Thursday, March 30, 2017

I've been a bit under the weather this week. Um, let me rephrase that, I've been a LOT under the weather. I've had a really bad cold which has gone from sniffles to sinus problems to a major cold. I've had all the normal symptoms with the added joy of sinus headache and pressure, swollen eyes and aches and pains. I'm still suffering quite a bit but hopefully, by the weekend, I'll be much, much better. The downside is that I won't get to see the grands from Sparta this weekend. I didn't want to take a chance on passing this to them so Abby and I talked about waiting a week. So I've still got that to look forward to soon.

I have been trying to do some work on a few WIP's and finished (!) one. I started a Virus Shawl in February and had put it back while I finished Jellybean's birth sampler. So Saturday night, I made myself comfortable in my trusty recliner, turned on the ballgame (the Cubs, spring training) and started working on it again. I was almost finished so it didn't take long to put in the final stitches. I posted the finished photo on Facebook and got so many compliments. It made me feel wonderful.

I had a problem trying to decide when to end the shawl and finally quit with the above round. I'm very happy with it and I hope the person receiving it enjoys it as much as I did making it.

I am participating in an SAL on Facebook called Granny is No Square by Carolyn Manning. I've had a look at her site and and her designs are amazing. I'm going to have to be very "good" or I will wear out my credit card. This is the first time I've participated in one of these. There is a section each month for 12 months that is emailed by PDF. There are 2 months already and I'm just getting started on the first month. I'm really enjoying doing it.

I'm actually farther along than this and it's very enjoyable. I am going to start on Lollypop's sampler soon but as I told the Hubs the other day, "I've got 3 more years!" hehehe

I'm also going to get back to the Mandela Madness I started last year. I reached a point on one of the rounds that stumped me and I'm going to need to have complete silence to work on it and to slow mo the YouTube video. It, too, is one of those enjoyable projects that had to wait a bit on Jellybean's sampler or I would never have finished it.

My TV watching has improved so much lately by being able to watch what I want and when I want. Right now I'm getting ready for the cycling season to get in full swing and for baseball season to start on Sunday. Lots and lots of time in the recliner enjoying crochet, cross stitching and whatever else I can get into this summer. One of the best things I've found lately is "Midsomer Murders" on Acorn TV, a streaming station. I'm totally hooked and working my way through all the episodes. I'm also getting started on "Stranger Things" on Netflix.  Any suggestions for the next British show??  How about "Murdoch Mysteries" or  "Jericho"?

The reading for 2017 is going great. I just finished "Mississippi Blood" by Greg Iles, the sixth installment in his Penn Cage series. I really, really enjoy his books and try to be sure I get the next each time. My last audio book was "Don and Andy" by Daniel deVise. It was an interesting take on the long friendship of Don Knotts and Andy Griffith and how they came to make "The Andy Griffith Show".  It also tells about the later years and the final days of each. Very interesting. I'm currently listening to "Voyager", the 3rd book in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Goooood!

That's all for this week. As always, thank you for visiting and for your sweet comments.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Retirement - Ooops

I had visions of weekly blog posts, crochet projects flying off my hook and cross stitch patterns delighting me with their growth when I talked about finally being able to fully retire. Apparently, my brain retired along with my body and I've been lackadaisical about everything.

It's been almost 3 months since I posted in this blog. Sad, so sad. Many times, I've thought I need to do a blog post and then would get distracted by something and totally forget. I've reverted to the attention span of a 2 year old. I start one thing and something else crosses my mind or I see a blog post or an article and I'm off on another tangent. So I have decided that Spring is to be my new start.

I don't make resolutions as I find that I never keep them so I usually make a list of want to's. I've wanted to read more (check, more about that in a bit), crochet more (check, again more about that), and get back to cross stitching (specifically finish Jellybean's birth sampler and start Lollypop's). I also wanted to blog at least once a week with news from my life and stories from my past. I enjoy looking back (as I am now of an age to have things to look back on) and remembering those things that brought me to this point. I guess 3 out of 4 isn't too bad, huh?

On the reading front, I decided this year to try to do 65 books. Last year my goal was 50 books and I beat it by 3. I set the bar pretty high this year but I thought since I was going to have all this free time on my hands, why not? I also enjoy audio books so that has helped with my goal. As of today, I have read 19 books: 5 audiobooks, 4 library e-books, and the rest Kindle books. I've really enjoyed this venture and I'm reading things I've wanted to read for years along with new books just coming out. One of the best ones I've read this year was "Miller's Valley" by Anna Quinlan.


This is the story of Mary Margaret Miller, known as Mimi or Meems to her family and the struggle she and her family have trying to keep the generational family farm going in the face of the government's wish to flood the valley. I have always enjoyed Anna Quinlen's books and this one didn't disappoint.

I also finished the Stephen King trilogy about Bill Hodges and thoroughly enjoyed them. I use to read everything King put out but he went off on a strange tangent for a while and I just could not stomach those books (specifically, "The Tommyknockers"). I'm happy that he and I have finally come back together and his books have returned to the mysterious genre I feel he does so well.

I'm still working on the Mandala Madness crochet project but I've had to put it into hiatus for a while. I'm currently participating in the Felted Button temperature blanket CAL. I've hemmed and hawed over how to do my blanket and started twice but I've finally hit on a great combination for me. Unfortunately, I've not taken any photos yet but I'll try to revisit in a later blog with photos.

I've also made some hot pads/potholders. I got the idea on Betsy's blog and tracked down the tutorial on YouTube. They are really fun to make and as one of the ladies, whose video I watched said, you can do them without thinking. Fit right in with my current state of mind. 

The pattern I used was "Double-thick Diagonally Crocheted Potholder" and you can find it here These are very easy and make great late night crocheting when my mind is too boggled to concentrate on something much harder.

I've also been working hard to finish Jellybean's birth sampler. I've not been as good about working on it as I should have been but I'm in the final stretch, doing the border, and I hope to finish that today and take it to be framed the first of the week.

This is with one border around it. I'm doing another border outside this one. It's a border width away from the first and is looking pretty good. I fully understand now why designers charge what they do for their projects. It has been a real process gathering together the items and then placing them so they look decent on the finished product. I've scratched my head and banged it against the wall several times. I've also fretted A LOT about whether it was looking all right or whether I should have done something different. All in all, I am really pleased with it and look forward to seeing it framed. Abby loves it and said she couldn't wait to hang it on Jellybean's wall. I do need to give credit to Climbing Goat Designs for the rainbow and to The Compass Needle for the animals. You can find their shops on  They are both great ladies to work with and Claire at Climbing Goat Designs even did a special design for Lollypop for me.

As I told you in an earlier post (way back when), I've ditched cable TV and gone with Roku for streaming apps such as Netflix and Hulu. I'm not much of a sports person but I do love me some baseball, specifically the Chicago Cubs, and I really enjoy cycling races. I have which allows me to see all the Cubs ballgames except the ones played in Atlanta and Cincinnati. I'm in the blackout area for those two cities. I also have NBCSN. It allows me to see many more cycling races than I ever was able to on TV. I also downloaded the Acorn TV app and I'm loving it. I've been watching "Midsomer Murders" and I am totally hooked. I am an admitted Anglophile when it comes to these programs, especially their comedies. I have several other apps which I watch occasionally but the above 4 are my go to ones for enjoying. I am very happy with cable and don't feel I'm missing anything by not having it. There are days I don't even turn on the TV because I know I can watch on my schedule, even the ballgames and cycling, as they are both available for later viewing. And the big plus is that even with the payment for these apps, I'm still saving money compared to cable.

So there you are, all caught up with my slightly delirious retired life, at the moment. I'm looking forward to a visit from Abby, Doug and the boys next weekend. I'll let you know how that goes!

As always, thank you for reading and allowing me to bring my craziness into your life. You are the best.


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Life Sometimes.........

I've just been sitting here thinking about my life in general. I really do have everything I need, well, except for daily visits from the grandkids, but what are you going to do? I have a warm home, a nice bed, food, crochet and cross stitch patterns and projects galore, a sweet hubby who goes to work each day to provide for us and who does the major part of the household chores, freedom to do pretty much what I want when my body lets me and loving family members who will do whatever they can to help me.

All this has reminded me of a time when things weren't so grand; a time when we struggle to get through the month. We had just moved into our home, after 2 months of construction, when I discovered I was pregnant.  We had been trying for almost a year and had finally decided to go ahead and build our house and then try later. Hah! Life sometimes likes to throw a monkey wrench into your plans. We both had decided when we did have children, that I would be a stay-at-home Mom. This was really high on the Hubs priority list. We came from a generation whose Moms were always there; after school, at night, summers. We didn't go to babysitters because Mom was there.

So in February, 1977, we had a little girl. At the time, the Hubs worked for a milk company, delivering milk to stores, schools and restaurants. His pay wasn't a lot; he worked on commission based on the amount of milk he sold at each location. It required 7 days a week work because the groceries didn't pull their milk then; the milkman had to go each day and restock the shelves. I'm not sure what happens now. I occasionally see a milkman in the store, but rarely. He got paid on the 15th and the 30th, so our bills were divided between those two paychecks. It took almost all of the first check to pay the house payment. Then we had to scrimp and make it until the next one and lots of times, the money ran out. I'm not complaining, but stating facts. It's hard to make one paycheck last for 2 weeks when there is so much needing to be dealt with. And the fact that we had a baby only added to the expense. I breast fed, used cloth diapers, went to yard sales for clothes, etc, but no matter how you plan, there's always the unexpected doctor visit, the growth spurt.

But we made it! I don't think I thought about how hard it was most of the time. I loved being a mommy and believe me, she kept me busy. She was all sweetness, most of the time, but she had a temper and a stubborn streak that just grew as she grew. When she got mad, her red hair would stand on end and those blue eyes would shoot sparks. Okay, I'm kidding but not by much.  This child was the joy of my life and the bane of my existence all rolled into one. I couldn't ask for a more cuddly child, a more loving child until she was told "no". Oh my, look out!

The Hubs had been trying, for a year, to get a job as a local truck driver with a major trucking company. This meant more money and better insurance, something we definitely needed. Abby turned 2 in February of 1979 and he went to work for them in November of 1978. I found out I was pregnant in December of 1978. We hadn't planned it that way but like I said, life sometimes.......  There was about a month when we were not covered by insurance because of a 30 day waiting period. The insurance at his old job ended the day he quit. So here we are with a 2 year old, no insurance and I'm pregnant. All you can do is cross your fingers and go with the flow. One day at a time was about all I could handle. I had already calculated the due date and it wasn't going to be in the time frame for the new insurance to pay for it. So each doctor visit, I paid something toward the delivery and had that all paid when Doug came along. He was born August, 1979, almost exactly 9 months to the day that the Hubs started with the trucking company.

Blessings come around in surprisings ways sometimes. We had to finance the hospital bill because we didn't have the money to pay for it. So the Hubs talked to the financial person and set up monthly payments. Those started in September. In February of the following year, we got a check from the OB's office. The new insurance had covered my office visits and since I had paid them already, we got a check for the amount the insurance had paid, which, covered the balance we still owed the hospital.

I know this is a wordy blog post. Sometimes I just feel like I need to write what's on my mind instead of what is happening today. And I also like the idea of writing these things down for my kids so they know something of what life was like back in the dark ages. I'm going to stop now and finish dinner.

As always, thank you for being my bloggy friends. I will never be able to tell you how much each of you mean to me.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Brighter Days Ahead

Time to be optimistic. November was basically a lousy month! We had to say goodbye to my SIL's father, a man who never met a stranger. He and his wife, Becky, welcome us into their lives when our children were married and we have felt this loss deeply. He passed away on November 19 after battling cancer. Doug and Abby moved to Sparta, TN, a year ago to be near them and for Doug to start taking over the family business. It is so sad that our youngest grandson will never know his Granddaddy. Jim was a kind, funny, caring soul.

Update on the Gatlinburg fires: two juveniles have been arrested for purposely setting the fires at Chimney #2 which led to the devastation for the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area.  This link will give you some data about that and about the fires. Gatlinburg fires.

So now we move forward. Tennesseans are wonderful people who give and give when the need arises. There have been cars, trucks, vans, semis and every kind of vehicle rolling into Sevier County bring much needed supplies, both for people and animals. Money has been given, all kinds of dog/cat supplies, clothing, towels, personal items, etc. We aren't call the "Volunteer State" without reason. I'm so proud to be a Tennessean right now.  You can't keep up down for long!

There is so much I want to talk about. I just hope my poor little brain will remember it all. This "Queen of Lists" hasn't made many lists lately. I don't know if I'm just getting lazy (lazier ?) or if I can't remember to make the lists. It could be a little of both, I guess.

First off, after at least a year of consideration and research, I have finally cut the cord with my TV cable company. I have been thoroughly displeased with the fact that I watched, at the most, 5 or 6 channels, and yet I was paying for many, many more. Dropping my cable and only keeping internet service will save us over $100 month. There are a lot of alternate services and apps that can be had for that kind of money. I've checked out several different choices including Roku, Chromecast, Amazon fire stick, etc. I settled on Roku Streaming Stick which should be here Tuesday. Then I'll have to get my technological challenged self to understand how to connect it and get the apps I want. I'll be happy for now with being able to watch Netflix on my TV instead of my 10" tablet.

I've been doing very little crochet lately. I did make wash cloths for my GA grands and took them down on Thanksgiving Day when we all got together. I think they were actually more for Trisha. She had mentioned when I was there in August, that she loved the baby wash clothes for the kids but all of them were wearing out. She loved the ones I did. I did 6 altogether, 3 each in green, purple and blue, their favorite colors. Trisha like one style more than the others (I did 3 different types) so I will be making probably 6 more after Christmas in that style.

Both of my granddaughters have birthdays this month along with their Mom. Ella was 8 (!!) on December 2 and Lilly will be 6 (!!) on December 10. Trisha's birthday was Monday, December 5, but I won't tell her age. *smile*  I always send money to the grands along with their card in the amount of their age and this year I cross stitched book marks for the girls with their name in their favorite color. They both are reading very well and have already progressed to chapter books so I thought the bookmarks would come in handy.

I've also finished Jellybean's birth sampler except for the border. I'm stuck on it. I had thought about doing a rainbow border (you'll understand when you see the photo) but I'm now concerned that will be too much. I think it needs to be one color and nothing overly elaborate. Take a look and see what you think:

I'm pleased with it. I want to get it finished and framed before his 4TH birthday. Ha!

Next I will start on Lollypop's and I thought it would be nice if I can do the same border on both. Again, what do you think?

We had a really nice Thanksgiving in GA this year. This is the first time we have celebrated there since the kids moved. They have a lovely home and we all had a great time talking, laughing and eating. We really missed Abby, Doug, James and Sam. They spend Thanksgiving with GiGi (Jim's mother) in Chattanooga. She turned 100 this past summer and they felt since Jim's passing that they wanted to spend that time there. The grands, as usual, played, ran, chased other, etc all afternoon. There was one mishap when Ella and Elijah were running and Elijah fell, ran into the wall, something. No one actually saw what happened but he got pretty upset and almost passed out. Doug brought him to his mama and after some lap time with mama, he went back to playing. On Sunday, Trisha noticed his foot was swollen and bruised. They took him to urgent care and had xrays and discovered his foot was broken in two places. It's hard to believe that he walked, ran and played from Thursday to Sunday without complaining about it. The good news is that he won't have to have surgery. He will be in a boot for at least another week (3 weeks in total). He's young so his bones should heal without any problems. Oh these little ones, it's always something.

So that's it for now. I am trying to get Christmas shopping finished as soon as possible. This year we are buying only for the grands and our niece and nephew, so I'm almost finished. Then I can chill out, read, crochet and cross stitch.

Oh, one more thing. I'm doing the book challenge again this year. My goal is 60 books for 2016. I'm
within 5 books of reaching it. I think it's doable. I'm back to listening to audio books so it's been easy getting the goal. I have always loved them because I can listen while doing other things. I really like them while cross stitching and crocheting. So now what goal should I set for 2017?????

As always, thank you for visiting and being my bloggy friend.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

So much sadness

Our beautiful Smoky Mountains are on fire. Wildfires have burned I don't know how many acres, hotels, attractions, homes. It is so sad to see all this destruction. There are no words to describe how I feel right now. Thankfully as of this morning, there have been no fatalities and just a few injuries.

We have been having fires all around us for the last few weeks, most caused by arson. I truly do not understand the need to set a fire that might cause damage and/or death. There have been 2 arrests that I know of at this time. My first inclination was that they should be made to fight the fires and kept there until they were completed extinguished. I still think that's a good idea except for the fact that these men would probably enjoy being around all that.

The Ripley Aquarium, in downtown Gatlinburg, had to be evacuated last night. A lot of the employees didn't want to leave because it meant leaving all the animals behind, but they finally had no choice. The aquarium is all right as far as I know. Arrowmount, which is a school for artists, again located in downtown Gatlinburg, has been almost completely destroyed.

I watched videos last night of the fire burning right at the road's edge. The spur, that runs between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg through the forest, was totally on fire.

We got some rain last night but it was accompanied by high winds and there wasn't enough rain to help the firefighters. There's an 80% chance of rain tonight and tomorrow. Hopefully, it will happen and knock down this massive fire.

I am far enough away that the flames are not a danger to my home, but everything is so dry because we are in a drought situation. So very sad. It brings home the devastation that folks on the west coast have been dealing with for years. I never dreamed my beautiful mountains would be lost to fire.

That's all I have today. Maybe tomorrow I will be back with news from this month. There's a lot. I haven't been in the mood to post for a while but hopefully, that will change.

As always, thank you for visiting my blog. I wish today's post was filled with happy, jolly news but I just can't. I send each of you hugs and love.

****Edited to add - There have been 3 fatalities so far.


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Two months this time instead of 3. I'm getting better. *smile*

Life has a way of sweeping me along and before I know it, a week, a month, and more have passed and I'm scratching my head wondering where the time went. I've been working on some cross stitch projects for the youngest grandsons. Poor James is 3-1/2 and I'm still working on his. I'm about halfway. I'm designing his and Sam's and it's always a trial and error thing for me. I am totally rubbish in the design department but I'm getting there. I have Sam's all lined out and have the parts and pieces ready to start. I've made changes to James' at least 4 times now and I only have the center section finished. I can't say much and I can't post a photo because I want it to be a surprise when it is finished and framed and as you know, Abby reads my blog. So I'll keep stumbling along and when it's finished, everyone will get to see it.

I did take that trip to GA I told you about last time. I went down on Monday and came back on Friday and enjoyed every minute. The girls are in school and Elijah didn't start Pre-K until the week after I was there so I got to spend some one on one time with him. That's a first. He's the baby and there's always been someone else around before. We worked puzzles and he sang and danced for me. He's 4-1/2 and a little mini me of his Dad. That white blond hair and those big blue eyes take me back to when his dad was little. The girls and I did some school work and I actually cooked supper (excuse me, dinner as I was repeatedly told by the grands) one night. My son loves meatloaf and Trisha claims she can't make it. I did some substituting because I didn't want to crush crackers so used Italian seasoned bread crumbs. I think I failed the Mommy test on that one!

Miss Ella - 7 years old. She just get prettier and prettier.

Miss Lilly - 5 years old. This child has the old soul of a kind and gentle person.

And this is Elijah - 4 years old. I tried to upload the video but it wouldn't work.

Elijah asked me on Monday afternoon how long I was going to stay. I told him I planned to leave sometime on Thursday. He wanted to know how many days that was so we counted and came up with 4. He said, "I want you to stay 8 days!" When I told him I didn't bring enough clothes to stay that long, he said that they had a washer and dryer. I love it when my grands want me to stay. Guess they love this old lady!

I have some other news I'm quite excited about. I have been doing books for quite a few years as a self-employed bookkeeper. In fact, August was my 30th year in business. I had stopped doing books for everybody a few years ago with the exception of a non-profit and one other account. I was actually out of business but did these two pro bono just to keep busy. The non-profit, due to some changes in the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) had to close and that has finally wound down with the exception of W-2's at the end of the year. 

The other account was actually my very first client and he will now be my very last client. That just seems fitting, I guess. I have been talking to him for quite a while about stopping and he kept telling me that he needed me and I couldn't stop. Now, his sister, who is a CPA, has moved to our town after a divorce and she's is going to take over the job. She is a great gal and we get along really well so it makes me feel better about turning everything over. I have to admit; I'm a bit possessive when it comes to work I do. I've really never wanted anyone else to work with me with the exception of my Mom and sometimes my daughter.

BUT, it really feels good to know that my time will be fully my time from the end of December forward. At 65, I think it's time to relax and take a deep breath and enjoy the peaceful quiet of home without the rush to get something finished by a deadline.  I have books to read, cross stitching to do, patterns to crochet, naps to take! That last one won't be anything new.

In a week and a half, (on October 6) the Hubs and I will be celebrating 44 years of marriage. That number just blows me away. I am truly thankful for this life I've shared with him. There have been downs (sometimes some really low, low downs) and there have been ups (higher than the clouds ups). But we have persevered and here we are 44 years later. 

Sorry for the rambling post. I wasn't going to write one when I sat down at the computer, but it just seemed like the thing to do. My thoughts seem to be scattered more these days. Too much to think about and try and do for this little brain of mine to deal with.

As always, thank you for being my bloggy friends. 


Friday, August 5, 2016

My, my, my!

It would appear that I've have experienced a loss of blogging mojo. I have thought about it several times in the last few weeks but when I sat down to blog, I found I didn't know what to say. That's rare for me. I always have something to say about the world around me. I'm scant on photos also so this will be a word heavy blog.

Since Sam's birth, I've been back twice, once for a weekend and then for about 5 days. The first trip was for Papaw to meet the newest grandson and the second trip was to help out a little bit. Sam had some issues keeping anything on his stomach and there were several tests done to determine what was going on. Poor little thing was losing weight and his Mama was frantic. They finally saw a pediatric gastroenterologist who determined Sam was fine but he has a slow tummy. He suggested adding rice cereal to his formula and Abby is now completely dairy free as she is nursing him also. When she has added dairy back to her diet, even in small bits, he seems to react and spit up more.  I'm am hoping he is not going to be dairy intolerant; that he will grow out of it, but we'll just have to wait and see. James is such a great big brother. He really loves Sam and will lie in the floor and talk to him.

While I was there, I did hold Sam but I mostly played with James. It makes me so happy when James sees me, smiles that sweet smile and says, "Hi, Mimi". Of course when Papaw is around, all of James' focus is on him. That boy LOVES his Papaw. Anyway, I learned a great deal about dinosaurs and heavy equipment (trucks, back hoes, bulldozers, etc) while I was there. This boy can give you details on heavy equipment that amazes me. He was pointing out the hydraulics on a loader on day and I asked him what hydraulics did. He explained it very well and let me tell you, I was amazed. Abby and Doug don't have cable or dish to watch TV but they do let James watch YouTube videos and right now, it's all about "Mighty Machines". He retains so much from these shows. He also loves books which makes his Mimi very proud. He loves being read to and also, sitting in his room looking at the books. Abby says he makes them read books over and over until he has them memorized so that he can read them to himself. And he's 3 years old. Kids are so smart today.

Next week, I am going to GA to see the 3 oldest grand kids. I've not seen them since February and I miss them so much. I'm keeping fingers, toes and everything else crossed that I don't have pain issues or get sick before Monday. I'm also going by myself, something I haven't done very much. My Mom use to go with me each time I visited and in the past couple of years, the Hubs has gone or has driven me down and come back to get me later. I've been down a few times solo so I'm looking forward to it. Surprisingly, I enjoy my alone time in the car. I'm going to download a couple of audio books to a USB and listen to them on the road. I'm not enjoying radio much these days. Maybe I'm being an ostrich but all the political issues and the rants have made me just want to shut it all out. So listening to audio books will be a good thing.

BTW, I have a new car!!!! The truck I was driving was in good shape but it was wearing me out getting in and out of it. Even though the Hubs put running boards on it to help me, it was still a struggle to get up and settled. The Impala we had was really needing to be traded or something as it was on its last legs. So we bit the bullet and traded for 2 new vehicles. We actually used the truck and Impala for Hubs' Spark, a new model Chevrolet has out. It looks like the runt of the little in a bunt of crossovers! It really is cute and gets great gas mileage and that's was the main objective as he drives 50 miles one way to work each day. I got a 2016 Chevrolet Equinox. I LOVE IT! I don't love the car payments but I will happily pay them to have the comfort and ease of driving this car gives me. I spent all day one day last week running errands, getting in and out and going all over town, and I was not exhausted. In the truck, three stops were the max before I had to come home. Please humor me while I show you a photo.  LOL

The weather has been hot, hot, hot and I've stayed inside as much as possible for all of July. August is already starting out hot but I'm hoping for some cool down as we slide into Autumn, my most favorite time of the year. I love the turning leaves, the blue, blue skies, and the great temps which mean I can open my windows again.

On a much sadder note, I lost my big, sweet, goofy Bandit 3 weeks ago. He was 11-1/2 and his heart just got tired. Having to make that final decision was so hard.  I'm not sure I will ever be able to have another dog. This one took a huge piece of my heart with him. He was truly the best dog we ever had and was so loving.

So I will stop now. I'll be back but I'm not making any promises as to when. :)