Thursday, January 31, 2013

I Quit!

correction: after counting backwards and consulting with my historian (Tony), we've determined it has been EIGHT years!

7 years and two weeks ago,

I made the decision to quit smoking...

Seven years ago yesterday,
I smoked my last cigarette.

Seven  years ago today,
I became a non-smoker.
Seven years with nary a puff-other than my puffed up ego.

I'm a non-smoker and darn proud!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

squeezing my WHAT?

Years ago, when I was teaching my brother how to drive, we racked up many miles in my 

school bus yellow 1975 VW Beetle. 

Many times, he'd be driving between rows of parked cars, or passing huge trucks on the highway and I'd squeeze my bum cheeks together, HARD, as if that would make the car smaller?!?

Once we got through the tight squeeze, I'd always tell him, "I was squeezing my bum cheeks together!"

After a while, when one of us wanted to show support for each other, we'd say, "I'm squeezing my bum cheeks for you!"

Family tradition...

This morning, I booted up the 'ol computer, 
balanced my checking account...

Paid my bills...

Checked my credit report to make sure someone wasn't spending all the money I don't have...


Squeezed my bum cheeks and...

Did my taxes!

Believe me, because I had some pretty new (to me) things going on this year, I wasn't sure how things would go...

All I can say is all that squeezing worked. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be!


How about you?  Did you do your taxes yet?  Need me to squeeze for you?  Let me know!

Back soon.  Dinner tonight with one of Mark's high school friends and his wife.  I'm excited, they make me feel so warm and fuzzy.  

Until then, go out and be a blessing in someone's life.

Love ya,

Monday, January 28, 2013


In our town, if you don't have anything to do on a Saturday night, head on down to the local auction house!

Wally Yaracs Family auction has been going on for years. 

Although the founder has passed away, there are two generations still holding auctions there on Saturday nights.  

They have STUFF...

And then they have SPECIAL STUFF...

This week there was a tricycle...

A wringer washer and a wood burning stove...

There are boxes and boxes, table after table.  

Wally, the owner/auctioneer, sits on a stool on top of one of the tables and auctions things off...

He pounds on the floor with a cane (he seems to collect them) to make a point or conclude a sale.

It's always a full house, I've seen a packed house during a snow storm. 
 Regulars are afraid they'd miss something good.

This week, in addition to the stove and washer, they must have gotten an Elvis collection. 
 There were 20 or 30 Elvis photos...

Elvis calendars, books, lamps and records.
 If you wanted it Elvis, you should have been there.

It's always fun when they start filling boxes. Morgan started out bidding on two Pyrex baking dishes and ended up spending $2 on two boxes of stuff, including 

A toothpick holder!

Oh, and these...

Everyone got a chuckle out of Tony's reaction.
All night the auctioneer kept looking to Morgan to keep the bidding going.

I managed to snag 17 green depression glass plates for 45¢ each.

We didn't bid on...

a Pez collection or hair clippers...

Although Tony assured me they did work!?

We also passed on the box top full of assorted stuff with 
no real purpose!!!

I did manage to snag a 10 gallon crock that is so heavy 
it's still in my car. 

 Morgan got a small air hockey table and 
Tony got to carry it all out to our cars...

Oh, and he got Nachos.
 I didn't mention they have a full kitchen in there.

If you are ever out and about with nothing to do on a Saturday night, let me know, we can hit up the auction...until then, I'm...

Going, going, outta here!

Love ya,

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Important message:

Last night I had a hard time falling asleep.  I let something someone told me bother me, something I could do nothing to control, but of course, I let it get to me.

This morning, like most Sunday mornings, I was busy, but still took a few minutes to fret.  I also decided to read facebook while I had my coffee.  Not the way to prepare for worship, I know, but this is what I saw:

It was truly a WHODA THUNKIT moment!

Hope you're letting go of something today. I did and feel like I lost ten pounds and who doesn't want to feel that good?

 I'll be back tomorrow, you be here too, if you dare!


Friday, January 25, 2013

Nope, not today!

No blog post today!  Nope, not a word from me.

It's the 25th and I decided that on the 25th of the month,
I'd work on...

Christmas gifts!

Nope, not from last year, but for THIS year! 
 Two thousand thirteen! 
Twenty thirteen!
Eleven months from  now!
Of course, I can't show you what I'm working on,
but it's nice, I promise you!

Don't you hope you are on my 'nice' list this year?
Sooooo, come back later  tomorrow 
next week-and we'll talk!
Love you!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Today is...

National Peanut Butter Day!

I don't know about you, but I'm gonna celebrate!

  • peanut butter and jelly sandwich
  • peanut butter toast
  • peanut butter brownies
  • peanut butter cookies
  • peanut butter on a spoon!!!!!
 Don't worry about the calories, it's 13 degrees out there.  
I need the fat content to keep me warm!

photo:  ehow

Carpe Crustum (seize the bread)!

Now go out and spread the love (and the peanut butter)!

Love ya!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Happy Birthday, Catherine!

Gotta stop here and wish my oldest favorite only  daughter-in-law, Catherine, a very happy birthday!

If you see her, 

Stop and wish her a happy year!

Love ya, Catherine!

Look at what I made!

I've been busy, playing on my sewing machine, finishing up a few projects that didn't get done before the holidays...

I made quite a few (translation: I lost count) 
of these table runners. 

But guess who didn't get one for her table?

If you guessed me, you would be right, so this one is for me!

Check out the machine quilting...

It's not as easy as it looks, kind of like drawing those concentric rectangles on one of these:

Remember those days?

Oh and guess who sewed her left index finger (photo not available) with that sewing machine?!?

If you guessed


You would be oh, so right!

Oh, and while we're talking about making things, I got an email from a reader named Doris, who asked me to (finally) tell what I was making with this...

and this...

I made these..

Star ornaments out of Mark's favorite shirts for his siblings. I wanted to give them something of his and I think they loved them!

And now, it's 4 degrees out there. 
 I need oatmeal and hot coffee.

After that, I'm going to do my best to make someone smile...why don't you do it too?

See you soon!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Make New Friends

Years ago, almost too many for me to count, I was starting out my 'adult' life.  It wasn't an easy time, that's for sure; young  kids when I wasn't more than a kid myself, financial, marital, social and spiritual poverty, life seemed pretty bleak at times.

The one thing that was positive and constant was the friendship I developed with my neighbor, Linda.  For more than two years, we saw each other every day.  We shared gallons of coffee (she had a forty cup coffee pot!), pans of fried potatoes,  pots of Lima bean soup and so many games of Yahtzee that we nearly wore the dots off the dice!

Our kids were the same age, they played while we talked.  I don't ever remember disagreeing with her.  We were closer than sisters.  When her third daughter, Bobbi, was born, my ex and I were named her honorary God Parents.

I was heartbroken when they moved away.  Keeping in touch in the days of long distance rates and no money was tough.  We talked for a while, visited once or twice and then we lost touch with each other but each year, on the birthday she shared with my brother, I thought of her and wondered...

A year ago I was reading the obits and saw that her husband died  (in Florida).  His survivors listed Linda as his wife, but it also listed his daughters as LOCAL. I got online and by the end of the day, had tracked down Bobbi.  She told me her parents had divorced and the Linda listed was his next wife, not her mother.  I also found out that for the past 25+ years, they lived less than 50 miles from us.

Linda and I talked on the phone.  I think we were both afraid to see each other.  Even though we were so close at one time, that time was also such a low time in our lives, did we really want to revisit it?

Leave it to a kid...Bobbi decided we needed to get together.  Without Linda being aware of what she was doing, she took her shopping and out to eat.  After they were seated in the restaurant, Bobbi said she was going to the bathroom but came back with me!

Linda had no clue who the strange woman invading her space might be, I was the last thing she expected, but in a short time, we were catching up on the past 37 years, remembering what made us so close all those years ago, and hugging...

It was a good thing!

Thank you, Bobbi, I know your mother is proud of the woman you became. I am too!

~sigh, big happy sigh~

Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold...

Now go out and be the friend you hope to find.  
I know you will.

Love ya,

Monday, January 21, 2013

R.I.P. you crummy old...

R.I.P. you crummy old water heater!

When  I bought this house, a little more than  a year ago, the home inspector told me that the furnace was new, the water heater...not at all.

Long story short,  it died, I had to buy a new one, and needed someone to install it.  

Fortunately, I have very competent help...

Look carefully at Tony...

What's he doing? Why he's looking up 'how to install a water heater' on You Tube, of course!


I have hot water!

I am so blessed!

Now go out and be a blessing to someone...I will too!

Love ya,

Saturday, January 19, 2013


I have to have something to work on when I sit down. 
Watching TV is not a complete activity, it has to be coupled with busy work for my hands!

This project, with a billion hexagons, has been a constant in my life for far too long.

I'm beginning to think of  it as my hundred year quilt.  
I pull it out, work a few flowers and then banish it to the attic for a while.  
Today it earned another trip to the attic.

Not gone forever, but I need a break...

So, what project do you have hiding in your attic?

I'm off to find something else to do, how about you?


Friday, January 18, 2013

I knitted!

Oh, seriously, I've been knitting all along, but a suitable model was not to be found, and then...

Along came Tony!

Every family has one, looks like (at this present time) ours is Tony!

Now go out and be a blessing to someone...I will too!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

What do you do when your son (finally) proposes to the love of his life?

You go out and CELEBRATE, of course.

We met at a local restaurant that had decent food, okay service, but most of all...
family and friends that love them and are really happy for them!

Of course, Ashley had to show us her ring...

Isn't she positively glowing?

There was much kidding and laughter, discussing possible wedding scenarios.  The future bride and groom didn't seem too excited about our decision it should be on the dock at the river...

 Can't  you just see it happening?
ya never know...

Afterwards, everyone had to hug, and love on, the happy couple...

Her dad...

Her mom...

And of course, Tony and Morgan


The story of the proposal isn't mine to tell, but I can say it included the sales person delivering the ring to Andy outside Urban Outfitters while an unsuspecting Ashley waited in a check out line...and  Mt. Washington, overlooking the city...and YES, he did get down on one knee!  Don't you just love it?

Isn't it exciting?  Of course, it was bittersweet.  I think we all really missed Mark and wished he was there with us, but I'm sure he would be tickled!  We're so happy for them, please keep them in your prayers! 

And now, I think I'll go out and make someone smile...why don't you do it too?


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

This morning I got a text message from my daughter-in-law, Catherine.  I threw on my clothes,
ran down the stairs...

Stopped to fill my favorite travel mug with coffee...

Checked to make sure I had enough gas in my car...

Stopped to admire the flowers in the bud vase on the dash...

And I hit the road...

I pulled into the parking lot near the office building where she works...

And quickly sent  her a text telling her I was in town, waiting for her to meet me.

What did she say that got me so excited?


Yes!  The lock-out is over, the Penguins were practicing today at Consol Energy Center!

That's Catherine's office building in the background!

Free and open to the public, it was a chance to see all those guys we haven't seen in soooo long!

We had fifth row seats!

It felt like we could reach out and hug our favorite players...

It was fun to look for your favorites while they all paid attention to Coach Dan Bylsma...

It was a lot of fun watching the drills...

It was...

It really was!


All too soon, the players hit the locker rooms, Catherine's lunch hour was over and she had to head back to work and they brought out the Zamboni.

I stopped in the gift shop...aren't these shoes to die for?

Consol is amazing!  I love this view out the second level window...

Yes!  It was a great day for hockey!

Thanks, Catherine, for going with me. You are my only  favorite daughter-in-law!

Now it's past my bed time.  Time to say my prayers and see if I can get my beauty sleep to work...

Love ya,