Monday, August 30, 2010

We'll Scare the Hell Out of You!

That's the motto of a band that I am currently in the process of booking at a Christian teen center where Cory and I volunteer.

I must admit, I wasn't so sure about these guys... I mean... what do YOU think?

"grave robber"

Yes, that's really what they look like when they are on stage. I've even heard from someone who saw them live before, that they will get right up in your face. I think I'd pee my pants! LOL!!!

Despite their creepy outward appearance, I was kind of intrigued by their "story" (which can be found HERE). I think the kids that frequent the teen center will be interested in these guys... due to their appearance... and I think they need to hear the message these guys have to say as well. That's the most important part.

I've never known of a band that took on this "stage role" to get their point across. (Not sure the point Gwar was trying to make... haha!) We'll see how it goes!

I definitely am not a fan of the music... but I think I'd like to experience this show for myself! Perhaps I'll have some interesting stories to tell (or at least some kind of nightmare!)...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Scratch, Scratch Here... A Scratch, Scratch There...

... No, I haven't got a case of poison ivy. Nor do I have any bug bites that I'm scratchin'.

The title of this post refers to the fact that, not one... but TWO of my vehicles got scratched yesterday......... and neither of them was my own doing!

Can we say... absolute frustration!???

First was my jetta. I drove out to my aunts house to pick up some fabric that I'm going to hem for her. I pull up and she is outside with one of her dogs on a leash and the other one running loose. Guess who got the brunt of the loose dog's excitement? MY CAR DOOR! Ugh!

Luckily it's not that bad... but it's the principle of it all. MY dog does not jump on cars. And if she just randomly happens to (which has yet to happen)... I would totally apologize. Offer to pay for damages... then apologize some more.

No apology from my aunt.


THEN... later on in the day, I was at my dad's garage. He's got my vw camper (which got a new paint job last year) sitting out front because he is going to be pulling it into the garage soon to do some engine work.

Well, some people recently moved into one of my parents apartments above the shop. This kid (13 yrs old) was hanging around waiting for his grandma to come home from something or other... and when she pulled in... guess where she pulled?

Right beside my camper.

The kid runs out and swings the back car door open.... Nope... didn't hit the camper... bet you thought I was going to say that, huh? LOL! I sit and watch from inside because I had a direct line of view. He starts pulling one of those trick bicycles out of the back seat. You know... the kind with the metal bars sticking out back by the wheels?

I bet you can see where this is headed.

I was breathing a sigh of relief as he got it safely out of the car... however, then he goes to pull it up on the sidewalk.. and BAM!!!!!!! Smacks one of those darn metal bars right onto the bumper of the camper. (The bumpers are painted white)

I, of course, jump up and say "HEY!!". I startled him, which probably wasn't a wise move since he was still near my vehicle. I tried to nicely scold him... by telling him to be more careful. And he acted like it was no biggie. (Grrr!) So then I told him that it was MY VEHICLE he just hit. His response. "Well, it has a flat tire"

Yes. Yes, it does have a flat tire at the moment... but that's BESIDES THE POINT!!!

I told him that I didn't really want to pay for a new paint job... and there were too many cars around, so he needed to really watch where he was going.

He mumbled a "Sorry." Then walked off.

He made quite the gouge in the bumper... but at least it was the bumper, right? And it didn't go all the way down to the metal, so it shouldn't rust.

But seriously. Two of my cars in one day... just really fries me! Blah!!

I just had to vent!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bad Egg

Yesterday I decided to hard boil some eggs. Sometimes I get a hankering for egg salad sandwiches. And since we pretty much have an endless supply of eggs, I had plenty to hard boil!

Well, when the whole process was done... I decided to just peel them all and put them in a container. For some reason, they seem a bit easier to peel (to me) when they are just barely warm.

I grabbed an egg that had cracked in the boiling process and started to peel it.

Lookie at what I found...

I am baffled! The crack was on the OTHER side of the egg. I was shocked to peel back the "un-cracked" side and find this hole! It makes me think of a worm hole in an apple! YUCK!

Here is a closer look:

The only thing I can figure... is that perhaps an air bubble got in through the crack (it was cracked pretty good when I pulled it out of the water)... and caused this little blip!

All I know is that after the photo shoot... this bad boy went in the TRASH!!!

(I probably should've cut it open and dissected it before I threw it away... but oh well!)

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Bowl Full of... "Chairy(s)"?

Not long ago, I got a call from my aunt who was offering to buy us one of those glider chairs for the nursery. (I'm not quite sure what the correct name is for those!) She was able to get a good deal on one at the time and thought that it might be something we would need.

I was SO appreciative! I mean, who just calls you up and offers to buy you a piece of furniture? (Apparently, my awesome family!) :)

But unfortunately, we just do not have the room for one. We still have to get a crib into the babies room, after I try to clear all of my craft stuff out as much as I can (ugh!)... and rearrange what we already have into a workable, practical space for baby. It is a SMALL space, let me tell you!

The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that I don't have ANY kind of chair that rocks (or glides) in my house. This is odd for me because I am the type of person who has to be moving most of the time. If I'm sitting or laying on the couch... part of me has to be moving. Whether I am bouncing my leg or twitching my toes. It drives Cory bananas! I am honestly shocked that I don't have some type of rocking chair!

So, the other day we get a flyer in the mail from a local store. They have some chairs on mark down for $200! Granted... they probably aren't the best-made piece of furniture you could get... but they would get us through for what we needed. Our current furniture was given to us by another aunt of mine who was re-doing her living room... which I am totally grateful for!!!!... but it's not what I want forever.

Ok, for even the next 5 years, if I can help it.

But in the mean time, I don't want to go out and buy some expensive chair that won't go with the living room furniture that I actually WANT (and will hopefully get sometime in the next few years).

Lets face it, how successful would it be to build your living room ensemble around one chair?

So. Cory and I took a trip over to the store last evening... AND... as expected, they didn't have anything that we liked or felt comfortable in, in their "marked down" section. We looked around at some other pieces, but gave up.

We don't have to have something RIGHT NOW... but hopefully before winter.

We do have a chair with an ottoman that is in our living room... but that's what we're hoping to replace.

I thought about those gliders again... but they have wooden arms and frame. I think I want something more cushiony and comfy for nursing and rocking.

I looked online at a local furniture place... (which, they didn't post prices... how annoying!)... but then... as I clicked through all of the pictures, all I could think was... "Chairy".

Do you remember Chairy? From the good old Pee Wee Herman Show.
"Pee Wee's Playhouse"

I just kept seeing her face on all of the recliners... and now I think I've given myself a complex. (At least I'm not looking for a toilet-blue colored recliner! Then I'd really have a problem!)

So... Yeah.

Other than having Chairy on the mind... we are going to be forced to make a decision in the next month or so.

Do we buy a cheap rocker/recliner that goes with the furniture we have now but may be a piece of crap?


Do we buy a more expensive, durable one and hope that it will fit in with our "new" furniture "someday"?

I guess we'll just have to wait and take a look-see at some furniture places around and see what our options/prices are anyway.

But what would you suggest??

Oh yes... and BY THE WAY... I'd like to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my SISTER!!! She's sooo old! ;)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Recipe: Chocolate Crackle Cookies

These are my favorite chocolate cookies... and they're so easy to make!
I just had to share the recipe with you!

1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 egg

2 egg whites

1 2/3 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. powdered sugar

*Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place sheets of foil on counter top for cooling cookies.

*Combine oil, granulated sugar and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until blended.
Add egg and egg whites.
Beat until well blended.
Stir in flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt with spoon.
(I just use the "stir" setting on my kitchen-aid mixer)

*Place powdered sugar in shallow dish.

*Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in powdered sugar until coated.

*Place about 2" apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
(I like to push the top of each ball down slightly to flatten it a little...
just my personal preference on how the shape of the cookies turn out!)

*Bake at 350 for 7-8 minutes
(or until almost no indentation remains when touched--DO NOT OVER-BAKE!)

*Cool on baking sheet for 2 mins, then remove cookies to foil to cool completely.

(NOTE: I store these in the fridge because they are OH-SO-GOOD
when they are cold!!!)

**Recipe from: The Great American Cookie Cookbook **
**Copyright 2001**

Friday, August 20, 2010


I was woken up this morning by a hand to my face.

My husband was leaving for work and he was trying to find my forehead in the dark so he could give me a goodbye kiss...

and he accidentally shoved his hand on my face.



So, I decided to get up and start my day at 6:40AM.
That's early for me!

AND since I was up and actually had motivation (shocker!)...
I decided to finish up a couple of tote bag projects I'd started.

*Please excuse my poor photography*

Both of these bags are a medium size.
Nice for throwing a couple of books in or a notebook.
Maybe your wallet and cellphone too.

Although they are more "tote" than "purse".

The flower-fabric bag has a pocket on the front.
Perfect for pens!
You could toss in a notebook and have your
pens handy right there in the front little pouch!

I plan on selling these at an annual Fall Festival in September.
I guess I shouldn't say I plan on selling them, since maybe they won't sell...
but they will be FOR SALE!
And I'll be crossing my fingers that people will want to buy them.

I also whipped up a couple of tissue holders.

These are perfect to hold a travel pack of tissues... and throw in your purse!

I am building up an inventory of tissue holders, tote bags and coin purses for the Fall Fest.
As well as some handmade envelopes... and I'm hoping to do some other paper crafts,
like block printing some notecards.
We'll see!!!

What have you been working on?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Our Shed is Here!

It has been a weird morning.

I woke up about 20 til 7AM and took a shower, came downstairs, got on the computer to check email, etc... around 7:15 the basement crew shows up to continue work on our basement. I hear their machines fire up and other odd noises.


I hurried over to the door opener and pressed the button, then went outside to apologize... feeling like I had a big "STUPID" sign on my forehead.

Honestly, I didn't know that the pounding was on the back door (front door had been open, by the way). I have been listening to all sorts of jack hammering, pounding, swishing, and equipment all week. Just sounded normal to me!

Oh well!


A little before 10AM, I got a call that the shed we'd ordered in July was on it's way. They'd be here in 30 minutes.


We were under the impression that the company was going to call to schedule a time to drop the shed off. I definitely wasn't expecting to get a call that said "Hey, we're on our way! Be there soon!" - Sheesh!

Luckily, I got a hold of Cory, who got a hold of his dad and we were prepared for the shed's arrival.

I feel like it's been a hectic day... and it isn't even lunchtime yet!

I took some pics of the process of getting our new shed set...

We're looking forward to getting the ramp on there and starting to fill 'er up!!

I have some not-so-good news about the basement project... but I will post about that another time!

Thanks for stopping by!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I Really Want...

... to go to Panera Bread! I want their broccoli-cheese soup and bread!

We don't have one around here, so I suppose I'll have to wait... but man, I'm craving it!!!

That's all!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


My birthday was a few weeks ago, as some of you may recall.
Also a few weeks ago... was a scare with my mom in the hospital.
It made for an unsettling birthday!

Slowly but surely, my mom has been getting back to her normal self and yesterday she finally gave me my birthday present(s), which she hadn't had the energy to wrap up until a couple of days ago!

Well, like the title of this post says:


Let me show you because I am so excited!

Decorative packaging tape & labels!

Stamps! and more labels!

And one of my favorites:
This little book has all sorts of funky stickers and labels.

You didn't think I was going to show them to you, did you?
I wouldn't want to spoil it, in case maybe you're one of the lucky recipients of
one of my lovely notes or letters!

I am going to have some fun times with these items!
Thanks mom and dad!!!!

As I was writing this post... I realized that I never took a pic of the
birthday presents my sister gave me.

Unfortunately, they are already put away... and no offense,
I don't really want to go dig them back out for a photo shoot!
But she got me some cool stuff too... a pretty brown sweater,
some measuring spoons in the shape of hearts, melting soaps,
and a sun/moon wind chime that is now hanging from
the roof of my front porch.
Thanks Katy (& family)!

Well, I'm off to the doctor today for my 16 wk appt. I have to
see the *guy* doctor... ((shudder))... but it should be fine.
I am just glad to be getting out of the house away from the
jack-hammering. It's been going on in the basement since
7:15AM. My head feels like it's going to explode!!

Happy Tuesday!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

I Ate Too Much Yesterday...

It wasn't bad food... steak salad, actually. But I ate too much at one time, too late in the day.

And then.... I had some homemade peach crisp. I totally wasn't hungry for it... but I ate it anyway because it was SO good!!

And then... I paid for it last night.





I just couldn't catch any Z's!

I'd fall asleep for a little bit only to wake up for one of my many trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night (Oh yeah, I drank a lot yesterday too!)... then I'd be up, up, up... thinking about all sorts of stuff with my FULL stomach gurgling and churning. Tossing and turning.

It was not fun.

So needless to say, I feel like crap today... I have a headache... AND, of course it's a day when I can't just veg at home and recoup!

Oh well! I suppose I'll survive!

**Thanks for letting me complain**

On a positive note... the professional concrete guys just got here to start on our basement! I took some before pics... but I figure I'll post then with the after pictures at the end of the week (assuming this will all be done by then)!

Friday, August 13, 2010

New Reads!

I got myself some new books today at my favorite place to shop... Ollie's!
I truly feel bad for those of you who do not live near an Ollie's.

Such a tragedy.

However, it's great for me!

Can you tell I like Ted Dekker?
And Terri Blackstock is pretty good too.
Unfortunately, at a discount place like Ollie's...
it's a "take what you can get" kind of place.
They usually don't re-stock the same things unless you're lucky!
So, I wasn't able to get all of the Ted Dekker books in the one series.


Guess that's what Amazon is for!
(If the price is right!)

If you're looking for some good reads that will keep you captivated...
definitely check out Ted Dekker.
Terri Blackstock is more of a mystery type, if you're into that!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Little Man!

Today is my nephew's 7th birthday. It's so hard to believe that he is 7 already... time sure does fly!!

Since I made my weekly trip out to my hometown yesterday, I took his birthday presents with me and we sort of celebrated early with pizza (which I couldn't eat... dang heartburn!) and ice cream from a favorite local ice cream shop. MMmm!!

Yesterday was the one week mark of the death of our friend... so my dad was kind of having a rough morning... but his spirits picked up when the presents were being opened... and he made us all laugh with the "nerd glasses" I'd gotten for my nephew!

(Have you ever seen Dustin Hoffman in the movie Papillon? These glasses totally remind me of that!)

Everyone else took a turn with the glasses... but my mom and I were smart enough NOT to get our pictures taken! We all had some good laughs!

Here's the birthday boy!

Here's his brother--which I think is HILARIOUS!

(This makes me think of Froggy from the Little Rascals!)

Then my aunt... and my grandma!

It's amazing the giggles and laughs a toy from the dollar store can buy! And don't worry... they don't care that I'm posting these silly pictures... my aunt has already plastered pictures on her Facebook! LOL!

A week after my grandma's stroke, she is doing pretty well. A little slower than normal with her walking and some of the things she was talking about yesterday didn't make any sense...

Out of the blue at the ice cream shop:

"Who's Toby's sister?"
"Grandma, I don't know who Toby is....?"
A blank look. "Oh."

These types of conversations aren't 100% unusual since the alzheimers jumbles her mind... but it's sad to watch her decline. I am just glad that she pulled through last week though and we still have more time to spend with her on this earth!!

Oh yeah... one more thing before I go!
Yesterday, I was driving home... and I was 3 cars behind an accident!
Our line of cars was slowing down.. but I didn't know why. I looked up ahead as I slowed to a stop and realized a car was turning left across the road... and then I realized it was going TOO SLOW (literally like slow-motion) and there was a blazer in the other lane coming RIGHT at it! Luckily, there was a big gravel driveway off to my right... so I veered into the driveway as the impact occurred (I didn't want to be swept up in the mess in case cars and debris went flying)!
It seemed like everyone was OK... I had my window down and could hear what people were saying as they ran to the scene and were checking on the passengers.
What a mess! I'm so thankful that I was paying attention... and thankful that no one was seriously injured!
I must be a magnet for disaster!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Check Out This Giveaway!

As they celebrate the birth of their 3rd child, and 2nd daughter today... Christopher & Tia have been thoughtful enough to think of the rest of us while they are away!

They are having a GIVEAWAY!

What are these things, you ask?

Head on over to their blog, check it out and leave a comment. Simple as that! And while you're there... send them some congratulations on their new addition!!

Congrats Christopher, Tia, Elie and Charlie!
Welcome little Evelyn!!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Rest In Peace

May 21, 1987 - August 4, 2010

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Week From Hell.

I haven't posted since Tuesday due to some unfortunate circumstances.

I've thought every day, as things were happening, just exactly what I would share and how I would share it... but now that I am sitting here at the computer, I just don't have the oomph to get it all out.

Briefly... I will say...

On Wednesday when I made my weekly trip out to my hometown, I learned of an accident at a construction site that claimed the life of a family friend. He was a son, a brother, a husband, and a best friend. He was only 23.

It is a heartbreaking story... and my family was thrown into the thick of things, as my dad was the one who was with the wife when she found out (She and her husband used to rent one of my parents apartments, until just recently when they bought their first house. They were both like family to my dad, in a sense--the guy had worked for my dad during his high school years... and having a towing business, my dad knew about the accident right away because it came over the police scanner. He drove out to her house because she hadn't heard... and the rest, like I said... it's heartbreaking.). I was designated to be "the caller"... calling certain people we know, to let them know... and making sure I got someone out to the young man's mom to tell her (instead of her being blindsided by a phone call). Never again do I want to have to be the one to announce the bad news of a tragic death. My heart aches with the memories of the reactions... they are seared in my memory.... as well as that initial phone call from my dad when the death was confirmed. The sound of the wife wailing uncontrollably in the background will haunt me for a long time.

So sad... so, so sad.

The next couple of days were a whirlwind, as you can imagine. The same night as all of that happened though.. I got a call in the wee hours that my dad was taking my mom to the ER again (she's still dealing with some medical issues that got off the ground last week). What an unsettling ending to an unsettling day!

My mom is OK... however, the next morning (Thurs.) I got a call that my grandma (the one with alzheimers) had a stroke and was semi-conscious, but unresponsive. They'd taken her to the hospital.

So I drove out to my hometown again, not sure if I wanted to go to the hospital to see her because I wanted my last memories of her to be good ones. We had just shared the clown cupcakes I'd made for her birthday the day before. We laughed as a huge glob of icing plopped into her lap, luckily on a paper towel we'd spread out beforehand! She and I held hands and prayed together for the family of the killed man as all of that tragedy was unfolding...... I just couldn't imagine seeing her lying in a hospital bed.

I stayed with my mom most of the day. We got reports from my dad about my grandma, and we basically were told that her stroke could have left her this way and she could either go to Pittsburgh and have surgery to try to remove the plaque (and risk hemorrhage) or we could just keep her at the local hospital and wait it out, which wasn't looking good. They moved her to ICU.

I decided to go in to see her that evening, and she was starting to respond some. She would open her eyes for a few seconds and talk to you, mostly off the wall stuff, sometimes gibberish... but she was responding a bit. And sometimes it DID make sense.

I spent the night at my parents instead of making the drive again, and the next morning when I went in... it was a complete 180!!! Grandma was up and talking. They were even going to try to get her walking again. When I first got there, she had just been taken down for an MRI... so I didn't see her until they brought her up to a regular room, out of ICU, and had given her lunch. She was sitting up and eating it ON HER OWN!

I seriously can't tell you the difference from the previous evening to that morning. It was like night and day. Truly a miracle! She was talking, of course the alzheimers was evident, however she knew who we were and that it was her birthday... and it was just truly amazing!

So much has gone through my mind and heart the past few days... I just want to urge you... HUG your loved ones. Love on them! Tell them you love them... because you never know when their time (or your time) on this earth will end! It really is that important.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's Pretty Much a Given...

... Clowns are creepy.

Maybe it's because of those horror movies that depict murderous clowns... or the fun houses where you just can't get away from them no matter which way you turn. The creepy laugh doesn't help either. Oh, and lets not forgot Bozo. He's just... weird. (Ok, secretly I always wanted to be on that show. Come on! The games were SO easy... I totally would've won!!)

Anyway. Friday is my grandma's birthday. She will be 75 years old! That lady... she likes clowns. If you knew her, it wouldn't seem creepy... it'd just seem joyful! I remember going to her house when I was little and she always had this little beanbag clown doll made with denim that had weird soft hair (I think it was some kind of fur). It'd always be on the back of the couch and I used to love to rub the hair on my cheeks because it was so soft. Kinda gross, now that I think about it... but hey, I was a kid!

She also re-did her kitchen in a clown theme. Yep. Not only clowns... but BALLOONS! It was, how can I put it nicely?... TACKY. It looked like something more for a nursery than a kitchen, but she liked it and that's all that mattered, I guess! My sister and her husband bought the house a number of years ago after my grandparents moved out, and they have slowly but surely scraped and peeled that paper! Unfortunately, the cabinets and counters are RED and WHITE... but my sister has made due and decorated in a country/americana theme that works out pretty well. (If you've followed my sis's blog for any amount of time, you may have spied some pictures of it that she's posted in the past).

As the years have gone by, Alzheimer's has started to strip my grandma's memories from her slowly, yet steadily. She mostly remembers things from the past. So, to celebrate her birthday... I am bringing out the clowns!!

Since I can't be there on Friday, I made cupcakes to take to town with me and share with her tomorrow. Though she may not be as "into" the clowns as she used to be... I think she will get a little chuckle out of these cupcake decorations!

You have to admit... they are kind of cute! :) There is a cake supply store in my hometown that sells all sorts of little icing decorations like this. When I saw them, I just had to get them for my grandma. (Don't I wish I had the skill to make those!)

So tomorrow, when we celebrate grandma's birthday a couple of days early... I'll also celebrate the memories. Even if she doesn't remember. And I will enjoy the clowns... especially as they tumble into my tummy!

Monday, August 2, 2010

RECIPE: Chewy Granola Bars

The other day, I was browsing on trying to look up some new recipes, when I came across this one for chewy granola bars. I am always kind of skeptical when it comes to things like granola. You just never know what you're going to get.

The ratings, however, were 5-Star... so I thought I'd give it a try.

Of course, it's not the healthiest snack with the butter, sugar, etc... but at least you know whats going into it (and not trying to pronounce the weird additive names on the nutrition label)!!

So, this morning... I hopped-to-it in the kitchen and whipped out a tray of these granola bars... and I must say... I am VERY impressed! They were so easy... and SO YUMMY!

I just had to share with you!
(I take no credit for these... thanks to whoever sent it in to All-Recipes!)

Chewy Granola Bars

4 1/2 cups Rolled Oats
1 cup All-purpose Flour

1 tsp. Baking Soda

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

2/3 cup Butter, softened

1/2 cup Honey

1/3 cup Packed Brown Sugar

2 cups Mini Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

--Preheat oven to 325 degrees
--Lightly grease one 9x13" pan (with sides)

--In large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients (except choc. chips) with a spoon or spatula
(mix until dry ingredients are moist)
**I cut my butter into small chunks for easier mixing**

--Stir in the chocolate chips

--Lightly press mixture evenly into pan
--Bake for 18-22 mins (or until golden brown)

--Let cool 10 mins, then cut into bars
--Let cool completely before removing bars from pan


(Sorry for my lack of photography skills... but you get the idea!)