Sunday, February 18, 2018

Being Social

Jack and I are pretty quiet folks.  Well, he's quiet anyway, but we don't have a big posse we hang with every week.  He doesn't have a man cave where his buddies come to watch sports and whatever else goes on in a man cave.  I don't have a she shed.  Wait, I do have the spot where the lawn tractor is stored but it's not too cute for any girl bonding.   However,  we're not hermits either and during the year we have Church socials we attend.  In February it's usually the "Cheap Good Night Out and Chili Cook-Off" social.   It's gone from being a big get-together with chili contests and skits to a more quiet affair.   Yesterday we went and it wasn't as well attended as usual.  I think the younger crowd has better things to do than eat chili!  The food that was there was really good and the chili contest was fun.  But what was better was catching up with a couple that used to live in Ashland but moved to Utah many years ago.   Back here visiting,  they took the time to attend last night and we had a nice time reminiscing about the good old days when we were all young and our kiddos were little.  They had 9 girls! They did finally get a boy after they moved.  (Their son tragically passed away at age 18).  We found out they have 45 Grandkids....yep, they win that contest!  We may not have a packed social schedule but there are people who will always hold a special place in our hearts and memories.  Larry and Sally are one of those couples.   Hopefully they will pass this way again and we can sit and share a meal and some laughs.
Oh the stories we could tell!  Take care you two!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day...Yesterday

I'm a blogging slacker these days.  Just not much happening at the old Pines.  Even Valentine's Day didn't have a whole lot of blog worthiness.  So, did you do a big Valentine dinner?  Flowers? Candy?  Jack got me a lovely gift card to one of my favorite little shops  and I got him some of his favorite snacks.  We then had a romantic run to Home Depot to check on a water softener.  I hope I'm not making anyone jealous here, but it was fun.  Maybe it's the smell of fresh lumber or the orange aprons everyone is wearing..I just like the place.  Afterwards we had to  make a big decision about dinner.  When Jack came home from work on  Tuesday he asked what we were having for dinner.  I said I grilled steaks.  His reply was: "Weren't the steaks for Valentine's Day?"   Every Saturday we make out a menu for the following week and then do the grocery shopping.   It works out great and I usually never have to go to the store during the week and I always know what's for dinner.  My reply:  "Nope, it's on the menu for tonight. "  He was good with that and we did enjoy a tastey dinner on Tuesday.  So Valentine's day ended up being a burger from Burger King!  Fine by me.  I'm a burger kind of gal!  I looked back at my post from last year and guess what we had for a Valentine's day dinner in 2017?   Burgers! Ha! I'm thinking a tradition has been born!   But for today I decided I really needed to do a blog post and I would just go into my camera and put any pics up I had on the memory card.   Here goes:
Chubbs and I were taking a little walk in the Creepy Woods the other day and this deer gave us the stare down.  It started to move toward me and I decided to move out!  Made the Creepy Woods live up to it's name!
This cutie was hanging around the bird feeder.   Do you know what it is?  I don't , so let me know.   My final pics were of some selfies.   I was thinking of changing my profile pic.
All I could think of when this popped up was....this chickie needs some chap stick!  Hope your Valentine's day was full of love and maybe some burgers!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Hello February

I have a rule of thumb that goes like this:  "Shortest line, longest wait".  I'm sure you've experienced it.  You're in a hurry and  so happy to see a line with just one person in it.   You rush up, put your one item on the counter and.....wait, wait, wait.  Yep, they're the one with the "problem".  Coupons that have expired, no price on the item, credit/debit card won't work, gift card is empty, etc.  Well, that's how I feel about February.  Shortest month, longest wait, worst weather, etc, etc, etc.  It's snowing outside as I type this up.  I was surprised to see it coming down so fast and heavy as I let the Chubbs out for his final run.   When you look at the weather reports they tell you zip.  They have no idea what's going to happen.  Since the groundhog/rodent saw his shadow I guess we're gong to have to wait until March for Spring..like that never happened before.  Besides, I know in Pennsylvania it was sunny for old Phil, here in Ohio it was cloudy.  So, I'm ready for this short month. Which brings me to  my next topic about being prepared.   My sister and I were talking about the Zombie Apocalypse.  (No, I don't believe we're going to have one.  Geeze!) Anyway, we were talking about being prepared.   I was excited to send her a pic of some of our food storage:
As long as I have chocolate pudding I'm good.   Then I mentioned I have a coat that Mom gave me when I was pregnant with my last kiddo...33 years ago!  Yes, I kept it because I have fond memories of my Mom wearing that fur coat and snuggling up against it in the car on cold days.  It's super warm and also super heavy.  My sister said I should wear it during these cold months.  My response was: "Are you kidding?  People around here believe in Bigfoot and if I were to wear the coat I could be shot!"  When Mom found out that I still had it she said:  "Why do you still have that thing?"  "Because Mom, you gave it to me!"  MOM:  "Well, I don't want it back! Get rid of it.  Give it to a tall person."   ME:  " What? Why a tall person?"   Anyway, after having a good laugh over the whole Zombie thing and old coat thing I had Jack snap a pic to send to them.   I put on Jack's hat just to complete the look.  So hand over the chocolate pudding and the fur coat...I'm ready for any apocalypse!
Yep, I kind of get why I need to give this to a tall person...thanks Mom.

Monday, January 29, 2018

40 Years Ago...Do You Remember?

Do you remember January 26th, 1978?  That was the question of the day last week.  Why? Because we had a blizzard run through Ohio.
I remember that day quite well.   We lived in the apartment over Jack's office.  We had a 2 year old and a 4 month old. The baby chose that time to get really sick.  The day after the storm the town was still paralyzed.  Our car was buried (no garage) and I couldn't get hold of our Pediatrician.  I managed to find a Doctor and, thankfully, a good friend had a car that wasn't buried in tons of snow and came to our rescue.  All turned out good but I know there were tons of stories of other rescues, women going into labor and not making it to the hospital, the turnpike closed down, snowmobiles making runs to bring supplies into the rural areas around us for folks who were snowed in for weeks.   The hospital had the nursing staff stay at the hospital.  I wasn't working there yet! I started there in the Summer!  We moved to Ashland in January of 1977 and that was a horrible Winter season too.  I wondered if that would be the norm for us and wondered why we chose to live  here and not Hawaii!  I'm sure everyone has a time in their life where they remember a crisis of some sort.   You can picture that time like it was yesterday.  The look, the feel, the excitement, or perhaps the fear.  I find that amazing because I can hardly remember what I did yesterday!  I do know this...I was 24 years old in January of '78 and these 40 years have flown by.  There have been other times of remembrance...good and bad.  I'm grateful for those times because it pushes you to grow, endure, have memories to share around the campfire, and be prepared if they happen again.   January 2018 is coming to a close.  After a warm weekend with lovely sunshine yesterday,  today the temperature fell again and so did the snow.   No blizzard, just lovely, quiet snowflakes that coated the ground.
I doubt this day will be engraved in my memory pool but I'll have this photo of our path into the woods that hopefully will remind me of a quiet walk with my sweet dog,  my camera, and the beauty of a January day.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A Year In The Life

My 2017 blog book arrived yesterday.   When I first starting blogging in 2008 I didn't know you could make a book from your blog.  I didn't post as much back then and when I found out you could put your blog in book form I actually put 2008 and 09 together to make my first book.  This year's book is the smallest one I've done since then.  I also forgot to check what kind of cover material I wanted and got a soft copy instead of a hard cover.  Oh well, I'll probably just reorder another one and give this one to Mom.  It's easier for her to read than going on the computer and she enjoys looking at all the photos too.   There are times I've considered quitting, but when the book comes and I see all the events and family gatherings put in print I realize it's a journal of sorts.   I'm no great author but someday I hope a family member will take the time to look at them and remember what we did together or read about what I did with my time in this life.  Mundane? Probably.  Repetitive? Yes, many times I've repeated a tribute to a family member and I always put a post in on the holidays and frankly those don't change much year to year...except we all age a bit!  Important?  It is to me and that's all that matters isn't it?   I use Sharedbook.com to make my book.  It's pretty easy and depending on the number of pages, not too expensive.   Anyway, how can I put a price on a year in  the life of us? 
New book!
One of many books in my fast growing library!  Almost as fast "growing" as the years have been fast "going". 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Sunshine On My Shoulders

The past few days have been fabulous, weather wise.  We've had a slow warm up this week and today it topped out around 40 degrees...flip flop weather up here!  Add sunshine to that and you have many happy faces around these parts.  I took Chubbs for a little walk this afternoon since the Vet said he had gained a couple of pounds.  Jack told him it was because of the holidays!  Good for a chuckle but the fact is we haven't been able to get him out walking too much because of the bitter cold.   So today I put on my slogging around the Pines boots.  (No flip flops for me...I leave those to the Walmart goers!)
The snow is slowly melting as you can see in the next pic:
After a bit our son Phil showed up to pick up some packages he had sent here and he had Addy with him.  Chubbs was ready to go back inside so Addy and I took a little walk into the Creepy Woods....they're not so Creepy with no leaves on the trees.  Addy enjoyed climbing on the logs and letting the sun shine on her shoulders!
She wanted to check out the Alpacas next door so we went over to see if the neighbors would mind letting us take a close up peek.  Kerry (our new neighbor) was super gracious about having us take a tour.
Hi guys!  Well, the blond one is a not a guy but a girl who Kerry thinks is preggo!  I can't wait to see if  they get babies.  I'm betting they are adorable!
She showed Addy how to hold out her hand and give them some feed.
She loved it!  We had a fun time learning about Alpacas and Kerry's girls and Addy hit it off.  Addy made some new friends and learned something new!  The girls had a blast in the barn and when the Alpaca came in the barn they starting rolling all over in the dirt.
I guess that's something they love to do!  Stirred up a bunch of dust!   We had to head back home but with a promise to visit again.  Thanks Kerry and family for letting us have an adventure today!  I  hope the sun shown bright on your shoulders today too!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

In The Thick Of It

My previous post was one of lush green.  The snow had melted and the rains fell in abundance.  The 58de temps were such a gift.  Then Friday arrived.  I got hit by some kind of bug and was sick as a dog!  It was one of those times when at first you thought you were going to die and then you were afraid you wouldn't!  Thankfully it passed as quick as it arrived since this is my call weekend.  It's been quiet so far but it's not over until 6:30 am.  It's the only time I truly look forward to Monday morning when it's over!    So what do you do when you're hanging around the house on a weekend when Mother Nature decides to pull a fast one?  When she reminds you that you are in the thick of Winter?
Enjoy the pretty snow?
Snow blow that pretty snow?
I think Jack looks like Mr. Freeze!   While he was having fun clearing our driveway I did do a small bit of shoveling then headed into the house to do some baking.
Homemade bread made the house smell wonderful.
This cake was interesting....I had wanted to try this recipe but consider this a failure.  It didn't really have a taste that made me want to make it again! 
My slow cooker roast was much better!  So that's how we roll when were in the thick of Winter.  January is half over and I can't say I'm sorry it's going so fast.  Something else I did to past the time was read a book I got for Christmas from Craig and Amy.  It's really a young adult fiction read but it was super good and I would recommend it.
It's about a young girl in England during WWII.   I downloaded the sequel and finished that too!  They were both great!  Check them out if you're in the thick of Winter in your area!  And if you're someplace warm...well, just enjoy that I guess!