Wednesday, August 23, 2017

a sky show and some sunporch fun

Did y'all enjoy the eclipse?
It was refreshing to see everyone's eclipse photos instead of the political and special interest drama that I am used to seeing on social media nowadays .

Paul and Michelle both had to work
so Sally and I headed to the waterfront for an Eclipse picnic for two.

Some of you know that Sally is my musician.
She writes the music and lyrics for all of her own songs and plays countless instruments. 
Her last release is titled "From Craters" and it's awesome.
If you listen,  go to song #3 Comets ~  it's my favorite!!!!
 And also Monsters ~  that one sticks in my head all day.

Anyway.. sally was busy capturing lots of cool eclipse footage for an upcoming music video while I just took in the view from my seat on the pier.

Of course it was supposed to storm... 
which made the sky even more incredible to look at. 

We caught glimpses of the moon and sun in between the storm clouds..
the sky put on one amazing show for us.

Eventually the storm caught up to us and chased us home.


Back at home,  as the cleaning continues and did some work on the sunporch.   I've said it a thousand times... this is just the happiest space.  

I love the pile of random left over pillows that end up on the day bed.  
( Until I have to wash them all.. yuck)
Honestly,  it's the dogs bed.
They love to lay out there and keep watch.

And I did sneak in the Pumpkin Spice pillow cases because the dogs said that they wanted them up there.

Since the dollhouse is on the sunporch, I thought I would show off some of it's summer dΓ©cor...
before I decorate it for fall.

because I'm decorating something!!!

I hope that you all enjoyed the Eclipse and this random post.
Have a great night.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Fall cleaning and a simple Mexican Casserole

Well,  another August weekend has come and gone.
The days and weeks are just flying by.

Tomorrow is the big Eclipse. 
I am planning to head to the beach with Sally so that she can get some decent footage of it to add to an upcoming music video.
I'm excited. 

Today, i started my fall cleaning.
Washing Dogs, curtains, pillows, carpets...
Dusting moldings, furniture and fixtures...

Gotta have the house clean and shiney for my favorite season.
 Although..  it'll probably need to be done again before I break out the pumpkins.

Oh Lawd,  it was so hard not to start the fall decorating.

In between chores I managed to whip up a great casserole that I found on pinterest.

I will definitely make this again,
it was both easy and yummy.

The pictures really don't do it justice.

I've been using my waterproof outdoor camera and it takes lousy indoor photos.

We ate the entire dish!!

 .   1 lb. 85/15 ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced ( about ¼ cup)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix (1 oz.)
  • 1 can green chiles (4 oz.)
  • 1 can black beans ( 15.5 oz.) rinsed and drained
  • 1 bag frozen corn (14.4 oz.)
  • 1 can red enchilada sauce (10 oz.)
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar & monterey jack cheese, divided
  • 4 cups frozen tater tots
  • Cilantro, optional garnish
  • Sour cream, optional
  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9 by 13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
    2. Add the ground beef  and the onion to a 12-inch skillet, brown meat until thoroughly cooked. Drain off excess fat and return to skillet. Add the season packet, green chiles, black beans, frozen corn and the enchilada sauce to the meat and onion, stir until combined. Over medium heat cook another 8 to 10 minutes. Add 2 cups of shredded cheese to the meat mixture and stir until blended. Pour into the baking dish and spread evenly. Place the tater tots evenly over top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
    3. Remove from oven, add the remaining cup of cheese over the top. Bake another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Garnish with cilantro and top with sour cream!


    I'll leave you with this precious photo.

    Today, while I was shampooing the carpet,  I raised Darla's little dog bed ( which is also where I keep her ashes for now) on to the sofa and this is what I saw next....

    As if my heart could get any heavier...


    Wishing you a great new week!!

    Friday, August 18, 2017

    Just add water

    You hardly ever see my person on my blog...
    Heck,  some weeks I rarely see him
    because he is always at work.

    This week alone,  he worked 80 hours.
    That's seven twelve hours days.
    (minus the 4 hours that he took off early one day)

    He's not happy about this busy schedule..
    but we have a plan.
    A very big exciting plan that includes submitting those retirement papers that are waiting to be signed and buying a lake house a few states away.

    Meanwhile,  we'll take any day that we can to relax and hang out.

    Would you believe that we've only had the boat out 3 times this summer?

    Seems like every time Paul has a day off... 
    it rains.

    But not on this day!!

    On this day there is a 0% chance of rain.

    Wait...   are they rain clouds?

    There was no thunder or lightening.. 
      just the sneaky rain clouds that were moving in.

    One moment we were looking at the clouds
    and the next moment the rain began to fall across the bay.
    It was truly an amazing sight.

     And it wasn't long before it was raining on us.

    And boy did it pour!

    The harder it rained...  the more we laughed.
    We could have been discouraged..  but we were having too much fun! 
    And ,  We were already wet!

    By the time we got back to the pier the two of us looked like a couple of drowned rats.  

    Omg it was fun!!!!

    Crazy enough... it was the most relaxing boat trip ever.
    Definitely goes into history as one of my favorite days!


    Have a great Weekend!!!!!

    Wednesday, August 16, 2017

    A walk with my girls

    If you've been with me through my blog journey
    then you'll remember these cuties.

    This photo was taken around the time I started my first AOL Journal.
    I miss that old journal
    Remember waaaaaaaaay back when you had to use the html code to add photos?
    I don't think I could do that again if I tried.

    Now those sweet girls are young women carving their own path in this world.
    Michelle is 26 and Sally is 18 and although we joke about never being empty nesters..
    In reality we are happy that we still have both girls home with us.
    It's a hard and scary world out there.

    This was many years ago when we were attempting to make a titanic cake.
    Michelle, who was about 16,  couldn't fit the word titanic on the cake so she wrote TiTs.
    After a whole lot of laughing..  we sank that gross Tits cake right in the garbage can.

    On Sunday,  since we missed boot camp,  we took the boys for a nice long walk through the woods.
    I love that they still get excited at the idea of mom tagging along.
    I'm also pretty sure they are making fun of me half of the time. 

    And I love,  that even though they are a long 7 years apart,  that these girls are the best of friends.

    This was the summer before Sally started high school.
    The night before the photo was taken Michelle had broken up with a boyfriend and I remember listening to her little sister offer advice and thinking..  " How does she know this stuff?"
    I'm pretty sure her advice was way better then my "you should've kicked him in the..."   advice.

    During our walk,  I just kept thing about how they've grown up to be amazing young women and although,
    we as their parents are their greatest teachers,
    it is them who are still teaching us every day.

    I love this shot that I got of sally with Sharky.

    Baby Sharky was Sally's 10th birthday present and the two of them love each other so much.  Sharky still follows his mom everywhere she goes.

    Here they are on a boat ride about 7 years ago...

    Cute right!

    Back to our walk..
    As you can see,  the furry boys found a creek to have some fun in.
    Stanley is 8 months now.. and such a character!

    A few days later and needless to say, 
    my Jeep still smells like wet dog.

    This was fun..
    walking with the girls,
    laughing at the dogs
    and taking a tiny stroll down memory lane along the way.


    Happy Wednesday!!!

    Monday, August 14, 2017

    Feeling Peachy

    Although Saturday was cranky looking with the threat of rain all day,  Sally ( daughter #2)  and I still visited Weber's farm for their Peach Festival.

    We had planned to get there early for the pancake breakfast ...
    but when you make plans with an 18yr old you must take in account that they sometimes sleep until mid morning. 

    Instead, we decided on lunch once we left the farm.

    The first thing we did was stop by to see the craft vendors and say hello to my friend Kim.   Kim and her beachy creations will make you feel like you are at the seashore.
    (Seems fitting that the first time that I met Kim was on a beach)

    From there we just walked around the grounds taking in the sights and smells.    See the mum's on this cart?
    Fall is coming.

    The shop had so many fresh and baked goods. 
    Peach muffins. pies. breads. syrups. Jellies.

    I wanted to take more pictures but it was very crowded inside and I didn't want to be that weirdo that was in everybody's way. 

    We left with Peaches, local corn on the cob and some Lemon Marmalade  ~ which btw is so amazing that the jar is already half empty.

    While it would have been much easier to buy a jar of Peach Jam..
    Where's the fun in that?
    I really wanted to follow through with one more thing on my Summer bucket list and make jam before I run out of time.

    Procrastination has really gotten the best of me this last year OR TWO

    The recipe called for about 8 peaches,  lemon juice, pectin and 7 cups of sugar. 
    7 cups!!!

    Daughter #1, who practices much healthier eating habits then I do,
    suggested that we substitute the 7 cups of sugar with 1 cup of coconut sugar.

    and guess what...  it's good!

    Do you want to know a secret...
    I don't even like peaches.

    but I love daughter time.
    And peach jam.

    Have a great week.

    Friday, August 11, 2017

    August is The Sunday of Summer

    Can you believe that we're almost smack dab in the middle of August already?
    If I had school aged kids, I'd be in serious panic mode right now.

    The weather here in Baltimore has actually been mild for summer. 
    The cooler mornings have added to my excitement for the upcoming fall months...   but I don't want to wish this time away just yet.  

    I want to savor these last weeks of summer.

    I have dates with both of my girls this weekend.
    Tomorrow morning,  Sally and I are going to a Peach Pancake breakfast and festival ~  doesn't that sound summery.
    And Sunday morning is boot camp with Michelle..  followed by a sore butt.

    Should be fun!

    I read a quote that said,
    "August - the Sunday of summer"

    Isn't that the truth!

    Wishing everyone a great august weekend.
    Hope that you have something fun planned.

    Tuesday, August 8, 2017

    Days like these

    A few weeks ago I got a chance to spend the day out on the water with my daughters.   Since they are so few and far between,  Girl dates are a pretty big deal to this mom.   
    I am in a constant struggle with letting go of what used to be and embracing what is now.   It's been an ongoing internal conflict ever since they grew up and stopped needing their mom.
    God,  I loved raising these girls!

    The day started out with beautiful blue skies as we paddled, the girls in the kayak and I on the paddleboard, to the little island called Pleasure Island.

    Once settled on the beach we enjoyed our picnic lunch before heading back out to tour the waters around the lighthouse.

    I paddled behind ...
    Watching and listening to them navigate, cuss and laugh.
    It's the best sound ever!

    This is the Craighill rear lighthouse on the Chesapeake.
    Up close, it's both beautiful and kinda creepy.

    We swam a bit and paddled around the island as the grey clouds started to close in on our day.

    It wasn't as ominous as it looked,  but the clouds did cause the temperature to drop enough that we were getting cold.

    We soon packed up and hesitantly headed back to shore.

    On this day I was reminded that the joys of being a parent hasn't gone anywhere.  It's still here..  it's just a little different. 
    A little easier.

    God, I love days like these!

    Hope that you enjoyed visiting the island with us.

    Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts regarding our loss of Darla.  Today makes a week and I still can't believe she's gone.