there are hunters this time of year. We have been sticking to the open fields around the farm and on days when we get started late, we just ride in the ring where we have light. I'm going to stop and buy some carrots for my trusty steed... and hers. I can't wait!

This is also the day/morning that Keith went out of his way for me. He beat me to the punch making breakfast and coffee. This is a real treat for me because I'm usually the one serving in the morning. He made me a bowl of my usual oatmeal and brewed the coffee. He also fed the kitties, so I didn't have to trip over them on my way down stairs. Simple things just to say "I love you."

So last, but also first, is... This is the day that the Lord has made. Yes, a new day, a fresh start. Take some time to note the splendor of His work around you today. Investigate the intricate details of your surroundings. This world is so complex. Enjoy the change of seasons and rejoice in the Lord today!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Uh Oh

Well folks. I have a slight disaster on my hands. Not sure if I should mention it to Keith when he gets home or wait until after he's enjoyed his evening. We are supposed to be going out tonight to a jewelry show (or something) in Pittsburgh. The last thing I need is to reveal our next nightmare and ruin our date.

I washed a ton of dishes today and have come to the conclusion that we have a leaky drain under the kitchen sink. I'm hoping that this will be a simple p-trap change, but it will likely be anything but simple. EVERYTHING we have tried to do in this house has become a gigantic project. We have a garbage disposal, which adds some complexity. Hmmm... what to do???

Just to explain the jewelry thing... one of his co-workers is an artist who makes jewelry. She is showing it at some sort of expo or something. Keith is quite supportive of his co-workers and is making a date of it with me to go support her. I wonder if he'll buy me anything? I don't have any idea of what to expect, but I'll blog about it after the fact.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Nothing to blog about.... blah blah blah

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Daily Devotional - Blessings

I subscribe to the Upper Room's daily devotional online.

Today's message was about abundant blessings, storing up treasures, and giving one's first-fruits to the Lord.

I must reflect... I too have been blessed abundantly. My life-goal is "To never be discontent because of something that I do not or cannot have." God has been so good to us and I am so grateful. First-fruits may be considered tithing one's wages, time, and perhaps even one's talent.

In my recent readings of 1 Samuel, I see that Hannah was blessed with a child and she actually devotes him to the Lord (chapter 1 vs 28). At first I'm thinking that's a little extreme, but how faithful a woman she must have been to finally get this blessing that she waited so long for, and then after he's weaned she basically lets him go... for God's purpose. There are lots of ins and outs of this passage, but there is a point that I'd like to make: When we are obedient and faithful, the blessings in return are abundant. In this case, she was blessed with a number of additional children AND her son grows up to be an influential figure of his time. In our own lives, we have too have seen such return blessings over and over and over.

I'll write more on those another time.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Menu Plan Monday II

I haven't made my weekly grocery run yet, but I need to do that. Let's see... What shall we have this week? Got to plan the meals before I make the list.

(Note to self: A crock pot would be really nice someday.)

Meal #1: Turkey Reuben Sandwiches served with fresh mini carrots and celery sticks (ranch dip for Keith)

Meal #2: Tortellini sauted in EVOO with garlic, fresh zucchini, broccoli, and onion

Meal #3: Hearty homemade chili served with sweet cornbread

I'm trying to mix meals that are healthy with some that are hearty enough that we can have leftovers at least once during the week. I also keep a few frozen odds and ends in case I get behind or if I'm working late and Keith needs to fend for himself.

Keith Is Off The Hook

There is this pile of miscellaneous mail that I have had piled up on the living room floor for a couple of days. I told Keith that I wanted to be sure to sort through it before I pitched it. It was mostly junk mail, but I always check to be sure that there are no important papers within before I dispose of the pile... and sometimes there are coupons that I will use.

Now I had this all in a neat and tidy pile, but SOMEHOW it has been scattered at least three times. Each time, with a huff, I gather it back into a nice neat pile. It's not like I left it in the middle of the room. It was very carefully placed on the floor next to the side of the couch that we rarely sit on. I haven't made any complaint to Keith just yet. I was sure that he was the culprit, just not paying attention. Here I am biting my tongue about it when I look over and catch the true culprit!!! See for yourself!

So, Keith is off the hook.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

What a Beautiful Day

The sun is shining into our living room. The cats are lazily stretched across the floor enjoying the warmth of the sunshine. It's chilly out, but the sun still shines. What a blessing.

I've been working around the house a little bit this morning. I made breakfast for Keith - ham and cheese omlet with toast and coffee. I helped him create his own new blog this morning. See the link to the right. I washed some dishes. I'm waiting for some of them to dry and then I'll do it again. We have had one of those weeks where I haven't washed too many dishes and now we are out of silverware. Oh well. I'm also working on the laundry. What else is on the To Do List? Perhaps that's another entry on my blog....

I do hope to run some errands this morning and perhaps catch a ride at the farm this afternoon... and help clean some stalls there. Keith has to work at another store tonight.

Have a fabulous weekend folks.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

One More Highlight Of My Day Off

Riley is home from the trainers now. We took some pictures of him as Rene'e is preparing to sell him. Anyone in the market for a fantabulous horse? This one is like the story book horse... jet black, long mane and tail, personable, and moves beautifully!

More Of My Day Off

Lee let the guineas out of their pen for the first time. I should have taken a pictures of the Taj Mahal he built for them. They mostly huddled together until one brave one flew up and over the ring (over the dogs). We were amazed that his first flight took him up so high and so far. He was lucky he didn't land in with the dogs! He wandered away from the flock for a while and then Rene'e assisted in encouraging him to come back with the others. They are neat and chatty little creatures.

My Day Off

I was off work on Monday. My sole plan was to go riding with Rene'e. Here is the evidence.

The Master Of Coffee Snobbery

It is official. Keith has received his "Black Apron" denoting him as "Coffee Master." Check it out!
The "Master" poses with one of his favorite blends, Yukon.

Over 2 months of studying, tasting, and hard work have paid off!

Check it out! Embroidered... not a patch! Coffee Master is something extra special!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Birthday Wishes

10 Things to be said about Wendy

1. She was a "contrary" child - as Grandma used to say.

2. One time after getting off the school bus, she bit my arm. Why?

3. If you have never seen her "Deviled Eggs" video, you've never seen good honest comedy!

4. One time she faked being drunk, like she was puking behind a tree, and it totally freaked me out! Again... why?

5. Who are Charles? Marshall? Dirt Dirt Dirt?!!!

6. Have you ever met anybody that tried to out-run a cop? With Grandma on board? You do if you know Wendy!

7. One time she drove the wrong way for a long time and Dad left money for her at the Turnpike toll booth. She didn't get her Dad's sense of direction I guess.

8. She went to college and found a husband... best investment she ever made.

9. She's got 3+ little munchkins and they are all very precious.

10. Today is her birthday.

Happy Birthday Wendy!!!

Maybe I'll post some pictures later. I don't have any accessible at the moment... Sorry.

Quick News Flash

Keith has completed training and testing and is now a Certified Coffee Master!!!!

This comes with yet another exciting unexpected opportunity... He has been preliminarily offered a promotion to Shift-Supervisor with transfer another store. This other store is 10 miles from home (about the same as where he is now) and is the top sales store in his district. Awesome! This comes with a raise... almost $2 more!!! YIPPIE. Details have not been worked out just yet, so confirmation may come later.