Friday, November 24, 2006

Plumbing woes

I'm so degraditated at the moment, I just want to howl. But I won't. I'll be a big girl and deal with it.

We started having issues with the drains backing up about 3 weeks ago, so I called the plumber and they came out to clean out the drain between the house and the road. Two weeks later, they had to come back out. They were here on the 14th of November, and I had to call them again on Monday. Well, they haven't bothered to come yet.

Yesterday, I ran the dishwasher and the drains in the bathroom backed up. Peter was rinsing dishes a bit later, and they backed up again. Then I flushed the toilet - BIG mistake. So I called the plumber. They have a 30 day guarantee on their work, so I figure they need to make good on it, right? They have YET to call me back.

Now, we can't flush the toilet, take a shower, wash dishes, do laundry - nothing that involves any amount of water. It's disgusting. And the plumber - I've called them numerous times this morning and keep getting a generic answering machine, which makes me wonder if they're going out of business? I'm really disgusted and disheartened at this point, and just want my drains cleaned out.

I've stopped drinking anything at home so that I don't have to use the bathroom, and we're going to have to go to someone else's house to shower. This irks my tater. Ugh. I've even programmed the plumber's number into my cell phone. On my SIM card!!! That's just sad. I think I'll go try to call them. One. More. Time. :(


We have a lot to be thankful for. Not just one day a year, but every day of the year. We have been so blessed, it's just amazing to think of where we have come from and where we are now. It almost boggles the mind to try to comprehend. That's an excellent thing. :)

Yesterday was a family day. Mom's out of town, so Peter and I were invited to spend the day with Lori and her children. We had a marvelous time, a great meal, and excellent company. Niki and John were the hosts for the day, and she cooked a huge feast. Faith and I helped her with several dishes. We got to love on Emma and Savannah, visit with everyone and spent the day cut off from almost all technology (the football game on in the background doesn't count, since we weren't in that room).

I'm thankful that Lori and her family include us in their festivities and celebrations. Without them, Peter and I would spend our holidays alone. We don't have a problem doing that, because we enjoy being together, but it's nice to feel like part of a bigger family than just the two of us. Sometimes we feel like we're interlopers, but I was reassured yesterday that if we weren't wanted, we wouldn't be invited. We owe Lori and her children a big thank you for including us. You make us feel so special, and we love you for it. :)

I just want to let the world know that I'm thankful for these few things and so much, much, MUCH more. Hope you had a wonderful day of remembrance and thankfulness as well.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!!!


Monday, November 20, 2006

Living without Wal-mart

For years and years, Peter and I have shopped faithfully at Wal-mart, putting thousands of our hard earned dollars into their coffers. Mom worked at Sam's Club for several years and kept telling us about their lousy treatment of their employees and we just let it slide right in one ear and out the other, just shucking off her words of warning like water off a duck's back. The prices were simply too low to even really try to find an alternative. Why mess with something that works for us, right?

Well, my conscience has been dealing with me for about a year now, and I've really been noticing things that happen when a new Wal-mart opens in a small town. I've been listening to the news, reading things online, reading things in magazines, etc. There are several things that really bother me about the chain, and I can't in good conscience continue to patronize their stores.

The prevailing phenomenon that's been really popping out at me, searing into my brain is the way all the Mom & Pop type stores tend to close shortly after having a new Wal-mart come into their community. They basically don't stand a chance. They can't compete with the low prices. They don't have the buying power that the retail giant does, and their clientele tend to gravitate toward the lower prices, and eventually, inevitably, they have to close their doors. Family businesses that have been going strong for generations are closing. The death of small-town America is imminent. They treat their employees much worse than most companies, and their motto is no longer "Made In America", but now they import substandard goods made in third world countries by people who work 18 hour days for pennies a day, live in human cattle yards and are treated inhumanely, then sell the goods to us for what seems to be a great price.

When you look at the actual cost of the "low price", it's a lot higher than we'd like to acknowledge. The high cost includes: the loss of American jobs to third world countries, the demise of small-town America, employees who have to use the social programs we pay tax dollars into since they don't make enough to live because they aren't allowed to claim their overtime hours, among other things.

Sam Walton must be turning over in his grave. I'm sure that he never dreamed that his small retail chain would ever grow to be the monster that it is. The numbers are astonishing. The effect it has on our society is daunting. The facts are sobering. He would be ashamed of the way things are run these days. He was an American and took pride in selling goods that were made here, by Americans. His family should be ashamed of their actions and for allowing things to become the way they are. They could do so much good for their employees, but they choose not to. That is so sad.

Having said all that, we have chosen, as a family, not to shop at Wal-mart any longer. It's a bit more expensive to shop at other stores, but it's worth it to us. We buy virtually all our groceries from Kroger, we shop at Target, but lately, we've been really trying to shop at the local small businesses, or at chains that are more socially responsible. Those who give back to the local economy and support programs and charities for those who live in our great country. It's a choice we have made, and we feel very comfortable with that choice. It's not always easy to pass up that wonderful "low price", but when you feel good inside about choosing the high road, it makes it all worth it.

To learn more about the facts behind the Wal-mart empire, check out It's very enlightening, and you may find yourself shocked at the actual facts & figures behind the low cost, which comes at a very high price.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

For all you BAMA fans....

Whoop, there it is!!!!
FIVE in a row....

Final Score
Auburn 22
Alabama 15

Ahhhhh, life is sweet. Here's lookin' at SIX!!! :D

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Child in a hurry...

Hannah's got quite an imagination. She's also SO funny! She walked over to me this morning and I noticed she had something stuck in her dress. We've been talking about baby Emma, who I got to meet yesterday and I told her that I want to take her to meet Emma tomorrow, so this got her on the baby kick. Her poor puppy/bear/whatever-it-is stuffed animal didn't stand a chance. At least she's here by herself and won't teach Amber to do this! Love this child!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

What a weekend!

So it's been a few days since I updated you all with the goings on in my humdrum excuse for a life. Actually, it's not that bad, really not bad at all. I'm just really, really tired and need to go to bed, so it comes out that way.

It's been a weekend. A rather long weekend, but most of the weekend was fun. I got to bed somewhere around 12:30am on Friday night, then was woken around 3:30am by lightening hitting something relatively near our house, because I felt the boom, then the thunder immediately rumbled, not even a split second between sounds. Not to mention that all the hair on my body was stickin' straight out. Not a pretty sight! Guess I should have shaved my legs before going to bed. Anywho, finally got to sleep, then woke up at 4:30 for a potty break. That's when you KNOW you had too much coffee before bedtime when you gotta take a potty break while sleeping. Note to self: only water, and stop drinking 3 hours before bedtime!!

I finally got up for good somewhere around 5:20am and left to go pick up Lori, and decided to stop at Starbucks on the way. Well, apparently their baristas hadn't fully woken up, because I sat there for 20 minutes in the drivethru before I got my much needed coffee. Oh, and there was only one vehicle in front of me!! And they only got one coffee!! Grrr. I thought a gingerbread latte sounded good, so I got a venti. Not a wise choice for me. After I got it, I held it up to my nose, and I don't know if the girl goofed while making it, or if she may have dipped her big toe in it, but it smelled like dirty feet. It tasted a bit better than it smelled, but looking back, I should have gotten my usual white choco mocha with a shot of caramel. I would have enjoyed the way it scented my van much more! Oh, and the cranberry bliss bar.... divine, I tell ya!! Mmmmmmm.

Got to Lori's finally and got her luggage all loaded up, then went to pick Mom up. We were well on the road to Birmingham by 6:30am. Then we got into rain. Now folks, the only thing I hate more than driving is driving in the rain. Hate, hate, HATE driving in rain. But I pressed on like a good soldier should. I drove all the way to Birmingham without giving in and allowing Lori to drive, since she wasn't feeling well.

We went to a really nice museum on the Cahaba River to scrapbook and we left there around 3:30. I drove back, because Lori wasn't feeling any better. Now, the only thing I hate more than driving in the rain is driving in Birmingham, especially during the afternoon traffic. Then there's the looooong, very high bridge from 280 onto 20/59. Did I mention I hate heights?? If I'd realized that I'd be driving over that bridge looking down onto fifty-leven lanes of traffic below me, I'd have let Lori drive, even though she didn't feel good. My hands are still aching from gripping the wheel so tightly!

Then we stopped for gas and after my card was approved, I tried to get the gas cap off. No go. I tried and tried, then Lori got out and tried to help me, still no go. That sucker was on there and had no plans to go anywhere! Then this really nice fella who was at the pump behind us came to help. Now this guy was bigger than Peter, so he was huge! Even he couldn't get it off. So he went back to his car and got a tool. He worked and worked, and finally pried the top off - it seems that it was put on crooked. Amazingly, the cap wasn't harmed, but we thought he was going to have to destroy it to get it off. Then I had to go back in and talk to the guy because I couldn't get any gas. Turns out the pump cancels the sale if the nozzle isn't lifted in so many seconds. But when I got home, there are two charges on my bank account, which are just placeholders of sorts. I'll be watching closely to make sure that the one charge is reversed, or it's gonna get interesting. :)

We got back into town in plenty of time to surprise my honey when I got home. He was a busy bee while I was gone. He put up a new light fixture above the kitchen sink so I can see while I'm washing dishes (as if!! That's what dishwashers are for, right?), and put some neat little lights in my canning pantry so's I can see what I'm looking for when I'm looking for it! He also put some wunnerful bright new flourescent bulbs in my scraproom so I can scrapbook after dark. I lovest that man!!

Today, I scrapbooked, and we watched "The Slave Narratives", which cause me to cry until my eyes and nose were all red, Peter wanted to turn it off but I wouldn't let him, even though it tore my heart up to hear and see what those poor people were put through. Then we took a nap, and I scrapbooked some more.

I got 2 double page layouts and two single page layouts completed since Thursday. I also did 12 cards. That's more than I've done in the past few months combined! I took part in an online 3-day crop, and had a blast. My goal is to do at least one layout each day if I can. I've got to get caught up somewhat. I want to preserve my memories and those special moments for the ones who love me to remember me by when I'm not here someday to share with them in person. That's why I do it, not to mention that it's relaxating for me. :)

So now it's 10:30pm, and it's past my bedtime, so I'm gonna call it a night and go try to find something to read. I have a magazine that I'm almost finished with, but I might pull out my Foxfire3 book to read. Yeah, I think that's what I'll do - nothing like reading up on how to cure and tan a hide while trying to go to sleep...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

She did it!!!

Peter was trying to take a nap on the couch and called for me to look at Mazie. When I did, she was standing up in the playpen. He said she did it all on her own!! She'll be 9mo on the 15th of November, but we haven't been pushing her. Now the fun part starts... her getting into everything!

One of those days...

Ever feel like this??? I'm ready for this day to be OVER!!!! Hopefully tomorrow will be MUCH better!!!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Done, done, DONE!

All the apples are worked up, canned, and the kitchen is clean!!! We're through canning for the year. Yay!!! :)

Over the past three weeks, we put up three bushels of apples for Peter and myself, and we got 46 pints of applesauce, 25 quarts of applesauce, 21 pints of apple butter, 5 pints of apple jelly, and 14 pints of apple pie filling. My pantry is full, which is so gratifying.

Altogether, we did 2 bushels of apples for Mom, she made applebutter, applesauce & apple jelly. We did 1 1/2 bushels today alone.

We're so stinkin' tired, but it's a good tired, after a very productive day. We should sleep well tonight!! :)

Saturday, November 04, 2006


I've been thinking the past few days that I really need to share my list of things that make me so very thankful. I've done this in the past, but it's always good to update, right?

The past few weeks have been busy ones, and lots of changes have been happening, most of them good ones. I love life and feel especially happy with my life at the moment.

I'm thankful for:
My loving husband who has rearranged his schedule to be home with me more when he realized how much I have missed him.

The progress on the kitchen - it's neat watching it transform. It's exciting to have proper places to organize my food finally!

The hard work my sweet husband has put into making the change possible.

My sweet Mom who has sacrificed her evenings for the past few weeks to come up and can apples with us.

Having plenty of food in my house (I have way more than I realized!) and knowing that I can prepare nutritious, healthy, wholesome meals for my husband and the babies.

Having my canning pantry stocked up again.

Having a husband who enjoys doing the laundry and ironing, and who has taken on the job willingly (partly because I'm bad about getting sidetracked and forgetting to switch it out).

Sweet babies who are learning and growing day by day. It's so much fun to watch them learn new things and see their little personalities growing and unfurling like a blossom coming to life.

My beautiful home. Although it may seem like we're never going to find a home for everything, and the chaos sometimes frustrates me, I know that when we're all finished with our renovations, our home will once again become the comfortable spot that people enjoy visiting again.

My online friends who never hesitate to share an encouraging and kind word with me. Thank you!

My best friends who love me unconditionally and always bring a smile to my face, no matter how down I am at the moment. Without you, my world just wouldn't be complete. I love you.

Meg and Tavy - not only do they trust me to be their girls' "Daytime Mommy", but they trust me to teach their children morals, manners, kindness and everything else a child needs to know. Thank you for believing in me and giving me encouragement when I just want to throw my hands up. Together, we're raising some wonderful young girls who will someday be wonderful young women. :) I love both of you more than you know.

And finally, I'm thankful for YOU! Yes, you. Thanks for checking out my blog and leaving such nice comments. Thanks for putting up with my fifty-leven-million pictures and my repeated posts about mundane things happening in my world. You totally rock!! :)

Cool quiz

Which Food Network chef are you?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Apples (again)

Mom and I each got another bushel of apples yesterday, so guess what's on my stove cooking? Yep, a lard can full of apple butter. This batch is Mom's, and she's got a little less than 1/2 bushel of apples left to make apple sauce with.

I came to realize yesterday that a pint jar of applesauce just isn't enough for our little "family" at a meal. Once the babies each get 1/2 cup, there's 1/2 cup left for either Peter or myself. So I'm going to do a bushel in quart jars. :) And somehow, when we can eat a pint at a meal and we have applesauce with lunch at least twice a week, I don't think 44 pints are going to go very far. Therefore, the apples. Yay!!

In other news, we're getting our kitchen organized, and MAN, does it feel good!!! I've been being majorly OCD, making databases of everything in our pantry, by type/catagory. That will help me when I go to make menu plans. And it will help us not to buy duplicates of things we didn't rememer having.

I made a double batch of Chex mix this morning, got it into the oven before my first cup of coffee!!! Hopefully it'll last longer than the last batch did. Guess I'm getting into the whole holiday spirit, wanting to cook and bake. Thinking about making a batch of cookies this afternoon. :) Am planning to make a fresh banana cake and some banana nut bread to put into the freezer this afternoon as well. Have bananas here that need to be used, and that seems to be the best idea I can come up with.

Sometime this weekend, I want to go through my paper piles and get things shredded, thrown away, sorted and filed so that I can reclaim my desktop. I want to scrapbook, but have lost my mojo, but maybe getting my area clean will help me. :)

And that's what's going on in our world today. Hope everything's going great in yours. :)


I was getting bored with my blog, so I finally changed it. I like the colors - they make me feel happy. The template was designed by, who is a Huntsville resident. If you are looking for a new look, check out her site for some really cool designs! If you update your blog, please let me know so I can be sure to check it out! :)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Lookie what's in our kitchen!! I'm SO excited! It's no longer in the middle of the floor, which is awesome. Still need to get the shelf on the upper right painted and need to get a shelf made for the upper center, then sand and paint all the drawers/doors. I'm so pleased with all the hard work that my honey has put into this project. It's coming together quite nicely.

It wasn't until Peter got it all put together that we realized the wooden strip under the front of the sliding top is actually painted black. I think it gives the cabinet a bit of "oomph", so we've decided to leave it alone and not worry about painting it. That's why there's a wide black strip on the front. What's your opinion?

Only thing that "sorta" upset me is that the legs don't fit into the standard Hoosier leg skirts and ant traps that I paid a pretty penny for. So we just stuck the casters on it. We may look into replacement legs at a later time, but for now, they're fine as is.

I will post a photo of it as soon as it's completed. Thanks for watching the progress of this project as it happens. I appreciate your encouragement and feedback. :)

Spider Princess!!

Here she is... our own Spider Princess!! So cute, yet a tiny bit scary. :)

Wouldn't you know, when I went to take pictures of her to scrapbook, I ran out of film!! So if the weather's nice enough tomorrow, I plan to have a mini photo shoot with her outside.