Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Frosty Morn...and more book talk

Hoarfrost this morning.

My daughter took these photos on her way to work this morning.  I noticed last night it was very foggy and awoke this morning to a beautiful, sparkling and frosted world!  I went to Columbia this morning and I would have loved to have been able to snap some photos of the beautiful scenery but the traffic was too heavy for me to stop.  Winter seems determined to show it's best-dressed self this January in my area.

I just had to run by the Upscale Resale shop today and I made out like a bandit in the book department.  Heck, I was half afraid when I made my way to the checkout that they would tell me there was a limit on books!  I was pleased with my finds...from Truman to Reagan (you can't say that I'm not bi-partisan in my reading choices...ha!) and a little Erma Bombeck for some humor and I thought my golfing son might like the Jack Nicklaus book.  I also bought a few that I didn't get a photo of.   And, I purchased a little plaque with a rooster painted on it for the kitchen.  I love my roosters, too! 

Looks like I need to introduce my bookcase ideas to hubby because if I keep bringing home books, I will definitely need more shelf space.  It's hard to part with my old favorites because I'll reread them.  I heard someone once say that books were like old friends...I agree.   What are you reading this winter?  Do you have a favorite author or type of book?  I love everything from biographies to mysteries to home decorating to inspirational and everything in between.  In short, I just love books! 

I just realized that by the time most read this post that it will be Thursday morning, so keep in mind that I wrote this post just before midnight and the morning I speak of was Wednesday morning!  

Until next time...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Book Talk

It's been a few days since I've posted.  I think my muse has taken a long snooze!  Or gone into hibernation, more likely.   We still have lots of snow on the ground.  I think this has been the snowiest January for us in a very long time.  I've been reading and relaxing.  And coming up with more hubby will be thrilled to hear!  ha ha! I love books and I need a larger bookcase to keep them in.  I'd love to have a built-in bookcase of some kind, so I got out one of my decorating books and started looking.  Here are a few I found.

The one above is awesome, except I wouldn't have
steel would be wood.  It's a tad too big for me, I don't have quite that many books!  I'm quite sure I don't want to have to get up on a ladder at this stage in my life, so the height of these may be a bit much.

The size of the bookcases on the left is about right, I like the paneled wall surrounding them.  Isn't it great?  The chairs...not so much.  The fabric is too busy for me, but then I'm not dreaming of chairs at the moment.  

Some of my books are paperback books.   They probably wouldn't look so good in a classic library like this one.  Now, where would I put those?  Any ideas? 

Where would I put built-in bookcases?  That is the big question.  Space is at a premium here and it will take some clever planning, but I'm sure something can be done.  Hopefully.  I'm determined.
My husband will be so proud of me for having such good ideas, I'm sure!  He always loves my ideas!  You believe that? neither.  But a girl can dream, can't she?  Right now, I'm dreaming of bookcases.   Until next time...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

California Dreaming...

I'm not going to California any time soon.  Just trying to think of songs that make me think sunshine!  But wait...doesn't that song go something like "all the leaves are brown and the skies are gray"?  Okay, scratch that.  Let's see...oh, I know just the perfect song!  John Denver sang this song and it went something like this "sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy".  There, that is better.  I've always loved that song.

No, I haven't completely lost it sitting here in the middle of a Missouri snow storm.  I'm just trying to amuse myself and lift my spirits with some happy, warmer weather tunes.  I'm really just trying to blot out the images of bitter cold, blowing snow everywhere.  Travel will be hazardous and I get worried about my loved ones who have to travel a good distance to their jobs. 

our weather map the last hour

We've been looking at all the cancellations on TV and the internet and it looks like most all of the schools in our area will be closed tomorrow.   I went to Columbia today and stopped in at the resale shop to browse a bit and picked up a couple of books and a few magazines that I hadn't seen.  Then bought groceries to last for several days.  I had just gotten home when it started to snow.  I timed that outing perfectly! 

The snow is supposed to end around mid-day tomorrow and we could end up with 7-9 inches, they say.  I'll be out shoveling a little path to throw some cracked corn on for the birds and checking the bird feeders.  And saying prayers that everyone will get to their destinations safely.  I hope you are staying warm and cozy wherever you are! 

Until next time...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday musings...

It's another gloomy day here in Missouri.  And I'm trying to fight off a gloomy mood the past few days.  Maybe it's S.A.D.  I know that it affects a lot of people this time of year.  To look on the bright side of things, we are half way through January!  Spring is only a bit over 2 months away.  Yay!  

I've been birdwatching out my kitchen window or when downstairs out the large back window.  They have really been eating up the food we put out as fast as they can!  I have seen a few bluebirds around the one birdhouse that I can see from the window and sitting on the wires but not at the feeder.  The bluebird is probably my favorite bird.  They are so pretty and "a symbol of happiness."  Naturalist Henry David Thoreau once wrote that "it carries the sky on its back."  

I have a little story about bluebirds.  When we first moved to this house over 20 years ago, we had taken our children out of one school district and put them into another and we had moved from the country which we loved into "town".   We had made the move because it was close to my husband's work and our church was in this town and the property was a very good buy.  Our country house was old and needed a lot of repair.  Hence, the move.  And this property is on the edge of town with 6 acres, so we still have a bit of country. 

I remember standing at the windows facing the back yard one day soon after we moved in.  It had been raining and our large patio has a low spot that water stands in when there's been a good rain.  Anyway, I was at the window gazing out toward the back pasture and worrying over whether we had made the right move.  I remember praying at that moment about my feelings and praying that we did the right thing in uprooting our children, taking them from a supposedly better school district.  (They did fine here, by the way.)

All of a sudden, I noticed fluttering and looked down out of the window and saw to my amazement around 2 dozen bluebirds frolicking in the water standing on the patio!  I've never seen that many bluebirds in our yard in the 20 plus years since.  I took that as a good sign!  And I was so amazed and enjoyed watching them so much that I completely forgot to grab my camera and get a picture before they flew away!   

I love many other birds, too.  The brilliant red of the cardinals is always a delight to see in the snowy winters.  The yellow of the goldfinches in the summer fighting for a spot at the feeders are fun to watch.  We've even seen an indigo bunting a few times in the last couple of years at the finch feeder.  He is a beauty, too!  

Bird watching.  Now there's a winter activity to shake off the gloomies!  I feel better already!  And I better get outside and put out more feed. 

Until next time...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

2 Things...and it's cold!

Just wanted to share with you what 01-11-11 looked like outside at our house.
I'm guessing we've had between 4-6 inches.  It's just so very cold
with temps down in the single digits at night.  The snow will be
around for a while as cold as it is.

Because of the snow and bitter cold, I'm using that as an excuse to be lazy and spend
time again today on the computer.  I found this Meme called 2 Things over at
Susan's Penless Writer and thought it would be fun to do.
If you decide to participate, let me know so I can read yours!

2 Things

2 names you go by:  Cheryl and Mom

2 parts of your heritage:  German and Irish

2 things that scare you:  Heights and horrible diseases

2 every day essentials:  My computer and something to read

2 things you are wearing right now:  Sweatshirt and sweatpants

2 things you want in a relationship (other than love):  Honesty and loyalty

2 favorite hobbies: Reading and roadtripping

2 things you have to do this week:  Laundry and pay the utility bill

2 stores you shop at:  Walmart and JCPenney

2 favorite sports:  When young...swimming and horseback riding.  Not so much into sports nowadays.

2 shows you like to watch:  Don't watch tv much, but when I do its usually HGTV or Fox News.

2 things you'd buy if money were no object:  My own tv station and broadcast just good news and a 1000 acre farm/ranch
2 wishes for 2011:  Good health and safe travel for all my family.

Until next time...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Comfort food

I felt like some comfort food such as a nice bowl of soup would be just the thing as the snow was falling yesterday.  I made a pot of potato soup and this is the recipe I use:

Potato Soup
8-10 potatoes, peeled and cubed (6-8 if potatoes are very large)
1 onion, diced
1 stalk of celery, chopped (optional)
1 stick of butter (or less)
8 oz pkg of cream cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 soup can of milk
1 tsp garlic salt
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Garnish: additional shredded cheese, bacon bits and green onion

In a large pan or dutch oven, cover potatoes with water and boil potatoes, onions and celery until fork tender.  Do Not Drain The Water!  Cube the cream cheese and add to the hot potato mixture to melt.  Add butter, soup, garlic salt and salt and pepper.  Add milk.  Then, add shredded cheese.   It takes a while for the cream cheese to melt, I stirred the soup over low heat several times.   Fill soup bowls and garnish with addition cheese, bacon bits and green onions, if desired. 

Here is a photo of the plate under the soup bowl.   I've had this ironstone set several years now and we use them for "every day" during Christmas and part of the winter.  

What gives you the most comfort during wintry weather? 

Is it a hot bowl of soup
Or a warm and comfy throw?
A cozy fire in the fireplace
Or perhaps a good book?
Maybe it's some great music
Or chocolate!
How about a good movie
or a dish of mac and cheese?
Scented candles are nice, too.

Here's hoping you are safe and comfy if you are having cold, snowy winter weather.  Spring...come quickly! 

Until next time...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Do you like snow?

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...........etc...etc.
      Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

For those who may not be very familiar with Missouri, the weather here can range from very hot and humid with fierce thunderstorms in the summer to very, very cold with snow and ice in the winter to everything in between. 

The above mosaic is really more of a frosty nature than snowy but it just seemed to fit in with our weather picture today, if you get my drift.  (No pun intended.)   It's been snowing and the weatherman has been saying we could see about 4-6 inches of the white stuff by the time it tapers off tomorrow.   So, I'm going to stay in and make a pot of soup and catch up on blog reading.  Stay warm and safe wherever you are! 

Until next time...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Some good news...some sad

Only one today!

Cutting back on sugar consumption is one of my goals for this year.   I've only had one Pepsi today and very few this week.  That's good, right?  And I just love my Pepsi!  What's bad is that my sweet iced tea consumption has quadrupled.  One of these days I hope to develop a taste for unsweetened tea.   Hopefully soon.  I make the best iced tea.  Here's how I make it for us:  Place 1 1/2 cups sugar in a medium saucepan and add water to cover.  Place 6 regular sized tea bags in the water.  Bring to a boil and remove from heat and let cool.  Mix in a gallon pitcher of water and serve over ice cubes or chill in the refrigerator.   Delicious!  But I will be cutting the sugar back soon...I will!  (I'll let you know how this works out.)

In other news...
This has not been the best start for a new year.  My husband's uncle died unexpectedly and we've attended the visitation and the funeral this week.  One of the songs that was beautifully sung at the funeral has been playing in my mind ever since.  It was Vince Gill's song, "Go Rest High On That Mountain".  It always brought a tear to my eye in good times, but hearing it at the funeral was tough and I doubt there were many dry eyes after it was sung.  I remember the song came out a year or two after my older brother's death and thinking then that it would have been perfect for him.  Then again, sitting there listening to the song made me think of my younger brother whose birthday would have been on the day Uncle died. 

So that has been my week so far.  A bit of good news and some bad news.  But that's life I guess.  We never know what the future holds.  But we know Who holds the future!  I thank Him for the good memories and the lives of those loved ones and friends who are no longer with us.  Tell those you love "I love you".  You may never get another chance. 

Until next time...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Goals and thinking ahead

Now that Christmas is behind us and the long stretch of winter looms ahead, my thoughts are already fast-forwarding to spring!  Just think.  The spring scene in the photo above will be a reality in approximately 3 short months! I've been pondering the last few days on what I hope to achieve this new year.  I don't like the word resolutions.  They seem so...well...firm.  And I never seem to keep them.  But goals are aims...hopes or dreams.  Therefore, I jotted down some goals I hope to accomplish in this new year and a few before spring.

     1 - Exercise more.   I really need to do this!
     2 - Eat healthier and drink less soda.   I've been on sugar overload since the beginning of the holidays. 
     3 - Simplify/get organized.   This means cleaning out closets, plus get rid of stuff/junk I don't need stored in the basement.
     4 - Decide on a new camera.   Or dust off the old film slr camera and relearn to use it again.  If I can find film!
     5 - Organize photos.  I've been really bad about not keeping old photos in order.  Gotta change that.  
     6 - Read the bible more.  And other more edifying material rather than some of the fluffy stuff I've been reading lately.
     7 - Comment and post more often.  Sometimes life gets in the way of computer time, but I will try harder.
     8 - Find a new couchOnce I decide on color and style. I'll put the new one in the living room and the old one will replace the one downstairs in the family room.          

Other goals are for hubby and I together and we have already discussed things we would like to do in our house and on our back 40 6.  First project will probably be redoing the upstairs bathroom.  We've been aiming to do this for the last 2 or 3 years.  It's now or never!  We will rip off old tile and redo the walls, put in a new vanity, maybe a new tub/shower and flooring.  He says we can do this ourselves.  We'll see!  I hate to think of the mess.  Yikes!

Other goals are planting a few fruit trees.  We used to have apple trees, I miss them.  And I want to try a couple of peach trees, too.  Also, cleaning out trees and stuff sprouting around and nearby the pond.  This will be good exercise!    Then, we may try raised gardening this year.  We've definitely had problems with growing decent gardens in recent years.  Maybe this is the way to go.

We also have other goals in mind, but this is a big start.  I realize some of the goals require spending quite a chunk of money, but we are pretty frugal people and have already saved for these things.    

One other thing is on our list.  I'll post about it another day and invite your opinions.  

Until next time...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 2011

Happy New Year 

 May you find
Until next time...