Sunday, November 03, 2013

Happy Sunday!


I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend.  The leaves are turning colors quickly now, and the backyard is really nice and colorful.  Not too much going on here.  I'm still working on my new blog but also will check in here periodically.

I wanted to share something that Andy is doing this weekend.  It is the Extra Life gaming challenge for children's hospitals.  I had never heard of it before but it's really nice.  This is Andy's first year participating.  You play games (video, board, phone, whatever) for 25 hours straight, or broken up into 2 segments, starting 11/02/2013.  Andy is playing in two segments.  He played 13 hours yesterday and has started today's 12 hours.

Here is a link to his profile page

If anyone is interested, you can still donate through this page.  He has chosen Johns Hopkins Children's Center as his children's hospital where the donations for him will go.  There is also live streaming where you can watch players from around the world play games during this challenge.  I may just do this myself next year!  Who wouldn't like to play games for 25 hours and for a good cause, too?!

Happy Sunday to everyone.  I hope the Lord blesses you this day and that you are a blessing to someone today. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

I'm still here!

Just wanted to let you all know that I'm still around.  I haven't written much here because - SURPRISE!  I have started a new blog which will be available for you on January first.  I've been busy creating good stuff for you there.  I hope everyone is having a good autumn and enjoying the crisp fall air.  I will check in with you here periodically, but most of my writing energy is going into my new site.  I just didn't want you to give up on me!  Happy Saturday, and Happy Fall!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I have a new blog home!

I am pleased to announce that I now have a new home on the web.  I have changed from Karen's Ramblings on Blogger to - my own little corner of the internet!  I'll still be posting here occasionally, though.  Please come visit me at my new place!

Friday, September 13, 2013

For the Unfootballers Among Us

Football season is gearing up again.  I am an admitted unfootballer.  I do not watch it, much less understand it.  There.  I admitted it.  If you watch The IT Crowd, Moss and I share our understanding of football. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

So, About That Cantaloupe.......

Have you ever heard the saying, do as I say and not as I do?  Well, please apply that to my past cantaloupe post.  And what I'm saying is, DO NOT process cantaloupe in a water bath canner.  You need a pressure canner for that.  Trust me on this.  I ruined several jars of cantaloupe discovering this.  Turns out, the amount of lemon juice that goes into the jars is not enough to acidify it to safe levels.  Also?  Don't use a canning book from the 1960s that might not have the best, up to date information!  Lesson learned.

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, August 09, 2013

Canning Days

We were blessed with an abundance of produce given to us.  My own garden has not been very prolific this year, unfortunately.

From the tomatoes I made pizza sauce and tomato soup.  Once again, Tammy's Recipes came to the rescue.  All of her recipes are so good.  I used this recipe for the tomato soup.  Then she has another recipe for spaghetti sauce which combines the tomato soup with the pizza sauce.  We'll be having spaghetti on Sunday.  Yum!  Of course last night for dinner I had tomato soup with grilled cheese.  It was really, really good tomato soup.

Then I canned cantaloupe.  I have never canned it before, but I followed a recipe in one of my canning books.  In previous years I have frozen it and it's been okay, but a bit mushy and grainy afterwards.  It is canned in a small amount of lemon juice and very light syrup.  I'm hoping it will be better than the frozen.

Today I am blanching and freezing corn.  I would can that too, except that my pressure canner needs a new gasket which I haven't gotten around to ordering yet, so the corn will have to be frozen.  The cantaloupe and tomato soup were processed in a water bath canner.  It sometimes seems like a lot of work, but only for a while, and totally worth it to have good eats in the middle of winter!

Happy Friday, y'all, and I hope everyone has a lovely weekend. 

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Family Gatherings

As there is another family gathering looming on the horizon, I figured it was time I post pictures from the last one.  This sequence of pictures pretty much sums up how our family gatherings go...

Things start out well enough...

Then things start to deteriorate slightly...

Clearly, all control is now lost.

Yup.  That pretty much sums up this family.  What makes me laugh is how Jerry is the same in all the pictures!  I guess he's used to living with me after 31 years of marriage and nothing about me or my nutty family fazes him anymore. 

Hope y'all have a happy Tuesday!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Goodbye, Old Friend

This past Monday, 06/24, Peaches, our beloved, crazy, funny, 2.5-legged cat passed away.  For 14 years he was a member of our family and we miss him so much.  We noticed him slowing down considerably over the last month, and then his back leg amputation stump became infected and he had gotten too old for his body to fight it.  This is a cat who definitely used every single one of his nine lives.  

We used Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice service, and I can't recommend Dr. Melanie Cohen highly enough.  She came here to our house and put Peaches to sleep while I petted him.  That was such a hard decision to make, but poor Peaches just wasn't up for the fight anymore, and he was hurting.  We wanted him to pass away in his favorite place which was out on the porch, and with us all around him.

Dr. Cohen was so wonderful.  She got right down on the floor with him and spent quite a bit of time with him as she explained to us exactly what she would do.  I loved that she didn't just put him to sleep right away.  Knowing that he was hurting, she first gave him pain medicine that lifted his pain.  He relaxed and started purring again while he was being petted.  We had our old Peaches back for a few minutes, and we were glad he wasn't hurting anymore.  He fell asleep purring because he could finally relax, and then she put him to sleep.

The whole process was so incredibly difficult for all of us, but Dr. Cohen was so wonderful throughout it all.  She gave us a few minutes with him afterwards and then helped us wrap him up, in his favorite sleeping position, in his favorite blanket for burial.  She even took a paw print impression in clay and gave it to us!   

Peaches definitely made our lives interesting.  He was no ordinary cat.  He never seemed to realize, or care, that he only had 2.5 legs and lived pretty much like any other 4-legged cat.  He loved strange sleeping places, like inside Andy's bass drum.

He loved the snow.  He would roll around in it in the yard.  He would lay on the porch and snow would drift in on him through the screens and he could keep sleeping through it, snow-covered.  He is the only cat that I know who actually enjoyed being pushed in a toboggan down the driveway!

He loved bags and had a particular favorite which was a Christmas gift bag.  He loved to lay on paper or anything crinkly.  One day I was reading a gardening catalog on the living room floor and he came over and plopped himself right on top of it, and then that catalog and the gift bag became his favorite place.  He would spend some time sleeping in the bag, then come out and spend some time sleeping on the gardening catalog, or some days just decide to do both at the same time!

He was definitely a unique cat, and we will miss him so much.  We believe that he's now running around harassing our first cat, Busa, like he used to, and chasing squirrels.

Go get 'em, Peaches.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

When Treadmills Get Boring

Oh yes I did.

Excuse the reflection while taking the picture!

Friday, April 19, 2013

I'm Still Here!

I'm still around!  Now to catch y'all up...

This has been a busy time with dentist and doctor appointments.  Jerry, Andy and I had our annual physicals.  Andy had been complaining intermittently of his heart racing before our appointments, so we cut out any caffeine and sugar but that didn't help, so he mentioned it to the doc when he had his physical.  His EKG was fine, but just to be sure he sent Andy to a cardiologist.  There was nothing wrong and he was given a clean bill of health.  He has to go back in a month for a followup, but just between you, me, and this blog page, I think the follow up is more to help finance the doc's yacht rather than because Andy actually needs to be seen.

I held onto winter as long as I could, but Spring sprung anyway!  I finally changed my snowman flag out front.  Now I need to remove the snowmen from the living room where they've resided all winter.  Yes, I know it's April.

My slogging is progressing slowly but surely.  I completed the first 9 weeks of C25K and have started a second cycle of it, this time increasing my speed on the running intervals.  I am on my third pair of running shoes, and at $100.00 a pair, that's not a purchase I take lightly, and I have gotten professionally fitted each time.  The first two pairs were to correct overpronation and plantar fasciitis.  Then when that got better and healed, those shoes became too heavy and were bruising my toes and nails because I didn't need the structure anymore.  The next pair were lighter with less structure but around Christmas time my knee started hurting.  I have been just been purchasing inserts to put in the shoes which for a while were helping the knee pain, but now they don't seem to help much, and I made a discovery.  I noticed that my knee hurt the most when I was wearing shoes; any shoes, but when going barefoot the pain was much improved.  So I experimented on the treadmill and discovered that I don't have any pain at all when I run barefoot!  Somehow it does use a different muscle set, though, because I'm sore in different places than when I run in shoes, so I'm taking it easy and only running barefoot (well, in socks) the first 1.5 to 2 miles and then finishing the rest in shoes.  After doing much research on barefoot or minimalist shoe running, I am saving for these shoes.  I LOVE that color!  I have also somehow managed to make it to level 3 on Jillian Michael's 30-day Shred DVD.  I am actually starting to see muscle underneath my marshmallow layer!  Now to burn off that marshmallow layer...

The garden is doing well.  About three weeks ago I planted Romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.  I think frost might have gotten them once because there are some white spots on a couple of leaves, but they recovered nicely.  I watched Julia Child on DVD make a braised lettuce dish and now am anxious to try it.

I have The French Chef DVDs in my queue for Netflix so in between movies that's what they send us.  Right now we are waiting for "Lincoln" but there is apparently a long wait, so Julia Child it is! As you know, we don't have TV so we just watch Netflix on instant queue.  Currently we are watching Psych and White Collar, which we really like.  We have to pace ourselves, though - we tend to want to watch "just one more...", and next thing you know it's past midnight and we have trouble getting up the next morning!

I haven't made cookies in a while but sure want to.  I miss decorating cookies.  My dogwood tree is blooming beautifully this year and I'm thinking of ways to paint dogwood blooms on cookies.  Strange, I know, but I'm okay with that.

Well, that's about it for now.  I'll try to keep y'all updated as best I can, since evidently my brother has fallen off the face of the earth and hasn't updated his blog in, well, FOREVER.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Catching Up

It's been a while.  What's been happening around here?  Not much, but I'll fill you in anyway. 

I never saw another mouse, and we never caught the second one.  I did some reading and discovered that mice really don't live that long and can't survive too long without food or water.  So, either it escaped somehow, or I will find a dead mouse somewhere in the near future.  Or it (or they) have managed to keep quiet and out of sight. 

I miss cookie-ing.  I haven't made cookies in a while but I've thought of lots of cute ones that I want to make.  I may have to make cookies this afternoon...

Work is picking up somewhat, but still not back to normal.  Or maybe this is the new normal for this field. 

I started the Couch to 5K program several weeks ago as I had a knee injury and had to take a couple weeks off from the treadmill and then start back slowly.  I really like the program as it builds up your speed and stamina gradually and was recommended for beginners or those coming from an injury, like myself.  I just finished week 7 yesterday in which I ran (slogged) 25 minutes straight at 4 miles per hour.  That's not fast, but by the end of 25 minutes I was feeling it!  There are three workouts in each "week" of the program and I do it every other day.  I'm scared to start week 8 on Friday.  My plan is to do this with the running (slogging) speed at 4, then when its finished, go back and do it again increasing my speed.  My goal is to run a 5K the weekend of my 50th birthday in October at my best time yet. 

I also started Jillian Michael's 30-day shred.  I am on day 8 of that.  And I hurt in places I didn't even know I had.

Jerry did tree work a couple of days ago.  He brought home a check from the man and I Googled his name.  Now, before you think that's all stalkerish (okay, I guess it kind of is...), the man's lifestyle made Jerry curious; mansion, expensive cars, etc.  Although Jerry and the man talked, the man never said what he did for a living.  Turns out he is a retired astronaut, and a pretty famous one, too.  I found pages of material on him including videos and interviews.  He flew three space shuttle missions and there is film footage of him in space doing tasks on the shuttles.  It was very cool.

The trees that Jerry worked on at said astronaut's house had poison ivy on them.  Jerry doesn't get poison ivy.  I do.  I now have four sizable patches on my person that are driving me crazy.  Usually Jerry tells me when he does a job with poison ivy so I can wash anything and everything that he touched so that I don't get it, but he forgot to tell me this time until two days later.  I guess that's payback for being nosy about the man, huh?! 

Well, that's my update for now.  I hope you all have a lovely Thursday!

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Mouse Story

We have mice in the basement.  Is that like bats in the belfry?  Anyway, the other night Jerry went downstairs to start the woodstove.  We had let it go out because the weather had gotten warmer for a few days.  He called upstairs for me to bring the cat downstairs quickly.  When I got down there with the cat, he told me that he had seen a mouse running back and forth across the floor.  We put the cat down on the floor and waited.  Of course, the mouse never made another appearance, the cat got bored and just wanted to be taken back upstairs.  Jerry set a trap but we didn't catch it that night.

Yesterday morning I went downstairs to fix the fire for the morning and the mouse ran out and watched me.  He (she?) just stood there and watched while I stirred the fire and put logs in it.  I stood there a while and we just stared at each other.  He was awfully cute, I must admit.  Just a tiny little brown thing.  Then it ran off.  I didn't see it again yesterday afternoon.

Last night I was downstairs putting logs on the fire again when Jerry came down and asked if I had checked the mouse trap.  I told him I hadn't yet, so he went over to it and told me that I might want to go upstairs if I didn't want to hear the ominous snap.  The mouse was actually on the trap, eating the cheese we had put there and the trap hadn't gone off yet.  Jerry stood there and waited while I went upstairs, not wanting to hear what would happen next.

Shortly afterwards Jerry came upstairs in disbelief.  He said the mouse had eaten some of the cheese off the trap while he was watching, and then ran off again.  Andy said that there are probably mouse friends hanging out down there and the one that dared to eat the cheese off the trap said to another mouse, "Hey Steve, watch me mess with this guy watching me!"

This morning I was sitting at my desk working when I heard it.  The ominous snap.  After I finished working I went downstairs to get the trap but when I got down there, there was a little brown mouse sitting right in front of the woodstove hearth just staring at me.  I laughed and told him that he somehow managed to get out of the trap again (yes, I talked to the mouse, and yes, he stood there and watched me!)  When I walked closer, he ran away.  I put logs in the woodstove and then went to look at the trap.  The trap was upside down and there was a very dead mouse in it.  So that confirms that we have a situation, apparently.  As cute as they are, I really can't be sharing my food with them, nor do I want them nesting in my belongings.  So the stats right now are us 1, them 0.  I guess the battle is on!

That's my mouse story for today.  Hope y'all have a happy (mouse-free) Saturday! 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Randomness on a Sunday!

I saw this ad today for a perishable manager.  I'm guessing this is a temporary position?!

Job details
Perishable Manager - Assistant Store Manager
Store Management

P.S. - Is anyone else seeing white blocks in the text above or is it just me?  I copied the ad and they just appeared and I can't get rid of them.  And my font messed up and won't change.  Weird!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Well, that's depressing.....

I got off of the treadmill a little while ago and then signed onto iFit to check my stats.  Here's a screen shot of what came up.

Apparently, I have no goals.

They could make it a little friendlier by saying, "You have set no goals on iFit," but no.  Evidently you are supposed to sign on and immediately wonder at the futility of your life. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Good Morning, Mr. Seagull!

As I was walking to my truck after shopping at Giant this morning, this is what I saw -

Now, Mr. Seagull, if you'll kindly get off of the top of my truck, I can load these groceries!

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Well, there ya go.

Over to the right -----> is my Instagram feed.  So, it turns out that the pictures I took playing around with my phone and playing around with Instagram are all on there.  No matter how bad they are.  Well, except for the ones of my handsome hubby.  Don't he clean up nice?!  Spoken like a true redneck.  Actually, he was dressed for a somber occasion.  His uncle passed away last week and he was a pallbearer.  The service was very nice.  His uncle had fought in World War II and there were soldiers at the cemetery, and they folded the flag from his casket and gave it to Jerry's aunt.  It was a private cemetery, not a military one.  At the burial a soldier played Taps on a bugle.  As the last note of the bugle faded away in the thin, cold air at the cemetery, I don't think there was a dry eye anywhere.

As for the other pictures, it wasn't until AFTER I figured out Instagram that I discovered I couldn't turn the pictures around - so you see some sideways pictures of my garden before and after I cleaned it up a couple of weeks ago.  And a couple of snow pictures from when we had a meager snowfall. 

Then there are the rolls I made yesterday for our meatball subs which we had for dinner last night, and then the heart cookies that I made today.  The icing was a little funky but they turned out okay.

Now you're caught up with the explanations for my pictures.  You are welcome!

Friday, February 08, 2013

Three More Things

1.  I had to get a new phone.  My old one wouldn't stay charged for more than a few hours, and if I got a phone call, well, forget it.  It would just cut me off unceremoniously and not charge for hours.  I got an iPhone.  Oh my, how I love it.  How did I ever get along without all those games, and apps, and fun things?!

2.  Just as soon as I can get Instagram configured to work on my blog, you'll be seeing randomness at its best, compliments of me and my iPhone.

3.  I was wondering what Downton Abbey was about because I was seeing it everywhere.  Well.  Let's just say I'm hooked now.  Netflix has season 1 on instant view which I have now finished, and season 2 just arrived yesterday in disk form.  So, I'll see y'all later - got some Downton Abbey to watch!

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Five Things

1.  I am typing this on my new computer.  Andy built one for me and gave it to me for Christmas.  For two months before Christmas he was asking me questions about what programs I needed for work, what features did I like about my old computer, and what I thought were random, and sometimes strange, questions.  Now I know why - he was customizing my new one as he was building it so it would be just for me!  I love it.  So much better than my old dinosaur.

2.  IFit changed their web site.  I do not like it.  No, I do not like it AT ALL.  It's hard to navigate, and when they first changed it, it had some hiccups.  And that's putting it nicely.  After time on the treadmill one afternoon, the results according to the treadmill were that I had gone 4 miles and burned 500 calories.  When I signed onto iFit afterwards, iFit said that I had gone only 3 miles, and burned 6 calories.  A whole 6 calories.  In 3 miles.  Andy said the only way that could be possible is if I walked very, very slowly and ate the entire time I was on the treadmill.

3.  Where is the snow?  We had a little of it but not enough.  More snow, please.

4.  My work is beginning to bite.  I love what I do and I love this profession I chose 26 years ago, but so much has changed.  So much of the work is going overseas where it is being done more cheaply, leaving the work scarce here in this country.  My pay was cut yet again last week, and I have hardly  had any work since the holidays.  *Sigh*

5.  To go with #4, you'd think I would have posted more, what with all that time on my hands......!


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