Wednesday, May 31, 2006

two weeks in!


Today marks two weeks since I started to swim every day (M-F), and although the timing of getting to the pool seems to vary on a daily basis, it's definitely becoming part of my routine-in-the-making. I know I have needed to get exercise, and I definitely need to lose some weight and "tone up." This is how I plan to aid that goal! I have decided to weigh-in on the first of each month in terms of statistical tracking, so tomorrow will be d-day for that. I don't look any different (I don't think), and I can't really tell about clothes because they shrink in the wash! Anyway, this is a long term effort, and although I would love to drop ten, even five pounds in these first two weeks, I know that is not going to happen! What's important is that I finally took that first step, or lap, as the case may be. This morning I did notice improvement in my cardiovascular capabilities, so progress is definitely afoot. Three cheers!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

remembering

Driving to church this morning I passed Nashville's National Cemetery. When I saw all the flags dotting the landscape I knew I had to have a picture to post here. After church Ken and I drove through, and I noted the gravestones from various years, acknowledging the lives that offered themselves during various conflicts our nation has undertaken. Those buried here didn’t necessarily die while serving, but it was humbling all the same to see row after row of stones marking the graves of those men and women who had been in our armed forces and found that association meaningful enough to want to be buried in the National Cemetery. I’ve never lost anyone I have known as a result of their service to our country, but being married to a veteran, and having a step-son now serving, the picture looks a little different than it did before.

To those who serve, I offer my prayers. To those who have given their lives, I offer my gratitude.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

we're so excited!

The day didn’t start out so well—my morning swim got cancelled because thunderstorms with accompanying lightning meant evacuating the pool (indoor and outdoor pools share a common filtration system, so …). Bummer! I was so psyched to swim and keep up my 100% attendance rate!

But! We had an appointment in Nashville with a photographer late this morning to talk about doing our wedding celebration, and we’re very happy with how that went, what we’ve seen of her work, and so on. The success of that was followed by a fabulous lunch at the place where we met with the photographer, Bread and Company, which makes great soups (sorry I didn’t have my camera with me, because a picture of their food-case would make you drool).

While we were in town we decided to stop in at the Cathedral, where the ceremony will be held, to pick up some information, and that all went better than expected. We then seized the moment to pop next door to the Holiday Inn Express and see about reserving a block of rooms for our out of town guests (another option in addition to the hotel where the reception is being held), and THAT was a great visit. On to the Wildhorse Saloon, a Nashville and country music landmark, to see about having our rehearsal dinner there, and THAT exceeded our expectations!

So! We now have a photographer, two hotels with rooms blocked, and our rehearsal dinner site lined up, and we are thrilled with it all. If only we would win the lottery so we could pay for all this!! We still need to meet with a florist and get the cake squared away, but those things are less time sensitive than the above, so we’re feeling very pleased with what we’ve accomplished.

If you haven’t already marked your calendars, do so now, because it’s going to be a fun weekend!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Welcome, Jacob!

My goddaughter and her husband had their first baby on Sunday, Jacob Alton Burbridge. Woohooo!! He looks like he'll be a charmer, and I can't wait to meet him, but it may be a while yet before that is possible. In the meantime I'm drooling over pictures on a website the new dad put up. Here's one of them... Get lots of rest, Johanna!! xoxo

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

snapshots


Just to prove to y'all that we ARE making progress getting settled in, here are a couple of pictures of things around the house. I collect pitchers, so a display of those hanging in the kitchen is one of them. The other is our wine bar, LOL! This picture was taken right after restocking it after Ken made a trip to the Class Six store at Fort Gordon. Gotta love those military prices!

Monday, May 22, 2006

word for the day: wet!

Let's just say it's been a wet weekend! We had some decent weather, but water was everywhere yesterday when the hot water heater decided to give up the ghost. Thank goodness I caught it about as early as was possible. I had taken the dogs out for a walk, and it was on our return that water greeted us inside the garage door. It had been dry when we left a mere 15 minutes before. I was able to turn the water off, but damage had still been done, most directly to the rug that is on the floor in the area that serves as Ken's office! We are now the proud owners of a brand new water heater and a still-damp carpet, but the crisis was contained, fortunately. What remains to be seen is whether or not our home warranty will cover the cost, since I couldn’t locate the paperwork about that to call them and receive instructions! The plumber thought we might have a problem since I didn’t call them first. We’ll see.

The bad news/good news part of this is that I had to stay home to await the plumber, and therefore didn’t get to church. No paycheck for that day. But I did have unexpected hours available to me to get some things done, and I made good progress on a number of projects. I am feeling a little less overwhelmed by what remains to be done, and that, as Martha would say, is a GOOD thing!

We still have water this morning in the form of rain, so it was a short walk for the dogs! We didn’t get as far as the mailbox at the end of the street where this lovely rose is blooming, but at least I have a picture of it to look at and to share with you. Other water in the forecast is the local pool, where I will go shortly to continue my efforts at exercise. I’m two for two at the moment, woohooo!!!

Stay comfy and dry!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

puppy love

Okay, so Juliet's not a puppy, she's five years old, but to me, she'll always be my baby. Every now and then when I've been gone from the house, I would return to find one of my slippers somewhere in the traffic pattern from their domain in the bedroom to the front door. More often than not the slipper (sometimes a shoe) would make it more than halfway between the departure and arrival points, and it was always just one slipper. Not chewed, not soggy, just relocated. Yesterday I came home from running errands and found not only my shoe, but one of Ken's, as well, in the living room near a spot where Juliet likes to park. I had to laugh. Obviously she was missing mom and dad. Now if only she would figure out that if she brought both slippers from the bedroom I could change my shoes right inside the door!

Friday, May 19, 2006

flip sides

I'm a lazy person, and I know it. As acknowledged in my previous post, I hate to exercise, and it is the last thing that I will do without incredible incentive. I mean, just look at the fact that every place I live has a fence, invisible or otherwise, so that I didn't have to worry about walking the dogs. Until now. We have the fence to install (the invisible kind), but since we moved there have been other things more pressing than getting the fence in. And besides, we DO have the alternative that the dogs can be walked!

So I have been walking them twice a day. Juliet is a long walker—she has figured out that the longer it takes her to do her business, the longer she gets to stroll (smart dog, my Juliet). Dooley dispatches with the necessities within a couple of yards, but when I take the two of them together (which doesn’t always happen) he’s along for the duration on Juliet’s terms.

It has been a beautiful spring, so walking hasn’t felt so much like a hardship. The mornings (and evenings) have been crisp and comfortable, and it has been wonderful to watch everything green up and bloom in the neighborhood. But it’s also a really nice neighborhood, with pleasant houses and yards, and I just love that when people drive by they wave to you. Plus, around one corner there is a considerable pasture, so there is a lovely expanse of landscape with a view of nearby rolling hills.

Yes, I’m a begrudging walker, but there is a flip side to this effort. And much as I will be glad to have that fence installed (and soon, I hope!), I think I might miss these necessary walks. They’re just not the same when they’re voluntary…

Thursday, May 18, 2006

today is the first day of the rest of my life...

I know it’s a saying that is a bit frayed around the edges, but there are times when it really does apply. After all the activity that has ensued during the first few months of this year, we finally have a chance to be at home and get on with our life here. I’m making progress with the unpacking stuff, but I think I’ll refrain from referring to that very much anymore since it’s quite the boring topic!

Today marks the “first day” because I actually made it to the pool to start my exercise regimen of doing laps. I’m basically allergic to exercise, and swimming is one of the few ways that I choose to exert myself. So today was the day. I’m so out of shape, I think I managed a little more than a quarter of a mile, and oddly enough the muscles that fatigued first were in my hands! Who knew? The experience was otherwise fairly painless, so I’ll head back tomorrow and hope for a modest showing of improved stamina. I don’t care much anymore about how I look in a bathing suit, but I DO want to look good in a wedding dress in November. And as far as that goes, shopping for it more than a few days in advance necessitates doing something about weight issues NOW! I just hope I can find something “for the mature bride,” when the time comes.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

the daffodil principle

The story goes that there is a hillside out in Colorado just off the beaten path that, in the spring, is simply awash in daffodils. Tucked into the hill is a small cabin where a woman lives amidst all this splendor, and spends some of her time planting the daffodils that bring thousands of people to see them every year. When asked how she could possibly plant so many, her simple reply is "one bulb at a time."

I need to keep this principle in mind when I get overwhelmed by the tasks that still await at the house. My office. Ugh! (the picture is the living room in a former, not-so-glorious stage.) But I made good progress yesterday emptying a few boxes, sorting through contents, and at the least, making decisions about what things need to be kept and which could find their way to the great paper beyond. Separating them into proper categories and making files (and, gracious! Filing them!), can wait. I need to feel some sense of accomplishment as I go, and I need to see the number of boxes that still need attention dwindle in mass.

So, today’s ongoing effort is to tackle, “one bulb at a time,” what remains. It will take me more than today, and probably more than this week, but perhaps if I envision a hillside of daffodils as my reward I will feel inspired to persevere. Boxes? Bring ‘em on!

Monday, May 15, 2006

so long, farewell


and thanks SO much for such incredibly good television during the last seven years! (Okay, so I'm a day late posting this, but I shut down the computer last night to get it packed and we just now got home from our trip and I am unpacked! well, mostly...) It appears that the rest of the world was tuned into Survivor or Grey's Anatomy, so I may be the only person who visits here who watched the final episode of "The West Wing," but it is my absolutely all time favorite television program ever, and I wouldn't miss it. So is my mother. In fact, there's no such thing as television at the farm in South Carolina (sometimes to jerk Mom's chain I'll joke about installing a satellite dish and she simply cringes), but the family matriarch actually borrowed one so that she could watch the last episodes of HER favorite show! (You should have seen my jaw drop when I arrived at the cottage last week and saw the television, I couldn't imagine what it was doing there!) Imagine, to our horror, as we gathered around the tiny, 12" set with rabbit ears, and the program was pre-empted by weather coverage! OMG! We were so disgusted that ten minutes into the hour we called the television station to protest. They claimed they wanted their viewing audience to be safe, but frankly, the weekend crew was simply clueless! Anyway, although it wasn't the best hour of television ever written, it was a well done conclusion to this most special program. Oh, how I will miss this administration and its witty staff! But thank goodness for Bravo and reruns, and the joys of owning DVD's. ... Okay, enough of my rambling. We return you now to your regularly scheduled blogging.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

lazy, rainy day

A nice way to spend a Sunday and the last day of vacation, though the picture I'm posting isn't from today! Maybe this is a good occasion to do one of those "polls..." Jules tagged me earlier this month to do the following:

5 things that make me smile:
--my honey
--my furbabies
--time at Melrose (our tree farm)
--babies
--the aroma of good cooking

5 things I can see on my desk:
--uh, will have to defer this until my office is unpacked and things that actually belong on my desk are there to describe, and perhaps even see!

5 things that kept me busy this weekend:
--a visit from dh’s kids
--catching up on some emails
--reading a few blogs
--the Sunday NY Times crossword puzzle
--packing to head home from vacation

5 things I am doing this week:
--traveling home tomorrow
--having my car windshield replaced
--continued unpacking in my office
--continued unpacking in the guest room
--attending a pot-luck dinner for our Commission on Ministry

5 things I said to make someone smile:
--I love you
--I’m thinking of you
--I miss you
--I like your beard
--these shrimp are awesome!

Hope you have a great day!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

happy birthday to me!

It's been an absolutely gorgeous day here, and we had the treat earlier today of a visit from Ken's son, daughter, and son-in-law. In addition to a birthday celebration at lunch I was gifted with a mother's day card and gift, which was quite a surprise, and very touching. It hadn't even occurred to me! (In the picture are Ken and me, Ashley and Travis with Maddie, their Yorkie, and Junior)
While they were here we meandered down the road to see our neighbor's collection of animals, a highlight of which is always the camel! Meet Sally--she's really quite a love, and very affectionate.

There were also turkeys, deer, miniature horses, a kangaroo, goats, sheep, ostrich, emu, pigs, ducks, horses, cows and of course, dogs! You all know I love dogs, but I can't resist Sally.

Tonight our friends in Augusta are coming for dinner, so the party continues. Wish you all could be here to join us. I'll save you some cake from lunch, or if you prefer, we're having strawberry pie tonight. Bon Appetit!

happy birthday to me!

It's been an absolutely gorgeous day here, and we had the treat earlier today of a visit from Ken's son, daughter, and son-in-law. In addition to a birthday celebration at lunch I was gifted with a mother's day card and gift, which was quite a surprise, and very touching. It hadn't even occurred to me! (In the picture are Ken and me, Ashley and Travis with Maddie, their Yorkie, and Junior) While they were here we meandered down the road to see our neighbor's collection of animals, a highlight of which is always the camel! Meet Sally--she's really quite a love, and very affectionate.

There were also turkeys, deer, miniature horses, a kangaroo, goats, sheep, ostrich, emu, pigs, ducks, horses, cows and of course, dogs! You all know I love dogs, but I can't resist Sally.

Tonight our friends in Augusta are coming for dinner, so the party continues. Wish you all could be here to join us. I'll save you some cake from lunch, or if you prefer, we're having strawberry pie tonight. Bon Appetit!

Friday, May 12, 2006

talk about a breeze!

Talk about a breeze! The winds were so strong during the night that they woke me up, and for a while I wondered whether a tornado might be getting stirred up! Fortunately the worst thing to blow through was a cold front, so we woke up to 60 degrees in the house, and 50 outside! It’s a good thing Ken had chopped wood, because it was employed to build a fire!

Our sunset last night didn’t rank up there among the most spectacular we’d ever seen, but it’s hard to argue with any kind of sunset when you’re sitting on your front porch facing a wonderful view. A nice happy hour spread doesn’t hurt either!

It’s a gorgeous day out there today, and there are few plans, so I’m hoping to make a date with one of the books I brought. Ken and Mom have some errands to run, so I will hold the fort while they’re gone and enjoy some leisure. Hope it’s a delightful day for you all!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

ohhhhhhh, so breeeeeeeezzzzzzyyyyy!

It’s a blustery day here in south central South Carolina! The day began overcast and chilly, and then the sun blew in along with some fairly gusty wind and some warmer temperatures (moderated, of course, by that brisk breeze!). Ken has been busy with assorted honey-do items, and I have kept myself occupied with less strenuous activity, LOL!

When we arrived Tuesday afternoon Ken split some wood so that we could have a fire in the cool mornings or evenings (see photo!), then we settled in with mom on the front porch for a little happy hour before dinner.

Other activities (I can’t even begin to enumerate the fullness of Ken’s list) have included dinner with our friends in Augusta last night, and the installation of two ceiling fans—one in the living room, and the other on the front porch (to help keep away those nasty flies!). It has turned into a beautiful afternoon here, and with any luck we’ll have a nice sunset to watch from the front porch.

I’ll keep you posted!

Monday, May 08, 2006

putting down roots

Literally and figuratively, the process is underway. We are fortunate at our new house to have a decent display of foundation plantings. I'm a flower girl, though--must have flowers! So a few days ago I got some vincas for the front bed, and this morning began the process of putting them in. Turns out I needed more plants than I bought on that first outing, and I decided to be inspired and add some variety near the doorstep, as well as park a hydrangea at the corner near the driveway. So, dark pink and white vincas will dot the front edge of the foundation bed, vari-colored pink and white geraniums will frame the drawf spruce on either side of the front steps, and ageratum will get to hog the little bit of sunlight that graces the front of the house. It felt good to plant! Here are the flats from the second round of shopping, with the vincas already planted in the background. I'll give them all a few weeks to establish and grow a bit before doing an "after" picture. For now, it is like water drenching the parched soil of my being to have blooms to look forward to, and to know that this beauty came from my hand. Ah, I love spring...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

another day, another failed election

After three attempts over three different electing days and 35 ballots, the collective wisdom of our diocese appears to manifest itself in the decision to call it a day. The slate will now be thrown out, a new nominating committee will be constituted, and we will start all over again. Interesting times lie ahead for us here! ... There wasn't much opportunity to accomplish much else after all of that yesterday. Dinner, walking the dogs, and sermon preparation before heading to bed. I think a nap is on the agenda this afternoon, and then, perhaps, some time to try to get caught up! I'm going to cross my fingers...

Friday, May 05, 2006

Ole!

Imagine an accent on that e, in honor of Cinco de Mayo! And yes, it's now thethe day is now over, but I'm seizing the moment before going to bed to offer this report! It was a wonderful time; we had a blast planning the menu, cooking the food, and yes, even cleaning up! (OMG, what a joy to have a clean living room, though of course don't go look in the guest room which has become the new "staging area" for unpacking and trying to decide where things should go!)

Our menu started with the obligatory chips and two shades (mild and hot) of salsa, queso fundido, and of course, margaritas! For dinner we prepared quesadillas, pork taquitos, roasted corn and black bean salad, chicken mole, garlic shrimp, refried beans, yellow rice and Mexican rice, and of course there was sour cream, guacamole , cilantro and more salsa for garnish. The idea was to everyone to have a taste of each dish, more like tapas portions, than entrĂ©e portions. And it seemed to work! No dessert (except for the cookies that Debi brought to share—thanks Deb!), but who had room anyway? Except for the salsa and refried beans we made everything from scratch, and boy howdy (as we saw in the south), what a difference! Pictures show Ken preparing the queso fundido, the chicken mole (before the chocolate was added!), our “spread,” and guests when we sat down to eat. It was really a lovely time with lots of laughs.

On Saturday: round three of trying to elect a bishop. I’ll report back!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

a little incentive

We've decided to host a small Cinco de Mayo party on Friday, so the race is on to get this house in order! The kitchen still needs attention (but it's doable), and the living room is next, but will be more difficult. I keep asking Ken, "where are we going to put the videos and DVD's?" and I keep getting no answer. Maybe those boxes will go into the tub in the guest bathroom for the occasion! My office isn't a public area, thank goodness, because there's no way that it will be in any kind of order by Friday night. I make progress every day, but there are so many things to put away, and so few places to put them! I've become an expert in triaging, but it is still a time consuming process.

The good news is that there is hope for the guest room, which has been serving as an overflow "we'll get to this later" area. Yesterday we took the remains of the yard sale, as well as clothes, to Goodwill and a local community help center. I finally accepted the idea that it is unlikely that I will fit into a size 8 skirt ever again, so parted with a lot of items. That now makes space to store fabric in the closet in the guest room, LOL. There are still other craft items, like dried flowers and such to make wreaths, and yarn for knitting projects (most of them were at least begun!). Not sure what to do with the latter, since I just don’t have the time for knitting that I used to have. Oh well.
Here’s a peek at what the guest room might actually look like again once it can be reclaimed! When we’re a bit more tidy I’ll take some “up close” shots of things around the house so you can see how things look. For now, time to get some sustenance to go with my coffee and get about the day!
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