13 March 2018

Winter Reading

I like to read. I like to read real books, and not on electronic devices. I like to hold my book in my hands, feel the smooth pages, become part of the story.
Some of my winter books ready to be recycled.
I used to own a lot of books. I still do but most are not story books. My shelves hold genealogy books, craft books, ande a few worn favorites from childhood. I've thinned them out, but still have some good gardening and flower and tree identification books as well as bird-watching books. I also have more than my share of Bibles in different versions along with a few resource Bible books.

My get-away-from-it-all books are historical romance books. I never read modern ones with phones or cars, preferring the long-ago times of vikings, pirates, cowboys, and Victorian balls.

I now get my books from the thrift stores, usually for 99¢ or less. When I finish reading I take them back to be recycled once again.

People don't read enough anymore. You can tell by the terrible grammar used online. It's sad. It's like they don't miss what they've never had. I am ever grateful that my mom instilled in me a deep love of reading. It's the gift that keeps on giving!

07 March 2018

There’s Therapy and Then There’s Therapy

I changed my physical therapy center a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t be happier. The focus has switched from releasing scar tissue resulting from knee surgery to working on knotted and long under-used muscles above, below, and behind my knee. On my own at home I am trying to use the same techniques on my other leg. I am seeing a lot of improvement but it is inconsistent so far with some days better than others. But my worse days now are much better than my former good days.

I had my 2nd Christmas gift massage today with a different massage therapist. I think it went much better than 2 weeks ago, probably just deeper pressure. But still I haven’t found someone who equals Christine who used to work at Reed Manning. I used to see her every week for over 2 years. I miss her skills and her friendship. We had gotten so close than when she quit working there she called me from the parking lot to tell me she had just left. She decided she was going to go back to college full time. I was happy for her, but needless to say I ended up quite spoiled.

The hunt is still on for massage needs but I am sure I’ve found the right place for future PT.

01 March 2018

I Love Puzzles

The puzzle program I use on my IPad is really cool, with a scrolling sidebar full of individual pieces to the puzzle. All I have to do was drag a piece over to the ‘board.’ Next to this scrolling conveyor belt is a vertical ad box. It doen’t bother anything unless I accidentally touch one of the ads. Then they open up in another screen; I click ‘done’ or an X and it goes back to my puzzle.

Today I accidentally hit an ad for a pizza place. I think the X to close is a broken link. I can’t get the ad to close. I can still hear the puzzle background music, but what a bummer to not be able to go back to my puzzle!

So I remembered that a few years ago I used to make my own puzzles from uploaded photos on Jigzone.com so I went to see if they were still there. Yes! So just for fun I have added a puzzle of some birthday roses I received one year.

01 February 2018

Boomers in Flowers

I am starting to believe that male baby boomers are having a fashion world mid-life crisis these days. It seems like everywhere you look you'll find a boomer in a Hawaiian shirt. And to think that it wasn’t so long ago that men wearing flowers was practically unheard of, unless they were on a cruise! No way would you have caught Mr. Macho wearing big bright red and orange flowers and I've even seen them at Home Depot! ;)

Since Danny fell in love with them I cannot tell you how many Hawaiian shirts he has now. The last time we 'purged' his closet he took out 50. I've been selling them in my CabanaThreads store since 2008. The colors and patterns are just so cool! Stop by and see what I mean. We have a wide range of prices, some are vintage, some are new. They're all in excellent condition! You know it’s always summer somewhere – you gotta be ready!

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25 January 2018

Wash Away Woes

Tuesday our new Maytag dishwasher arrived. We had our old one for 25 years. It was still working good but Hubster just couldn't fix a leak that developed in corner of the door. We first noticed it right before Thanksgiving and he gave it all his mechanic skill and then some (like watching YouTube videos on fixing) all to no avail. We finally thought enough is enough and broke out the wallet.

Of course in 25 years they just don't make them the same way (no, why would you keep something that works for 25 years the same)? It's like 1/8 inch wider so now we have to shave out the opening in the cabinets to get it pushed back enough. Great. There is now some stupid adapter to contend with on the water hookup whereas the old one just connected straight in. And I'm told there is something about having a vent in the instructions, which we never had before and really weren't planning to add. I have no idea how that will turn out.

So far I'm wondering if I'll ever really see the dishwasher work. I washed today's dishes by hand (again). I'm not really complaining. I've washed dishes since I was old enough to stand on a stool. Like when you're riding the lawn mower you get a lot of thinking done while washing dishes.

To add insult to injury while perusing under the cupboards with his little flashlight he discovered that a line under the main kitchen sink is leaking. It must have just started because the plastic wash pan stored there had hardly any water in it. Luckily we had a wash pan under there to start with, right? A good reminder to count your blessings where you find them!

12 January 2018

Finally Free to Dine

Besides riding to a Food Lion parking lot the other day I've been stuck in the house since a week ago Wednesday. Yesterday was my first real venture into the great beyond.

Snow was still on the ground when we left. I'd thought we were going to do some errands, maybe stop by the thrift store (where I could pick up another book to read), have lunch and come home. But we ended up not having the errands to do that I thought we had so pretty much it ended up being a date for lunch. No complaints here!

Don't you find that deciding on where to eat is one of the hardest things to do? Well, after much discussion we finally settled on Ruby Tuesdays on Princess Anne Road. Our old favorite, Appleby's on General Booth, was closed up tighter than a drum the last time we went by (before the storm). What a bummer - it was convenient and the staff knew us pretty well from all our visits.

We had picked RT because they have a good salad bar. This year we're going to try to eat healthier, including more salads. Usually the thought of eating a salad makes me roll my eyes, but more often than not, once I'm seated behind one I have no problem with it... kinda like hating to cut the grass and then enjoying the solitude doing so offers.

Anyway, we were almost to our destination when Danny started feeling crampy. Oh no! So we did a quick change and headed to the KFC for a pot pie. I doubt pot pie has ever hurt anyone. He was up for it and did, in fact, feel a little better while eating.

The last time we went to a KFC we were told that the recipe had been changed and we decided not to do KFC anymore. But here we were and telling the manager about our last ordeal. She said it had been a year or so since the recipe changed and gave us two pieces of fried chicken to see for ourselves that not all KFC establishments are the same. We were happy to find that she was right - her fried chicken was really good (and free). We still got our pot pies, with both senior and military discounts at her suggestion. I think we've found a new favorite place for our chicken needs!

After eating Danny was feeling good enough for us to take a few minutes for thrift store visiting down the road. (I guess we really are addicted). I found a great Hawaiian shirt for my Cabana Threads store to take the place of the one that shipped that same morning.

It was so nice to be out of the house for a while. And all the snow was gone when we got back!

07 January 2018

Inside Cabin Fever

Cabin Fever is starting to set in. We're not alone from the looks of how things are going in other parts of the country. It's so cold even the dogs are reluctant to go outside.

Today makes Day 4 of our incarceration and today (Sunday) seems especially weird because I'm usually at church by 8:30am. Guess we'll be watching some television religion before the day is out, just to keep things kinda normal.

Meanwhile we've been doing some chores that never seem to get done when going outside is an option. Yesterday Hubster went through the spice cabinet and the collection of condiment packets that we kept for a picnic that never came. OMG, there were some packets dated 2008. I stopped looking after that and said to just chuck the whole mess in the trash. I am not that desperate for mayo, ketchup or Taco Bell hot sauce!

I hope we can go through our multitude of glassware before the snow thaws. Between what we got from his grandmother, his dad, and wedding gifts from another lifetime we have enough glasses to set a decent table at the White House! We really don't need all that stuff!

Here's just a few, but who's counting?
I am also pushing for Hubster to go through his  pots and pans hoard. He's the main cook around here, and he's a good one, but no one needs that much aluminum and non-stick in their lives! I reminded him only yesterday that back in the day, we had an iron "spider" frying pan, a non-stick, and a green electric fryer. Somehow we managed to cook whatever was needed in one of those three. I can tell you now that we have one of every size ever made in stock.

This isn't even counting all the pots!

Everything is stored all over the place and I'm sick of the overflow of cooking tidbits having to live out their lives sitting naked on the countertops. It's got to stop! My thought is to get rid of what we don't need so we can store what we do need. Could today be the day?!

01 January 2018

Another Year Before Us

Well, we made it! God has blessed us to see the dawning of another year. Are you excited? Or thinking, "no big deal?" Fresh starts, even if imaginary, are always good. It gives you the chance to make changes and feel like the past is the past and won't hold you back anymore. No matter if it's to tackle cleaning out the closets, or pursuing a different career or mindset, give yourself permission to take on something new or become something new. It is progress.

Isn't it amazing when you think about how God made the four seasons with a definite change for each? Doesn't the start of a new year give you the same kind of feeling? Now, we know that man created those calendars with a definite start and finish. But don't you think that God had something like that in mind with the seasons? So calendars just make it easier to find the moment of new beginnings.

So what changes do you anticipate in the coming year? Last year I had two surgeries, so I'm anticipating a comparatively much more pain-free life this year. I want to do a little more inward contemplation and communion with God in prayer. I want to learn to listen for His voice. I want to learn to keep my mouth shut which always seems to get me in trouble otherwise (that one will be my hardest ambition). I want to learn to "focus" better, to slow things down and lose the scatterbrain hurry, hurry, hurry that today's lifestyles encourage. I want to step back from the media addiction that has enveloped trapped everyone since the internet was born and reconnect with actual living instead of just reading about other people's lives. I want to take time to watch the wild birds fluttering around and throw a frisbee with my dogs.

I want to find where I really belong.

I hope your year of opportunity is good to you and that you use it wisely, with God's guidance and blessings.

20 December 2017

A New Tree After All

Ok, so we tried using a small cedar tree cut from the woods. It was cute but was eating us up. Those little branches are sharp! As the tree started drying they got even sharper! I would have had to use welding gloves to put ornaments on it. This was a definite no-go!

I was ready to just give up for the year, content to put my gifts into some large decorated box or wagon, or even the wheelbarrow, but Danny said no. He wanted a tree. Well, after the live tree experiment I was against paying any money for a live tree preferring to drop my investment into something I could reuse; finding one at the thrift store meant we also donated so that was the way to go.

After a few false starts we finally found a perfect, if somewhat different, replacement for our old beloved antique tree. We are now the proud owners of a 7.5 foot pencil Christmas tree.

The skinny part was hard to get over, but now that all the ornaments are installed and the lights have all been rejuvenated (I can only rave about the light tester gun we bought) everything looks 100% lovely (a long way from the pathetic thing it was with 1 strand of working lights). I like how tall it is; our old ones were always short and fat. I like that it doesn't take up so much room and it's easier to reach the top because your stool or ladder closer at the bottom. Plus it was quicker to decorate. We only used half the amount of ornaments as before, yet the tree is packed!

So I'm now officially ready for Christmas.

08 December 2017

Upon Us

Thanksgiving turned out better than expected. Now all thoughts turn towards Christmas. We've already got 99% of the shopping done. Gotta love a man who hates crowds for that motivating 'get out there early' spirit! Since December seems to be flying by faster than ever I guess that was a good thing, because if you snap your eyes long enough Christmas will be upon us pretty soon!

My Florida kids put out our Christmas decorations while they were here at Thanksgiving. All except the tree. That tree is becoming a dilemma. See, we gave the kids our old antique tree after last Christmas so for the first time in umpteen years we have no tree to drag out of the attic.

Last year's Christmas tree
We were all set to chop a live tree down from the woods behind the house, but I hate killing a tree and am having trouble taking that leap. So we've been to all the normal fake tree outlets to look over the selections and tree prices are outrageous. After that we started visiting thrift stores. I have no fear in fixing up a used one. The one we had used to be mom's tree and it was beautiful by the time I got finished turning all the branches downward (like they had the weight of snow on them). I thought we'd found a decent one yesterday at a good cheap price. It had lights that didn't work to boot! But my tree connoisseur (the same one who wanted to shop early) didn't like it. So that hunt continues!

Meanwhile, while I sit in my Christmas inspired living room with the large empty corner I've started thinking that perhaps we don't even need a tree! Maybe tucking some cedar and hollie along the mantle piece and in other visible places would meet the need for green without it having to be vertical! After looking at some of the crazy alternative ideas on Pinterest (like pilling books into a tree shape) I'm starting to think outside my box a little. It's not like we have little kids and need to put a train set under the tannenbaum branches!

I don't know what we'll eventually end up with... maybe nothing, 'cause nothing is what I'm looking at right now. And I find that life goes on, even if Christmas is upon us.

21 November 2017

My Thoughts on Thanksgiving

It's finally here! Thanksgiving is in a matter of hours. I hope you think of it as something other than a day off with lots of food and plenty of football.

I think of it more as a seasonal thing rather than just a day. For the last couple of weeks it's been Thanksgiving already. We've been singing lots of praise songs at church ( I love "Count Your Blessings")! and hearing strong insightful messages on how and why we should be thankful. The why is easy... God is just so good to us each and every day,... even when we sometimes turn our backs on Him; even when we think we know better than He does. He watches over us and forgives us even when our own eyes tell us we aren't worth it. In His eyes we're always worth it. He is the author of second chances. We are so blessed.

The how is easy too... just think of all the things that God has given you and tell Him thank you. So simple. Just tell Him. Here are some ideas to think on to get you started:

There are so many things we are blessed with, that He has graciously given us for no other reason but that He loves us. From gorgeous sunrises and sunsets to enjoying a tiny hummingbird and looking him in his little tiny eye that God made. White fluffy clouds that mark the ceiling of our lives. Right now we're enjoying the beautiful Autumn foliage that God so thoughtfully created to provide us with an interesting dynamic background for our lives, that changes every 90 days or so. How did He ever think of that?! Anything in nature serves to remind us that we are so blessed.

Many new babies have been born recently and many more will surely come, each a masterful creation down to the feathery eyelashes and little bitty toenails. Even when they're not our own we are blessed just to see them, so tiny and perfect. What a loving God! We also have the older generations to be grateful for, with their years of experiences and much wisdom to impart (sometimes when we're not looking for any extra wisdom, lol). There is much to be cherished in our older friends and family that cannot be bought. We are simply blessed from cradle to grave.

Most of us enjoy fairly good to excellent health. My own could be a tad better if I had my way, but even if it's not so great we can usually look around and find someone who is worse off than we are. I know I have issues but I can still walk and talk, I have a good mind to think with, I can see and hear. I am so blessed.

We live in the greatest country in the world, and even with all it's problems I dare say most folks would not want to live elsewhere. I am so extraordinarily blessed that God chose to let me be born here. I'm sure I wouldn't survive the harshness of some of those other countries. My heart breaks for the women and children in war zones and those who live in 3rd world countries. Some don't even have clean water while we take it for granted and sometimes leave the tap running just because it's not cold enough for our liking. We are so blessed.

Family is a big blessing because it means we are not alone in this world. Whether it's the family we were born to or one that we chose to create for ourselves. I have both my own family. personal and extended as well as a church family filled with all my chosen sisters and brothers, parents and grandparents, and all the lovely kiddos who make up my little chosen cousins, nieces and nephews. It's wonderful being part of the family of God. I am so blessed to have both kinds of families!

Getting back to what to be thankful for means including thanks for God's love and saving grace. I love knowing I have a heavenly home waiting for me, that this is not all there is. I call it Hope. I am so blessed with hope and grateful that life is good because of God being the main part of it. I can't imagine waking up and not thinking about God each day. I am living a blessed life.

05 November 2017

Looking Forward

My recent follow-up with my back surgeon showed that my back is doing so well. Every time I go see him I'm always in a fantastic mood. For me, having the surgery was life-changing and I always want to thank him. I know he knows that he makes things happen for people, but I'm not sure if he really understands how his skills impact people on an every day, every moment basis. For this Thanksgiving I am most grateful to God for bringing this man into my life and for God's gracious healing!

Let's see... since my last post my church had a Fall Festival. It was pretty awesome, especially when you realize that it rained the entire day. That didn't stop much at all in the long run. Everything was moved indoors and folks, young and old, just plain had a ton of fun! I took my camera and took lots of photos (you can see on the church Facebook page). Because I'm still in wounded mode my participation was limited to creating fliers and posters and snagging pictures during the event.

Now we're looking forward to Thanksgiving. This year Hubster and I will host the T-Day dinner for the family. As luck would have it, my Florida kids will be here (so I think we'll have some pretty good helpers).

I'm most anxious for Christmas to roll around, not just because of all the church functions that I love, but because we're going to have a real cut from our woods Christmas tree. I wonder how soon we can bring one in the house? We've done this twice in the past: one time I used Miracle-Grow in the water and the tree lasted until August just sitting outside next to a storage building (the birds loved it). The last time we did this a ga-zillion itty-bitty spiders hatched and we had to vacuum all the presents as well as everything else near the tree.

I'm excited just because every new day is a new opportunity to 'get it right' and make someone happy; a new chance to improve, a new chance to know God better. Who can ask for more, right?