Thursday, September 29, 2011

Good Night Sleep

I didn't realize how tired I was until I started sleeping really good. It's the new room.

In our old room all of the animals slept with us.  Sammy, our dog was on the floor and the cats Boo and Delilah were wherever they wanted to be.  They would sleep at our feet, next to us, on us. Delilah would walk up and down your body.  I never woke up like hubby but, it still must have affected me.

When hubby's allergies are bothering him he claims it's the cats.  So a few times a year he is allergic to cats.
OK, I know when your allergies are bad the cats can tip you over the edge.

Our new room has had the door shut all summer as I've cleaned and readied it.

I suggested we keep it that way.  An animal free room.  Let me tell you - no fur, not being walked on, no heavy breathing by the dog, no dog waking up in the middle of the night thinking it's dinner time is heaven.  I've slept through the night for a week now.  I wake with far more energy. 

Life is good.  And the animals seem to be adjusting fine.

Monday, September 26, 2011

New Room

By Saturday morning the room was painted and the lights were installed.  Youngest and I brought all of the dresser drawers upstairs.  Hubby had a friend coming over to help him move the furniture. 

I picked up my mom and went to my cousin's house for her wedding shower at noon. She's a little over an hour South of here.  We had to leave early so mom could go to her dinner party and I could go to a birthday party.  It was a nice time and we were able to do some catching up. 

Then I was home picking up youngest and driving North for more than an hour.  I was off to hubby's cousin's house.  Her daughter's first birthday party.  Everyone brought a dish to share instead of presents.  It was nice catching up there.

I love visiting family, mine, extended, others....  it really makes you realize that your dysfunctional family isn't all that dysfunctional. 

I arrived home to my new room.  All the furniture was upstairs and the bed was made.  Ahhh!  Once hubby and I are both awake at the same time I will take pictures.  I still have a few things to put away.  We need to move the clothes in the closet and hang pictures but..... I love it.

And just in time.  Our old room - the temporary master bedroom - is now our guest room.  And last night our adopted nephew moved in for the week.  I can't wait to spoil him and feed him for the week.  Then he'll be headed out of state for his new job.  I'm excited for him but, we'll miss him.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Dinner Party

We couldn't make the family picnic so we invited MIL, FIL and aunt to come for dinner.  My MIL brought stuffed mushrooms.  Then called to say they were given a bunch of clams that they couldn't eat alone.  I steamed them in white wine, a fesh bay leaf and orange peal.

For dinner I made chicken cordon bleu with a shitake mushroom wine sauce, Isreali couscous and a huge tossed salad.  I made thousand island dressing - MIL's favorite.  For dessert I bought a bag of local peaches and made a peach cobler.  I served that warm with homemade vanilla ice cream.

I think the night went well.

Friday, September 16, 2011

It's Almost Ready

I built my house almost 15 years ago.  I moved in December 24, 1996.  It's a cape.  At the time the upstairs was completely unfinished.  We were saving money and had plans to complete that ourselves and build a garage.  Six months later I was going through a divorce and completing two masters degrees that I paid for myself.  The house would have to wait.  My room downstairs was temporary. 

When hubby and I got engaged I received sheet rock instead of the usual rock (my request).  He moved in here with the kids because the school system is much better and the house is much newer.  He completed the upstairs and I planned a wedding.

My master bedroom became the girls room.  We split it in two with a set of closets.  When our oldest son moved out oldest moved into his room.  One side of the master bedroom became an office/guest room.  Then oldest decided to move in with bio.  Youngest moved into her room after a pretty remodel.  The master bedroom was left vacant.  Vacant of occupants anyway.  I've been cleaning out, recycling and giving stuff away.  It needed a new paint jib and lighting before hubby and I could move in.

This summer was too hot and humid to paint - I left it for a fall project.  And I continued to clear out the room.  Where did all of this stuff come from?   I'm really trying to eliminate in the entire house but that is another story.

Hubby is in no real hurry to have a new room.  Change is difficult for him even if it is a good thing.

Our adopted nephew called to say he would be visiting from Utah for a week.  His brother is staying at his Dad's and could he stay with us.  Yeah!   And he could have stayed upstairs but..... this was the push I needed to give hubby.  The paint was bought along with the new light fixture.  Yesterday hubby painted while I cleaned house.  A true fall cleaning - dust, vacuum, bathrooms, washing laundry, curtains and slip covers.  Six hours later the room had two coats of paint and the house was clean. 

I headed to the store for curtains.  I found a few throw pillows and throw rugs to match.  Today the lighting should be done.  Nephew will be here the 24th.  And I'll be in my master bedroom before I can no longer climb stairs.  14 years and 9 months but hey, who's counting? 

Now the garage..... that is another story. That will wait until all the kids are gone and we've recouped some of our monetary loses.  I'm not saying they're not worth it but, kids are expensive.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What about me?

I am in the balance program at work.  We discuss nutrition, diet, exercise, health - all to keep us in balance.  I'm also on the health & wellness committee.  I try very hard to feed my family healthy, nutritious meals.  We discuss these issues regularly.  My family is very healthy.  In three years the kids have only missed one day of school each for a sinus infection.

I'm healthy, my numbers all good and I'm rarely sick but the weight.  The doctor tells me to loose twenty pounds each time I go.  I really need to lose 40.  My diet is good and my portions are usually pretty good.  I've been training myself to eat slower.  The two horrible habits I picked up as a kid - eat fast and clean your plate.  It wasn't until I got to college and my roommate pointed out that I don't chew my food that I realized how fast my family ate.  I did start to chew after that but still....  And when you're the first one done and your son takes forever to eat you get seconds.  I'm no longer the first one done.  It has taken a long time to learn to put my fork down in between bites.

But, my biggest problem is lack of exercise.  I'm waiting for someone to walk with,  my husband won't show me how to use the equipment, I don't have the time...... the excuses stretch on forever.

Over the past few weeks some of us girls have been discussing the emotional side of weight problems.  I know my biggest issue is taking care of my family.  Husbands and children are the most fattening thing in my life.  Thursday something clicked.  I take care of my self more than many women.  I go for a monthly massage and pedicure.  I get together with friends on a monthly basis.  I meet with a spiritual group on a regular basis.  I signed up for classes.  But, when it comes to the day to day my family comes first. 

This is an issue in my mind, my make up.  My kids are old enough to fend for themselves.  I'm the one setting the dinner time.  They're not demanding what time we eat.  Something needs to shift in my thinking.  I came home that day and everyone was gone.  Son was at work and hubby took youngest for new glasses.  I laced up my sneakers, dragged out the treadmill, put on my headphones and started walking.  I use the rolling hills mode at a pretty decent clip.  It felt good.  I made supper when I was done.

Hubby and youngest got home just as I was finishing dinner.  Hmmph!  And why am I not doing this every night.  I know I feel better.  Do I like to feel like crap?

So, Friday I got home and walked first even with everyone sitting watching TV.  I warned son not to come downstairs while I'm on the treadmill.  That is unless he wants to see me in my bra.  I had that thing cranked and I was sweating like crazy.  A quick shower and then dinner.  No complaints. So, what have I been waiting for.

This morning I walked before anyone even woke up.  Time for me to feel good every day not just when I can fit it into my schedule.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

His Family

MIL is having her Labor Day picnic this Sunday.  It is a week late because her sister will be visiting from out of state.  When she called to tell me the change in plans I said that it was hubby's fire department picnic and that it would be up to him.  She told me she would lay a guilt trip on him.  As I told him that he rolled his eyes.  Oh, like I care he says.  We're going to the fire department.  When he called to tell her that she said - no problem honey their are a few people who can't make it including your brother.  (It's not a holiday unless brother comes)

And then she relayed once again her story. "I'll never be like MIL.  She would make you come or feel bad about not coming.  If you went to your family event one time (like Thanksgiving) then the next time you damn well better be with her (Christmas)."   If someone can make it fine but if not that is OK.


She can say that little speech all she wants but her tone, her attitude and her words to me are an entirely different story.  Last year I invited just my family for Thanksgiving.  The year before was so awful I vowed never to invite my in-laws again.  A week later she asked about Christmas.  When I said I didn't know what was going on yet (Hubby may have been working).  Her reply was, "you had your family for Thanksgiving so you WILL be here for Christmas."

And we were.  My family is not hung up on celebrating the holiday on the date and we celebrated at another time.  And the fact that my parents leave the next day for four months in Florida it is easier.  Well, that was the worst Christmas I've ever had for many reasons.  Worse than the Christmas I spent alone after my divorce.  Bad in so many ways it warrants an entire blog entry.  Needless to say when she asked me if I could believe nephew and fiance celebrated with their own families and not with each other I said yes.  Because I will NEVER be in the position I was in last Christmas.  If hubby and the kids want to go they are more than welcome.  I will be at my brother's house celebrating with my niece and nephew (the cutest kids on the face of the planet in my humble and very biased opinion). That is if we're not on vacation (still working on that).

The good news in all of this is that hubby sees MIL for what she is and does.  When she told him it was OK that we weren't coming his first thought was where is my guilt trip?  Why do you tell my wife one thing and me another.  He's not to the point yet where he can verbalize these questions to her but ....   His family would rather bury their heads in the sand, turn purple and have a heart attack than express their true feelings.  I witnessed that at Christmas too.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

On Swallow's Wings

Each year at the NE Women's Herbal Conference I see her, Agnes Adler.  She is a beautiful elder.  She's a tiny women.  I'd see her in class now and then or walking accross the field.  One year they asked her to speak.  She told a story of her coming from Hungary to Israel to America.  She gave a recipe for caraway soup.  She and her husband have worked hard jobs to do what they really love - create art.  She sculpts and works with other mediums as well.

Last year she had a vending booth with some of her art work.  This year she had a booth as well.  I stopped by to tell her how glad I am to see her each year.  In the past year she wrote a book about her life, On Swallow's Wings.  It is divided into three sections - autobiography, cookbook and artwork.  I bought a copy.  She was so thrilled and wrote a beautiful inscription inside. " As you go along the path of life, remember to be gentle to your fellow travelers."    Something I do need to remember.

I read her story this week.  I can hear her voice as I read.  Agnes turned 81 this year.  She survived the holocaust, prison and poverty.  She is well educated and continues to learn.  In her sixties she asked to be included on an educational trip to the Amazon jungle with Dr.James Duke.  This is where her herbal studies began. Her story is both heartbreaking and hope filled. 

I look forward to trying her recipes.  And she included the caraway soup recipe.

The book was published by Wordsmithy, LLC  I can't find it on Amazon.  It is definitely worth searching for.  Agnes I am grateful that you have touched my life.  Blessings on your journey.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


This morning was beautiful. 

The kids slept late and I caught up on my e-mail and virus scans.

I pulled the soap making basket out and set to work.  I now have a batch of mandarin orange soap and an experimental batch of lemongrass shampoo setting up.  My last batch of soap still has more than a week before I can use it.

Son wanted to practice driving.  He needs another 24 hours before he can test for his license.  He'll have way more than that by the time he can take his test on November 1 when the 120 day wait is over.  The time frame after getting his permit.  I'm counting the days even if he isn't.  No more driving him to work and back.  Yeah!  I must admit he's a pretty good driver.  So, today I had a chauffeur for all of my errands.  We stopped at the fire house to file the minutes at the meeting. 

We stopped at Aerie Mountain to buy soap.  One bar for each bathroom.  If I must buy soap because I didn't make enough to last it will be from Roxanne.  She taught me how to make soap many years ago and has wonderful product.

And we stopped to buy the beef tenderloin that son is going to make for us on Monday.  I also treated him to a mocha coolatta. 

We then drove up West River Road and back East River Road.  The air was clear and crisp.  Though warm you can tell that fall is in the air.  Aaaah! 

I posted on FB that I made soap and I had several inquiries about soap making classes.  I've taught a few friends as barter for goods and services.  I have friends coming in a few weeks for a class.  They gave each other a gift certificate for soap making lessons.  I'd definitely give more lessons to any one interested.