Monday, December 28, 2009


I asked my husband if he had any ideas about what I should blog about tonight and he said "about how wonderful I am". He was joking, but I thought it was a good idea.
My husband really is a wonderful guy. Lately he has me laughing because he is addicted to a video game. He just now exclaimed "I just shot myself in the butt. Killed myself!". It is funny to me because it is a silly little game about shooting robots -- not one of those fancy Wii or Playstation games. He is a little kid in a big guy's body. I love that about him.
I like this photo of him because he looks full of mischief. Looks like he is plotting something. The cutie in the photo is his sister, "Pete".

Take a look at her, then take a look at this photo of me. I think we look a lot alike here.

Anyway, as I was saying... Charlie is a groovy guy. I might be a little biased, but I don't think so.

We had a nice Christmas. We were able to spend some quality time with both families. I could go into details, but I'm getting tired tonight and I figure the details aren't important to most folks who would read this anyway. I hope that you had a nice holiday too -- Christmas, Hanukah, solstice, etc. -- whatever you celebrate.

My next post will most likely have to do with New Years resolutions, so I'm curious if anyone out there is making a resolution this year. Leave me comments...
Also, looking for new blog subjects to write about. Anyone curious about any aspects of my life? If so, let me know...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Last minute Christmas gifts

The Christmas tree is FINALLY up and decorated. This is one of my favorite ornaments -- a couple of love birds (perhaps turtle doves? I'm not sure I know what those look like) snuggling in the tree.
Today was nice and relaxing. Charlie came home from work in the morning (after running to Ohio and back yesterday -- hauling sugar to the cereal plant). He took a nap while I started assembling Christmas gifts with Christmas music on in the background. We scaled way back this year -- mainly because we have a house to pay for now. I needed a few things to fill a gift basket to Uncle Dave and Aunt Mary (our previous landlords) as we are going to see them this weekend. I thought I'd share what I made in case you too are looking for inexpensive last minute Christmas gifts.
These chocolate coated pretzel rods are easy to make and definitely yummy to eat! I just melted a block of "Candyquick" and cover the pretzels... then add some sprinkles before they harden up. You can find either chocolate or white chocolate flavored in the baking section in most larger grocery stores.
I had a lot left over so I decided to jazz up some caramel corn. I broke that up in to chunks once the chocolate set up and bagged it up too.

This last photo is of some spicy sweet pecans. This is my first year making these (Mom made them previously and I insisted on getting the recipe). I halved the recipe she gave me because I only had 12 oz of pecans. They made the whole house smell AMAZING and, well, Christmas-y.

Grease a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Blend 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp salt, 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon, 3/4 tsp ground pepper, 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne.

In a separate large bowl, beat an egg white until slightly thickened but still a bit frothy. Add 12 oz. pecans. Stir until all the pecans are well coated. Add the sugar mix and stir well until the pecans are evenly coated. Place in a single layer on the cookie sheet. Bake 1o minutes; stir. Bake 10 more minutes; stir. Bake 5 minutes more then transfer to a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and cool completely.

They have a bit of a kick from the cayenne and the pepper, but I like it.
So, anyway, Charlie is up now and we need to go out and grab a couple gifts -- and also deliver the gift to Dave and Mary. It finally feels like the holidays are here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mid December day

The cat continues to adore her sunny spot in the dining room near the slider that looks out onto the backyard. This morning there was quite a show back there. We had the most turkeys I've seen out there yet. I counted at least 23 of them -- they were having a real party! There was feasting and gobbling, males were mingling with females... why, I just imagine that they planned the whole thing in advance and sent out e-vites to all their neighboring turkeys. "Come on over to Shari's backyard, we're having a hoe-down!". Things got a little crazy when one of the turkeys jumped onto the roof of the little shed. I could almost hear the other turkeys cheering him on "Jump! Jump! Jump!" like some drunk teenager about to jump off a roof into the pool at some house party. Well, that is what I was imagining anyway.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Snowy trip

Wednesday night Mom called me to let me know that my Dad was in the hospital again -- he was having a stroke. I am finally well enough to see him without worrying about getting him sick so I took off and went to visit. The ride over wasn't too bad, although we were getting that large winter storm that just swept the country.
Anyway, I got there around 3 am and got to see him. He was doing well considering what he had just been through. I spent some time there then went to my parents house for a quick nap and to grab some clothes for Mom. I only had my cell phone, but took a couple quick photos before leaving. This is a photo of Peggy Sue (who refused to let me sleep while I was there) and some flowers that were sent by the Gaither's (Dad does some work for the Gaither Vocal Band). I thought they were a lovely arrangement.

I also wanted to show a photo of their large pines in the back yard with all the snow on them. These trees are huge!
Anyway, I went back to the hospital with coffee and bagels for Mom and I. I was able to spend the day with her while they put Dad through a variety of tests. At this point, he is doing well for someone who had a stroke of that magnitude. The stroke hit his left side, but he didn't lose his strength on that side. He is fine mentally and can speak clearly. He is only having a little loss of feeling and perception on his left side, which should be helped with therapy.
Please keep him in your prayers so things can return to normal for him as soon as possible.

The last photo is from my trip home yesterday. I didn't want to leave, but I have to work today. They were having blizzard conditions all day yesterday so I just white-knuckled it all the way to Grand Rapids and back. I'd like to go back this weekend, perhaps tonight after work...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Holiday Party

Last night a good friend from work had a Christmas tree decorating party.  There was plenty of good food, warm beverages, and great conversation.  I got to meet a few of her friends from outside of work -- which was nice because I don't get a chance to meet new people very often.
Oh, the beverages were amazing!

This is a photo of her mulled wine (shot outdoors to show off the steam).  It is from a German recipe and was quite delightful.  After I sampled the wine, I also tried the buttered rum.  I had never had buttered rum before, but I'm pretty sure she nailed that recipe.  I have found a new favorite holiday drink.  It was like Christmas in a glass.

With 7 of us there, it didn't take long to decorate her tree.  She had already done the hard part by getting the tree up and lit (she shared the saga all week at work -- it gave her a fairly hard time).  After all the glass ornaments were on, my friend did the honors of putting the star on top.  I think her tree turned out lovely.

Dad is getting better and should be going home tomorrow from what Mom tells me.  I'm still coughing and dealing with chest congestion, so I didn't go to visit today like I had originally planned.
I must get going on some Christmas shopping.  I haven't done anything at all yet.  Usually I am almost done with buying or making gifts by now.  I am finally feeling the festive spirit so I'll have to kick it into high gear to get everything done in time.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Crazy fat cat

Sassafras is running around the house this morning -- I think she has lost her mind!  She starts running in the kitchen on the linoleum flooring and can't get any traction.  She looks like a cat from the cartoons... just running in place with a wild look on her face.  It took her a while to feel comfortable in our house (she is scared of everything and everybody) but now she seems extremely happy to have more room.  She also enjoys the windows.  There is a large bay window in the living room that has a ledge she can sit on.  In the back we have a glass sliding door that gives her a perfect view of everything out back.

She isn't quite sure what to think of the turkeys that frequent the back yard, but she likes to watch them.  In the photo below, I was trying to get her to look at the turkeys (you can see them as little grey out of focus blobs at the top) but she just wanted to roll over on her back and look cute.  Although this photo really shows off how fat she is, I thought it was adorable.  Silly cat!

On a more serious note, I spoke with my Dad last night.  He was very tired but said he wasn't in any pain.  He understood that I couldn't be there (I have a very bad cold right now and can't chance infecting him).  It was good to talk to him.  Thank you for keeping him in your prayers.  There is a long road ahead toward recovery and good health.

Friday, December 4, 2009

First snow

We finally had our first snow last night. It seems late this year -- it is already December. We only have a little here. I spoke with my Mom today and she says they have 10 inches in Grand Rapids. We are fairly safe from the "lake effect" snow over here. I'm grateful for that because we don't have a snow blower or plow yet and our driveway is long and steep.

Please send some prayers out for my Dad. He has been having some health issues lately and last night he ended up in the hospital. Mom says he is going to be there a couple of days. He had a heart attack and had to have some stents put in. Dad, I know you won't see this until later, but I love you and am praying for good health for you.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


We finally got internet installed at our new home.  It has been close to torture being without it.  What in the world did we do with all our time before they invented the internet?

So, I will be posting more frequently -- at least I hope to.  The holidays are always a busy time, but it is a good kind of busy.  Thanks for anyone who still looks at my blog.  I know there hasn't been much going on here lately, but I intend for that to change.