Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Big Delivery!

After looking at desk after desk on the internet, a couple of weeks ago, I ordered a craft desk from It has lots of cubbies and storage for all of my craft toys, so I was pretty stoked about it. I even had a $20 off coupon and free shipping. Yesterday, the shipping company in San Jose called me to tell me they could deliver it today between 1 and 5. I told them that I could not take the time off from work and to please leave the boxes next to my garage in my driveway. I figured I would not stay late, I would just come home. The desk needs to be assembled and was arriving in three boxes and I was not worried about anyone taking them.

I drove up tonight and I had to laugh. I was expecting three boxes (the two sides and the top) that I would just move into the garage. What I found was the three boxes bound together with that industrial lacing, sitting on a pallet, encased in some sort of wooden exo-skeleton made from 2x4's and other wood. It was humorously gigantic, similar in size to a 1970's Buick. All I could figure is that they do it as a deterrent to someone walking off with a box or two. But that bad boy wasn't going anywhere. LOL

I looked at it like, how in the heck am I going to get that into the house? Luckily, I have been in enough industrial work situations that I have seen other people crack these kinds of things open. So I walked outside with my work gloves, a hammer and still dressed in my skirt and pearls from work (it was already dark by this time). I used the hammer like a crow bar and got each of the boxes out and left the exo-skeleton and pallet next to the garage until I can figure out what to do with them. What made my day in this is that while I was carrying the largest box with the top, my sweet elderly neighbor came out to ask me if I needed some help. I love my neighbors. I appreciate that they keep an eye out for me and one another.

My boxes are sitting in my garage. I will put the desk together this weekend when I have more time and daylight. I will also put my digital thermostat in. I think this will be a good weekend for puttering (and napping.) I am really excited about the desk. It is my first piece of furniture that I have purchased for the house. I am looking forward to spending time in my craft room and have a plan for how I want it to be. I am still on the hunt for just the right day bed, but know it is just a matter of time. This is pretty fun stuff.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mild Monday Evening

I guess it was a message for me to go home, but our network died at work about 5:30 this evening. It was going to take a while to get it back up so I took it as a sign to go on home at a reasonable time. I made it home a little before six and decided to putter around the house for a while. I do not know if I have mentioned this, but I am so in love with my kitchen that it is ridiculous. It is my favorite room in the house. I have a lot of counter space and I love my appliances. I love my industrial stove and how it cooks. I decided that I wanted to make a big pot of turkey noodle soup this evening to use up the rest of the turkey. It came out heavenly and was so much fun to make. I will have some good lunches this week!

I got my kitchen all neatened up and headed out to play with Liesl. Liesl is a busy little dog, as are all schnauzers. They need a lot of activity, exercise and interaction due to a high energy and intelligence level. (Potential schnauzer parents need to know that these are working dogs and need a job. They are also extremely intelligent and need a lot of stimulation, because smart and bored can lead them to entertain themselves with your stuff.) I make time every evening to play with Liesl. She loves to chase things, play tug a war, and loves hide n seek. Sometimes, I will even hide treats around because she loves to look for them. Schnauzers (which refers to the nose) are scent dogs and have been known to get lost because they will follow their noses. So she loves to have a scent of Charlie Bears to follow. I love my play time with her and she loves to see me getting down on the floor because she knows she will have fun. Our playtime usually ends with her getting lots of scratches behind the ears and kisses on top of her sweet head.

After play time, I got out my stitching to do while I watched the Sing-Off, which is one of the best shows on television. Pure entertainment. It made me happy.

What I loved about this evening was that I came home and did the things that I love to do. I felt like I nourished and nurtured my spirit. So as I go to sleep tonight I feel peaceful and a bit fulfilled. It was a blessing to come home earlier.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Quiet Sunday

Wow! My four day weekend sure went fast. It was nice to be home, have a celebration, get some things done around the house and get some rest. It was a good weekend.

I woke up early for church today, so I puttered around until it was time to go. I was the assistant minister and cantor today so I had to be there early for last minute details. I love being at church. I also love being able to serve as an assistant minister, which is also very humbling. I feel a strong sense of responsibility. Afterwards, I got to work on some small group and solo music for the upcoming holiday. One of my dearest friends is the organist and she is such a joy to work with and an amazing musician. We giggle alot while we are trying to get things done.

No Sunday would be complete without a trip to Home Depot. I had to pick up a tree saw because my tree in my front yard is trying to send out shoots that threaten to block my bay view. This is no bueno. So I am ready to deal with them. My next project from Home Depot is to install a digital thermostat all by myself. I do not like coming home to a cold house, so I want to be able to preset it so it knows to kick on before I come home. It looks pretty easy from the videos I have watched online. Plus it does not coincide with my being on the "No Plumbing Parts" watch list at Home Depot. LOL My friends tell me to just say no to plumbing and made me promise to always hire a professional for all plumbing needs.

By the time I got home from Home Depot I had a bit of a headache and was feeling pretty sleepy. I got my book and got under the covers for a while to rest. The one benefit of Liesl's hair being so short now is that she gets cool enough that she wants to snuggle up to me on the bed now. She gets under the covers and snuggles up to my hip. There is something so amazing about a dog cuddle that can make you feel so happy. We both ended up taking a really long nap, which was great. I did not want to harsh my mellow from my nap so I made quick leftovers for dinner, played with Liesl and stitched the rest of the evening. It was heavenly. I have missed stitching so much and now I feel a bit more normal even though I still have boxes unpacked. My friends tell me that I really need to be a lot more gentle with myself because I will have forever to get the house the way I want it to be. So I am glad that I got to have a bonus peaceful day.

So the photo above is my progress. I am almost done with the center section and have two more sections to stitch. They are so large that each section takes a whole page. Hopefully, I will be able to move to a new section by January.

Have a happy week!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Awesome Day!

Oh, my goodness, we woke up to the most beautiful Monterey Peninsula day today. It was in the 70's, the sun was shining brightly and it was just plain gorgeous. It was a great morning to walk on the beach and get a certain canine to stretch her puppy legs. The waves were pretty high today, and it was a bit rough. All of the dogs on the beach seemed to know better than to go into the water today, including mine. There were about four rows of waves.
This is a view with the tip of Pebble Beach in the background.
This shot has Point Lobos in the background. Those little dots in the photo are surfers waiting for the next wave. They were having a great time today.
My sweet Liesl taking a rest from chasing her ball. She looks so pretty with her new haircut.
It was such a beautiful day that we took time to smell the roses, or rather, the ocean. We decided to sit on the sand for a while and watch all of the action on the beach. The sun felt so good, and I got to sit and cuddle with my furgirl. She had such a good time. I wish I could have gotten a picture of her falling asleep in the car on the way home. We had such a good time at the beach. It was unseasonably warm today, and it was so nice to relax for a while.

I came home and finally got the rest of Thanksgiving cleaned up. It takes a couple of day to soak that roasting pan and put everything back in its place. My house is all cleaned and I am close to making a decision on what shade of pumpkin to paint my kitchen. I have the paint cards lined up on my counter top. I would love to paint soon. My BFF says she will help me, too. I am going to order my new dining room set this week, finally. I want to have it in place before Christmas. Too much fun!

Best of all, I finally got to stitch tonight. I have missed it so much. I started packing in September, so it has been way too long since I had needle and thread in hand. I forgot how peaceful I feel when I stitch. I will post a progress photo tomorrow.

Hope you had an awesome day, too!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Rest and Relaxation

Ahhh, today was rather relaxing after cooking-palooza yesterday. Little Miss Liesl had become a ragamuffin, and had to go to the groomer first thing this morning. It has been so cold here (38-40F) in the morning, so I had been holding off so she would stay warm with the longer fur. She was looking overly shaggy and it was time. I dropped her off and then relaxed and caught up on email this morning. I also figured that I should go get her a little sweater since she would be shaved down, and I hate to see her shiver. Now she hates to wear clothes, but I want her to be warm so hopefully this won't be too bad.

Off I went to Petsmart, which was having a huge Black Friday sale. It included dog sweaters and coats for 50% off. I got Liesl a cute little pink polka dot sweater and a cute little hounds-tooth coat. Petsmart is in the same parking lot as Target. I looked over and the lot did not look too bad so I decided to brave Target. It was actually not too crowded. I was surprised, and dashed in, got what I needed and was outta there. I decided not to press my luck after that.

I was so happy to pick up Liesl after that. I always feel a little lost without her. She gave me lots of kisses and then walked around the groomer's like she owns the place. My groomer said that Liesl is so beautiful and is the epitome of what a schnauzer should look like. She also said that she is surprisingly mellow for the breed and what a wonderful, alert little dog she is. At the end she added that Liesl is SO stubborn and a bit of a prima donna. Wow, that was a surprise. LOL (My groomer specializes in schnauzers and has always had schnauzers herself, so she knows this is standard for the breed.) The groomer says that in the end she will usually give up and work on Liesl the way that Liesl wants it done. (Again, totally normal within the realm of schnauzer behavior.) She was laughing telling me what her day is like when she has 5-6 schnauzers in one day, lined up for grooming. I can not even imagine.

My Thanksgiving was awesome. I was so happy to have a nice leisurely day with my son. Dinner turned out perfectly. I ended up making my stuffing in a crockpot and it was superb. It had a crust on it and everything. Yum. As I was getting ready to put the turkey in the oven I saw Bobby Flay on the Today show saying that in addition to basting his turkey he puts chicken stock in the bottom of the pan. This creates a steam in the oven. I decided to try it and my turkey came out super moist as a result. The best part was the sweet potato pie. I love sweet potato and make it southern style with nutmeg and orange zest as the only spices. Oh, my goodness, it was so good.

We had such a nice quiet day, talking and laughing. Both of us were so full. Liesl got her dinner, too. She loves sweet potatoes so that is what she had mostly. She also got a little turkey breast, mashed potatoes and green beans. She ate everything and promptly fell into a food coma.

I am itchin' to stitch and think I will pull it out again tomorrow. It has been way too long! I am still unpacking, but I have plenty of time to do that! No more postponing fun...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you the very best Thanksgiving. Let us all be thankful for all of the blessings in our lives. May we also ask that all of the people of earth be blessed with peace and joy this holiday season. We pray for our service people abroad on this day and for their brave families who have an empty chair at the table this year. May everyone be blessed with bounty and good things.

I am so grateful for all of my friends here, who check out my blog for tidbits about life in my little corner of the world. I am grateful for your comments, blessings, advice, wisdom and sweet things that you share.

On a side note, as you all know, Liesl is a major blessing in my life. She will be happy to receive her share of turkey, sweet potatoes, and maybe just a little bit of pumpkin pie (she likes the whipped cream.) My son will be here soon and she will probably hog him all to herself, because, of course, he is only here to see her. Schnauzers...

Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours!

Monday, November 21, 2011

T-Day Minus 48 hours

I had this brilliant idea today. I decided that I would stop by good ol' Safeway on the way home from work before the Thanksgiving shopping madness begins. It was such a brilliant idea that many people had the same idea and decided to contribute to gridlock in the parking lot. I was a bit disappointed that people feel the need to honk in a bad way at each other, particularly at the time of year where we should make a special effort to good will to all people. Anyway, I was armed with my list, searched for a free shopping cart and went in on a mission.

I am happy to report that I have secured all of the necessary ingredients for a Thanksgiving feast including lots of sweet potatoes, Liesl's favorite. I love this time of year when Safeway has "Buy One Get One Free" so I can stock up on staples for the upcoming months.

It is really cold here this week. What blows my mind a bit is that people are already camping out for the Black Friday sales, in freezing temps. If I decide to go shopping on Black Friday, it will be at a civilized time, preferably after I have had significant amounts of coffee (and have slept inside.)

I am a bit overwhelmed as I begin to think about all of the things that I need to offer thanks for. This has been an amazing year and I just feel so absolutely blessed. I was talking to someone at work today who was venting about a small irritation. I said that while I heard her frustration that it is important to remember that we have jobs. We have been so fortunate because we have not had to downsize or take a pay cut. On top of that we work with a great team of people and do meaningful work that we are passionate about. I just feel fortunate that I have enough. Enough food, enough shelter, and more than my fair share of love in my life. My house is warm, I get to live in a beautiful area of the world, and I have a little furgirl who loves me just the way that I am. Everything else are extras. So much to be thankful for.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Back on June 26th of this year when I took this photo of the actual Sprint Cup at Infineon Motor Speedway, I had serious doubts that my boy, Tony Stewart, was even going to be in the Chase.  Now he is the 2011 Sprint Cup Champion.  The last six races have been monumental, culminating in today's race, which I swear was the MOST exciting race I have EVER watched.  Usually during that 3-4 hours, I watch a little, putter, stitch, take a nap...Today I was riveted.  I did not know a person could run a race under that much adversity and just keep coming back.  It was amazing!  That last 36 laps I do not think I could even breath.  I kept waiting for a yellow flag, the rain, or something else to happen.  I am a bit headachey from the not breathing.  Both Carl and Tony fought to the final lap like true champions.  It was thrilling.  I was happy to see Tony win, but I have to say Carl ran a tough race.  He is a true class act the way he was first out there to congratulate Tony.  A true sportsman.  I am so happy to see an example like that for kids.

I woke up this morning to a rainy day and a small dog curled up against my hip under the blankets.  It was so hard to get up.  I was going through possible excuses in my head for not going to church, but know that God is way too smart for my lame excuses so off I went.  It is amazing to me that next Sunday is the first Sunday in advent.  It goes so fast.

I came home today and changed immediately into my jammies, which is a pretty good idea on a cold, rainy afternoon.  I also decided to take my new jammies to the next level by also washing my sheets.   Clean sheets are one of the best things in life. I should sleep like a rock tonight.  

I think I have shared that I am totally hooked on  Apparently, flavored water is totally in right now.  I need to drink more water but do not like the taste of it.  I prefer Cherry Kool Aid with Splenda.  Not really glamorous, but that's how I roll.  Anyway I decided to try one of the recipes.  It is a sliced cucumber, 1 lemon sliced, and 12 mint leaves.  I put it all in a pretty pitcher then covered it with water.  I was surprised at how good it is.  It is quite refreshing and tastes mostly like cucumber.  So now I keep a pitcher of it in the fridge and just keep adding water.  Good stuff.

Well, I have to be at work super early, so I am off to dream about Tony's big win. I think I will ask Santa for Tony Stewart fire suit jammies.   

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Pretty Good Day!

Today was a good day.  I woke up at around 6:30 after a night of nightmares.  It was kind of crazy.  It is such a rare occurrence for me to have bad dreams.  I maybe have one a year.  Last night was weird, I would wake up from one (and get up and turn on the lights) then fall back asleep and the nightmare would continue where it left off.  I do not recall that happening to me before.  All I can figure is that I have been so overly tired this week, and I had pepperoni pizza a little too close to bedtime last night.  Lesson learned.

It was kind of nice to get up early this morning.  I had plans of running to Home Depot and taking care of some things, but I decided to be gentle with myself and take it slow and stay home today.  I started with a leisurely cup of coffee.  I got the kitchen cleaned up and straightened.  I so love that room.  I love to just touch those pretty counter tops and look out at Monterey Bay.  I puttered around the rest of the house and decided I was going to work on my office.  The office was the one room I had not gotten to yet.  It was a total wreck and packed across the whole floor with boxes.  I have all but two boxes unpacked.  Now I have things in piles.  I am still organizing what is going where and what is going to charity.  I cleared the desk and can actually sit at the desk.  I am ordering a new desk that is specifically for crafts.  It is so pretty and just what I am looking for. I am still looking for just the right day bed, too.  I am so excited about that idea.  It is nice to see a light at the end of the tunnel for getting settled.  Today is the one month anniversary of moving in,.  I forgot that it takes a lot less time to move out than to move in.  Moving in and finding the right place for everything takes a long time.

It was nice enough that I also got to do a little gardening today.  I planted my hibiscus,  Then I waged my own private war on oxalis.  It is a never ending battle with this little weed.  I also put in my little lights that line the walkway in the yard that I bought on clearance a couple of months ago at Target for $1.40 each.  Schnauzers will always notice anything new, so Liesl had to go touch her nose to each one so I knew that she was aware of the change.  

Liesl was wanting extra hugs today.  She has been very cuddly and wanting her kisses on her sweet little head.  She has stayed close today and was so happy that I found her other toy box in my office.  I was happy to give her lots of attention today and she looked like she was happy about it, too.

What is making me super happy tonight is that I have brand new jammies on.  They are polar fleece with a leopard print.  (Grrr, baby!)  I happen to totally love jammies and totally wish that the dress code at work allowed for jammies and big fuzzy socks.  I guess that look does not inspire confidence in the accountant, though.  Anyway, I do love them, and on several occasions I have been known to change right into my jammies when I come home from work.  I have also been known to wear them all day on a Saturday.  New jammies are a total treat and now I am sorry I did not buy more pairs.  

Tomorrow is the last race of the season.  Go Tony for the Championship!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Posting Early Tonight

This has been a whirlwind week.  I have been working some long hours.  I have been going to work early  and not getting home before 6:30 or 7 at night.  I eat dinner, watch a couple of minutes of television and checked out  Then I am asleep between 8 and 8:30.  It is pitiful.  

I got great news earlier this week.   My son works for an airport so it was going to be iffy for having him for a holiday. (Quick Mom brag:  He is currently the Employee of the Quarter!)  I figured we would work around it, somehow, but his hours wildly fluctuate.  My BFF invited me to their big family Thanksgiving and said that if my son got off, we should both join them.  (My daughter and son in law will be going to his mom's for Thanksgiving (but I get them for Christmas. Yay!) )

Well, I got the phone call the other day that my son has the day off!!!!  I asked him what he would rather do and we decided that we are going to cook together at my house.  We figure we can take Liesl for a nice walk, maybe even to the beach if it is nice, eat great food and then relax and watch movies.  We may even go over to BFF's for pie.  Yum!  I am really happy about it and planning a menu.  Liesl loves Thanksgiving, too, and is looking forward to her very own serving of turkey and sweet potato.  She will sleep well that day.  LOL

Liesl will be so happy to have family around in the upcoming weeks.  Liesl loves my friends in general, particularly if they are also a puppy momma.  She will generally be happy to see them, but will eventually go off and do her own thing.  But she really, really loves the family.  Somehow she must just know that we are all related and all her pack.  When the family is over, she has to be in the middle of the fun.  She knows people's and dog's names and can find them if I ask her where one is.  But if I tell her that my daughter is coming over she runs straight to the window and stands on her hind legs looking for her.  She will run in circles then go back to the window, so excited.  She will cry and bark in excitement.  She will be happy to have my son to herself next week.  

Well, I have made it past 8:30 but can feel my eyelids getting heavy...

Have a good evening.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


I must have totally overdone it the past couple of days without realizing it.  I totally overslept and missed church.  I was feeling really badly about it, and then I remembered that church is everywhere.  It was a beautiful morning, so Liesl and I went to the dog beach in Carmel.  The beach at Carmel is so beautiful and I am with a small dog who is so joyful that I can not help but feel how fortunate I am.  I feel so grateful in these moments that I remember that it is a form of church.  

I love watching Liesl at the beach.  She is in a state of bliss running into the water, chasing her ball, and meeting the other dogs.  She just looks so happy.  I love walking with her, smelling the salt, feeling the cool ocean mist on my face, and the warmth of the sun on me.  There are times I look at the view and the sheer beauty of it takes my breath.  I am blessed to be able to live here in such an amazing place.

Liesl slept the rest of the day, while I watched the race and puttered around the house.  She had her weekly bath (that beard collects dirt like nobody's business.)  She just got up a couple of times for her loves,  kisses and neck scratches.  

It has been a really good weekend.  I got a lot done, but mostly, I have spent most of my weekend walking in gratitude.   I am grateful for the blessing of my house, my little Liesl, my family, friends, job, and all of the love in my life.  I am grateful to live in a place of so much natural beauty, for gorgeous sunsets, and the sense of serenity and peace in my life.  

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day of Total Awesome

Oh, my goodness, I had an epiphany today!  Yesterday I had said on this very blog that I wanted a sofa bed in my office.  But nay.  I remembered today that since I was 18 years old I have wanted a daybed.  (Smacking forehead.)  Today I had my vision!  A white brass, very scrolling, very girlie daybed, with lots of pillows.  My whole office will be in white and red.  Red is my fave color so it is only logical.  I will paint the existing shelving white, too.  I am envisioning a very cottage look, very feminine.   I can totally see it in my head! This room overlooks my garden, which will be perfect.  With the daybed I see it as a perfect place to read, take naps with Liesl, watch movies and stitch on a Saturday afternoon.  It will be a little nicer, too, for friends to stay over and sleep on a real bed rather than a sofa bed.  I am so excited. This is going to be awesome.  I am on a mission.

Today was such a good day.  I got my garage almost done, and a lot more organized.  I have discovered way more Christmas ornaments than I thought I had.  I have to buy some heavy duty garage shelving from Home Depot to put all of my big totes.  I am impressed with all of the space now and am looking forward to the day when I actually get to park in my garage.  The need to get organized was born of the fact that my daughter and son in law were coming over to pick up my old/new dryer.  When I moved in here I had to buy a gas dryer, which dries lightening fast.  My electric dryer was less than a couple of years old, and thankfully the kids can use it.  They did that truck rental from Home Depot where you get the truck for 75 minutes for $19.95.  It was a pretty good deal.  I will remember that when I have to pick up my big ol' shelving.

On top of getting my stuff done today, I had the chance to talk to one of my best friends on the phone.  She is one of those true blue friends that always has your back.  I love talking to her and she motivates me to be a much better person.  She is absolutely, unshakably loyal.  She is the kind of friend, who remembers if someone was unkind to me years ago, long after I have forgotten and is still mad for me.  LOL  She is also quick to stick up for anyone, and would be sure to call me on it if I was unkind to someone else.  I love talking to her and getting her pure, honest perspective on things.  I do not know what I would do without my girlfriends.  

The one smart thing I did today was make chicken teriyaki in my crockpot early in the day.  I was way too tired to make dinner after all that moving around today.  I ate my dinner while sharing the chicken with my furry sidekick who makes her presence very well known at dinner time.  I then rough housed with her for as long as she wanted to play.  She is a little rough neck and I am always a bit surprised at how quick she is.  She loves to play rough but is still always very gentle on her momma and makes sure she minds her manners.  I then made the mistake of laying down on the sofa.  Liesl has a set place on the sofa and I was in it.  No other spot will do.  She just sat there giving me the hairy eyeball.  We made up and all is well, but I had chills for a few minutes there.

I will be on my daybed mission tomorrow.  There are some nice ones online and I am going to look at a local place after church.  I would like to have my office in place by Thanksgiving.  I would love to spend the long weekend in my playroom.  This is too much fun!


I got so much accomplished yesterday!  Liesl woke me up at 5:30 so that she could step outside and I just could not get back to sleep.  So I got up and started moving.  I had to drop off my car early to the mechanic.  It had been sounding not good and had bucked a couple times this week.  So I was pretty worried.  My co-worker and his wife who are also dear friends were there picking up her truck this morning, so luckily I got a ride home.  They also said they would pick me up when my car was done.  They are pretty nice folk.  

I figured I was home for a couple of days and was glad for it in a way.  It was pouring down rain and a good day to nest.  Liesl's plan for the day was to sleep so she spread out on the sofa and got to her work.  I was determined to get the house into shape, so I started in the kitchen and got the clutter cleaned up, the boxes opened and everything cleaned and orderly.  Now I was really motivated, so I headed into the other rooms.  I got order restored and made notes of things that I want to add such as curio shelving and stuff, so that I can make my Home Depot trip today (Oh, darn! LOL) I now only have my office/ guest room and garage to finish organizing.  I still have to decorate but now I have a sense of the space and how everything flows.  My hallway is clear of boxes.  I have to organize closets and I still have boxes in the garage but I am seeing light at the end of the tunnel.  I think I will be donating a lot of stuff to charity.  I am also getting excited about moving into the decorating phase.  I can not wait.  

About 2:30 I got a call from my mechanic saying that my car was ready.  Whoohoo!!!!!  All that was needed was a tune up.  Turns out my spark plugs were gapping badly.  My mechanic said that he has a long commute so he drives a PT Cruiser just like mine and knows it well.  He gave it an oil change, a cleaner for the fuel injection, changed the wiper blades and fixed my squirter for my windshield.  He said that the tune up should fix the problem.  It already sounded better when I picked it up.  Yay!  It is always an anxiety prone time to drop off the car for repair.  

Today I am committed to getting my office in shape.  I have picked out a new desk that is designed for crafts so it has lots of drawers and cubbies.  I still have to order it and decide on the color that I want.  It will be really cute in there.  I am also trying to decide what color sofa sleeper to put in there as well.  I want it to be a very functional space where I can work during the rainy season.  

Off to walk my favorite furgirl and Home Depot!  Have a happy day!  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

One More Day!

I have one more day of work this week.  My company gives us Veteran's Day off, so I will have a three day weekend beginning on Friday.  I can totally use that third day to get somethings done around the cozy cottage.  Friday I have my car scheduled to visit the mechanic first thing in the morning.  My car is making a couple of funky sounds that I want checked out. Please think good thoughts for me. I figure that it is really good that he will get it on Friday in case he has to keep it overnight.  I also have a work person coming to the house on a small home warranty issue that needs to be addressed.  

I am glad that I have to stay home that day because I really need to get the cozy cottage organized.  Living in different rooms in various stages of moving in is really starting to bug me.  So I will organize, decorate and purge what needs to go.  It is also supposed to rain on Friday, so it will be kind of cozy.

I am really rather excited about getting the place cleaned up this weekend.  I would like to try baking something in my oven.  The lady who did the remodel on this house said that she had baked cookies in the oven here to make sure it worked.  She said that my oven baked cookies better than her Viking range.  So I would like to try that out.  I have a recipe for pumpkin spice cookies that I would like to try out.  

I would like to get as much as possible done on Friday so that I can relax the rest of the weekend and play with Miss Liesl.  I would really like to relax on Saturday, but we will see what the weekend brings.  In the meantime, I will be so glad to get a lot of work done.  Hopefully, I can take more photos.

Monday, November 7, 2011

One of my favorite things is coming home to dinner cooking in the crock pot.  The aroma of dinner greeting me as I put my key in the lock of the front door.  I seem to get really hungry between the front door and the crock pot.  Early this morning I threw together a recipe from  It was all I could think about all day.

Here is the recipe:

3-4 chicken half breasts
1 can black beans, drained
1 can rotel
1-2 Cups frozen corn
1 8oz package cream cheese

I cooked mine for about 10 hours on low and served it over brown rice.  I could have used a bit more spice to it and was thinking that next time I would put in a small can of green chilis or something.  However, it was excellent and was really good comfort food, perfect for the cold evenings we are experiencing.

I have a lot left over, so I am going to put it into individual servings in plastic bags for freezer meals.

It was pretty nice to have dinner made so I had more time to play with a little furgirl.

This made me really happy.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Day Of Total Awesome

What a great day! Started out at church on a clear morning, which had followed a rainy night. I love my church. It feels so good to be surrounded in so much love there. My church family are pretty wonderful people and it feels good and right to worship with them. Afterward, a small group of us stayed to work on some special music for the upcoming holidays. I do so love to sing, and it looks like I will be attempting a solo of Ave Maria, if my nerves hold out. I am excited about it because it is such a beautiful piece, but I want to be able to do it justice. The arrangement that our organist brought is beautiful and in my key so things just might work out. Afterward, she gave me this housewarming gift from her and her mom. I absolutely love it. It is so pretty.

I left church feeling so good and happy and headed home after a quick dash by the grocery store, or rather an intended quick dash by the grocery store. The last couple of weeks the supermarket has become a hot social gathering and I keep running into old friends, particularly those I used to work with. It has been kind of fun. Anyway, I knew that a race was well underway so I was in a hurry to get home.

Now if you are a follower of NASCAR, you know that Tony Stewart won again today. He has won the last 4 out of 5 races and is three points behind Carl Edwards for the championship with two more races to go. I am pretty sure that it was me that he was blowing kisses and pointing directly at me, letting everyone know that I am his number one girl.

Besides my race I had a lot to do on my checklist. I got my bills paid and my address changed on all I could think of. Hopefully, it was the last of my moving details. I felt sort of proud because I got my first property tax bill. It was just a small one to cover a couple of weeks. I know it sounds weird, but it was awesome. It made the fact that my house is mine (and the bank's) more real. I am still getting used to it. It still feels a little surreal.

The best part of the day was getting to spend some quality time with Liesl. While I have played with her and given her attention, I did not feel that I was always fully present because I had so many things to take care of. Tonight I gave her her bath and wrapped her up in her little after bath towel burrito. She always naps on my lap for a while after her bath because she is all warm in her towel. Then I played with her for a long time, gave her dinner, and trimmed her eyebrows. She was so good while I did it then I realized she gets this done all of the time at the groomer. I can readily see her eyes now.

I was thinking tonight that no one really tells you just how much you can love a dog. I had no idea before Liesl came along. She is such an amazing little soul. She knows she is funny and will try to make me laugh. She is loving, loyal and such a good companion. She can also be quite emotional (it is a terrier thing) and even dramatic, which makes me laugh. I am just so glad we had time to play this evening and now I am happy to hear the soft puppy snores. It makes me happy.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

It's A Rainy Night In Monterey

The rain is raining all around
It falls on field and tree
It rains on the umbrellas here
And on the ships at sea.
RL Stevenson

From the time that I was about five years, A Child's Garden of Verses, was an almost constant companion of mine. I read it over and over again and loved it. To this day I still remember a few of the poems like Going to Bed By Day and My Shadow. Robert Louis Stevenson was quite an interesting person. The circle is somewhat complete with RLS in my life because it is well known that RLS had travelled to Monterey and Carmel Valley and stayed in the area for about five months in 1879 while he had become ill. I find it exciting to think that I may have walked and stood in the very spots here that he did. (He and John Steinbeck.) I have loved his books forever. They are classics for a reason.

I digressed a bit here. I started with the poem because it is indeed raining here in Monterey. It is raining quite hard, in fact. I am happy to be inside under blankets and ready to read my book. It has been such a good day and I am so grateful for it and that my day is ending peacefully.

The day started out gray and cold. It was a perfect day to have a cup of coffee, classical music playing, Liesl snoozing and me puttering around the house. I got a lot done and I felt really good. My best friend has been travelling and so we have not been able to get together for a few weeks. We decided to have lunch and met at a great place near my house. She just traveled to Turkey and had an amazing trip. She brought me back a beautiful tile trivet for my house and a gorgeous tapestry book mark. We both love to read and trade books back and forth, so we both love book marks. She is such a cool friend and we had a great time catching up.

Afterwards I had to run my errands. Yes, that was me, yet again, stalking the aisles of Home Depot. I swear I am there every weekend. They should just put an orange apron on me. LOL I love Home Depot. I went in armed with a shopping list, but still spent an hour in there because stuff kept catching my eye. I could spend an afternoon just looking at all of the natural stone tile. So pretty. I am looking for something intriguing for a backslash over my stove. I love the gorgeous bas relief type tile that generally is fruit or angels. I have to find a nice tile store. Apparently, it is easy peasy to put in.

Anyway, I bought my stuff, like drill bits, a new mailbox, and assorted items that I am sure that I will not be able to live without. I am finally at the point where I think I need a tool box instead of a kitchen drawer. Another reason to go back. I suddenly remembered as I was roaming the aisles of HD that I had pumpkin pie ice cream in the freezer that I have forgotten about all week. How could I have done such a thing? So I scuttled along, came home and had my ice cream. Delish.

I am proud to say that I also got my drapes hung this weekend. This has been a bigger task than I had counted on, but I have to say they look really good. Now I am down to the big decision of the evening. It is Daylight Savings. So should I stay up an hour later or do I sleep an extra hour?

As I go to bed for the evening, I am so very grateful for so many things in my life. My very close friends, my family, my job, my house, my dog and my church. I feel so blessed and so content.

May you be blessed as well.

Friday, November 4, 2011


It is so cold here right now. We had a rainstorm last night. Tonight it is high winds and cold. My friend wanted me to go to a party this evening, but all I wanted to do was come home and get warm. My stomach bug morphed into a cold this week, so all I could think about doing was picking up a nice hot pizza on the way home, getting into my jammies, snuggling with my dog and going to bed early. I know, I lead a very glamorous life.

I am going to bed early in hopes that tomorrow I will be feeling 100% better. I have big plans of playing at home this weekend. By playing, I mean working on my house. I figure that I will be roaming the aisles of Home Depot and Target a few times this weekend. I really want to have the house in shape by the holidays.

The other thing that I want to do this weekend is cook and bake. I have gotten some really great recipes off of I totally want to make some yummy things this weekend. I think I am also in a mood to make some really yummy hot cocoa out of my collection this weekend. I also want to take some good walks with Liesl and maybe explore my neighborhood a bit more. I love it here. I am so pleased to have such wonderful and friendly neighbors.

My stitching is also calling to me. I really want to get back to my blackwork sampler so hopefully this weekend there will be some time. I miss my stitching. It is time for life to settle down a bit.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Pretties For The Cozy Cottage

Got to do a little shopping on my break today. Our office has relocated and there are some cute places in the immediate area. Two of us in the office have been coveting the fleur de lis wall sconce below since last week, but the little boutique where it was happened to be closed for a few days while the owners were off doing a trunk show. Today, my co-worker went by and saw they were open so she went and asked about the sconces for us. The lady at the counter said that she had not gotten the price yet from the owner but would call us. She called my co-worker back with an amazing price but it was for a pair of them. So my other co-worker and I grabbed our wallets and walked briskly to the store. In the store was this sign. I fell in love with it immediately. This was the very last one and they are not selling anymore. Had to have it for my entryway. It is quite large.

I took about nine shots of this photo because someone furry kept walking right in front of the camera with the slow shutter speed at the last second. I have had to delete 8 shots of a dog butt or tail in my picture. Apparently, she thinks this is hilarious.

The same thing happened when I went to take a photo of the sconce, except this time I got her sweet little head in the photo. I forget that when something is on the floor it automatically becomes Liesl's. (PS: I really need to trim her bangs.)

I thought I was doing okay here but note the hint of schnauzer beard in the upper left candle holder.
I am pretty pleased with my purchases and can't wait to put them up.

I have to think of something nice to do for my next door neighbors. For the past few weeks, my next door neighbor who is retired has been bringing my garbage cans up and putting them away for me. Last week I thought maybe I had put them in the wrong spot and he was trying to get them out of the way. So today I put them on the other side of the driveway, just in case. I came home and he had put them up where they belong next to my garage. This is such a nice thing to do. I am really grateful for it when I come home from work after dark. Nice people are awesome. I shall have to bake him and his wife some nice cookies. Thank goodness I have wonderful neighbors.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sick Day

Oy vey, was I ever sick today. I do not know if I have a stomach bug or food poisoning (I have been eating a lot of fish for the past week.) I started that weird achy feeling in my head at about 2:30 am and things kinda went downhill from there. I finally was able to walk to the kitchen about 3:30 this afternoon and am feeling kinda human. It is kind of a drag about this time of year that this kinda stuff starts up. I have been running kind of ragged lately, so I guess I was run down enough to catch a bug.

Liesl is pretty amazing how she will take care of me when I am sick. Dogs just intrinsically know to be caring and compassionate. They are just so capable of so much empathy. Liesl is a pretty good nurse and will generally lay very still beside me when I am not well. She is such a sweet little dog. I was just thinking tonight how she, like all dogs is just incapable of being mean. She is a schnauzer and can get a good cranky going when she is tired, just like her momma. Generally, though that takes the form of stubborness and intolerance of doing certain things. She is just so sweet 99.99% of the time. What is amazing and somewhat humbling is how much she trusts me to understand and take care of her. People tend to laugh, but if she has a burr in her foot, she knows to kick it and then hold it up so that I know to remove it. She does this if a stone is in the pad of her foot and she can't walk it loose. She just stops, knowing that I will take care of it. Afterwards, she will often walk on with her ears back and a happy trot to let me know she is okay again. It is pretty endearing how dogs and people take care of each other. Life is much happier with Liesl in it.

I stayed in bed pretty much all day. I did not feel like going out to the living room to watch television. Late in the afternoon, I got out my laptop just to fool around for a while. I found the most amazing website ever on the planet. It is filled with so many happy, beautiful, and inspiring things and is constantly changing and updating. It is called Pinterest and it just made me happy to look at it. Here is a link to the main pin board, just be prepared to hang around for a while on the site:

Well, I am off to sleep the rest of this yucky bug off. Have a good evening.