Wednesday, August 25, 2010

PA Trip

The weekend of Mike's finger injury, I was on a little trip to PA to meet up with several of my lifetime friends. These girls are just the girls you need in your life to make you smile, encourage you to be what you ought to be, hold your hand when you are grieving, & jump with you when you are joyful. In short, they are friends that are gifts from the Lord.
We try to get together every year. Usually somewhere in the midwest but this year we headed out to PA where Adele & Rebecca live. We had beautiful weather for walking, shopping, & cooking out. It was a great time (except for that whole little husband trying to cut his finger off situation back home).

Here's the crew! Angie, Adele, PharmGirl, Stephanie, Diana, & Adele.

We went to Pymatuning Lake. It's a huge lake that is in Ohio & PA (I think). It's really quite beautiful with the gulls swooping around & the geese on the water. What is a little weird though is that people come & buy bread & feed it the gazillion huge carp-y looking fish. It's fascinating & disgusting all at the same time.

There was a spillway where a whole bunch of the fish were lined up, mouths to the wall, waiting for chance to try to jump up & out into the lake. It reminded me of trying to jump in when jump roping. I never did see a fish clear the wall. But I did see a couple fall in from the lake side. *smack* on the water!

The last night I was there we didn't all get to be together. So we had a quiet little cookout. The food was great & the company was even better!

Good times with great friends...sometimes it's just what you need!

The Stages of Developement

My goodness! You all have no idea what suffering I went through trying to get these pictures uploaded. It was so terrible that I started this post several weeks ago & I just couldn't work up the nerve to come back. And I've been busy. So, I'm not going to apologize for not posting because I'm not sure who really reads this regularly anyway. Let's just say it's been busy, fun most days, & there has been some stress off & on.

I'm sure you know just what I mean!

Now on to the main topic: this is a project that Mike undertook with the chalkboard paint he picked up on a whim.

I think chalkboard paint is very exciting stuff.

The first step: get yourself a piece of metal. Cut it to size. This was a job for Mike. Then paint the metal with the chalkboard paint. We painted two coats.

Mike cut our piece of metal to fit on the basement door. This is one of the doors in our kitchen.
Doesn't it look like it needs prettying up? *grin*

Step three: make a wooden frame for your metal. Then smack it up on the door!


Now we have a chalkboard on our door.

I love it.

I write notes.

I leave threats.

For example:

Leave more dirty dishes in the sink & I will NEVER cook AGAIN!

Mike's response: "Is that all I have to do to get you to quit cooking???"

We have a loving relationship *grin*

Mostly we really just use it to help us remember appointments.
We've had lots of those lately with Mike's finger injury.

One added bonus - see the magnets lined up there in the bottom corner? Mike found these handy little magnets that attach to knobs. So those little magnets match the knobs on our kitchen cabinets. I gotta say, I think that's cool!

That's one of the many things we've been up to lately. I have lots more to post, hopefully someday soon. Maybe blogger & I can call a truce with the horrible picture uploading issue.

I can always hope, right? *grin*

Blessings of Bounty

I was just not kidding when I said we had been really blessed with gifts of garden vegetables & even some wonderful locally grown fruit.
These tomatoes & peppers made a magical appearance on our front porch one day. At first I thought, maybe we should be really sure who they are from before we eat them. Then I got a good look at the tomatoes & decided they HAD to be safe :-)
They were actually a gift from our neighbor across the alley. I was able to thank him this weekend & he promised there would be more for sharing with us. Yippee!

These peaches were from Mike's aunt & uncle & cousins. Mike is our only peach eater (I just can't make myself like them) & he has made quick work of them. This was the second of three rounds of peaches we have been given.

Look at all that yummy produce!
Not pictured are the apples, watermelon, & yellow squash we have been given in the last couple of days. I'm feeling really super spoiled & we should be glowing with health with all of this lovely, good for you food!
I don't think we will ever plant a garden...

Amazed! Astonished! Astounded!

That's kind of how I feel today as I reflect on just a couple of things...

1. It's August 25th. That means two things: today is my momma's birthday & Christmas is exactly four months from today.

2. The half-marathon I'm training for is in exactly 17 days. There is no possible way I can completely recover my training program so I think I'm going to coast. And I refuse to feel guilty about it.

3. Garden tomatoes. Just think about them for one second...close your eyes & imagine the wonderful fresh, summery taste. Our neighbor gave us a bagful & I've been eating them daily. I feel blessed beyond measure. And I am amazed at how wonderful they are.

4. The Lord has been teaching me some stuff. There is a cd playing in my car that has been there for a couple of weeks. I know every song pretty much by heart. This morning on my way to work one line stood out to my ears like it never has before. It's a song about heaven-going. The line says, "I'll drop my cross of self-denial, and enter in my great reward." I don't often remember that I'm supposed to be carrying a cross of self-denial. I've made a more conscious effort to do that today & I have realized just a little more clearly that I am one selfish girl! And I am amazed, astonished, & astounded that the Lord of heaven would make the effort to teach one selfish girl about her selfishness & remind her about her duty to deny self. What a gracious, loving God - that He would be concerned with me & that He would help me to be more like Him...kind of mind blowing.

5. Mike continues to have good reports from the doctor. We went again this morning & it looks like Mike will be off work for probably two more weeks. I am still amazed at how squeamish I am about his wound. The doctor gave one of Mike's stitches a good yank to see if it was ready to come out. Mike hollered & I cowered & moaned. I think I even told the doctor, "Don't do that!" In retrospect I'm a little embarrassed. I am thankful & astounded to see the progression of Mike's healing. The wound looks a lot the same because hopefully it is healing from the bottom up. The biggest difference is in how Mike has become more comfortable with the injury. He no longer holds his hand up for 90% of the day; he no longer wears a bandage all the time; he can tap his finger & massage it; he can make a fist & spread his fingers wide. These are all huge steps in the right direction.

I have definitely had a lot on my mind lately. It feels good to sit down & tap some of it out. I am definitely amazed, astonished, & astounded when I realize how the time has gone so quickly by & how much good the Lord has packed into those moments & days!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Happy Faces! Happy Friday!

This is Mike's cousin Von & his mom, Aunt Becky. This pic was taken at their house the night we ate those weird turkey parts. You can check out the whole hilarious story here.

Anyway, I just love their happy smiles. So I had to include this pic on this post since it's going to be all about happy things.

Like, today is Friday. Ahhh...I love Friday. The work week is drawing to a close. The entire weekend lies ahead like a blank sheet of paper. I can daydream & plan & make To Do lists & anticipate.

Anticipate. Anticipation. Great words!

Another happy thought, I had a victory last night in my training. I didn't realize that it was still 94 degrees outside when I went for my run. About a mile and a half into it I started my little pathetic prayers, "Lord, should I keep going? I mean, I really feel like I could die if I keep it up. Is that your will? For me to die along the roadside? Can I at least have enough time to call Mike & have one last conversation?" I know, it's ridiculous. Anyway, I kept going. And I completed a three mile run in 31 minutes. That's pretty good for me right now & the time includes traffic stops. So, it was a small victory. I got home, went inside to the lovely air conditioning & sweat all over our throw rug while I completed my cool down stretches. Just letting you know so that if you come over you can make an informed decision about whether or not you will follow the three second rule with an M&M you dropped on our rug. *grin*

And now for the Grand Poobah of Happy Stories!

My dad is a landscaper. He is also the landscaper that maintains the landscaping at my mom's work. A few weeks ago he was working there & he found an iphone in the flower bed.

Huh? An iphone?

Yep, one of these bad boys. He knew it was "one of those crazy expensive phone computer things." My dad is so technological.

He did figure out how to turn it on. The phone was password protected so he couldn't do much with it. Evidently it had a low battery, too. My dad was very concerned that we figure out how to get it back to the owner. My mom called Mike & I to enlist our help. We were able to charge it up easily. Mike knew he couldn't get past the password deal so he began thinking about removing the sim card. Von was over visiting that night & he has an AT&T cell phone so they figured that if they put the iphone's sim card in Von's phone they might be able to at least access the phone number of the iphone. Presto! Change-o! Voila! That's what they did, it worked, they called the guy, he came & picked up the iphone the next day.

And he brought a gift card. Sweet man! He gave us a $30 gift card to The Outback Steakhouse. Say it with me, YUM!

Since my dad found the phone, Mike figured out how to get it back to the owner & Von helped by letting us use his cell phone, I think they should all go to dinner together, don't you? :-)

Incidentally, Mike has three cousins with names that begin with 'V'. Von. Vincent. Victor. Oy! When they are all together I go cross eyed. I think they should get married to girls named Violet, Vanessa, & Vanna. Then they could have daughters named Viola, Victoria, & Virginia.

I have obviously thought about this too much.

Happy Friday to you all & may you have a wonderful, relaxing, fun weekend!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Training? FAIL!

Yeah, I'm supposed to be training for this long, arduous race in September. Remember? The one that is 13 miles long? Yeah, I kinda forgot, too. Guess I should be working on that...

Actually, I have my training schedule written in my calendar & I have faithfully looked at it & planned the running sessions into my days. The problem is, my days don't always go according to my plan. Sometimes it rains. Sometimes the heat index reaches 105 degrees. Sometimes I go to the gym to run only to discover that I have developed major treadmill phobia (could have something to do with a fall I took off the end of one last year). Sometimes I'm just tired & would rather walk with a friend than run by myself. Sometimes my feet just hurt. And sometimes I just want to be home with my husband.

Especially since he has been hurt. I can use that as a good excuse, right? *grin*

Suffice it to say, any delusional dreams that I may have had that I would win the race have all been dashed to pieces. And I'm super ok with that. I really just want to finish the race & be able to walk the next day. Not a lofty goal, but a good one, I think.

Truly, I feel like the Lord has used this season of training to get me more in shape spiritually than physically. All too often I have given into the temptation to get grumpy, snippy, or whiny when my schedule gets interrupted or rearranged. Some days I just get angry that I can't make circumstances fit my desires to get things accomplished. I have been learning to pray, "Lord, help me to get done today what You want me to get done. And then let me be satisfied & grateful for it."

Which makes all the race preparation (or lack thereof) all worth it!

Finished Projects

Since you have now heard the grand saga of how Mike lopped his fingertip off, I thought I would share pics of some recently completed projects. I remind myself every time that I look at them that Mike must have power tools to make such wonderful pieces. That helps me relax every time I hear a power tool rev up!
Recently, Mike & I have assembled a collection of dishes that are just like the ones that Mike's mom uses for special occasions. They are blue & white & I believe the name is Myott Royal Mail. Our collection was started by a wonderful yard sale find. They were selling quite a stash & for far less than these dishes usually sell for on ebay. Mike augmented our collection with a couple of good ebay purchases & we now officially have enough dinnerware (if you count all of our different patterns) for about 30 dinner guests - we just wouldn't have enough room in our house for that many people!
Wanna come over for supper tonight?
Or, I could just skip dish washing for a whole month!
Actually, I don't think that would work out as well as I would hope.
I've left dishes in the sink for too long before.
Did you know that peanut butter residue can grow purple mold?
Am I oversharing here?
Anyway, I've totally sidetracked myself.
We now have this wonderful collection of dinnerware. Mike became inspired.
He built this shelf for our kitchen.
The green is the same color as our cabinets and the bead board in the back is painted the same off white color as the walls. The wood top is made & trimmed out just like our wooden counter tops. The pottery bowls on the top shelf are the ones that we bought on our honeymoon & first anniversary trips.
The pictures in the frames are the ones that came with the frames.
This is still a work in progress.
As you can see, the picture frame on the top of the refrigerator doesn't even have a picture of a stranger in it. It's been that way for over a year. Maybe I need to take some pics? And actually print them instead of letting them accumulate into the hundreds on a memory card?
Tell me I'm not the only one who does that.
And this beauty is the cabinet Mike was working on when he cut his finger.
We had a dead space between the cabinet & the wall that was just begging for some sort of lovely storage thing to fill it up. Mike designed this cabinet to be my 'Appliance Garage'.

The open shelves hold my pretty Pampered Chef stoneware baker, food processor, blender, baby coffee pot, my KitchenAid mixer, & my bread maker.

I know the boom box on the top really takes you back to the good old 90's, doesn't it?

I would love to get an ipod speaker dock thing to go up there. It's officially on my Christmas list.

Interesting Fact:

The bottom piece of the skinny shelf is what Mike was cutting when his finger

rudely got in the way.

The skinny drawer holds gadgets (because I have a ton; I'm addicted). The deep drawer hold a lot of plastic containers - the kind that defy organization. Right now bowls & lids are neatly stacked in there. I predict mass chaos in that drawer in a few short days. It's how I roll.

I wish I was as crafty as my husband.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Great Table Saw Episode

Mike has a lot of tools. They live in our basement (but only until we build a garage). Mike spends a lot of time down there creating things. It relaxes him & gives him a creative outlet. I think he is very good at what he does.

I like to tease him about a couple of things regarding his woodworking. For instance, there is always sawdust upstairs. I don't know if he sprinkles it around hoping that I will more frantically save money for the garage or if it rises up through the floor or if it just gets tracked around on the bottom of his shoes. It drives me crazy but I try to keep my sense of humor about it. I also like to tease him about escaping to the basement to get away from his obnoxious wife. He assures me that his obnoxious wife is not what drives him to his 'workshop'.
Up until August 6th, we also had another joke. That joke revolved around workshop accidents. I often used to remind Mike not to get hurt, not to cut off a finger or anything while I was home. You see, I'm not so good around blood. Not good at all. So I would tell him that he should wait to have an accident, to plan it for a time when there is someone else over visiting so they can be the hero & I can quietly shake in the corner. We don't joke like that anymore.

On Thursday, August 5th I headed out to PA to get together with some of my college friends. Mike decided to take a vacation day that Friday & stay home to work on his current project, a cabinet for the kitchen. I supported this decision wholeheartedly because I would not be home to make sure he woke up on time for work. That man can sleep, let me tell you! Anyway, he got up that morning, ate a bowl of cereal & immediately went down to his workshop. A little while later his left index finger got way too familiar with the table saw blade & got the smack down. I received news of his accident via this picture on my cell phone (warning: it's a little yucky):

At this point we were just thinking it was a bad cut. Mike had driven himself to the hospital & since both of his parents were tied up, I sent my Momma to take care of him. He sat in the Emergency Room for several hours thinking he was just going to get stitched up. He got some powerful pain meds & our phone conversations were hilarious. He said at one point, "See baby, you told me to wait until you weren't home to hurt myself! I waited until you were all the way in Pennsylvania!" The doctor decided that they needed to do an x-ray to make sure none of his bones were damaged. The x-ray yielded some unexpected results. Mike had de-boned his finger tip. The entire bone from the first knuckle up was gone. When they got this news they knew it wouldn't be a simple stitch up.

After several unsuccessful attempts to contact one of their hospital's hand surgeons they wrapped his hand up like this & sent him to the other hospital. The surgeon there was willing to add him on (his third add-on for a Friday evening). When it was confirmed that the bone was gone there was no other choice but to remove the tip of the finger. The surgeon amputated the finger from the first knuckle up.

It was a very *hard* day for everyone. I was sick that I was so far away. I had to field calls from the hospital regarding our insurance coverage, trying to find parents to be there since I couldn't be, & trying to encourage Mike & calm his fears a little bit. The poor guy - the only thing he was really worried about was whether or not they could do the surgery with local anesthetic. He really didn't want to be put "out". The Lord was really good to answer our prayers in that regard. And He provided an excellent surgeon who is also a Christian. My momma kept reminding me on the phone that we had so much to be grateful for - the accident could have been so much worse. She was right & we praise the Lord for the protection He gave.

So right now Mike is semi-enjoying some time off from work! He can't go back as long as he has any restrictions & the doctor doesn't want him to use his left hand. We go to see the doctor tomorrow & we will see how the healing is going. So far it has been progressing well. I still can't hardly look at it because it is covered with stitches. Silly squeamish stomach!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Hi Y'all!

I feel like I have been gone a LONG time!
Did you miss me just a little? I hope so!

I have so many things that I'm all excited to tell you about...things I've been thinking, things I've been doing, things that have happened to us...lots of things.

But it's not really story telling time right now. My boss & I are excited because we are in the last hour of our workday - we have decided that the last hour is the quickest hour of the day. We are both very happy about that!

So, I'll just throw out a little list of teasers & make you want to come back for the whole story!

  1. I went on a trip to PA & had a reunion with some of my college buddies. There was fun, there was storytelling, there was pic sharing, & we went to some interesting places. Stories & pics to come!
  2. Mike had a run in with one of his power tools. There's a big story. There are a couple of gory pics. Tune in if you think you can handle it!
  3. We did a good deed & a stranger gifted us for it. There is still some good in this world.
  4. We had birthdays. There will be a party Saturday night. There will be cake. There will be family. There will be candles. Does it get any better?
  5. Mike has been working on some new things for the house. I love, love, love the things he makes. I just hate his power tools. I've been trying to convince him to go primitive; my efforts are in vain.
  6. We have some blooming flowers in our yard. Who knew we could do it?
  7. There has been some crafting. And some baking.
  8. It's been very hot. Training for the half marathon has been rough. Time for an update so you can see what a slacker I am.

That's probably enough. I have many posts to write, don't I? Hopefully I'll get it done!

When I got back from my trip my google reader was exploding with over one hundred unread posts. Slowly throughout the week I've been catching up. Maybe I'm a weird-o (that's a very shaky 'maybe'!) but I just love keeping up with all of my blogger friends. I hope that my posts are fun for you. Thanks for coming. Thanks for being my friend.

"Thanks for noticing me."

Name that character!

Have a great weekend!