Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Morning Musings

We’re back here in Illinois.  Just like Dorothy says:  there’s no place like home.

It’s been over 2 weeks now since I’ve seen DD and the Ts, and I’m going through some serious withdrawal right now.  ;-)  The good news is that tomorrow is home school PE day, so I’ll get to see them! 

We had a wonderful time, and even though it was overcast most every day and even though rain was in the forecast every day, the weather turned out to be pretty great … there was only one day where we didn’t get in much beach time (it was chilly and windy).

Saturday was the “pick day” of the week, weatherwise.  It was in the mid 80’s and sunny all day.  Since it was perfect beach weather and our last full day in Hilton Head, we took advantage and spent a good bit of the day on the beach. 

We were rewarded with seeing several sand dollars … we usually see quite a lot of sand dollars on the beach on Hilton Head, but this trip we hadn’t seen a one … until Saturday.  We saw several, including some pretty good sized ones.  It was fascinating to see them burrow into the sand.  This isn’t my video, but one I found on youtube. Video  Unfortunately, embedding has been disabled, but you can click on the link to see the video if you'd like.

We also saw a couple of crabs scurrying along the beach and burrowing into the sand when we got close.  In all our visits to beaches over the years, that was a first for us. 

Evidently we (finally) got a good bit of rain here in Illinois while we were gone.  There was 1.5 inches of rain in the gauge (who knows how much evaporated).  The grass is greening up … frankly, I thought our lawn was a goner, given how brown and crispy it was. 

Today is going to be a BUSY day … we got everything out of the car last night, but that was all.  Today I’ll unpack, put away, do laundry and get everything back to normal. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It’s Wednesday already.  Even though I’m in Hilton Head, you didn’t think I’d miss the Wednesday Hodgepodge, did you?  After you’re done with my answers here, why not click on the button above and head over to Joyce’s and see what everyone else had to say.

1. Do you like chili? Red or white? Beans or no beans? Spice or no spice? Toppings?
I like chili … especially white chili, and I have a pretty good recipe, if I do say so myself … I found one on and tweaked it a little to suit us.  Yes to the beans and to the spice (I like spicy, but since DH does not, we have “medium” spicy chili).  I like white chili with a little cheese on top, and I like red chili with a little cheese and Fritos.
2. Red~Orange~Gold...your favorite fall color?
It depends.  I love the vivid gold of sugar maple leaves, and I love the orange of pumpkins.  

3. Who did you idolize when you were growing up?
Stan Musial.  I was a tomboy and have always loved the St. Louis Cardinals.  And while no human on this earth is worthy of being idolized, Stan Musial, as an athlete and a man, is certainly worthy of respect and admiration.

4. When was the last time you did something 'arts and craftsy'? Share please.
I’m not very “artsy-craftsy” – at all.  The last thing “artsy-craftsy” thing that I can remember doing was when I sequinned up DD’s tennis shoes for her wedding.  I so wish I had thought to take a picture … but that was back before I had a digital camera, so even if I had, who knows where that picture would be.  (Yes, I need to take some time and organize my big box of photos. <sigh>)
5. What's a place that makes you really nervous?
In an airplane … I hate flying. 
6. Horse back riding...yay or nay (neigh?)
A big nay.  I tried it once, and I never got the hang of it.  When the horse bounced up, I bounced down.  Ouch! 

7. What is your favorite cliche?
“It is what it is”. 
8. Insert your own random thought here.
This is the forecast for our last 5 days on Hilton Head.  Two weeks ago, one of Joyce’s questions was whether a picture was worth a thousand words.  The picture above is proof that the answer is yes.  :-(

Thankfully, the rains have held off enough each day for us to get some time out on the beach; yesterday afternoon was almost perfect … the sun broke through and we had a wonderful long walk along the beach.  And my back/chest/shoulders have the color to prove it!  ;-)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

It’s not heaven …


… but it’s about as close as we’re going to get here on this earth (or would be if DD and her family were here with us!).  We’re at our favorite destination … Hilton Head Island.  (And if any of you are notorious cat burglars, thinking that this is your opportunity to make a hit, think again … our next door neighbor is a retired police officer – ha!)


We left early yesterday morning … much earlier than anticipated, thanks to DH … he woke up in the middle of the night, couldn’t go back to sleep and got up and decided to start getting ready.  I’m a light sleeper, so that woke me up and the rest is “history”.  By leaving earlier, we were able to get here late afternoon, so we could check in, unpack and get some time on the beach before heading for dinner. 


photo (2)


Speaking of dinner, we had a fantastic meal at a little hole in the wall place and made an early evening of it.

photo (2)


It’s not as warm as we’d like, but that’s not going to stop us from getting out and enjoying an afternoon on the beach. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge



It’s Wednesday again … and I remembered again (maybe because I’m counting the days down until Saturday? ha!).  As we all know, if it’s Wednesday, it’s time for Hodgepodge!  And as always, after you’ve read (and commented?) on my answers, you can always go check out everyone else’s answers at Joyce’s.


1. What do you do at the first sign of a cold? Will you get a flu shot this year?

At the first sign of a cold, I buy a big old box of Puffs Plus.  I get a flu shot every year.  The last couple of years, my annual check up has been in the fall, so I’ve gotten one at the doctor’s office.  But in previous years, the University where I worked would give flu shots to staff at no charge – upon presentation of our health insurance card.  And we could go over during working hours, so there never was a reason not to get one. 


2. What advice can you give about how to conquer fear?

Pray.  I have to tell you that I’m definitely a work in progress, so I’m probably not one you’d want to go to for advice.  ;-)


3. Share two good things about your life right now.

Just two?  ;-)  Seriously, my sweet DH … since I’ve gone back to work part-time, he’s really been picking up the slack around the house.  And my DD … I’m blessed to have a daughter who’s also my best friend. 


4. A hot fall fashion trend in 2011 is a return to sixties style...tunics with pants, shift dresses, pencil skirts, cinched waists, bold prints, high necklines and short lengths to name a few. How does this fashion trend fit with your wardrobe and personal sense of style?

My wardrobe and personal sense of style lean towards the classic, timeless look. 


5. Were you involved in scouting as a kid? How about as an adult?

I was a Brownie for 1 year, and that was my only involvement in scouting. 


6. Apple, pear, plum, pumpkin...your favorite fall flavor?

Apple.  It’s just so versatile.  I love apple pie, caramel apples, apple crisp, apple slices, apple cake, baked apples.  It doesn’t hurt that there is an abundance of apple orchards about an hour to the north … and that the drive there is a beautiful one in the fall, along the river with the trees on the bluff turning their vivid colors.  DH and I try to make the drive up there every fall.


7. What characteristics do you think are essential in a good teacher?

Patience … which is the reason my teaching career plans didn’t get very far off the ground.  When I first went to college right out of high school, I wanted to be a history teacher.  I took a couple of history courses (which I thoroughly enjoyed) before dropping out to marry my ex.  When I returned to college upon our divorce, I knew myself well enough to know that I didn’t have the patience to be a good teacher.  So I became an accountant instead.  ;-)


8. Insert your own random thought here.

We got a half inch of rain overnight … and it’s still raining and supposed to rain most all day.  And the 90-degree temperatures are gone (for good, I hope).  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday Trivia


My life, as you have probably already figured out, is all about the random … so today’s post will be a bit of random “stuff”.


DH is getting bloodwork done this morning.  Because he has to fast for this bloodwork, that means breakfast will be later than usual … and since he’ll be out and about, he’s going to bring home bagels from the Bread Co. … our favorite breakfast!  Although maybe not quite the treat that it used to be since they’ve eliminated my favorite bagel from their menu; I’m hoping that it’ll be back on the menu soon since the staff at the local Bread Co. said that it was a very popular bagel (at least at that location).


DD may be facing surgery in the near future.  She will have some preliminary testing done and a consultation with the surgeon.  But she will first need to see what impact DSIL’s job change (within the company) will have on their insurance coverage. 


Our church is starting a 6-week challenge Not a Fan the week we return from our trip.  We’ll be meeting in small groups to study together with sermons on Sunday to reinforce our studies.  It’s my understanding that the small groups will continue to meet after the challenge ends, and I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.  One of my biggest disappointments with our church was the ignoring of those 50+, particularly as far as small groups were concerned.  I had offered, on several occasions, to host a small group for empty nesters … no action was taken.  :-(    Of course, good news always seems to come with a bit of an “edge” … we’re going to host the group, and another couple will actually lead the group.  This couple used to be our very best friends.  We would have a standing “date” on Friday nights, we would travel together, people at church would call us by the other’s name … “P” and I were closer than most sisters I know.  Then several years ago she chose to step out of my life.  I asked why … but got no response.  If we see each other at church, she’s sociable … but it’s as if our history together has been completely wiped clean.  So I have to admit that I wonder what our working together on this small group will bring and that I am a little apprehensive about this.  I’m trusting that God is working in this … and I’m going to have to wait to see what He’s going to do.  I am, however, looking forward to this challenge … to becoming less of a “fan” and more of a committed follower.


Monday, September 12, 2011

The Weekend Wrap-up



It’s hard to believe that the weekend is over already … didn’t it just start a couple of hours ago?  ha!  The good news is that I don’t have to go back to work until Wednesday … I needed to keep today and tomorrow free to help out DD.  It turns out that she’s not going to need my help … but I’m going to take advantage of a couple of free days anyway!  ;-)  Because the weekend’s over, it’s time for a weekend wrap-up. 


Saturday morning, DD, the Ts and I headed over to St. Louis for the Cardinal Glennon NICU reunion.  Since 3 of the Ts are “graduates” of the NICU there, DD was excited about being to meet up with the nurses and doctors who cared for #2, #3, and #4.  It was held at a small park, and I’d have to say that for the 2 littles, the best part of the get-together was the small pond with the ducks and koi (as in throwing themselves down on the ground because they refused to leave the pond - ha!). 


Saturday evening DH and I joined some of our neighbors for dinner out.  The wife next door is spending a couple of weeks in Europe, so another couple and we took the husband out for pizza.  Why is it that pizza (or any other food) tastes so much better when eaten in the company of good friends?  ;-)


Yesterday after church, we spent the afternoon at DD’s to “celebrate” Grandparents Day.  We had brats and burgers from the grill with a DELICIOUS tortellini salad followed by homemade pumpkin bread with ice cream.  Needless to say, I didn’t need any dinner yesterday! 


DD and her family leave today to go visit DSIL’s sister near Chattanooga.  They get back Friday evening and we’ll be leaving very early Saturday morning and we won’t be back for a little over a week … so it was good to get some major time with them this weekend. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Ago

It’s hard to realize that it’s been 10 years now.  Hard to realize that 10 years ago, I was waiting to become a grandma, I was working at a job that I thought was going to be “the” job, retirement was, in our eyes, a good 20 years away, I thought terrorism was something that happened somewhere else.

That morning, I was on my way to work.  I had just parked my car in the parking lot as the first plane hit the first tower, so I didn’t catch the first reports.  When I reached my desk, it was going to be just another day at the office.  My co-worker arrived several minutes later … she’d heard the reports on the radio on her way in to the office and asked if I’d heard.  I quickly turned to the internet for more reports, but all the trustworthy news sites were crashing due to the heavy demand … somehow I found a source for the CNN feed and spent the day watching … very little work got done that day.  I remember the overwhelming need to gather my hubby and daughter (DD was married, but once a mama always a mama, and on that day, I just needed my family with me).

In the years following, I wonder if we've grown a little complacent ... I pray that we'll never forget that awful day, the lives lost, the acts of bravery and courage, that freedom comes at a cost ... and that we never know when things will change in an instant ... hug your loved ones, tell them that you love them.

Where were you?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thankful Thursday



Even though today feels like Friday to me, it’s Thursday!  And it’s time to take a few moments to be intentionally thankful.  Won’t you join me in stopping for a few moments today to tell God “thank you”.


I’m thankful for:

  • This cooler weather!  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE getting out sweaters and sweatshirts.  Although I have to confess that I’ve been wearing them all summer … the air conditioners in public places have been set so low that I have been wearing my winter clothes whenever I go out … I’ve assured everyone at work and at church that I really DO have nice summer clothes.  ha!


  • Answered prayers. 


  • Getting together to celebrate birthdays.  DD turned 36 on Sunday, and we got together that evening to celebrate her birthday.  It wasn’t anything fancy … just the 8 of us, having some quick and easy appetizers for dinner followed by games … a little Sequence, a little Life, and some Rook after the littles went to bed.


  • Lazy weekends.  Sometimes we just need a couple of days where there’s nothing planned,  nowhere special that we have to go … where we can spend some time just relaxing, doing the things we love.


  • Words with Friends on Facebook.  While technically I have an iPhone (my sister sent me her old one when she got a new one), I’m too cheap thrifty to pay for the phone service … I use it as a camera and for internet/email whenever I can tap into wi-fi.  But if I ever had an iPhone, I’d be adding the Words with Friends app!  So I was thrilled when I discovered that Facebook added Words with Friends. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Oh. My. Goodness!  It’s Wednesday!  With the holiday weekend, I’m all off on what day it is … and almost left for work without posting my Wednesday Hodgepodge!  Oh the humanity! 

Seriously, it’s Wednesday, and that means that it’s time for Wednesday Hodgepodge.  If you’d like to join the fun or check out everyone else’s answers, just click on the button above.

1. What is one piece of advice you would give a 'just turning' 21- year old adult?
Don’t waste your time … time flies all too quickly.  You may think you have YEARS before you marry, you have kids, or you retire … but those days will be here before you know it. 
2. Besides cooler weather (or warmer weather, depending on your hemisphere) what is one thing you are looking forward to this fall?
One thing?  I would say being able to pull out my sweaters and sweatshirts, but I’ve been wearing them all summer (to work and to church), but I’d rather say our trip to Hilton Head.  The beach will ALWAYS trump anything else!
3. What sound lulls you to sleep?
I haven’t found a sound that will lull me to sleep.  As I’ve gotten older, it’s gotten more and more difficult to fall asleep; once asleep, I sleep well, but it’s the falling asleep that has gotten so difficult.
4. September is National Preparedness Month...does your family have an emergency 'kit' and/or disaster plan in place?
No, not really. 
5. How has your blog changed since you started blogging? Or has it?
I started with the intention of journaling about my life, and I suppose that’s still pretty much what it’s about. 
6. What's something you've recently learned to do on the computer?
Last night I just learned how to do some editing of photos on, thanks to Debby.  

7. Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.
Yes, I believe so.  While our words may be able to describe the subject of a picture, they aren’t always able to evoke the many emotions that a picture can.  I can describe what we saw on a trip or a special time when DD was growing up, but when I see a photo, I find myself there
8. Insert your own random here
What is up with all the hurricanes/tropical storms this fall?  First Irene … and now Katia (although it looks like Katia will stay clear of the US coast) … but what about 14?  We originally planned to go to the Outer Banks, but Irene had other ideas. Instead, we’ll go further south to Hilton Head … if 14 doesn’t interfere.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday Catch-Up


I usually do a weekend wrap-up, but there wasn’t much to wrap up from the Labor Day weekend.  Other than church on Sunday morning and time that evening with DD & her family (to celebrate her 36th birthday), I didn’t do much … and that was JUST the way I had it planned!  ha! 


I did do a good bit of hand quilting … it felt so good to curl up under that quilt with the cooler temperatures we had this weekend.  We’re having some unseasonably cool temperatures this week, and I for one am not complaining!  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE being able to open the windows and enjoy the fresh air. 


Today was a work day.  I worked a half day at the University and spent the afternoon working at home.  Our windows are 6 feet tall, and about a foot from the floor.  That means our lab can lie on the floor and rest her chin on the windowsill as she keeps an eye on all that’s happening in our neighborhood.  As you can imagine, that means plenty of nose prints on the windows.  Who knows how long those windows will stay clean … but I’m enjoying them while they are!


I think that’s enough work for one day … I think I hear that quilt calling my name. ;-)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thankful Thursday



Yesterday was Wednesday, so today must be Thursday.  Brilliant, I know.  ha!  And if it’s Thursday, then it’s time for Thankful Thursday, a day when I stop to intentionally remember all that I have to be thankful for.


  • Time with the Ts (not only did I get to spend the evening with them yesterday, they’ll be here in a few hours… and I cannot wait!)
  • Time spent with a needle and thread … hand quilting is so relaxing, so therapeutic, so rewarding
  • Trying new recipes … I get into a rut of cooking the same things
  • A new month … September has arrived, which means cooler temperatures will be here soon
  • A 3-day weekend coming up
  • A God who loves me in spite of me, who never gives up on me even if I do