Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Word Filled Wednesdays: Of Friendship

Proverbs 27:9
The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.

I consider myself a friendly person.  I am the type of person who can strike up a conversation with a stranger in the grocery store.  So, for someone so friendly, I have a difficult time making real, meaningful friendships.  I had the same "best friend" all through young adulthood, before we drifted apart in college.  Because I did not live on campus during college, I did not make a lot of close friendships.  I made friends, certainly, and continue many of those friendships to this day, but it was really rare to have intimate friends.  This did not really happen to me until I moved away from home, and suddenly, friendships became much more important to me, as I missed the daily affectionate interactions I had with my family.

I developed a very close friendship with a girl who to this day, tho we are separated by hundreds of mile, is one of my closest friends.  We have the type of friendship where we can talk every day, or go months without talking on the phone, and either way, the next time we talk, it is as if no time has passed.  Still, when I moved from Ohio to Pennsylvania, I left a lot of good friends behind, and since living in Pennsylvania, I have made some wonderful friends, but found myself once again lacking that intimate friendship.  Then I met my future husband. 

Hubby will forever be my very best friend.  Our friendship developed over 2.5 years, before we even started dating.  He was always there for me, as much as I would allow him to be, and always wanting to help, listen, comfort, celebrate.  As we began dating, I was introduced to his circle of friends, all of whom are pretty fantastic people.  In the two years, I have made some wonderful, close, intimate friends.  Again, we can talk daily, or not talk for a while, and it is still as if no time has passed.  Some live blocks away, some live miles away, but we are always there for each other.  It is such a blessing.  I feel myself not only giving support, but getting it in return.  I see models of good wives, good mothers, good daughters, and good Christian women among the girls in this circle of friends, and all have helped contribute to making me a better woman. 

I thank God daily for the gift of friendship in my husband, and the friends he has introduced me to.  I thank God for the friendship of my fellow bloggers.  I thank God for friendships old and new, and pray that I am a good friend to them all in return,

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cartoons by Hubby: Unfortunate Shorts

The Most Unfortunate Shorts Ever- An Artist's Rendition

Backstory: While Denny, Paul, Hubby, and I were at the Rita's near Denny and Paul's townhouse, we saw the man with the most unfortunate shorts ever.  They were meant to sort of tropical or something, a lightish colored cloth with palm trees on them.  However, the palm trees were brown, and there was a large palm tree spread across the seat of the shorts.  So, basically, it looked as if the man had explosive diarrhea, and was too enamored of Rita's Ice to even care.

As we left the parking lot, safely out of the man's earshot, Hubby says to me, is that man wearing shorts, or sharts?

How could I not love him?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Drama in a Bottle...or a Photo

So, Paul, my brother's partner, is an artist.  Like, an amazing artist.  And he is adventurous.  So, the first time I met him, 4 years ago, he suggested we do some glamour shot type photos, because at the time, I was still trying my hand at dating with little success.  The photo sessions with Paul have since become a theme in our relationship.  He loves that I am a willing subject, I love that he makes me look and feel beautiful.

Our first foray into the shots, we just went with what I was wearing at the time, and my own makeup.  Remember, this was four years and more than a few pounds ago.  Here is one of the shots that resulted from that session.
Yowza right?  Who knew I could look like this?

About a 7 months after that, I went through a really rough relationship and breakup, and I ran to Columbus to clear my head.  Denny, Paul, and I went to a haunted hotel for a night of ghost hunting, and he proposed a photo shoot in a cemetery.  I willingly agreed.  This time, he took care of hair, make up, and costume.  Here are some shots from this session:

Crazy awesome, right?  Well, another year or so later, they came to Pittsburgh to celebrate my 30th birthday with me.  This was right around the time Hubby and I were thinking of starting to date, so I needed an ego boost to prepare myself.  Once again, Paul to the rescue.  We were going for a modern take on a pin up, sort of inspired by Gewn Stefani.  This was the result.
Once again, he did the makeup and hair as well as took the photos.  Who knew I could look like this?

So, as we prepared for our trip to visit Denny and Paul, Paul told me to come ready for some glamour.  I kind of thought my days of glamour were over.  I am just a simple housewife, more than a little pudgy, and my clothes are now for comfort not fashion.  I never should have doubted Paul.

Again, he did my hair and makeup, at one point, while applying eyeliner, he called it Drama in a Bottle.  I decided to be brave, and suggested we do the photos without me knowing what I looked like.  Paul likes to use draggish amounts of make up, so this was a real leap of faith.  I even suggested we end the session in the rain outside.  I thought he was going to wet himself, he was so excited.  It makes me happy that I can bring that much joy to him, simply by letting him use me a play model.  Never did I think that this most recent session was going to have the results that it did.

These are some amazing and artistic shots, with some cool effects I added on some.  Paul even spent some time photoshopping me into cool backgrounds.
Who would have thought this simple housewife could look so lovely.  I seriously think Paul should do more photography, he certainly has a knack for it!  As for me, well, all those Sundays of watching America's Next Top Model clearly were worth it.

Out of Town: Columbus Ohio

You may have noticed that I did not post this past weekend.  That is because Hubby, Dexter, and I took a trip to Columbus, Ohio, to visit my brother Dennis, and his partner Paul.  They live in a cute little townhouse with their two whippets, Seamus and Una.  I had not gotten to see their new place, so we decided it was high time we took a visit.

We struck out early Saturday morning, and got in to Columbus just a little after 10:30 am.  We spent some time visiting and catching up, than headed to a part of town called German Village.  We at lunch at the cutest little deli called Katzingers.  So many interesting things to see in there, and the food was so yummy!  Then, we went to a little piece of heaven on earth for book nerds like me, The Book Loft, a book store with 32 rooms.  I showed great restrain, getting just 5 books and 3 book marks.  On the way back to the townhouse, I got to introduce Denny and Paul to the wonder of Rita's Ice.  There was one right by their place, but they had not tried it.  Needless to day, they are hooked!

We relaxed for a bit, and let the doggies play.  We discussed plans for dinner, and finally settled on a place that they referred to as "Old People and Fish".  They could not remember the actual name, just that it was a good seafood place, and the old people loved it.  Each time we mentioned the place, the name got changed a little, until finally I just started calling it Old Man and the Sea.  When we went to dinner, I saw what they meant, it was a cute little nautical themed place, but we were the youngest there by a good 30 years.  We all had some yum yum yummy seafood, then went home to relax.

Paul and I had big plans for glamour shots (that will be a whole separate entry) but we wanted some time to think of our creative direction, so we all watched Grey Gardens, the movie based on the documentary of the same name.  It was awesome.  Then Paul and I got to work, while Hubby and Denny watched another movie.  After picture time, we went to bed.

Sunday, we ate some breakfast and then made plans to go to a local market, called The Fresh Market, and there were so many yummy things there, lots of unusual candy, and I was quite taken with the spices.  I finally settled on some sushi for lunch, Hubby got a turkey panini. We ate lunch, visited a bit more, then started out for home.

Before we came home, though, we stopped at my Mom and Dad's house for dinner with them, and my sister's family.  My parents are both excellent cooks, it was where I got my skills from, and dinner was delicious chipotle chicken kabobs, a yummy black bean salsa, celery salad, and rice.  And my mom made the BEST cake for dessert, I do not want to give away the secret because I will probably make one soon.  So, we got back on the road a few hours later, full and happy.

All in all it was a wonderful weekend of visiting with my family.  What a lucky girl I am.

The soothing sounds of my car?

This is what my car looks like.  For 3 years, I leased her, and in April, Hubby and I decided to go ahead and buy her, so we went to a local dealer and got the financing all set up.  I love my little car, she has never failed me.  Once we decided to buy her, I decided to name her, since both of Hubby's cars have names.  I settled on Hyacinth.  Seriously, I really love my little car.

Which is exactly why, last week, I was extremely concerned when it sounded like I had a waterfall behind by dashboard.  It sloshed and sloshed all around.  Still, everything seemed to be ok, so when E, J, and I made plans to go to lunch, I offered E a ride.  Immediately we heard the sloshing, only now, it seemed worse.  We went to lunch, and I tried to look up possible problems on my phone's web browser.  I must have been doing something wrong, because, although I live in Western Pennsylvania, I kept getting search results for San Diego auto repair.  Finally, I texted Hubby to explain what was going on, and he reassured me it was probably nothing. 

When lunch ended E and I got back in the car, and I started her up.  I turned on the air conditioning, because it was really humid, and E shrieked that water was flowing onto her foot.  I quickly turned off the AC, which seemed to help, but there was no denying something was not right at this point.  I was worried about Hyacinth, I mean, she is no Ford F-150, but she is typically a tough gal.  Water also poured onto my feet as well, so as soon as I got home, I called the dealer's service center.  I explained to the man in the service center what was going on.  Other than the watery sounds, the car seemed fine, I mean, the AC was still working, the check engine light was not on, the temperature gauge was normal.  He set an appointment for me to drop off Hyacinth today.

E kindly offered to give me a ride home after dropping the car off, so I went to buy her breakfast, and then we did a little shopping.  Less than two hours after dropping the car off, the auto shop called me to say she was all better!  Apparently, the AC drain tubes were clogged with dirt, and that was causing the condensation and water to build up behind the dash and leak onto the floor.  So, E drove me over to pick up the car, and I happily drove her home.

I am so glad Hyacinth is better, and I no longer hear waterfalls inside my car!

Of Substance

Sorry I was so quiet this weekend, I was out of town (look for posts about this soon!) but I am back now, and am going to blog your socks off this week I hope!

I am starting this week in the nicest of ways, with a new award.  And this award makes me really happy because of it's very nature.  Stephani over at Home Sweet Farm has given me the Blog With Substance Award!
This particular award means a whole lot to me, because the whole reason I started blogging was to improve my writing skills, and perhaps work up the courage to write a book.  I sometimes worry that my entries veer to far into vapidity, reviewing donuts and all.  But I guess I must be on the right track.  Thank you so much Stephani, I really needed this extra bit of validation to know I am writing things that people actually want to read :)

So, I need to sum up my blogging philosophy in 5 words as part of the award.  So I guess it would be: telling the story of living.

I also need to pass along to 10 bloggers that I think have real substance, so here goes:

Southern Reflections
The Girl Creative
The Everyday Life of a MilShelb Mom
Blackberry Cottage
Cranberry Morning
The Nerd's Wife
For the Love
JDaniel4's Mom
Newlywed Adventures
Hearts Make Families

Enjoy the award!

The Rules:

•Thank the blogger who awarded it to you.

•Sum up your blogging philosophy, motivation, and experience using five (5) words.

•Pass it on to 10 other blogs which you feel have real substance.
You might also like:

Friday, June 25, 2010

Do you Remember....carnivals?

When I was a kid, I loved going to carnivals, festivals, and fairs.  And back in the Ohio Valley, there was no shortage of any of the three.  Each county had a fair, most small towns had some kind of carnival, and then there was the festival circuit.  Apple Festival, Pumpkin Festival, Italian Festival, sigh, I am making myself homesick just thinking about it.

When I moved to Kittanning, I was sad to learn that there is no official Armstrong County Fair, although the Dayton Fair probably comes close.  I will be attending that, and hopefully the Big Butler Fair, this summer.  But in the mean time, I did get my carnival fix last night, but attending the Worthington Carnival.

We arrived in Worthington, or Wotown as E calls it, shortly after the start of the parade, which was an unexpected surprise.  It was your pretty typical small town parade, with politicians, drill teams, bands, lots of fire trucks, beauty and rodeo queens.  I loved every minute of it.  Watching the kids scramble for tootsie rolls and butterscotch disks as if they were the BEST candies ever, even though most people would never buy them other than to throw at parades.  Watching the little vignette by the Lions Club, where club members were in a cage being pulled by a lion riding a 4 wheeler.  The performances by the different drill teams.  The library staff and friends dressed up like storybook characters.  It was awesome!

Finally, the grumblings of my stomach were louder than the firetruck sirens, so we went into the carnival proper.  Oh the smells of carny food!  There was your standard vendor set.  Lemonade.  Hot sausage sandwiches.  Fried twinkies/oreos/candybars.  We opted to buy from the Worthington Fireman's booths, with Hubby getting a jalapeno burger, me getting pulled pork, as we split some fries.  It was really tasty, and less expensive than fast food.  Plus we were supporting the fireman.  We sat on some benches and watched the Firemen Band perform.  They were pretty awesome!

Then we walked around to check out the games because, well, it just is not the fully experience without playing at least one game.  I settled on a dart game, because you were guaranteed to win.  You throw darts at posters and win a copy of the poster you hit.  I am happy to report that I won all three posters that I aimed for; Twilight, for my mother in law, Lady Gaga, and an I love you poster. 

What is a carnival without sideshows right?  Carnivals have a long history of have shocking side shows.  Back in the day, many of the side shows included people with some type of birth defect or abnormality.  While often criticized as being exploitative, this was often the only jobs some of these individuals could get.  Nowadays, most side shows are ridiculous hoaxes.  So, when I saw the trailed for the 'headless woman" I knew this was so going to be worth my $2!  I walked up the steps and peered in the window, to see a woman (with an really nice pedicure) sitting in a wheelchair, hooked up to medical machinery, with basically a black curtain covering her head to make her appear headless.  It was pure awesomeness!

We then craved some sweets, but we heard they were out of funnel cake, and the line for the fried monstrosities was way too long, so we settled on a frozen chocolate covered banana for Hubby and Hawaiian Ice for me.  At this point, we had covered all the main parts of the carnival, since there was no way Hubby was going to get on a ride and I was not about to ride alone, so we walked to a friend's house to visit for a bit, before taking off.  As we left, I saw the moon rising over one of the carny rides, and let out a big sigh.  I love life in a small town.

And the winner is...

Happy Friday everyone!

I am very excited to announce the winner of the I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for ICE CREAM Giveaway!

And the winner is.....


Torri is a reader who was originally lived in the area I live in, but has since moved away.  However, she will be back for the July 4th weekend, so I get to deliver her prize in person, how cool is that!

And, because it is Friday, it is now time to hop!



Friendly Friday Button

The Girl Creative


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Word Filled Wednesdays: Slow to anger

James 1:19 My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry.

It has been made clear to me that I am a little too quick to anger these daysI spoke a little bit about it a few days ago, and then last night, I noticed it again when I was unable to get ahold of Hubby via cell.  I tried multiple times to call and text him, and it is really unlike him to not respond, so I was really worried.  When he finally called me back, I responded with immediate anger.  Then I realized that a combination of a bad storm and poor cell signal where he was at had knocked out his service.  I was then too relieved to be angry, and told him I would see him later.

When I got home, and saw him, I felt terrible for getting so angry about not being able to reach him.  Why was my initial reaction anger?  I should have let him explain first, without expressing such anger at him, and then explained why I was so concerned.  I ended up making him feel really bad about something over which he had no control, and I made myself feel angry for no reason.  

It used to be when I was angry I would hold it in, which is not healthy.  Sometimes, I would cry, which would only make me angrier.  I need to find a better way to voice my anger and frustration, or better yet, I need to find a way to be a better listener, with more patience, to prevent myself from getting so angry.

What do you do to maintain your composure, and prevent yourself from becoming angry? 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A book blog crossover post

Hello again friends!

I wanted to do a quick crossover post to let you know about a giveaway I am having on Tiffany's Bookshelf that may interest quite a few of my readers.

I recently reviewed three wonderful devotional books, and am giving them away to one lucky reader.  You do not have to follow Tiffany's Bookshelf to enter (though I welcome all new followers!) so this is a great chance to enter to win some wonderful Christian devotionals.

You can check out my review and enter the giveaway here.

It pays to save change

My mom is the queen of saving money for a special occasions.  Many times I can remember her tucking away money into an envelope for family trips, or for large items we wanted to get.  A few times she got me to set up Christmas club savings accounts.  In fact, it is thanks to my mom I ever got ANY kind of savings account.  For the most part, in my younger years, I lacked my mom's discipline to save money for special items or occasions (I have since gotten better), but the one thing that easily rubbed off on me was my mom's ability to and love of saving change.  I remember there was this huge glass bottle that sat next to my parents' bed, and it was where my mom saved pennies.  I LOVED that bottle, and I loved to dump out the pennies and count them.  I never even minded that my hands smelled all coppery afterwards.

When I moved out on my own, my opportunities to save change became fewer, as I needed it to pay to do my laundry at the laundromat.  But now that I have my own house, with a washer and drier, my change once again gets saved.  And lucky for me, Hubby loves to save change too.  We throw the change in a cup in our bedroom, which, when full, gets dumped into a bucket.  After the bucket has a good amount in it, we take it to a local Coin Star machine.  If you cash it in for cold hard cash, they of course take a cut, but if you get a gift card, you get the full amount, so, being the book nerds we both are, we usually take our reward in the form of an Amazon gift card.

Hubby recently did this, was was discouraged to find out the amount he got was less than he hoped for.  He was hoping for about $250, and got a little less than $200, which still made me happy.  He decided to order us some books, but we still had a large portion of the balance left.

Last night, we decided that I probably should replace my power cord to the laptop, since the electrical tape is not doing much to repair the damage Dexter inflicted upon it.  We log into Amazon, and see that the Kindle is on sale for $189.  Hubby immediately says, order it.  I was flabbergasted.  Are you SURE?  I asked.  His response was a resounding YES.  Turns out the reason he was so disappointed in the lower than expected amount of change cashed in was because he wanted to use it to buy me a Kindle, which at that time was over $200 dollars.  So, now, he was happy that the amount the Kindle cost was almost exactly what we had gotten in the first place.  And the books we already ordered, well, we still got good deals on them, and we would have gotten them eventually anyway.

So, the moral of the story is, save up your change, it really does pay off.  Thanks mom, for teaching me this lesson so many years ago!

Monday, June 21, 2010


This past weekend, I got to take part in a small town fund raiser.  I participated in the Armstrong County Trail Bicycle Poker Run.  Participants got the choice of biking 6 miles or walking/running 3.  I walked the 3.

For those of you not familiar, a poker run works like this.  There are stops along the course, and at these stops you draw random cards.  At the end of the course, these cards make up your poker hand.  The person with the best hand wins the event.  So, it is not a race, which was good for me!

Registration started at 8 am, and my friend J met me there.  There ended up being a lot of people participating, which meant lots of money raised for the Kittanning Library!

As we got closer to 9 am, we all got ready to get started.  At 9 am, the bikers took off first, with the walkers behind them.

We made our way up to the bike trail, and off we went!  We had perfect weather, and it was really fun.  I, sadly, did not draw very good cards, but J and I had a great time, and I am proud to say that even as out of shape as I am, and as hot as it was, we walked the 3 miles in about 1 hour and 7 minutes.  The only real problem I encountered was that my fingers and toes started to swell, most likely from the heat.  As soon as we check back in to indicate we finished the race, I drank a bottle of water and ate a banana, and the swelling started to go down. 

It felt wonderful, walking in the sunshine with a good friend, helping to raise money for a worthy cause.  Congrats to those who won the prizes, and I hope we get to do it again next year!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Daddy

I am proud to admit that I always have been, and always will be, a Daddy's girl.  From some of I earliest memories, I remember sitting on Dad's lap as he would read me the Sunday funnies.  We would do so much fun stuff together, like make woodworking projects, go fishing, go berry picking, collect recyclables, make trips to the library.  Life was never dull with my Dad.  I loved when he would play his guitar, his song for me was Puff the Magic dragon.  And one of my favorite treats was when Dad would get out his slides from his time in the Navy.  I loved setting up that screen in our living room, and looking at the pictures from Spain and Greece.  I thought my Dad was the most interesting man in the world.

I learned so much from Dad, and I still am learning.  As a little girl, I learned to swim thanks to Dad, I learned to love to read, I learned how to bait a hook, I learned that hard, honest work is never something to be ashamed of, I learned that boys better treat me right or else.  The lessons and skills that Dad taught me are limitless.

My whole childhood, my Dad worked 2, sometimes 3 jobs to make sure we were provided for.  That meant I did not always see him much, but when I did, that time was precious.  My dad is now retired, something he definitely earned, and it makes me happy to see him getting to relax and enjoy life.  Dad is still always willing to help us and teach us. 

I never, ever, thought I would find a man as good as my Daddy.  There are no words to describe how loving, and giving, and good my dad is; those are some big shoes to fill.  Dad has watched me go through some pretty awful relationships, and always tried to stress to me that I deserved better.
How blessed was I to find someone like my Daddy, after 30 years of waiting.  When I met Hubby, he started out by being my best friend for a couple of years.  I was always struck by how much he cared about me as a person, and how unconditional that caring was.  He was such a good man, even then I saw it.

As time went on, and we finally got together, I knew this was the man my Daddy had wanted me to wait for.  And when we told them we were getting married, Daddy was happy and proud of the man he was giving me to.

The more Hubby and Dad get to know each other, and the more I see them together, the more I realize how similar they are.  When Dad recently came to spend a few days here to help Hubby with our new floor and fence, I got to learn more lessons from him, as well as show him how well I put some of those lessons to use.  And all the while, Hubby and Dad were like two peas in a pod.

It is because I have such a wonderful Daddy that I ended up with such a wonderful Hubby.
Thank you Daddy, for all you have done for me over the years, but especially for being the role model for what a good, godly man should be.  Whether you realized or not, I really was paying attention.

Happy Father's Day to my Daddy, and to all the other daddies out there.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

What a week it has been!

What a week it has been.  I am not sure if it is the hot weather or what, but I have had very little patience this week.

It started on Monday, when I went to the dentist.  There was a temp hygienist working, some older woman, who decided to use some electronic cleaning tool in my mouth.  This tool was evil, it looked and felt like a tattoo gun in my mouth, as if she were not cleaning my teeth but instead tattooing me new ones.  She kept gouging my gums, lips, and tongue, and within 5 minutes of the cleaning starting, I had a mouth full of blood, and tears in my eyes.  It hurt so bad, I walked out and rescheduled with a new hygienist.  Worst part was, instead of apologizing, the woman just got defensive.

The Tuesday night we had this little episode, where I walked out of a meeting because someone was being disrespectful, and would not allow me to finish a sentence.

And then, we top it off yesterday by some woman picking a fight with my friend and I in the parking lot of Red Lobster.  Let me explain.  I met L and her boys for lunch at Red Lobster.  We had a great time, it was so good to see them, since the last time I saw them was in the winter.  So, with two boys under 5, things can sometimes take a little longer.  When we walked out to leave, I told L I would walk over to her car to say goodbye.  We were getting the boys into the car and strapped into car seats when a car pulls up, as if to pull into the empty spot right next to ours.  Now mind you, there was another spot one car over, why she could not choose that one, who knows.  She instead sat there, rudely complaining that we were taking to long.  I closed the car door on the passenger side, and pressed my body against the car, so that she could go ahead and pull in.  Instead, she continues to sit there and complain, through her open windows.  So I jokingly say to L, I know my butt is big, but I am pretty sure she could pull in past me.  Well, the woman then whips her car into the spot, and her daughter, who looks to be all of 15, jumps out and says, "next time, try not disrespecting yourself that way, it is degrading in a woman of your age".  I was like, oh no she didn't.  My response was, "you have no idea what my age is, and do NOT tell me how to talk in reference to myself.  Please, mind your own business".  The woman then gets out of the car, and they go over to A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT RESTAURANT WHICH HAS ITS OWN PARKING LOT.  But then the woman comes back, and starts running her mouth to L and says she is writing down her license plate number, in case anything happens to her car.  With out batting an eye, I pull out my snarky side and say, well you may want to get mine too, I am on the opposite side of the lot. 

The woman just keeps at it, and L finally asked why she didn't park in the correct lot, and the woman says "I am handicapped, I wanted to park closer".  Um, no handicapped placard, sticker, or license plate was in or on her car.  And furthermore, the other restaurant had 5 handicapped spots right up front.  She keeps it up, and I finally threaten to call the cops because she is harassing us.  THEN the woman tells me that she is trying to defend me from myself, since she is "also a big woman" and does not want me to speak about myself that way.  Um, what?  She then tells me to take it as a compliment.  Ok whackadoo, what ever you say, just get out of my face and stop wasting my time.  Finally, L shares some choice words with her, the woman throws a little more of a tantrum, and walks away.

I was speechless.  What in the world is WRONG with people?  All this over a parking space, when she could clearly see we were trying to get two little ones into the car.  And who asked their opinion on my self deprecating humor?  Look, I know I am not a thin woman, but this woman was CRAZY, and I can always lose weight. 

OK, that is it, enough ranting and negativity.  This is not who I am and not who I want to be, but I had to just share these ridiculous experiences.

All is not lost however, I won 4 books this week, had 4 authors approach me for reviews, was appointed secretary at the committee meeting last night, and today I get to walk to raise money for the Kittanning Library.  So, this week, the good far outweighed.  And even the negative experiences served as a blessing.  And I hope, for you, they served as entertainment!

Friday, June 18, 2010

A good day

Have you ever had one of those moments of perfection?  One of those moments when you just know it is going to be a good day?

This morning, for the first time in a while, I was up in time to see the dawn.  Normally, I get up at 7, when Hubby leaves for work.  By then, the sun has completely risen, and though it is beautiful, it means I have missed watching the sun rise from its own slumber.  But today, I woke up in time.  Time to see the blue sky tinted with the faintest hints of pink, slowly waking like a child from his slumber.  It was breath taking.

Photo Courtesy of Bird Watchers Digest

It is going to be a good day.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bitten by the home improvement bug

Hubby and I are coming up on the one year anniversary of closing on our house and moving in.  I have told you about a couple home improvements we have made already this summer, and I am itching to do more.

I would like to get our bathroom redone, I have all the paint and stuff already.

We also need to do something with the spare bedroom.  Because it was the children's bedroom for the previous owners, the walls are painted bright blue and yellow, as in the primary shades.  Ick.  I keep thinking about all the colors it should or could be instead.

I think I will first start with new bedding, and go from there, though this is not going to happen anytime soon.  Still a girl can dream.  I decided to do some Windows shopping (my term for online browsing, you like it?) and found some amazing stuff.  I hopped on over to look for a chenille bedspread over at

I was immediately in heaven!  There are so many gorgeous products on their website, and I love the way it is organized.  You can browse by color, bed size, material (such as the chenille bedspread I was searching for), brand, and/or price. is great because it allows one shop price comparison shopping, sort of like a meta search engine for products.  One of the bedspreads I loved was by L.L. Bean, so when I clicked on it, I was take to their website

This is a great way to find new products, or new stores, without having to scour the internet.  I also love the fact that shows you fantastic bargains!  I found a lovely Wedding Ring  pattern Chenille Bedspread on there, and when I went to the direct merchant's website, it was even lower than I expected, because the website was having a big sale!

You can bet that I added to my bookmarks, and will probably use it to do a lot of my holiday shopping.  For anyone who does a lot of online shopping, I highly recommend because it is easy to use, convenient one stop comparison shopping, and shows you lots of great deals.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to bet back to browsing!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What better way to celebrate?

Holy cats folks, this is my 100th post!  That is a pretty big milestone, considering I just started this blog in late February!  Thank you to all my readers and friends, you have no idea how much you all mean to me.  I have a real connection with many many bloggers, and you help me have a new purpose in life.  Writing has been so healing for me, and who knows, perhaps it will lead to a new career.

So, since it is my 100th post, I think a small celebration is in order.  What better way to celebrate than with an award?

I was given this lovely Outstanding Blogger Award by The Mommy over at Twenty Little Toes.  Her blog is so beautiful, and she really inspires me to improve my photography skills.  Please take a moment to pop over there and say hello to her!

The *Best* part about awards is getting to pass them along to some other really fantastic bloggers.  So, without further ado, here are some great blogs you should take a peek at. 

In Lovely Heels
Love, Actually
Mining with Rarejule
Crank Crank Revolution
Punk Rock Mama
Wonderfully Disfunctional
Live Laugh Love

Many of these bloggers help me when I am stuck (like with my button code) and one in particular listens to my ridiculous ramblings day in and out (Crank Crank Revolution is my Hubby!).

Thank you to all the bloggers I follow and those who follow me.  You keep me sane!  I am a very blessed girl indeed!


Word Filled Wednesdays: Stirring up dissention

Proverbs 6:12-15
A scoundrel and villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth,who winks with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers,who plots evil with deceit in his heart— he always stirs up dissension. Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.

It is rare that I get angry.  I might get annoyed, or peeved even, but really truly, blood boiling anger rarely comes to me.  So last night, when something made me angry, and people who knew me saw me so angry, it was a bit of a surprise.

Last night I was at a meeting related to a political committee I am on, and the purpose of the meeting was to meet this man who is trying to come in, not even a part of the committee, and cause dissent.  I went with an open mind, and an open heart, wanting to learn about this man.  He did not make it easy.

One of the first things he said was "I am a Christian, and everything I do, I do out of love".  His behavior after that statement was some of the most unloving, unChristian behavior I have ever seen.  He spread falsehoods about the current leadership, gave people misinformation, twisted facts, cut people off when they were talking, brushed people off, and solely focused on creating dissent.  I sat there, with a heavy heart.  Is this really what I wanted to get involved in?

And as I listed to him malign people, and create controversy, I felt a burning desire for justice.  So, I raised my hand to speak.  He acknowledged me, and then basically said, I am not going to let you talk right now.  Well, I was not standing for this.  I tried to tell him how disheartening this meeting was for people trying to get involved, with the extreme lack of respect, not only for current leadership (and for fact) but for each other, as exhibited by not letting people speak and cutting people off.  As I tried to speak, he attempted to cut me off many times, to get back to his own agenda, and I would point out his behavior and explain that it was a perfect example of what I was describing.  He still would not let me talk, and got angry at my confrontation, so finally he told me to make my point so we could move on.

My response was to gather my things, stand up, look him in the eye, and state "My point is exactly this.  You make me feel unwelcome".  And I left.

Trust me, there were a LOT of things my anger was telling me to say, but I felt that by doing this, I was handling things appropriately, not name calling, not yelling, but showing the situation for what it was. 

I try my hardest to not be judgmental, and I know for sure I failed miserably at that last night.  However, it always strikes me as odd when someone has to tell me how good they are, at anything, at their job, at their hobby, and especially at being a Christian.  If you have to tell me how good you are, chances are you aren't, because if you were, I could see it for myself.

As the week rolls on, we will learn if this man is to be involved with our committee, and based on that, I will have to prayerfully determine what my role will be.  I ask all of you to pray for me as well.

I am sure I could have handled this situation better, so, what would you have done if this had happened to you?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I was framed!

Today, I spent a large portion of the day working on picture frames.

I found these frames at a discount store:

Using the frame as a template, I traced the pattern of the frame front onto scrapbook paper, and used an exacto blade to remove the holes where the pictures will show through.
I painted the frame a coordinating color, in this instance black.  While it was drying, I used stickers to decorate the paper that will be the front of the frame.
Once the frame dried, I used Mod Podge to glue the paper to the front of the frame.  Then I gave the whole frame a coat of Mod Podge in order to give it a finished, glossy look.

The final product:

I then used the same process to make 2 more frames:

These were really fun, and easy to make.  I think I might go buy some more frames, to make more!