Friday, December 11, 2015

The Little Tractor That Could

During the summer I went to the Elkhorn Flea Market in Elkhorn, WI and found the cutest little tractor and trailer for only $5.  Had I known I would have had this much fun with a little tractor I would have kept some of my sons Hot Wheel cars!  Imagine the possibilities!

In the fall my little tractor was filled with putka pods that look like mini pumpkins.  

And here he is with a few miniature Christmas trees for the holiday season. 

I sprinkled some snow flakes and added a small tree to make it a little more festive.   

I'm afraid to admit but this is the only holiday decoration I've set out apart from some greenery!  Tonight is Christmas tree night.  We're not hosting Christmas this year so I've been a little slow on the decorating front.  Although I have spent and inordinate amount of time following all of the holiday home tour blogs, so much so that I'm neglecting my own home!
At least I've gotten some fun ideas. 

I'm not totally hopeless though because I got a few batches of holiday cookies done.  I think I need to get in gear this weekend.  Christmas is only two weeks away! 

Until next time!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Beauty Everywhere!

I stated in my previous post that I wanted to focus on beauty throughout November and heading to Colorado this weekend was the perfect way to find true beauty.

My daughter and I went up to the Rocky Mountain National Forest to do some hiking.  We packed water and some snacks and off we went.  Sometimes I think I overestimate my abilities because I had no fears and it truly didn't dawn on me that I would be hiking in a Mountain as in (a) the air is thinner in the higher elevations, (b) at some time I would be hiking UP the mountain.   Hiking up the mountain was a LOT harder than I anticipated! We started out going down 3.6 miles and then stopped for some snacks.  Then it was time to hike back UP 3.6 miles.  I had to stop several times just to get my breath.  But I made it and I'm really happy that we did it together.  The scenery was too beautiful for words and even the pictures I snapped on my IPhone can't convey how breathtaking the scenery was. 

We stopped at the Red Rocks

A pic of the snow covered mountain

Part of our hike

My daughter taking pictures near a little lake

A herd of Elk

I asked for more beauty in my life and got a boatload this past weekend.  The chance encounter with the herd of the beautiful Elk was the tip of the iceberg!

It will be a while before I'll be able to top this one!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Heading To Denver

My daughter booked a flight to Denver a few months ago because she was planning on meeting up with a bunch of old work colleagues to celebrate one of the group’s new store opening.  Unfortunately my daughter was the only one who actually took it seriously enough to book the flight only to find out that the grand opening of the friends store has been postponed, a couple of other’s flaked out because they couldn’t get the time off and one is just MIA.  They all work in retail except for my daughter so her schedule is the only one that is fairly consistent.

She has another friend she planned to meet up with during her visit but she didn’t want to impose over an entire weekend.  When she told me she wanted to do some hiking my motherly instinct got all churned up and I worried she would be abducted out on the trails all by herself.  She’s 24 years old and travels quite a bit for work and I know that she can handle herself but we live in such a scary world that I couldn’t let her be alone.  So I’m going to fly out on Saturday and meet her there.

I’ve never been to Denver, I’m not much of a traveler mainly because I’ve always found other things to do with the money, like survive, but I’m not getting any younger and I want to experience some fun things along the last leg of life’s journey, (hoping it’s going to be a long last leg)!

I’m looking forward to this quick weekend trip.  The Denver film festival is this weekend, there’s an art festival and of course hiking.  We bought some clothes for hiking last night although we didn’t get the Bear Pepper Spray as my son suggested.  We will scope out the locals and see if that is necessary along with the mountain lion issue he brought up.  I think he’s just trying to scare us but I did find the information below on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife center. 

 I’m not sure I want to run into a bear this weekend.  Unless it is a Chicago Bear winning a game for a change, but then I wouldn’t run into one of them in Denver this weekend since they’re playing the Chargers on Monday….but I digress!

Wish me luck!  The last part says tell an Adult.  I am an adult so who am I going to tell!  

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Creative Energy - Finding Beauty in an ugly world

I hate starting out on a negative note but living in a suburb of Chicago means you don't have to look too far to find the face of evil. 

The other day a nine year old boy was gunned down in Chicago.  He was playing basketball and died with his ball right next to him.  What monster would do such a thing?  The children in that area are never safe and they have nowhere to turn. 

It made me think of my son when he was nine.  He had a normal childhood, he could walk anywhere at any time, he could ride his bike safely anytime of the day or night.  The police in town know who all the kids are, they know the bad ones and the good ones.  We don't live in paradise there are still a number of crimes committed but for the most part it's as safe as you can get being only a 20 minute ride from the city.  Drugs and violence will always find a victim no matter where you live but those incidences are against the norm in our town, whereas in parts of Chicago it has become a way of life.  I only wish those Chicago neighborhoods could clean themselves up.  Innocent children shouldn't have to die while playing on the street.  I grew up on those streets but they weren't nearly as mean as they are today.

I thank God everyday that we were able to raise our children in a town with very little violence.  We really couldn't afford the homes in the area but found an old fixer upper that did us well over the 10 years we lived in it.  When it was time to look for a new home we almost left town but my daughter begged us to stay because she was only a year away from high school and didn't want to have to make new friends.  We ended up with a small house because we sold at the time the market was high.  We sold high but had to buy high to stay in this town.  Here we are another 11 years later and the kids are grown and about to fly the nest.  Now we are setting our sights on a new area because we don't have to worry about schools and proximity to the city. 

So this morning I decided to look for something that symbolizes beauty.  Something to help spark some creativity in my day.   As soon as I walked out of my door to get in my car she caught my eye.  A lovely little rose blooming for the last time before the cold weather sets in and the plant goes to sleep. 

It was foggy this morning and the sun was just starting to rise so the light was lovely.  I snapped the picture and love the vibrancy of the colors.  I didn't have to alter the picture in anyway.

I've decided that I'm going to try to look for something of beauty every day for the rest of November.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Return to Blogging!

Time to start Blogging again! 

I can’t believe it’s November and the last time I did a blog post was April!  That’s just crazy.
No recaps just yet.  I’ll save those for later posts because I PLAN to post more often!

For now I’ll just start November with my latest projects to be completed. We’re planning on moving in the spring so I’d like to post some pictures as I go along. 
I’ve updated my window frames in my bedroom.  Painted the room and now just need to get some new carpet.   The old carpet has been through 12 years of living, children and a dog and it shows.  I’ll throw some pictures on the walls and be done. 

My new home is going to be on a lake so I’m going to decorate in country/farm chic/shabby chic/French country, but most importantly Coastal!   I have come to realize that as I’m getting older I really don’t have a style.  I just like what I like and whatever that is that's my style.   We'll see how that comes about in my new home. 
In October we were invited to a bon fire at a farm and had a wonderful time.  One of the women had an apple orchard so she brought a truck load of apples and handed them out.  My daughter brought home two big bushels.  So I made 2 apple pies, a tarte tatin and the rest are in the freezer to be served for Thanksgiving. 

This time of the year is always a lot of fun but I’m really really going to miss summer.  I took a new job that is a 1 – 1 ½ hour drive from home during rush hour.  It’s not the best way to spend ones time and I’m not looking forward to the drive when it snows.  But I’m a Midwesterner so I’ll just have to deal with it.   Unless of course I can find a fancy new job in a warmer climate, then I’m outta here!

Good bye Summer.....

Monday, April 20, 2015

A New Wine - Even on a Monday night

My daughter and I like to try new things and we especially like to try to new alcoholic Adult beverages.  We've had some hits and we've had some misses (let's not talk about the pickle juice and tequila shots).  Our recent yummy find wis Lillet, a French aperitif fortified wine. 

A few weeks ago my daughter found a French cookbook on sale at Anthropologie so she grabbed it and brought it home.  We browsed the entre's and sides, but became engrossed in the desserts and cocktails, of course!  There was a cocktail in there that used Lillet which sounded so refreshing. We researched the wine and called our local liquor store to see if they even stocked it.  They confirmed so off we went and bought one bottle of white and one of blush.  It's not dreadfully expensive but considerably more than the 3 buck chuck from Trader Joes.  We had NO idea how it would taste but we really wanted to try it.  I can't remember what the cocktail was (not because I had too many, but because I just don't have much short term memory, which may be a direct result of all of the alcohol consumed since high school but I digress.   I know it involved some club soda but that's about it.  The goal was to find a summer drink and I think we found it and will make again as soon as we find the cook book. I'll have to post about it later when we find the book.

Anyhow, tonight I wanted a glass of wine and remembered I had some leftover Lillet.  So I cut up an orange and a lime added it to the glass with some ice, poured the Lillet and viola, I had a nice refreshing drink. 

Even though Lillet is a bit expensive I do see it becoming one of our go to cocktails this summer while we sit in the sun in the evenings and weekends.  While the temps have dropped back down to almost freezing my Lillet cocktail made me think of warm summer days not long to come. 

I'm also intrigued by the recipes on the Lillet website.  I think I'll try this one:
Oh I can already feel summer coming around the corner and I think we'll have a few signature drink concoctions. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Spring Salad

Recently we were invited to dinner at our friends house. They were making steaks and I offered to bring some potatoes and salad. I wanted to make a fancy salad with lots of different fresh ingredients. We have a local grocery store that carries a wide variety of produce so I decided to start there. 
I picked up a bunch of kale, fresh radishes, red leaf lettuce, bulk spinach, green onions, avocado, and strawberries.  I had some dried cranberries and walnuts in the cupboard and threw them in.  I made sure to cut the cut the kale away from the spines because kale can sometimes be a little bitter. 

A friend of ours fishes up in Northern Wisconsin and my husband always orders a wheel of Blue Cheese. It sits in our refrigerator and eventually becomes Gorgonzola.  Either way it is amazing and tastes great on just about anything.  So I decided to add it to our salad.
We picked up a bottle of Brianna's Blush Wine Salad Dressing.  It paired well with the strawberries and cranberries.  That salad was amazing!
I'm looking forward to the spring and summer produce.  The warm spring and summer weather make me crave fresh cool salads with lots of different ingredients. It's easy to find new things to try but you do have to be brave on some of the ethnic items.  I'm amazed at how grocery stores have evolved since I was young.  I can remember when my Mother had difficulty finding leeks.  We lived on the Southside of Chicago so leeks probably weren't in high demand in our neighborhood.  They probably aren't today either but I can't be sure since I don't shop there.  Today in the burbs the gourmet grocery stores have everything.  It's a culinary trip around the world in those stores.  Things like Malanga, Chinese Eggplant or Karela (which I will NEVER try again after a recent taste test) and so many other exotic fruits and vegetables available from all over the world at reasonable prices are available.  Sometimes my daughter and I Google a recipe just to know what it is used for. Sometimes we buy it and try it which is how we figured out we will NEVER buy Karela again.   
Who would have guessed a trip to the grocery store could be so exciting! Oh, and what makes it even more of an experience?  Some even sell wine and beer along with a full service restaurant.  Saturday morning grocery shopping is the new Happy Hour!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter Menu

Years of Easter Sunday dinners have taught me many lessons.  I could never understand how the Queen of homemaking, Martha Stewart could serve up beautiful dinners and look so calm and collected.  Ok Ok, I know that was made for TV but I secretly always wanted to just one time be that organized and "perfect". 

I never accomplished it and probably never will but I'm getting close because I've discovered the art of pre-planning, cooking ahead and organization.

My family isn't that sophisticated to care, we're a very down to earth bunch and honestly they wouldn't be happy sitting at a formal dinner but I still like to set up a wonderful buffet of flavorful tasty dishes.

My Easter Menu is simple this year.  Mr. Saylor loves to buy some special HUGE ham that will produce leftovers for weeks ahead.  I'm in charge of the sides.  Past years I've made two meats but this year we're sticking with the ham and ham alone.

My Easter Dinner:

Glazed Carrots
Roasted Brussell Sprouts w/bacon
Mashed Turnip
Corn Casserole
Mashed Potatoes w/Gravy
Sweet Potatoes
Green beans w/Almonds

Mini bundt cakes
Lamb cakes
Dirt pudding cups for the kids

I've got my new table cover, my new table runner, my forced Hyacinth bulbs are all set, can't wait to see how it all turns out!
A Blessed Easter to all.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Cornish Hens

Cornish hens always seemed like a difficult dish to prepare so I never tried making them for my family.  Sometimes that proverbial light bulb can go off in my head and make me realize the obvious.  If I can roast a big old chicken I can roast a little Cornish hen right? 

I bought some Cornish hens at the grocery store and decided to try to make them for our Sunday dinner.  My son is always skeptical about my new dishes so of course he made some comments when he saw those little birds going into the oven. 

First I made a rub of salt, pepper, paprika, thyme and sage.  I rubbed the little hens with Olive Oil and then rubbed them with the mixed.  I added about 10 cloves of garlic in the pan and put them in a 450 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  Then I added a couple of cups chicken stock, some carrots and onions and turned down the heat to 350. 

While the hens were in the oven I made some wild rice, added some cranberries and walnuts.  Then I made some sweet potatoes and some fresh green beans and dinner turned out beautifully. 

My son Mr. Skeptical actually enjoyed it.  I plan to try them again on our grill.  Barbequed Cornish hens sound amazing.  If only our weather would cooperate!

It was a little sad when I was preparing these little hens so tiny and cute.  I sometimes understand is exactly why people go vegetarian.  

Monday, March 2, 2015

A Book Review - I'll Know It When I See It.

I love blogland for so many reasons. It's like one big magazine all rolled up in one touch of a button.  I used to love wandering around book stores and picking up magazines, interior design books, cookbooks, novels, romances and whatever else struck my attention.  It would be so exciting and yet so heartbreaking because I couldn't leave the place with $100's in books. I had to make choices and they were never easy.  The internet opened a whole new world of choices but sadly the bookstores suffered.   Now I get my book ideas from blog reviews and sign on to Amazon.  Sometimes it's just a click of a button and boom there it is on the kindle.  Other times it's fun to get the book in the mail.  I'll admit I'm cheap and never pay the full price.  I always buy the used books because honestly once I finish the book I'll most likely donate it to a local charity.

Recently I stumbled across a fashion blog that is unique because it focuses on older women.  It's called Advance Style by Ari Seth Cohen.  I don't know how I found it but I find it a fascinating blog because it showcases elderly women who love life and fashion and being uniquely themselves.  An inspiration to women of all ages because they show us you're never too old to make a statement.

In one of his posts he spotlighted an author named Alice Carey and her book titled I'll Know It When I See It, A Daughter's Search for Home In Ireland.I started out slow reading this book because I tend to read several books at once.  I'm a multitasker when it comes to reading.  As I got deeper into the story I couldn't concentrate on any other book. 

Alice Carey wrote about growing up in New York with her Irish mother who was a maid for Jean Dalrymple  an American theater producer, manager, publicist, author and playwright.  Carey intertwined the story with her experiences as a poor child in New York who was exposed to the theater and arts, her experiences in the New York gay community and the loss of friends due to the AIDS epidemic, while searching for and remodeling a country home in Ireland.  She flashbacks to her younger days in New York and travelling back to Ireland with her "mammie".   She touched on the taboo things like pedophile priests, the way the Catholic School nuns tried to enlist her into the sisterhood and how she didn't want it, Catholic guilt, family and leaving behind the things you love.

It was a touching story and near the end of the book I couldn't put it down. I loved this story and am so happy to have found this blog and this book. 

I highly recommend the book!
Until next time,

Monday, February 16, 2015

Five On Friday

A belated Five On Friday!

I've been so very busy at work that I didn't even realize it was time for Five On Friday!
So I'm going to do my Five on Friday on Saturday.  I was planning to base my post on Valentines Day so I wasn't too far off by posting on the actual day.  I am joining fellow bloggers for Five On Friday for one more week.   A different group of bloggers taking five  minutes from their day to enjoy five things.  At the bottom of this post you will see who else is joining in this week.  Our host Amy at Love Made My Home is adding a button to her Five On Friday program.  I thoroughly enjoy doing this post and like the fact that we'll be able to post 5 on Friday randomly. 

First off we had a Valentines Day celebration at work.  We were supposed to wear red or pink colors and we could wear jeans.  I had to laugh because one of the young guys in our office wore red jeans.  We work in a corporate environment and most people are pretty conservative so he stood out with his red pants.  It was bold and brought some energy to the office.  That's one of the things I love about working with the younger generation, the energy they bring.  I remember when I was their age and was full of energy and excitement and promise.  Fun memories.

Well, back to our Valentines Day celebration.  I thought we were supposed to bring a treat to share.    So I baked my red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting which is an office favorite.  It's funny because they rave about them all the time when I make them.  I never take credit for them because I use a BOX mix, Duncan Hines Red Velvet.  However, I always make homemade cream cheese frosting.  Maybe that's what makes them special.  I decorated them with sprinkles and set them out around 9am.  They were wiped out by 10.

It's a frosty cold Valentines Day this year.  It's 5 degrees and an icy cold wind is blowing.  I'm hoping we start to see a warm up soon.  My husband has made reservations for us to go out for sushi tonight.  I really don't want to go outside in the cold but the Sushi is totally worth it.
My son is in college so he doesn't have much money, well he has NO money because he doesn't work while in school.  His little girlfriend is so sweet and because neither of them has much money they decided they wouldn't get each other anything for Valentines Day.  Now I love my son very much but I will tell you that little girl has earned a Valentines Day gift by putting up with my son.  So I went to the store and picked up a couple of things for her.  I had a heart box from last year and put the candy in it.  He later went out and bought her a bottle of her favorite wine. 

I love Pop Rocks.  I remember buying them at the corner store on the way to school.  I couldn't resist picking up a package for her gift.
I put together this silly cloche for VDay.  It's a bunch of cute little pink and red rubber duckies!  Usually my son makes fun of my decorating ideas but this time he didn't say anything.  I guess that's a good thing.
To close off the day Mr. Saylor ordered flowers to be delivered to my office. I always find it a little embarrassing having flowers delivered to work.  Everyone makes such a big fuss over it.  They were very pretty though and I wanted to bring them home since they would have to sit there all weekend. At least I can enjoy them at home, that is until my little cat tries to eat them.
Hope everyone had a wonderful Valentines Day! 
am joining in Five on Friday, taking five minutes from our day to enjoy five things.  Please go and visit the other people who are also blogging about Five on Friday this week.
Amy from Love Made My Home
Helen from Woollybluebells
Gina from Fan My Flame
Joanne from A Whole Plot of Love 
Rosie from Corners Of My Mind
Lil from House With Hearts 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Longing for a hot summer day

As I was watching the news tonight they reminisced about the blizzard of 1967 that hit here in the Chicago area.  Funny that I've lived most of my life in Chicago and the area and have endured so many cold, snowy winters but that particular 1967 storm I was just a wee lass still living in Scotland.  We emigrated in 1967 but not to Chicago.  I wonder if my parents watched the news that year and saw Chicago getting blanketed in snow.  I bet my mother didn't even think that one day she would be raising her children in Chicago. 

As I watched the newscast about the blizzard about to pour down on the East Coast I started to long for some hot Summer days.   I'm picturing the warm days at my friends summer house, floating in the lake, feeling that hot sun beating down on us and jumping in the water to cool off.  Family fun at my brother's pool, a baseball game or two.

Pontoons and Jet Ski's
Baseball games
Swimming Pool fun
Summer Concerts
Summer Flowers
I have to remind myself Summer is only a few months away.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Five On Friday

I am joining fellow bloggers for Five On Friday this week.   A different group of bloggers taking five  minutes from their day to enjoy five things.  At the bottom of this post you will see who else is joining in this week. My post is very late on Friday this week because my work schedule is crazy busy but I didn't want to miss thinking about 5 things today.

Since we're in a deep freeze here in the Chicagoland area I decided to focus my Five On Friday on five things I love about Winter.  I could probably come up with at least 5 things I hate about winter but to get me through this time of the year I thought I'd focus on the positive.  Wintertime is a magical time of year, it's cold and snowy, sometimes brutal and cruel and yet can be beautiful and serene.  I thought the best way to face the harshness of winter is to embrace the positive!

What five things do I love about Winter?

The best part about winter is that it doesn't last forever.  When we are facing temperatures 15 degrees below zero we know that it's only for a little while.  We know that in a few short months the temperatures will be rising and the snow will be melting.  The promise of spring is always there.  In winter things go dormant, trees stand tall and brace themselves against the cold brutal winds.  They signify strength and the promise that better days lie ahead.  Soon the sun will shine warmly, their leaves will begin to bud and they will flourish.  I think that's a great metaphor for all of us when we are facing challenges in our lives.  We can look at a cold spindly wintertime tree and know that someday soon that tree will be full of life again. 

The cold harsh winters remind us of just how resilient we can be.  I can remember walking to school in the city as a little girl along with my two brothers.   We used to tease him and if he cried little ice crystals would form on his eyelashes.  Looking back now I think how cruel we were but we were just kids.  The fact is we never missed school on those days and our schools rarely closed.  Today the schools close all the time when we have sub zero temps or heavy snows.  I suppose it's a good thing but what is it teaching the next generation about commitment?  I made it to school every day in the cold and I grew up into an adult who doesn't miss work due to weather.  The newer generations are different.  I will admit however that there was nothing more exciting than a "snow day"!  It was so rare back then, today the kids expect it!
The first snow falls are beautiful.  Our worlds are covered in a blanket of pure white that glistens in the sunlight.  We know that the snow signifies the holidays are near and our worlds become a Christmas card.  I love that time of winter but after the holidays is the time when I start to hate the snow.  Then a big snowfall comes through and it's beautiful all over again.
After months of cold weather and snow my anticipation for Spring starts to happen.  Things slow down in the later part of winter.  I can't do much outside and so I start my spring planning.  I order some special seeds for the garden and start to make plans for what and where to plant.  I love to go into the stores and see the Valentine's day décor and spring gardening merchandise starts to pop up and the winter seems to get that much easier.  I start to anticipate the first signs of new life.  The snow puts everything to sleep and when it melts it nourishes the plant life waiting below the ground.  The first sign of spring bulbs popping through the ground is exciting and rejuvenating. 
The cold winter sends us all indoors for the season.  As I write this post the temperature outside is 5 degrees.  The wind is cold and chills you through to the bone but there is nothing more comforting than to come inside our warm house and snuggle under a blanket like a bear in a cave with a cup of hot chocolate.  What's comical is that in the spring all our neighbors start to come out of their homes and it's as if we haven't spoken for months.  It's just it's so darn cold during the winter that we run from our cars into the house.  I love it when the weather breaks and the neighbors kids come out to play. It's amazing to see how much they have grown in the winter.  It really is like we're all a bunch of hibernating bears coming out of our caves. 
I hope my Five on Friday helps you get through the winter if you're feeling the cold weather like we are here in the Chicagoland area!
I am joining in Five on Friday, taking five minutes from our day to enjoy five things.  Please go and visit the other people who are also blogging about Five on Friday this week.
Amy from Love Made My Home
Helen from Woollybluebells
Gina from Fan My Flame
Joanne from A Whole Plot of Love 
Rosie from Corners Of My Mind
Lil from House With Hearts 

Monday, January 5, 2015

A Frosty Start to 2015

It always amazes me how some Midwesterners react to the frosty temps.  I can never understand why the local media sends a frenzied message about the falling temperatures as if we've never experienced cold weather before.  I can certainly understand why a big freeze would cripple the likes of Texas, Georgia or Florida but come on people we live in a part of the country that experiences freezing temperatures every year somewhere between November and April.  Tonight on the way home from the office I stopped at the grocery store to pick up some milk.  They are predicting frigid temps and snow tonight anywhere between 3" - 6".  You would have thought the world was ending judging by the people climbing all over each other in the store.  The cars were all lined up in the parking lot, people everywhere stocking up for the arctic blast we're about to get.  Really?  3" is going to stop us from getting to the store that's an average of one mile from our homes?  It's crazy and happens every year.  Why do people act as if this will be the end of the world?  Mindboggling. 

Stop the presses, it's January in Chicagoland and we're going to be cold?!  Who knew, right?!  The news media will all freak out, people will drive as if it's a new concept to them, trains will be stuck on their tracks, busses will break down, schools will close because their furnaces break (yes, there is already a school in Chicago that just announced a school closing this evening) and before we know it the weather will break and next year at this time the same process will happen again. 

Forgive me for being sarcastic but I've lived in this area since I was 11 years old and every winter is the same.  So why do people get CRAZY when the weather drops?  I'll never figure it out and it is quite laughable.  Judging from the weather app on my phone Wednesday is the day to watch.  While I can laugh at the weather as I sit here in my warm home, I will say a little prayer for the people who have to work in the outdoors and an extra prayer for the homeless people and animals who have no shelter on these cold days and nights. 

All this weather ranting started because as I said I stopped at the grocery store on the way home to pick up some milk.   I had such a craving for a good cup of hot chocolate. I was going to skip the stop when I saw the mayhem in the parking lot but I decided to go for it anyway.  In the end, I'm glad I did.  It was worth the aggravation.

As the snow began to fall I took a look outside my window and saw our lovely tree covered in snow and gleaming with lights.  This tree was a castoff from a friend who owns a landscaping business.  He dug it out of a clients yard but didn't want to just throw it in the dump.  They called me to see if I wanted it and of course I said yes.  That was several years ago and it has since grown into a lovely little tree.   The look of it in the falling snow was magical and a nice way to close the holiday season. 
My son is home from school for the holidays and he came in the kitchen yesterday and said "Mom, I didn't leave the heat on in my apartment, do you think it will be okay?" Since the area where his school is will be below zero even before we factor in the wind chill I told him he should probably have left the heat on even at a low setting.  Luckily he is only an hour away from here and we decided to take the ride out to turn on the heat and drop off some of his stuff.  His school is in DeKalb, IL and there are some lovely little shops in the area.  The deal was I would  take a ride with him and then he would have to let me stop in at a couple of those shops.  I just love looking at the farms along the way. 
It was a successful trip for me because one of the shops is an Annie Sloan stockist.  I picked up a can to try as I have been hesitant because it's so expensive.  I can't wait to try it on a couple of pieces in my house.  I'm going to start small and see how I like it.  I've got some small projects I want to work on first.  Keeping my fingers crossed I'll like the outcome.  I might as well start some painting projects since we can't do much outside.  Uh oh, did I just admit that the cold weather is going to keep me inside?! Yes I did, I'm just as crazy as the rest of 'em!
Until next time,

Friday, January 2, 2015

Welcome to 2015!

I didn't have a tough time finding my word for 2015.  This year I decided on two words and a quote to base my 2015 year upon. I like the idea of focusing on words instead of big lists of resolutions.  I never ever keep my resolutions.  I have a much easier time focusing on a word(s) that encompass many things.  So here goes.  My words for 2015 are:

In 2014 I started my weight loss journey with weight watchers.  I was successful in taking off 30 pounds.  2015 will be my transformation year.  I plan to finish my weight loss goal and transform myself into living a healthier lifestyle. 
At the end of 2014 I was given a promotion to a new position at work.  This will definitely be a transformation for my work life. I've got so much to learn and many challenges ahead.  In 2015 I'm transforming my career.
Mr. Saylor and I have decided to start fixing up our home in preparation to sell.  We probably won't sell for a couple of years yet but I want to have it ready just in case the opportunity pops up.  We've lived in this house for ten years and have some larger projects to tackle.  Over the past year we've noticed our upstairs shower starting to break down.  We have a leak in the roof that is coming from around the chimney and we need to replace some of the tile on our floors.  We don't have an extra $20K to do all the projects at once so we'll be DIY'ing and transforming the rooms one at a time. 
My second word for 2015 is Laughter.  My transformation in so many areas of my life for 2015 will mean I need to keep my sense of humor.  Laughter always makes everything better so I think that if I can incorporate a lot of laughter into my transformations for 2015 it should make them easier to tackle and more successful. 
"Do small things with great love." —Mother Teresa
I think this quote sums up exactly how I want to attack my transformation and laughter goals for 2015.  If I break each goal, each thought, each action into a small step and do each thing with great love I will be successful and at the end of 2015 I can look back and be content with my accomplishments. 
"content" I see my 2016 word taking form?
Happy New Year.  My your 2015 be a successful year!