Memorial Day

We had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. We enjoyed a wonderful breakfast at my absolute favorite place where I had the best cinnamon French toast in the world and Bobby and I also visited the man (Allan) responsible for our move to NY. He’s been in the hospital since the 15th of May and his diagnosis is Severe Pancreatitis – an inflammation of his pancreas. Allan seemed to be in very good spirits considering he has not consumed any solid food since his Thursday dinner (5/15). The physicians have him on IVs with the goal of realigning his digestive enzymes other hormones the pancreas produces. Allan is expected to remain at the hospital through this week. When he is released to go home he will continue IVs for another 2 weeks.

Silly me asked Allan what he was able to drink and he said (pointing at the bag) this IV is the only thing I get. The poor guy can’t even have a drink of anything. However, he did say that this was his “BIG” day as he was going to get a Popsicle! His eyes seemed to light up just talking about a Popsicle! And as his wife stated his Mount Everest is the Jell-O liquid that he gets to drink this coming week. As soon as his pancreas is stable, he’s going to have his gallbladder taken care of as the lousy stone in there trying to pass is what they feel caused this whole flare-up.

We certainly enjoyed our visit with them and we look forward to getting together with them when he gets to feeling better.

I Celebrate The Big 40 With Gusto

This truly has been perhaps the very best birthday of my life. From the moment we got up this morning Hubby would not allow me to do anything other than get myself ready. And he has done nothing but give me the royal treatment all day long.

We enjoyed a few hours of shopping and had a wonderful dinner and desert later on this evening. And to top all of that off, he surprised me with a special gift! He treated me with a gift certificate to a local resort and has purchased quite the spa package for me. I get started off with a 50 min massage, then a 50 min. European deep cleansing facial, a pedicure and Lunch! I think I’ll let this sink in for a couple weeks before I indulge. I’ll say I’m one excited old lady!

Ok people, I keep hearing now that I’m 40 that I’m over the hill. To be quite honest, I don’t look at it like that at all. On the contrary, I feel that I’ve climbed this wonderful hill with many wonderful stops along the way. Now that I have reached the quote unquote top, it’s such a peaceful feeling for me. And when Hubby asked how I felt about 40 this morning, I said. “I think the years to come are going to continue to get sweeter and sweeter. I love these years of my life. I look back in awe and wonder at how I got to where I am. And I look ahead with such excitement with many more wonderful days and years to come. I love life, I’m quite alright calling myself an old lady and it doesn’t bother me in the least. And by the time I reach the valley and my time on earth shall be no more I know I will have a lifetime of joy to celebrate and I will be ready to cross the river and pass to the other side and on over to Glory Land. Amen!

And the very worst birthday I can ever remember was turning 20. That was exactly 20 years ago. I remember how I didn’t want to get out of bed to face the day. Man that was a rough year for me. Ya wanna know why? Silly me didn’t like the fact that I was no longer a teenager, and that’s the year it hit me that I was turning into an adult. O I was not ready. I’m so happy 20 years later I woke celebrating 40 with gusto! I’m lovin’ live!

My Big 4 – 0 Entry

Many thanks to you my friends for making this my “Big 4-0” entry a success and without further ado, here are your Q’s and the A’s from the bottom of my heart.

For LaDonna –

  • How did you and Bobby Meet ~ Country Dancing and our first dance ever was the two-step
  • What is your favorite main dish recipe ~ Fried Rice is right up there. There are times I like to leave out the shrimp in this dish and make a nice Cashew Chicken mixture to pour over the top of the fried rice. Unfortunately I can’t put my fingers on that Cashew Chicken recipe. I think it’s in storage.

Note: Bobby’s has reservations made at my favorite Japanese restaurant where I’m going to have some yummy fried rice with my favorite filet mignon, medium well please, with some wonderful veggies too.

Shrimp Fried Rice

Servings Per Recipe – 4

Ingredients

3/4 cup uncooked white rice

1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons sesame oil

1/2 small onion, chopped – “I prefer scallions”

1/2 clove garlic, chopped – I like to add more than just that”

1 and 1/2 cups small shrimp – peeled and deveined

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 carrot – peeled and diced

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup green peas

1 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons soy sauce – We prefer the low sodium kind”

DIRECTIONS

Cook rice according to package directions. While rice is cooking, heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Pour in sesame oil and stir in onion. Fry until golden, then add garlic. When garlic is lightly browned, mix in shrimp. Fry until shrimp is pink.

Lower heat to medium and stir in celery, carrot, green pepper, and peas. Fry until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in beaten egg and cook just until egg is scrambled and firm.

When rice is done, mix thoroughly with vegetables and stir in soy sauce. Adjust seasoning to your preference and serve immediately. I always have to add more soy sauce to mine and Bobby likes it just the way it is.

My Two Cents Worth (regarding rice) – I don’t care for overcooked gooey rice so I keep an eye on it (and there is a difference between the wonderful sticky rice that I so loved in Korea and overcooked gooey rice), I love cooking any and all rice in chicken broth – brings out some kickin’ good flavor, let me tell ya. My favorite rice is Jasmine – just love that stuff cooked in chicken broth and eating it just like that served with vegetables on the side. Back to this stir fry recipe – I like to chill the rice before the stir fry. I think the chilling part allows the rice to firm up. Sometimes I make up the rice a day ahead so that it’s nice and chilled for the stir fry part.

  • If you graduated from college, what was your major ~ I didn’t finish college but had a really big start in Graphic Arts. College ended for me when Bobby and I moved to Korea some 8 + years ago – then pottery came along about a year after our return from Korea (a little over 4 years ago) and I never looked back.

For Mary Ellen-

  • Who was the teacher who had the most influence on your life ~ That Teacher will always and forever be my fourth grade teacher Miss Lucas. She reminded me of my mother and that’s why I loved her so much. She was always kind and pleasant and she exuded sunshine from within. She never picked favorites, she believed in us and she inspired me to always do my very best! I still remember wishing I could keep her for my teacher forever.
  • Who did you have a crush on in high school ~ No harm, no foul but I prefer to leave it at that in here.
  • If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world – where would you go ~ Hawaii – so far we’ve been there 3 times and have stayed on Oahu, The Big Island and Maui. So this time I would like to try Kauai ~ There are many other places we want to visit too but I think Hawaii will always be at the top of my list.

For Rochelle –

  • What is your favorite Book – Pottery On The Wheel by Elsbeth S. Woody – I was told by a professional potter (before I even took my first pottery class) that this was the book that taught them everything they learned about pottery. I rushed out to make my purchase and continue to pick it up over and over again. When I was a kid my absolute favorite book was Curious George Flies a Kite. But anything to do with Curious George was always a favorite of mine.
  • Who is/are your heroesBobby is my #1 hero; I look up to him each day to make the big decisions of our life. I’ve followed him to the ends of the earth and back with excitement around each corner and look up to him for guidance all along the way. Bobby, He’s my #1 daily Amazing Hero! There are other heroes like my parents that I look up to and am so blessed and thankful for their love and support in my life. There is another very personal hero that touches my heart. Krysia Stronski, she’s a potter with passion – she’s a potter with passion, I say! Her work lives up to her name and every gallery in the area knew her and the best galleries carried her work. Her work is also displayed up and down the east coast. But there was one thing about her that no one could capture (IMHO) and that was her way with clay. I could ALWAYS point out her work in a room full of pottery as could her following; and know it was hers without even seeing her signature. And I gravitated to her pieces like none other. I was honored to take 3 of her pottery classes and learning from this remarkable master is priceless! She is my hero, she believed in making a positive difference to those around her, she believed in me and spent extra time alone with me, she’s made a great impact on many lives; she gave of her time to mentor others when she could have been creating masterpieces of her very own. And she shared her knowledge freely to help others advance. She is one amazing lady, my hero, Mrs. Krysia Stronski.
  • What is your least favorite household chore – Ironing

For Anita –

  • When is your spiritual birthday – Around 8 years of age
  • What is your favorite hobby – At the moment, looking for a house plan. This is a lot more fun than I ever thought possible! But in about 6 or so months from now when our home is complete, pottery will be the ultimate favorite hobby.
  • If you could get in a time machine who would you like to see from the past – I’m a genealogy nut – so it would have to be my Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Grandfather (that’s 5 greats for the record) Alexander Born in Scotland in the year 1745. That’s as far back as I can go. I would love to visit with him to see what his life was like, who his parents and grandparents were. And why he sailed the deep blue to Virginia all those years ago. I would love to ask about his voyage and who he came with. Who were his friends and what he did during his life. And of course I could not leave out asking him all about my 5th great grandma too! And I’m sure upon meeting with him that I could come up with loads more questions and I’m sure he would have many wonderful stories to tell. Details, details, I would want to know all the details!

Help Wanted

Welcome and thank you for stopping by, my big 4-0 birthday is coming this Saturday, May 24th. So I thought I’d do something a little different to celebrate this year. I’m planning something for myself but I need your help to make this a success. The directions are as follows.

Ordinarily, a survey/meme would have me listing facts about myself. Where do you live, what’s your favorite color… Your assignment, o Dear Reader (and yes, that means you, even if this is your first time here…you’re all precious to me.) is to provide at least 3 questions that you would like me to answer about whatever. All questions need to be submitted by Friday, May 23rd no later than the stroke of midnight right here. All questions will be answered on Saturday May 24th. So brainstorm and ask away, as you will play a part in my big 4-0 entry!

Crossing Things Off My List

Today was one of those days that I did not start my coffee while preparing Bobby’s lunch. And when that occurs, Bobby knows what is at the top of my list ~ more sleep. So early this morning hubby said as he was almost out the door “I sure wish I could go snuggle with you for a few more hours”. As a matter of fact, I went in, put my head on my pillow and slept so sound ‘til 11:32 a.m. That was a shocker but I have felt fresh as a daisy all day long and I didn’t finish my coffee ‘til nearly 12:30 this afternoon.

Last night Bobby was up late doing bills and such in the office so when I announced I could no longer keep my peepers open, he asked if I would like to keep him company. Man, when my loving hubby wants me to keep him company, no matter how tired I am, he’s the one I want to spend that precious time with. So I settled in with my chair, propped my feet up and settled in for a nice long visit with hubby. A second wind shortly followed and we were up ‘til nearly 1:30 last night.

Some of our discussion centered around a big to do on our list. And the to do last evening was finding all the Dr’s we need to make appointments for. We searched his company site to find the providers near us and Bobby printed out all the providers last evening. I’m going through pages upon pages of providers to hopefully find the best. But you know how that goes, it’s like finding a needle in a hay stack and then you don’t know if you have the best.

So after my coffee, I settled in to make both of our eye Dr. appointments. And now I’m trying fervently to establish a Dentist for us.

Another major thing on our list is coming up with a floor plan. We just received two of the books Bobby ordered and another two should be arriving shortly and Bobby is also going to be ordering even more books before this day is over. It seems like we are finding several plans we really, REALLY like and now we are narrowing the options and hopefully we will have something soon as we really want to get started on the house as soon as possible. Yet we are in no rush to push the foot print as Bobby and I are pouring our hearts into this, it truly is a labor of love.

And the really cool thing ~ My mom just sent me the most AWESOME, AWESOME EST EST ~ is that a word? 3D Floor Plan program that I LOVE so much. The program is so user friendly and I’m creating plans left and right. The program allows you to add furniture, windows, doors and all the cool kitchen and bathroom stuff right down to coffee pots, toasters appliances and shower curtains, bath towels, towel rods… and can change dimensions and colors on any and all of this stuff. I’m even painting the walls and choosing the floor color, it’s awesome! And the cool thing, it tells you how many feet each wall is that’s created and also tells you the square footage of each room! Bobby has been using another program and lets just say I am not sophisticated enough to run his program, I would need a whole years worth of training on it to be able to use it, I’m sure. So, thank you mom for this totally Unexpected ~ Perfect 40th Birthday gift. Sorry I opened it before my Birthday ~ no, I’m not sorry in the least! I’m having a BLAST!!!

Quinton

Quinton, the gentleman who works for Bobby, the same guy that helped Bobby move our furniture in months ago. We just learned that his mother passed away yesterday. Quinton is a young man in his late 20’s and he’s so young to be losing his mom. His last conversation with his mom was this past Sunday (Mother’s Day) and he says she went so fast. She’s had a bout with cancer but seemed to be doing fine. He said she was not feeling very well after this last chemo treatment but he wasn’t prepared for her to go this soon. Can you say a prayer for Quinton’s family with us during this time of sorrow?

Marvin

The mover called yesterday saying that all our stuff had safely arrived and they were unloading our stuff in storage. We did have a few boxes we wanted here at the apartment like the unopened food stuff in the pantry and some of Bobby’s tools and a few more clothes…

All of the miscellaneous boxes that we wanted arrived here at the apartment this morning and all the other stuff is safely secured in storage.

Marvin, that’s his name and these are the only pictures I have of him.

He’s the gentleman who owns this rig and we were quite taken with this kind man.

I was talking with him briefly about his rig telling him what a beautiful truck he had and then he asked me to just guess what he paid in gas last month in his truck. I didn’t have a clue and then he said $6,000. $6,000 a month in gas? Man that blows my mind!

He’s the same gentleman I saw this morning here on the other end. His wife used to travel with him and she was the one who would take inventory of all the boxes. Now he’s taken over her job as she developed cancer last year and she is drawing near to the end of her beautiful life. His voice sparkles when he speaks of her and it’s obvious how much he misses having her right by his side. He gets to board a plane today to go be with her in Oklahoma this evening. He was telling me what a sweet woman she is and how she’s taken her illness with ease and how she never complains. My heart just aches for him and his wife and I told him that I have not been able to stop thinking about him since we met in TX. I also let him know that they would continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. If you think of Marvin, please say a prayer for that special couple.

First Things First

Ah, we’ve been home a full 3 days and not much has transpired in that time. Bobby was quite sick and exhausted as was I (not the sick part) so my dearest was pretty much in and out of bed the last three days. Well I did manage to go to the grocery 3 different times in the last 3 days. I did some food shopping one of those times and the other 2 times was to pick up sore throat stuff for my Dearest. Other than that, I had my fair share of my feet being propped up right here next to Bobby.

He’s feeling a lot better and went to work this morning. I’m pulling myself together and finally getting to the unpacking of the suitcases.

I’ll be making plans to meet with our builder sometime this week and we’re hoping to be in our new home around December or January. But we have to get scurrying if this is going to happen as we need a floor plan first! Bobby has ordered 4 different home plan books from Amazon and they should arrive this week. We’ve already looked at the many plans our builder has but we have an idea of how we want the space laid out and nothing she has works.

I have found some plans that we like online but there are still details we’re not 100% happy with, so we’ll pursue floor plans ‘til we get it right.

I’m having so much fun dreaming about paint colors for our home as I get to pick the stuff out and they will paint my colors for me. I packed a pillow sham with the colors of our master bedroom and already know the two colors I want painted in our room. I want three walls to be painted in the lighter shade and the headboard wall to be painted in the darker shade (same color family as the lighter shade). I’ve wanted an accent wall in our master bedroom for ages and can’t wait to get it! In the master sitting room and in the master bath, I plan to paint all those walls in the darker shade to add contrast. And the master bedroom, the sitting room and bathroom’s ceilings will all be painted in the lighter shade. The shade of paint for the room is in the brown family but even the darkest shade is not a dark dark brown. Ok, you’re confused already but I can see it all in my mind. Is this exciting or what? Well, for me it is as I’ve never had color on my walls for as long as I’ve lived. Well, if you call white and off white color, I guess I’ve had color but now I really get to color our world and I’m pretty stoked!!!

But as Bobby would say, “first things first”, we need to concentrate on a plan so I better clear my thoughts of color and think about the plan.

Closure

Closure is one of those things that occurs before celebrating new beginnings. So last week, Bobby and I had already bid farewell to the movers, our stuff was long gone and we were left in an empty shell of what once was our Home Sweet Home.

After we finished with the cleanup of all the rooms in the house, we were left standing in the beautifully clean kitchen. It was then that our eyes met and he held me with his eyes and he came to me with open arms and said “Thanks for making this house a home Debbie”. And that’s all it took for me to let the tears fall. It was a beautiful closure that evening and when we walked out that door, we never walked back into the house again. Even though we had to return to the garage to put some trash out to the curb, we never walked back into the house from that embrace on. It was over and we will always hold on to the wonderful memories that were made.

Yesterday was the official closing for the new owners and we wish them a wonderful new beginning in that home up on a hill.

Photo’s And Events From Our Trip

The wild flowers below were taken on our way to Ma’s funeral. We hit a huge traffic jam along the way where we came to a complete stop for a little more than an hour. When driving at a snails pace these wild flowers begged to be captured. The spring blossoms and colors were positively breathtaking.


Below is a family photo in the church where Ma attended. After the funeral service, the gals at this church prepared a wonderful southern meal for us including some of the best homemade cornbread I’ve ever had. The only two grandchildren who were not able to come were Bobby’s daughter Kristy and Rita’s son Lars. Both of them were right in the middle of finals and were unable to come. Unfortunately Gerry and Eric were not in the picture below.

Bobby and I found the tombstone of his Great, Great Grandfather, Dr. Andrew Balfour. He was a Captain and Dr. for the Confederates in the Civil War. Dr. Andrew Balfour’s Grandfather was Colonel Andrew Balfour. Colonel Balfour was a Revolutionary War Veteran killed by Tories in North Carolina in 1782.


On To Our Move

The Movers arrived bright and early last Thursday morning to begin moving the contents from our home.


My sweet neighbor Fran came over for a brief visit before she left for work.

When the packers were finished packing the contents (not the furniture, the movers did that), the movers arrived to do an inventory on all the boxes and to insure each box was labeled and put into the system.

Some of the furniture was taken outside and put on these stilts for easier packing. All the furniture was wrapped in plastic and double wrapped in blankets. All the fragile stuff like my kiln and many other items were specially crated.

Moving right along and by the time the movers loaded all our things we filled The entire Semi tractor trailor with an estimated twenty five thousand pounds. I had no clue we had so much stuff!

Small potatoes here but it felt like a rather large potato at the time. I was told that the movers could not ship my collection of fingernail polish and that I would have to dispose of it. Truth be told, I picked out a little stash of my favorites and packed and moved them with me in my suitcase. I even packed my little polish carrying case with me so that I can replenish it as time allows.

Our Final Trip Home

We made our final trip back north where we can now call this home sweet home. Bobby was due to fly off to London today but he had to cancel his trip as he is oh so sick. He started getting a sore throat Saturday on the flight and he seems to be feeling worse by the day.

With all the moving and late nights catching up with both of us we’ve been getting so much sleep the last couple nights here. We slept a full 11 hours the night before last and then had a 3 & ½ hour nap yesterday afternoon. And then we both got a full 11 hours worth of sleep last night too! I can see Bobby getting that sleep with being so sick but I’m right along side him getting lots of sleep as well. I just hope I don’t catch the same bug he has.


Happy 46th Birthday To My Dearest Bobby

Today dawned and we started out Bobby’s birthday at Cracker Barrel. Then we had a few errands before we were off to the Dallas Fort Worth Airport for our trip back to NY.

We were going to go out to Japanese this evening upon our arrival but we were ready to get back to the apartment and call it a day. We’ve had a nice evening here getting settled back in and we will celebrate his birthday either tomorrow or next weekend.

I’m so thankful to have him in my life and feel blessed each day to have and to hold my Dearest Bobby who has completed me in every way.


Roll Out The Red Carpet

The packers rolled out the red carpet for us first thing this morning and let me tell ya, “we’re in very good hands”.

They are doing a great job packing and it was so nice for us to relax now and then while the house was being turned upside down. Bobby had the honors of taking down all three of our chandeliers and replacing them with the ones that came with the house. He was up and down that ladder so many times as the foyer has 18’ ceilings and his legs have taken a beating. Exhaustion is setting in and there is no doubt we’re going to sleep like a rock tonight.

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After

Living Room Before

Living Room After

And the Family Room and our bedroom will be hit by the packers tomorrow.

I’m busy packing up our things as tonight is the last night for us to sleep here. Nor do I want the packers to accidentally pack the things we need. If I were to relay my feelings at this very moment, I would have to say this feels surreal.

Bobby Knows how nuts I get when the house is not all put together so he keeps asking how I’m doing with the big mess and all. And I keep telling him “Honey, I’m just fine, our little apartment back home is clean, sheets are clean, and his good work clothes are all clean and ironed waiting for us when we get back.” And I just told Bobby tonight, “things will never be the same at this address again”.

Pack And Move Begins

Today begins the packing and moving part! The packers are due to arrive any minute and we get to oversee the project. Is it done yet? Tonight will be the last time we spend the night here as the packers will have us all packed up by tomorrow. So Bobby’s got a hotel secured for our last 3 nights here. Then the movers arrive Thursday to get all the packed stuff loaded up. Then we’ve set aside one day to make sure this place is spic and span. All the floors will be cleaned, there’s baseboards to clean, nail holes to fill and paint and this place will be fresh as a daisy for the new owners to move right in and make themselves right to home. Speaking of paint, I was up at 6:30 a.m. painting in the garage (yesterday morning) and Bobby’s like “honey, what ya doin’ that for?”. And I’m like “honey, I can’t leave any mars on the walls in here”, he thinks I’m crazy but he loves me that way. And Saturday we board that plane and head back home. We’re moving right along, I’ll say.

It feels like we’ve been gone a whole lot longer than 2 ½ weeks and we’re raring to get back. We’re having no troubles saying goodbye to TX but we’ll miss our friends here. And I’m so glad I’m not feeling sentimental these days, that would not be a good thing. I’m more than ready and Bobby is too.

Hey, the movers aren’t here yet, suppose I ought ta crack the whip? Just Kidding.