Wednesday, September 29, 2010

In With The New, Out With The Old.

Thank you Missie :>)

Hi everyone :>)
Where is Autumn???  Today, even after quite a burst of rain, it was still degrees and muggy. And today was the day I decided to make a big family dinner for all my children.  Yes, the AC in the kitchen was running all day. 

The wee girl wanted to go to the Goodwill to find a few pieces of clothing for School Spirit Week.  We didn't find what she needed, but she did get a few cute skirts (as if she needs anymore clothes) I scored a brand new in package, Woolrich Down Blanket, Queen size in Light blue.  $20.  I paid twice that online.  I have one of these blankets on every bed; they are great all year round. And they wash very well. 

I forgot to post a photo of my new quilt set I got on eBay a little while back.  It's a stock photo of the set, if I ever get my room de-cluttered, I'll take a photo of that! Our room is pale yellow, with antique furnishings.  I bought this set for the warmer weather; I'm a wee bit addicted to buying quilts, comforters, duvets to match the season. 

And a photo of the sofa/love seat covers I bought for the furniture in the mountain house:

Tommorrow, a friend is coming to straighten out my computer problems, and install our new wireless network.  So, I have to clean my office.  Wish me luck.  If it's decent enough when I'm through, I'll take photos.  In order to do business at home, I have to re-organize everything. I noticed today, that my previously beautifully re-done 3rd floor has become hubby's ironing room ;>)  Plus of course, nobody picks up in the bathroom.  I need some space up there for inventory organization.  I also have a foyer before the stairs to the 3rd floor.  As of now, my Ball Python Snake Jade resides there, I'm moving her to my office.  It's very warm in the foyer in the summer, which is what she needs, but winter is coming.

I decided to set a good example and start downsizing aka selling a lot of things I don't or will never need.  One of the items I'm considering selling is an antique Chaise Lounge aka a fainting couch.  It's quite lovely; but, it's sitting on the third floor, where it really doesn't fit in.   There's no room in my bedroom for it.  I also have two antique parlour chairs, which have the rounded backs.  I've never liked the fabric, or the lightness of the wood on them.
I'm going to put some feelers out about the Chaise, I know it's worth a bit of money, and if I can't get a decent amount, I'll hold on to it. 

Hubby and I are having serious conversations about the amount of, um, things we have. Mostly his.  I love him dearly, but he's a bit of a hoarder.  We had to build a pole barn to hold his treasures, plus every extra storage space on the property is just FULL.  He's having a hard time. 

Since I'm going to be doing a lot of online selling, I'm trying to convince him to part with some of his treasures.  Now that he's officially retired, he's promised to work on it. 

Until next time!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Harvest Bargains!

Mmmm, Autumn!  Leaves changing colors, Halloween, Thanksgiving...I was sitting by my pool one day not too long ago, and thought that it had been such a fine summer, I wish it never ended.
But, being the Northeast/East Coast gal that I am, I love the change of seasons.  And as soon as that first hint of crisp, cool air hits in September, I'm ready to cover the pool, take down my now dying summer flower hanging baskets, and start getting excited about the upcoming Fall months.

I buy so many candles, I usually buy them by the case. (in my last post I mentioned one of my favorite candle companies) I also love Yankee Candles, but, only buy them on sale.  One of my favorite items is their room scent atomizers.  Especially the apple scents.
Anywho, Yankee Candles is having some great online sales. And also has a coupon code on their site. Here's the link to YC:
Yankee Candle  Use coupon code:   QHVNP8J for $10 off any online orders of $25 or more through 10/16  If your lucky enough to have an outlet near you, check it out, but be careful, I found some sales in the regular store, that were better then in the outlet.

I'm also a Bath & Body Works freak.  My favorite scent (and Hubby's) is Juniper Breeze.  Which they now only carry in the stores certain times of the year. Bah Humbug! They do carry it online though, and the hubs got such great deals, he bought me two huge gift bags full for my Birthday.  They always have great sales online; make sure and sign up for their email newsletters.  Bath and Body Works  coupon code: 
SEPTHX for 20% off your order, plus free shipping $50 & over. Juniper Breeze is really a warm weather scent, so I haven't picked one out for the Fall yet.  

I had a good trip to the thrift store last week; both things to sell, and to keep.  I got a lovely Coldwater Creek dress; the style is sort of along the same line as the Staci Frati Sweet Pea Layered mesh style. It was also half price, so I got it for $4.00.
Every girl should have a simple black cocktail dress, and I snagged a brand new looking Ann Taylor black cocktail sheath for Tegan.  She's so easy to buy for! I know what styles she likes, and she's around a size 3-5, so lots of nice clothing items to always be found for her!

I have some news to write about in my next post...some good, some not so good, maybe some of it will have changed by then.

Have a great night!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Flowers, the Old Homestead & Candles!

I often refer to my yard & gardens as the great unclaimed wilderness.  The photo above is of my Morning Glories, which grow wild & cover one whole length of my fence facing out toward the driveway.  They also spread upwards, covering the one half of my back porch.  I adore them!  They are perennials, the only maintenance I do is to clear off the dead vines before the Winter.  They add such beauty to our ugly fence.  Hubby made the mistake of getting some weed killer on part of the vines this year, so we had a few wee bare spots.  
This is our money pit.  This photo was taken before our summer landscaping, so the front gardens are very bare. We once again have to re-paint our front porch & steps; as well as touch up the trim (which was never finished by our contractor) You can't see it in the photo, but we have an old Granny Smyth apple tree in the front, which sadly is very old & has to come down.  
Many wonderful, peaceful evenings are spent on our front porch, where I have an assortment of antique & vintage wicker.  I love wind chimes & try to add a new one every year that I take a fancy too.  
Although my bed garden flowers are still flourishing, I will start getting in mums, and hanging planters with fall flowers in them. As soon as the summer flowers wither (I hate to pull them while they still have blossoms) my fall/winter plantings will go in.
As much as I loved sitting on the porch while it was warm, I love it even more when I wrap myself up, with a cup of coffee or hot cocoa, candles lit, and converse quietly with my hubby.  (while our poor babies press their noses against the windows, lolol)

Speaking of candles, there is a fabulous candle company I've been ordering candles from for quite a few years.  I first discovered them in a shop in the Catskills, the prices were quite dear, and they were a rare purchase.  However, I looked them up online, and discovered to my delight, they not only sold to the public, but you could purchase them at wholesale prices, as long as you bought a case. In my opinion, they are every bit as wonderfully scented as the more expensive brands, and their customer service is excellent!

One of my favorite scents is Country Home. Go take a peek!  I'll be ordering a case this week; they are great to give as gifts, and pretty inexpensive one's at the wholesale prices. I hope you enjoy browsing there.

Until next time, Peace to all of you!


Saturday, September 11, 2010


What was I doing that day when it happened??

I was in what is now Hubby's office; on the computer. I had promised myself some time before that I wouldn't have the TV on all day. I was checking emails from a group I belonged too, when I saw new one's pop up; group members were asking if anyone had seen what happened in NYC.

I immediately ran in and switched on the television.

And was in shock.  I saw the second plane hit the WTC, and thought maybe I had fallen asleep, and it was a nightmare.

Tragically...not so.

The first thoughts I had after the initial shock, was for my children.  We had just moved right outside two military bases, and my first impulse was to go and pick them all up.  I called my hubby, who was at school, and honestly I can't remember when he called me back, but he told me they had been watching it in the classroom. 

After I was assured by my children's schools that all was secure, I just sat. And cried.  And was glued to the TV. 

That very morning, my oldest daughter who was signing up for the National Guard, was scheduled to be in Philly for her physical.  That was called off.  She did not pursue going into the military after that day.  I was still technically in the USAR, and wondered if I was going to be called up. 

A lot of that day is foggy; I remember my children being confused, upset and angry.  Emails started to pour in from my family overseas, wondering if we were ok.  Hubby told me he could see the smoke from his school. 

The aftermath was just terrible.  I never went to the WTC site until last month.  Yes, I was a coward, even almost 9 years later, I couldn't face going there.  I have friends who were firemen there, to this day, they suffer, one I know disabled because of that terrible day.

3 months later, I had to fly to Ireland for my Mother's funeral.  I was terrified of flying.  I remember panicking at seeing unclaimed baggage in the airports.

All my life I had heard stories from family about what it was like to live in a country where bombs, shootings, murders etc were part of their everyday life.  As much as it touched me, until 9/11, I would never know what it felt like to be that close to terrorism.  And sadly, I believe that this country was never the same after that.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Michael Douglas

My heart sank when I read about Michael Douglas's revelations about his Throat Cancer.  And further to read about  his beautiful wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones frustration and anger in the delay of his diagnosis.

Because, you see, we've been there.

I too remember the anger at our then family Drs. dismissal of my husband's symptoms.  The almost 6 month delay in having his symptoms properly diagnosed, after hubby returned to his old family Dr., who had the good sense to immediately see that something was wrong, and gave him an immediate referral to the proper specialist.

The ENT specialist, who immediately spotted the problem, and broke the news of my hubby's cancer. But, sent my hubby to one of the best surgeon's in the country, really one of the only one's who could do the life saving surgery he needed.  And at the same time, send him to a top radiation oncologist.  And one of the best hospitals in the country, for his type of Cancer.

My hubby has Pyriform Sinus Cancer.  Yes, even as far as Cancer's go, it is a nasty bugger.  But, someone is looking out for him (and us) because all his Drs. say thus far he is a miracle case. 

Sadly, Michael Douglas is stage IV, and has a walnut size tumor (so I read) at the base of his tongue.  We know from everything we've learned & researched, and from other's who have the same type of tumor and Cancer that he does, that his outcome isn't good. 

And I truly am so very sad, for him, his wife, and his family. 

It's so ironic, that in this day and age, no matter who you are, no matter how much money you have, there are some things that just don't discriminate. You'd think, that with all the money that Michael has, all the resources, he still was not diagnosed early enough. 

My hubby initially went to the fancy pants new practice, with young, supposedly knowledgeable Drs, and they blew him off.  It was his semi retired, old country Dr, who practices in a office that would kindly be described as "quaint" where he began he finally was pointed in the right direction.  We were very fortunate (and blessed) to have the Drs & hospital, where cutting edge surgery and treatment was available. 

I can only offer well wishes to Michael, and his family, that he too, can be given the hope and blessing that my husband, myself and our family has been given. I truly empathize with his wife; I understand her frustration, anger and fears.  I now treasure the gift of every day I have my husband here with me; the love that's been renewed.  I appreciate all the little things we have together. 

It's always so difficult for me to put into words and write down how important Faith, Love and Hope were, and still are when your dealing with a struggle such as Cancer, and the terrifying possiblity of losing someone you love.  Besides everything medically, it's really what got us through, and continues to. 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I'm so Sassy...

Around March 2010 I think
January 2010-You can see the puffiness in my face/neck from my meds, ack

August 2010-Chopped my hair off!

My weight loss journey has certainly had it's up & downs. Added into the mix are the meds I take, which depending on which one's I have to take & the doseage, can swell my face.

After agonizing (and I mean literally for months) I decided to take the plunge and totally revamp my hair.  I have alopecia, and have to wear hairpieces to add to my own hair, but my own hair was quite long, and I hated to cut off what I had.  Plus, hubby likes long hair ::smile::

With the encouragement of family & friends (except for hubby) and after torturing my evil twinnie Mary this summer, I decided on a bob, longer in the front, short in the back.  Color wise, It's a medium brown, with blonde streaks. Sorry, the pic isn't a great one, but I think you get the idea.


 I've gotten tons of compliments, plus I think it takes a few years off my ::cough:: age. (47 for those dying to know)
And best of all (I know I should just care what I think but...) the hubs loves it too!!

Weight loss wise, all I can say is Eh & Eh again..I'm stuck at a plateau, it's mostly my own fault.  Fitness wise, I'm doing great; I have a lot more muscle tone, despite my pain. 

The one question I have is this: Hubby lost 50 lbs, during his Cancer battle.  He previously had a huge spare tire. When he lost his weight, his stomach went flat.  No sagging, etc.  I lost my weight, and my stomach just sagged.

Not fair, right?
I'm so ready for my "Mommy Makeover"
Can't complain about the inches lost on my waist though, even if I have that gross, you know, sag.

I've bought some gorgeous new clothes this summer (all bargains of course) Dresses, sexy tees, etc
I'm never going to be a size 5 or 7 or probably a 10 again. I've got big shoulders, big boobs, and big hips.  My goal is 20 more pounds. And increased strength & fitness.  And to try to make healthy food choices.  Which I don't always do, but I've gotten much better.  I know I've come a long way, because if I make unhealthy dietary choices, I feel, well, unhealthy.  I don't eat half as much meat, I cook much healthier. 

It does help that the positive encouragement I've given to hubby has paid off.  He no longer is a "Meat & Taters Guy" Many of our friends are also very athletic and have healthier diets. 

There are some days I can barely move, but many more days when I can walk forever!  I just take it day by day. 

It's very encouraging & inspirational to read about the healthy choices & see all of the gorgeous pics in blogland that everyone shares, Thank You!