Happy 4th

A Look at Our Week 

It’s been a little bit of a blah week around here. My guy has been in what we call a “Wah-Wah” mode. 10 days of rainy weather, no new house, and corona craziness appears to be the cause. Whenever one of us is in one of these moods it’s pretty easy for the other to fall in with the pity party. I haven’t done that this time, instead trying to focus on all of the positives that we have. He calls me his light, and I take that job very seriously! I have tried to show him the light this week and always make sure I point out when the sun does shine between the rainstorms. Hopefully everything will start looking up here pretty soon.

Speaking of Wah-Wah moods, I have been dealing with customer service issues for the past week. One issue is a pair of expensive shoes for my son that the design was so flawed that now the shoes are unable to be laced properly. I have been going back and forth with Nike and have finally been given a full refund for the shoes. Our preferred resolution would have been that the shoes were repaired since they were such a desired item and are not available any longer. Instead we have taken our refund money and purchased a pair from ebay. Problem solved.

Our other customer service issue is with the U.S. Postal Service. I signed up for Informed Delivery which sends you a picture of any mail that is on its way to you. I received a picture of a very important piece of mail we had been waiting for. Usually there is a two day maximum wait before the mail arrives in our box. Well, this mail never arrived. This has happened before but with junk mail that I never really even gave a second thought to. After waiting over a week I went to our local post office and was basically told that the Informed Delivery system was a waste of time and just causes people to come into the post office and ask where their mail is. I then came home and filed a missing mail claim with the USPS and complained about the lack of service at our local branch. Of course the claim was forwarded to the local branch so nothing will be done about any of it. (Insert eye roll) We have contacted the sender and had the mail rerouted and will think twice before assuming snail mail is the best choice next time.

What’s for Dinner? 

My guy requested brats for dinner this week and I made it happen. We’ve also had delicious stuffed peppers, this time I stuffed them with a hot Italian sausage and it definitely gave them the zip we had been missing. We also had one of our favorite summer meals, tuna melts with tossed salads. We enjoyed dinner out on our back deck, another favorite activity. Pork tenderloin with corn on the cob was also on our menu this week.

Tuesday we visited Boone and went to one of my guy’s favorite bars for dinner. This little place thrives on home football games from App State and they are a little nervous with the state of things if they will survive the year without a football season. We are making it a point to visit as often as we can and hopefully every little bit will help them.

Nature News 

I have added  a new feeder to my collection in the backyard. My guy and I were sitting on our back deck a few weeks ago and spotted a hummingbird flying around the tree. I have now added a hummingbird feeder to the tree. I started off with a mini feeder that I found at the local dollar store. I have now upgraded to a larger feeder and have placed the mini feeder in a window. I was determined to capture the hummingbird visitor on camera this week and I was finally successful. I also caught our friendly rabbit on camera as well. We are able to remain friends since he is no longer able to eat my garden.

Hiking Adventures

Our philosophy is there is no better way to celebrate the 4th than with a hike! Our forecast finally cleared up and teased us with a little sunshine so we made a hiking plan and packed a picnic. A local restaurant had free bbq and a local bluegrass band playing and we added that to our agenda. Our landlord is in town and happened to come by not long before we had planned on leaving. We ended up visiting with her for a bit and got a much later start than originally planned.

The hike was going great until it started to pour about halfway through. I kept on going hoping for a quick shower. We finally decided the rain was here for awhile and turned around. We stood under a bridge for a little while until the rain eased up a bit and then continued on to the car. By the time we reached the car it was beautiful again. We were drenched but the sun was shining bright! We found our picnic spot and feasted on BLTs, pasta salad, cheese, pickles, chips and watermelon. The rain didn’t stop our fun day and just added to our adventure.
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Busy Hands & Busy Mind 

The sewing machine hasn’t stopped this week. I have created a Facebook page with the items Mom & I have made to share with local peeps that might be interested. I posted some keychain chapstick holders we had made this week on a local yard sale page and had lots of interest in them. I am trying to make up enough items to begin considering a local craft fair but it’s hard when they keep ordering items! This week I worked on making sunglass/glass cases and replenishing my keychain stock. I also finished working on my niece’s purse and a set of placemats as a gift. The purse was my most difficult project yet. I learned a lot in the process and am happy with the end result.

After “sewing time” is over each evening it is then “couch time”. Couch time includes binge watching Parks & Rec and crocheting. My guy is often compared to one of the main characters from the show (Ron Swanson) so we had to check it out. We definitely see the comparisons! We have now finished the series and I will seek out another binge-worthy show for us. For those that know my guy, it should come to no surprise that he rarely focuses his attention on the shows I watch. He listens to them in the background and will sometimes snicker or make a comment about what is happening. And there are some shows I have tried that he just can’t handle even with not focusing on them. Little House was one of these, I know save that to watch when I am alone or sometimes late at night in bed. The crocheting projects that I am working on are my afghan and I’ve also made several sets of the cat coasters this week and am starting on mug warmers/sweaters.

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Sappy Selfies

Have a great week! XOXO
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Graduation Festivities

A Look at Our Week 

Our weather has been so funny lately. The forecast will show rain for 10 days and normally it does rain at some point during the day. But whenever it is not raining the days are beautiful with bright blue, clear skies and lots of sunshine. I am enjoying my new office spot in front of the living room windows. I get to see all the action going by both human and animal. I even got to witness a high speed police chase last week. You never know what you might see down here in the holler. I am definitely enjoying my new office chair that was delivered this week.

One of the highlights of our week was having the opportunity to watch my guy’s niece’s virtual promotion ceremony. She is now a Captain in the Army. She is set to exit the military in a few weeks after serving her four year term. We are very proud of her and it was awesome to be able to watch the ceremony with the family remotely.

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Traveling Adventures 

I went to my sister’s house Tuesday and attended my nephew’s graduation ceremony. I stopped and picked up mom and we met everyone else for dinner at a Japanese steakhouse. The ceremony was shortened and was perfect! Quick speeches, diplomas awarded to the small graduating class (approximately 60) a little confetti, and done. After the festivities I spent the night with mom and we talked sewing and crafts. We are going to work on making up some stuff and try to sell some at some local craft shows.  She has tried this before and it never really worked out but maybe this time will be different. Either way we have fun making the stuff and enjoy our sewing time so we are already winning.
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Busy Hands & Busy Mind 

I have been busy working on my afghan project and still making cat coasters. I have a couple of  baby gifts I need to get started on as well. I have worked on the purse I am sewing for my niece and have adapted the pattern to my likes now and have everything cut out. This has been my most challenging project so far. I have had a couple of sleepless nights thinking out the pattern and process in my head. I have also made keychain chapstick holders this week.

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When I decided to attend my nephew’s graduation, my guy planned himself a “boy day” which involved a hike and visiting one of his favorite beer stops. These events were in North Carolina and they are a bit stricter about mask wearing than Tennessee. So, he requested a mask before I left. I quickly whipped him up two options and we each went on our way.

What’s for Dinner? 

We had a pretty easy meal week. We had salads one night topped with grilled chicken, BLTs with pasta salad and BBQ and baked beans.

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Hiking Adventures

We did a walk on the Laurel Creek Trail again this week. We are still on the search for those rhododenderon blooms. There were not many blooms to be seen. Hopefully they will come out within the next few weeks. I did manage to get pics of the different stages of blooms that are out there. Some are just beginning and others are at the end of their blooming stage. Nature is so fascinating to watch!

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Friday appeared to be our last sunny day for awhile. We took advantage of the beautiful day and headed back to Roan Mountain State Park for more hiking and rhododenderon viewing. The blooms were still a bit disappointing, it does not seem to be a great year for full growth. We did several trails for a total of around 5 miles. After a small fall and a pair of sunglasses dropped off the side of a cliff I decided we deserved a treat. We enjoyed a seafood dinner on the deck overlooking Lake Watauga.

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Gardening Fun 

I enjoy starting each morning off with a trip to my garden. I have had to do very little watering with all the rain we have had but I spend a few minutes out there pulling weeds and checking on the plants. It’s a little difficult to see growth when I visit daily but everything is looking good so far and I’m hopeful something will start happening soon!

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Sappy Selfies 

Have a great week! XOXO

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Searching for Blooms

A Look at Our Week 

We’ve made the best out of our dreary rainy weather week. We appreciate the sunshine when it peeks out early in the morning and late in the evening. The weeks are going by faster again now. It seems like one week barely begins before it is over and a new one has begun.

Hiking Adventures

We didn’t let a little rainy and cool weather stop our rhododenderon viewings. A Facebook update let me know that one of the North Carolina state parks had opened and that the rhododenderon gardens should be peeking in the next few days. I was busy working and had stopped for my lunch break. The sun was shining and it was beautiful outside. We decided to go for it and headed out on our hour and a half drive to the park. It was very foggy on the mountain and cloudy but nothing could hide the beauty. We did a short hike up to the Round Bald. The hike may have been shorter, but it was not short on what it had to offer. It was like walking through different ecosystems. We started in the garden full of rhododenderons. They were not quite at their peak blooming time just yet. Another week and they will be beautiful. We have plans to go back. Once we exit the gardens we enter the pine grove forest. Wow! It was indescribable. I felt as if I had walked into the pages of a children’s storybook. The trees seemed to have long arms extending from them. I was expecting to see the 3 Bears cottage around every turn. It was absolutely beautiful. In places such as this, it is incredibly hard to believe that there is a crazy world waiting at the bottom of the trail. After the forest we were at the top of the mountain and would have had glorious views for miles and miles. Instead we had lots of clouds and fogs, but they were nice as well.

We had a little snack on a rock. If you’ve never been out in nature and enjoyed a snack while sitting on a rock staring at nature’s beauty, I do highly recommend it. Something about it sure does make my crackers taste better. The rain started on our way down the trail but it was never too bad and we were prepared with our rain gear. We headed across the street after our hike to the “touristy” gardens. There were even less blooms to see there. We will have to compare the views when we return next week. We both attempted to take the best picture of a wet rhododenderon bloom, but I think my guy won.

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I had made a goal this week and promised myself that I would do some type of exercise/activity everyday. We are on five and I am six for six so far! When I saw the weather forecast of rain everyday I was convinced it was a sign that it wasn’t meant for me to exercise. We have gotten in the car three different times this week to go do one of our local trails and rain has caused us to turn around each time. We are okay with a light drizzle as we hike but try to avoid heavy downpours. I pushed past the weather though and did my dance workouts on the days we couldn’t walk. My legs and arms are feeling it but my heart is happy and maybe I’m finally on the right track again. Big thanks to my smiley, super-positive friend that encourages me to never regret a workout and has made working out fun! Last night my legs were feeling the pain of a week of workouts so today I opted for some yoga moves instead of dancing.

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What’s for Dinner? 

Not every dinner can be a five star dinner! Sometimes unexpected things happen and you have to change your plan at the last minute. The important thing is that we were fed and nourished. We had Hibachi Chicken and rice, Beef tips and peppers with sweet potatoes and chicken legs with lima beans for dinner this week.

This morning we were up early and visited the local flea market and farmer’s market. We never seem to get to the farmer’s market early enough to get the good stuff! There is a local meat vendor there and I have wanted to try some of their meat for awhile but they were almost sold out of everything when we arrived an hour and a half after the market opened. We did get some tomatoes at the flea market and came home and had BLT’s for lunch. One of our favorite meals.

Busy Hands & Busy Mind 

I am still working on an afghan and also whipped up some cute cat behind coasters. My mom is a crazy cat lady so I’m sure she’ll have one of these sets. My guy is not a fan of these, but I think they are cute.
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As for sewing, I have been working on making another set of placemats and also cutting scraps to make a purse for my youngest niece. She keeps me busy and always has some kind of crafty idea she wants.

Gardening Fun

The garden is coming along nicely. I haven’t seen any signs of any other visitors since we put up the fence. Fingers crossed that I am right and that it actually worked! I check the plants each morning and water when needed. With all of the rain this week I’ve watered very little and have weeded a lot. If only I could grow these veggies as well as I seem to be able to grow weeds.

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Sappy Selfies

Have a great week from the Happy Hikers! XOXO

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Class of 2020

A Look at Our Week 

We’ve ended our week with a weekend full of fun, family and celebrations. We were finally able to celebrate our 2020 accomplishments. My sister’s family has had quite a productive year. The baby of our family will graduate high school next week. My oldest niece recently graduated from the University of Memphis and my youngest niece will graduate from community college in December with an Associate’s Degree. My brother-in-law will retire from the military this summer after 25 years of service.

My nephew has plans to attend Tennessee Tech in the fall with a major in engineering and hopefully will be able to walk onto the football team. My oldest niece will begin classes for her Master’s in the fall and is set to begin her new job in January at a Memphis accounting firm. My youngest niece has several avenues to choose from and is working on making her decisions for her future. My brother-in-law is looking forward to having more time to spend with his family and adventures on the water with his new kayak. He will continue working his full-time job as well. My sister is so very proud of her family and looks forward to continuing to cheer them on  in all that they do.

Traveling Times 

We headed to my mom’s house on Friday morning. Cutler came from Virginia and rode with us. We had a party planned for Saturday evening and I was set to be the caterer/party planner once again! Each party seems to get a little easier! Friday my sister, niece, mom and I headed to Sam’s to stock up on needed party foods. We had lasagna, pizza and salad for dinner that night and enjoyed catching up by the fire after dinner. It is always a good time when we are all together. It had been two years since Cutler had seen my oldest niece.

Saturday was all about party prep and set up. My guy was assigned the task of bus driver and provided transportation to those in need. Party set up was pretty quick and easy with plenty of down time to relax before the festivities. Of course I had made more videos to be the highlight of the party and this time they were able to be shown on a big screen at the fire hall. It was such a huge improvement from just a normal TV screen. Big thanks to my youngest niece’s boyfriend for hooking me up with the setup.
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The fun continued after the party with game night and lots of late night conversation. Sunday the graduates were recognized at church and we had lunch at the favorite Mexican restaurant. After lunch we took the whole crowd bowling for a little girls versus boy competition. Unfortunately, my bowling has not improved but we still had fun! A family football game was next on the agenda. We headed to the local park and my sister, my guy and my youngest niece joined me in the cheering section as everyone else played a game of football. Cutler was in his zone and totally loved playing with everyone. We ended the evening with leftovers and conversation!

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On our way back home today we were about an hour away when my guy’s car all of a sudden seemed to lose power. We pulled over on the side of the interstate (of course it had to be on a curve at an exit) as the car cut off and would not start again. The dashboard promised 10 miles to empty, but I was convinced we were out of gas. My guy called us in to AAA and after waiting on hold for what seemed like an eternity was finally put in touch with an operator. We learned that due to coronavirus, AAA is not providing any transport of people. My guy’s gut instinct was to have the car towed home and get a rental to get us home. After learning we would have no transport I convinced him to at least try just having some gas brought to us and see if that happened to be the only issue. He listened and said we would try that first and then decide what to do if needed later. I was right! (whew!) AAA sent someone with a gas can and after a quick battery jump (We had sat for an hour charging three phones and had also drained the battery.) we were back on the road. Once we arrived home I was on Facebook and looked at my memories and learned that we had run out of gas again exactly 3 years ago to the day. Note to self, no traveling on June 15th in the future!

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What’s for Dinner?

We had sausages with peppers and french dip sandwiches with pasta salad for dinner last week! The french dip sandwiches were amazing!

Gardening Fun

I noticed some nibbling on my tomato plants and decided to install a chicken wire fence around my plants. My guy and I headed out Thursday and got the needed supplies and got everything put into place. I knew we had plans to leave for the weekend and did not want my plants left unprotected. Upon inspection when we returned home today I found one of my tomato plants was broken. It did not appear to be chewed but maybe pulled until it snapped. I saw no evidence of any critter burrowing under my fence. Perhaps it was a freak accident? There was a small tomato on the plant that was not eaten. I shall keep close watch and we shall see. I have researched how to keep critters out of the garden and have read every home remedy out there. If I keep seeing nibbles I will have to start trying some of those as well. I do not want to harm the critters, I do enjoy watching them play in the yard, but I just don’t want to share my garden with them.
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The flowers are doing well and growing nicely. I am amazed at how pretty the original flowers I planted have become. I was sure they had died when the weather turned colder but somehow they managed to make a comeback. The battle with the raccoon seems to be a victory for the humans for now. I keep a close watch for a rematch though.

Hiking Adventures

I did a solo hike last week. My guy had planned an all day hike for himself so I did the Laurel Creek Trail to check the rhododendrons again. Not many flowers to see but the butterflies we’re out and about! I also paid a visit to our new local ice cream place after my hike.
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Busy Hands & Busy Mind

I gave volunteering with the Red Cross another chance last week and had a much better experience than my first one. This was an indoor drive (not a mobile unit) and was a regular monthly drive. Therefore most of the donors knew exactly what to do and I felt a little useless. I’m still not quite sure if this is the right fit for me. I’m not yet feeling useful enough to prove that I am filling a need, but I will continue helping out and searching for other opportunities. It was great to hear a story of a donor who was so excited to be able to donate again after being cancer-free for five years. There is a need for volunteers and I will probably volunteer again next month.

I can finally show off one of my secret projects. This is an afghan I had made for my oldest niece for her graduation present. As a young child I introduced her to the movie Tarzan and she instantly fell in love. Throughout her childhood years she must have watched that move a thousand or more times. She had every Tarzan toy we could find and always loved it. The song from the movie, “You’ll Be In My Heart” became our song. Living six hours away from part of my family was always hard and I always told her she would always be in my heart even when we weren’t together. I made her the afghan with the hopes that even now as she begins her adult life that she will still know I am always right there with her in her heart. ❤

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My most recent surprise project is going well. I am out of yarn and will have to purchase more from my local craft store this week. I have been building up my supply of dishcloths and have been working on sewing a set of placemats. I love this fabric and had intended to attempt to sell this set, but I have to admit I won’t be heartbroken if they do not sell and I end up having to keep them!

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Sappy Selfies

Have a great week! XOXO
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Picture Perfect Weather

A Look at Our Week 

I can’t believe it is already June. It seemed like March and April lasted forever and then bam! it was June. I started my new job this week and I’m not quite sure it is going to be a good fit for me. It does not pay quite as much as the first job I had that has slacked off. This new job is a fact checking job for social media posts and it just amplifies the frustration with social media. I’m not quite sure I can continue with this particular project. The company does offer many other projects so I’m hopeful something else will come along that is a better match for me.

I was scheduled for my first volunteer shift with the Red Cross this week too. The blood drive I was scheduled for ended up having to be cancelled due to computer issues. My first experience was not completely positive, but I am holding out hope that the shift I am scheduled for next week will be better.

Hiking Adventures

Every June my guy and I manage to miss the blooming of the rhododendrons. We are usually away at drum corps in June or not in the hiking mode having just returned home. This year we are determined we are not going to miss the bloomings. We have been walking one of our favorite local trails, The Laurel Creek trail every other day looking for blooms. The flowers are budding and the blooms will be coming out very soon. We have plans to visit a few other favorite trails once the blooming starts. I do love living in such a beautiful place.

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Handy Man

My guy was able to practice his handy man skills this week. We have a few projects that needed completing around the house. His brother was supposed to help with these projects the last time he visited but they did not get completed. One of the projects was to fix the frame and bed slats on our bed. Off to Home Depot we went to purchase needed supplies after lots of research went into exactly what we needed. A little more research in the store and we were good to go. One project has now been checked off the to-do list and I have to admit I kind of like the handy man look on my guy.

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What’s for Dinner?

I was finally able to go to the grocery store again. I had promised myself that I would not go again until the first of June, we had accumulated so much stuff over the lockdown. I asked my guy for meal ideas since it had been awhile. When asked he usually replies with some sort of stir fry meal. This time it was his other favorite, shrimp scampi. I was happy to deliver and it was delicious. We also had  bbq sausages and corn and pork tenderloin.

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I have attempted the homemade biscuits yet again. This time I made sure to bake them in a small pan so that they were all touching. They did seem to rise a little higher. I definitely have improved on my layers and think in a different type of oven I would be good to go. I won’t give up, a good southern granny must know how to make good homemade biscuits. Not that there is any hint or desire of becoming a southern granny anytime soon, but a girl has to practice and be prepared.
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Gardening Fun 

Most of the garden is planted now. I still have a few tomato seedlings that I am babying inside, but they are just about ready to go in the ground. They will probably be planted this weekend. The plants are looking good, no signs of any critter nibbling yet. The cucumbers were looking a little blah, but I am seeing good leaf growth on most of them with only one looking a little sickly.
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This has been my project for the week. I have cleaned out and tilled one of the flowerbeds at the house. I planted flowers and added mulch and rocks that we have found while hiking the holler. I added the hanging plant today and I am quite pleased with the end result.

Backyard Bliss

The weather this week has been wonderful. One evening after a hike my guy and I sat out on the back deck and enjoyed our view. The weather was perfect and the view was breathtaking as always. We ended up having dinner outside and continued porch sitting for the rest of the evening. During our sitting time we enjoyed the birds that were visiting my bird feeders. While we were quietly watching we kept hearing a strange sound that sounded like water dripping. I quickly Googled bird call that sounds like water dripping and we were introduced to the brown-headed cowbird.

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Our battles with the raccoon have continued. I guess the one positive out of it would be that now when we go to the door the raccoon is at least scared of us and runs away. Amazing what a boot to the head will do to you. I moved the feeder one day and hung it from a branch convinced that I had solved the problem. I’m surprised we could not hear the raccoon laughing that night as he pulled the feeder up by the rope and emptied out all of the seed and hung it from a smaller branch. Almost as if he was making sure I saw what he had done. The next day we upped our game and my guy slid the feeder all the way to the thinnest, tiniest branch. The feeder was still empty the next morning, I have no clue how the raccoon could have done it. My guy thinks perhaps it is the one squirrel that has started visiting as well. I’m going to be keeping close watch until I figure it out. I may have to invest in one of those wildlife cameras to help solve these mysteries.

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Another one of my projects for this week was to get the clothesline to a workable, usable state. A few improvements are still needed and I will work on getting it higher off the ground. I loved having my clothes hanging outside to dry though! My guy thinks that it will be short-lived, but I’ll prove him wrong.

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Busy Hands & Busy Mind 

I have slowed down a little on my sewing this week. I have worked hard in the yard and garden and have been tired in the evenings and just wanting to sit on the couch. I did make another makeup bag, this one turned out much better than the first one. I also have a set of placemats cut out and ready to sew and a pillow ready to go. I am waiting on an order of fabric to come in to finish the pillow. I am also working on another secret afghan project. It is looking wonderful and I am quite pleased.

Sappy Selfies 

Have a great week! XOXO

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Sewing Time

A Look at Our Week

Another awesome week in the books! Our trip home from Ohio was uneventful and enjoyable. I’ve done lots of working this week and working on getting back into my normal routine. One of my jobs has slacked off quite a bit since the lockdowns so I applied and have been accepted into another similar type position with another company. I have also restarted my volunteer application process with Red Cross. I have taken my online trainings this week and will be scheduled for a donor event soon.

What’s for Dinner? 

Not much fancy dining going on around here this week. We are continuing to eat up all of our stockpiled rations, so lots of soup on the menu. I did make hamburger patties and french fries one night and we also went out to a local restaurant one night. We still haven’t made our trip to our favorite restaurant we had decided would be our first restaurant experience after the lockdown. That restaurant is in Boone, NC and Boone has unsuccessfully attempted to keep all non-county residents out of their establishments. We are still a bit taken aback by this attempt and not ready to give them our money just yet.

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Hiking Adventures

Monday before we left Ohio we went on a hiking adventure with my guy’s family. We went to one of the Cleveland Metroparks and did a hike around Hinkley Lake. There were lots of people out and about on this beautiful day and the lake was full of kayaks and paddle boards. One of the highlights of the hike was watching the snakes swim in the lake.

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Busy Hands & Busy Mind

Oh, how I am loving my time spent sewing. I excitedly await for “sewing time” to come around each evening after all other activities are complete. The new to me sewing machine is doing great. Our spare bedroom is now covered with sewing notions on every spot possible, but I am loving this learning process.

This week I made a makeup bag, hiking bandanna for my guy, several more masks, makeup face cleaners and a cup cozy. I have several more projects in the planning queue, as always and will start on a new afghan soon as well. I finally completed my 31 days of hats to donate to a cancer center. Only six months late, but I’m sure they will still be greatly appreciated. I have contacted a local cancer center to see if they took donations and they are excited to receive my stash.

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Gardening Fun 

I set my vine fences back up in the garden this week and my seedlings are ready to go into the ground. My tomato seedlings that I planted from seeds are not looking too great. After the plants get a certain size I begin sitting them outside during the day and bringing them back in at night. The tomatoes do not seem to like this arrangement. Perhaps they prefer to be indoor tomato plants?! I believe I may be over-watering the tomatoes and am going to ease up on the water and see if this helps. My plan is to get all the plants planted this weekend and we will see how things go this year.

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I love sitting at my kitchen table and watching all the wildlife go by! The bunnies were out playing in the yard this week chasing each other in circles. It was quite entertaining to watch. The cows, horse, turkey, groundhogs, chipmunks and birds are fun to watch as well. I have rearranged my bird feeders this week in  hopes of being able to see the feeders from my kitchen table. A very large masked bandit loved the new arrangement. We caught him one night just snacking away at both feeders. He wasn’t scared of us at all and it finally took my guy throwing a shoe to scare him away so I could rescue my feeders. I have moved them again today, hopefully to a less accessible location. We shall see how it works.

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Sappy Selfies

Have a great week! XOXOXO

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Birthday Travels

A Look at Our Week 

Each week we seem to move closer and closer to a real normal life around here. Yay! This week we were focused on work and preparing for our holiday weekend travels. My weight is going back and forth and I am ready for something to click and to make some changes around here. I am still doing my dance workouts at least two times a week. I am wanting to walk again but the weather has not been cooperating with those plans. The gardening is also a good workout. Attempting to get the tiller started for 30 minutes the other day was just as good as any arms day in any gym around.

What’s for Dinner? 

I had a chicken salad recipe that I wanted to test for a future party. I made it this week and my guy is definitely a fan. He is a good food-testing guinea pig! We also had beef stir fry with rice and continued eating up all of our quarantine supplies. I also made up a batch of blueberry cookies for our Ohio travels. I tested out a new recipe for Guinness meatballs on my guy. It passed his tasting so I also made them while we were in Ohio.

Traveling Times 

Sunday we took a trip to Danville. It was Cutler’s 20th birthday. Luckily, Virginia had started opening up a little that weekend and we were able to enjoy lunch on the patio of a local restaurant. It is always good to catch up with the boy and hear what is happening in his life. It’s hard for this Mom to believe her baby has turned 20.

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Friday we headed to Ohio for a family get together. Gee, that sounds so good doesn’t it? Families able to get together again! We always enjoy our time in Ohio and love catching up with the family.

Today we headed out on a local trail and enjoyed the river views.

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Gardening Fun 

My new tomato and cucumber seedlings are doing well so far. The first set started off great too so I’m not going to get excited just yet. Hopefully I will be able to get back out into the garden soon and reassemble my fencing that my vines/plants grow up. It is on the to-do list so it is sure to get done.

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Busy Hands & Mind

I finished matching mom & baby hats this week for my collection. Actually the baby hat was an accident and the result of not reading my pattern correctly, but it is still precious. I also made another coffee cup cozy as I was not too happy with the last one I had made. I’m still working on the afghan for mom and beginning to plan my next big project. I will have her afghan completed very soon.

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Sappy Selfies 

Have a great week! XOXO
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Almost Normal

A Look at Our Week 

Finally, we had a normal week here! My work has started picking back up so I was able to work throughout the day again. It felt great to get back into our normal routine. There is still plenty of evidence that all is not completely normal just yet. I will be glad when we no longer have to pause while making plans to investigate what is opened. Hopefully we will be there soon.

What’s for Dinner? 

We decided in middle of the lockdown which restaurant we would visit first when allowed. We made plans to do that this week before realizing that North Carolina has not opened back up just yet. So instead we worked on getting rid of all the stockpile of foods we have accumulated during the lockdown. We had pork chops with cheesy mixed vegetables and hamburger patties with potatoes and baked beans. We did hit one local restaurant that we have never tried out before. It’s a small mom/pop type greasy spoon (our fave!)  and it was packed. We will definitely be going back!

Hiking Adventures

Friday we took the day off from work and headed out on another adventure. We stopped for lunch and then had planned on hiking a trail in North Carolina. When planning our day we learned that the  Blue Ridge Parkway had not completely opened back up. We had to change our plans slightly but ended up doing a 2.5 mile loop around Price Lake. The views were beautiful, not many blooming flowers just yet, but it’s been cool here so I’m sure they will be out soon.

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I’m crawling out of lockdown with an extra 10 pounds that has got to go quickly! It’s amazing what 10 pounds can do to you. Got rid of 3 of those pounds this week and ready for more to go away for good.

Busy Hands & Busy Mind

I am working on an afghan for my mom and continued on that this week as well as another hat for my donation collection. I made a coffee cup cozy for my niece, I’m not completely happy with it though and will probably try another pattern later. I also made a dishcloth from a pattern my sister had sent me. Her friend was working on the pattern and I decided I liked it and tried it out. I love this pattern and will experiment with color combinations the next one I make. I like having these on hands for gifts and have used up my supply.
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While I was at my sister’s we saw a craft shelf for sale on the local yard sale page and I jumped on it. I have been working on reorganizing my craft corner and making room for my sewing machine. I also brought back a lot of clothes and home decor items my mom wanted to get rid of and I am trying to sell those on my local yard sale page. I’ve had lots of good luck selling some of my stuff but so far not much interest in what I have listed now.

I set up my new craft shelf and did a little rearranging in the spare room/craft room. I think I will like my new setup. I have also made myself a desk area in the living room. I’m not sure that I will like it more than my recliner setup but we shall see. I am now in the market for the perfect office chair for my new desk area.

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Gardening Fun 

My tomato and cucumber seedlings have sadly not made it. I’m not quite sure what happened to them. My green pepper seedlings look great. I will have to get more tomatoes and cucumbers and will get everything planted soon. Which reminds me I still need to till the garden. Time is moving too quickly these days and I am struggling to get everything done. I am sure it will all get done, just not sure how quickly it may happen.

I managed to find my motivation this week and went from interior decorator to farm girl gardener in about 7.2 seconds. The garden in now tilled and new seeds have been planted to replace the dead seedlings. I also picked up a few tomato plants this week to add to my collection. It’s an experimenting year again, we shall see what works. Hopefully we will be home a little more this year and will have more success than last year.

Sappy Selfies 

Have a great week! XOXO
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Ready to Slow Down

A Look at Our Week

I feel as if I am living in an alternate universe from the rest of the world. The two major things I hear other people say about the quarantine is that they long to be around others and for the hustle and bustle of everyday life to return.

My wishes are the exact opposite! I am longing the solitude that I find in my normal non-quarantined life. I have had plenty of visiting and fellowship and am ready for our normal calmness. I’ve read many reports of people stating that their quarantine life has been much slower than normal and they are missing the quickness that is their normal. The last two months seem to have been much busier for me. Between mom visiting, traveling back and forth to her house, way too many trips to the grocery store and a week of staying with my sister, I am ready to be still and have some chill time!
I guess we are all affected differently by the current state of things. However it is affecting everyone I am sure we can all agree we are ready to see what our new normal may be.

Traveling Times 

Our plan was to return home with mom on last Friday. She was so excited about returning home that she convinced me to leave Thursday evening instead. We quickly packed up the car and hit the road. She was so happy to return home and to even just a little bit of her normal routine.
With Mother’s Day and my niece’s virtual graduation happening the following weekend I decided to stay with my sister for the week. I wanted to catch up with my nieces, and mom and I were ready for a break from each other.
The week here has been one busy non-stop whirlwind. I have been cleaning mom’s apartment and helping her get rid of stuff, making masks for my sister’s work, preparing birthday dinner for my youngest niece, and a little essential shopping. I am ready for some down time!

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Visitors

Cutler came to visit us during our last week at home. It had been so long since I’d seen him and he was definitely needing some mountain getaway time. It was a wonderful short visit and everyone enjoyed it. We took him on one of our favorite hikes in the area (that was opened) and Nana and I made sure we cooked his favorite foods while he was here. We’ll see him again for his birthday next week. Hard to believe he will be 20 years old!

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What’s for Dinner? 

We were finally able to find manicotti in the stores and complete all of mom’s requested meals while she was here. We had manicotti, salad, mac and cheese and rolls when Cutler came to visit.

While we were at mom’s house we celebrated my niece’s 20th birthday. She requested meatloaf, mac and cheese, green beans, and mashed potatoes for her special meal. We also celebrated my oldest niece’s college graduation. She requested a steak dinner with salad and baked potatoes. We had a cookie skillet for dessert.

We were also able to finally go out to eat while I was there. It sure was nice to eat something that someone else had prepared for a change! I am coming out of quarantine with several more pounds than when I went in, but I will get back on track and have it taken care of soon, I hope.

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Busy Hands & Busy Mind

I finished another hat and another batch of masks. My sister works at an eye clinic and they are now required to wear masks so I made about 30 for them while I was at mom’s. I am already missing my sewing machine! We have plans to visit Ohio for Memorial Day and I will be coming home with a sewing machine of my very own thanks to my guy’s dad’s wife. I can’t wait! My niece finished my grocery bags for me as well. Can’t wait until I can start using them!

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I tried a new activity this week! My guy was past due for a haircut. We have wanted to get a pair of clippers for awhile and finally had no choice but to go for it. I was a little nervous at first but he assured me it was next to impossible to mess up his #1 all over style.

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Sappy Selfies 

Have a great week everyone! XOXO

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Another Week Down

 

  A Look At Our Week 

There is a light at the end of our tunnel. We have a plan set for mom’s return home after the stay at home order is lifted for Tennessee. She will still need to isolate herself and we have given her instructions on what that will entail. I know she is ready to get back to her home and her routine and although we will miss her, we are ready for normalcy here as well. I will take her home the first weekend in May and spend the weekend with her to ensure that she has everything she needs before giving her much  needed alone time. She has been given strict instructions on staying home and not going out unnecessarily. I have my doubts that she will actually stay in but I have held her captive as long as I can.

My work  has started picking up a little bit this week. Hopefully it will all be back on track very soon. I’ll miss the extra free time but I also miss the money coming in. I’ve looked into a few other jobs but nothing has panned out just yet.

What’s for Dinner? 

Our menu for the week was cube steak and gravy with corn and noodles, breakfast for dinner, beef tips with gravy and peppers & onions with  and take out night.

I attempted making homemade biscuits yet again. This time I tried a different recipe and had the exact same results. Still no nice, fluffy biscuits. I am not ready to give up just yet. I was beginning to doubt myself and ready to throw in the towel. I did a little research and have learned that the convection oven we have is not good for baking goods. My research specifically mentions flat, unfluffy biscuits coming from these ovens. I now have plans to try my recipe at mom’s house next weekend and see what the results are. Sounds like another reason to find a new house to me!

My dessert for the week was chocolate meringue pie. It turned out delicious! I made my own pie crust and everything.

Busy Hands & Busy Mind 

I made two more  makeup bags this week and finished my two grocery bags. My niece is going to add a quote onto my grocery bags for me. I managed to get my reusable grocery bags ready just in time for them to become banned!
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I also started working on a curtain for a counter in my kitchen that will hide some of my stored appliances. I love the fabric that I used for this.  I am still enjoying the sewing and looking forward to making the purchase of my first sewing machine. I have started doing research and asking for friend’s opinions on which type of machine to buy. Hopefully things will settle down soon and stores will restock so I can make my purchase. While talking to my guy I was careful to refer to this as my first sewing machine. He caught on quickly and asked how many I planned on having. It seems to be a collection thing, I’m not sure anyone has only one.

I finished my surprise project this week. It survived the washing machine and will be showcased at a later date. I’m very happy with the end result. I finished a hat to add to my hat collection and started working on mom’s afghan as well.

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Mom loves watching YouTube crafting videos. They are on non-stop most days. She has been working on making quilts and finished one quilt and two quilt tops this week. This one is a 3 yard quilt from a book of patterns we found during one of our many online crafting shopping trips. She had this one done in no time at all. She likes all the floor space in our living room and uses that as her design wall.
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Gardening Fun

I killed some more weeds in the garden this week. I still need to till and add new dirt, that is on the list for this week.

Some of my seedlings are not looking too great. I have tried remaining hopeful that they will bounce back but I’m not seeing too much improvement just yet. The pepper seedlings are looking great and doing the best. We shall see what happens.

Hiking Adventures

Our state parks opened back up this week. We had big plans to spend our Friday out on the trails. Well, the weather had different plans it seems. We woke up to a rainy forecast and decided to postpone our return to hiking. Instead we visited the new ice cream shop that opened in town.
I have continued taking our friend’s dance workout class online and it is lots of fun. At least I am moving my body twice a week! Baby steps, we will get back to where we once were and go even further.

Sappy Selfies

Have a great week! Stay safe & well! XOXO

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