Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Service at Church 2009

This morning was our annual Christmas celebration at church. Our big choir musical was last week, and this week was very laid back in comparison. But still lovely.

Our impromptu Memorial Band did a great job of performing the prelude and hymns.
Memorial Band 2009

I snapped this photo before rehearsal to get a shot of my former high school band director (on the left). I think it's so cool that he attends my church.
Memorial Band Members Preparing 2009

We also had a piano/trumpet duet for the offertory today. So nice to have them as a part of the service.
Piano Trumpet Christmas 2009

Our sanctuary was decorated very nicely.

Here are the poinsettias at the windows:
Poinsettia Window 2009

Our Chrismon Tree:
Chrismon Tree 2009

And here's a view of the back of the church:
Back of Church 2009

It helps to put us in a nice Christmas spirit to see our church dressed up so well. :)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Nice Visit with My Family

Last night, I was able to visit with my parents and my two sons, Josh and Noah. It was nice!

We went to Hops restaurant, and had a very nice time.

Here are my sons, sitting with their grandpa:
Noah Ken Josh at Hops

Of course, Noah had to make a silly face. Crazy guy!

And here's a photo of me with my boys. They are all grown up now! (21 and 24)
Noah Sandy Josh at Hops

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New Blue Chair

I am such a happy girl now. I finally have a nice chair for my craft room. It's the nicest chair I've ever had in my life. And it's all because I had a sore back.....

Recently, I was having some real pain with my back, and went to the doctor to see what was going on. He did an xray, and told me that I have a slight curve in my spine. So, I've been taking pain medicine, muscle relaxers, and steroids to help deal with the problem.

I do a lot of knitting in my craft room, and haven't had a good chair to sit in when I'm in there. So, I knew I needed to find something FAST to support my back better.

After looking at 4 different stores, I found my chair.

New Blue Chair - Nice

It was at my local consignment store (Consignment First in Matthews, NC) for a great price.
I'm so glad I got it. Now, I have a beautiful chair that supports my back well. Life is good.
Relaxing in New Chair

Friday, September 25, 2009

Stuck in Bed with a Bad Back

This week has been such a drag. Somehow, I hurt my back....can't figure out how.
Anyway.....I've been laying in bed on an ice pack for 6 days now, and the pain is just as bad. I have only been able to teach a couple piano lessons this week, so no money for me! :(

So, today I finally went to the doctor. Yeah, I took me too long to make that decision. The appointment went fine, and the doctor gave me 3 prescriptions. Pain, Muscle Relaxer, and Steroid. I dropped off the prescriptions at the pharmacy, then picked up something to eat at KFC (chicken pot pie). I also got a cone of ice cream at a local ice cream shop, since I was a good girl, taking myself to the doctor. Ha! (Mint Chocolate Chip in a sugar cone - YUM!)

After picking up my prescriptions at the pharmacy, I drove straight home, and carried in everything. That was a lot of work, since my back was still hurting.

Ah...finally home. But I couldn't rest yet. Still had to figure out all these medications. Of course, none of them have the same time schedule. I went ahead and took the first dose, then carried the bottles down the hall to my bed. I then grabbed my little laptop computer, placed it on the bed, and settled myself in. After considering all the prescriptions, I decided to make an Excel spreadsheet to help me keep track of my dosage schedule. It took a few minutes to get it all sorted out. I color coded the spreadsheet, then marked the bottles using 3 different colored markers. When I finally finished that little task, I settled down for a LONG NAP.

After 8 hours of glorious, painless sleep, I was finally rested. I think it was the first time I've actually had a deep sleep in 10 days. Wonderful....sweet rest.

My back is still hurting, but not as bad as it was. Now, I'm waiting for my hubby to get home from work. He's bringing dinner from Captain D's. After I eat, I'll take another dose of medicine, and hit the sack again.

I have to play piano for a wedding tomorrow, so I'm going to get as much rest as I can now. I'll probably have to skip a dose of medication tomorrow, so I can make it through the service without falling asleep. Ha!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

He's B A C K........

Today, I needed to run some errands, so I grabbed my purse, and some other things, to carry them to the car. After opening the kitchen door, I was promptly accosted by the same black cat I saw a couple weeks ago. He was demanding food again. The nerve!!

So, I made sure I pulled the door shut so he wouldn't go into my house, then carried my stuff to the car. He must have thought I was coming out to feed him, because he quickly walked straight to the food dish I had placed outside for him on that earlier day. (Yes....I must admit I didn't bring it back in yet.)

I rolled my eyes, and announced to him that I am NOT his owner, so he can't expect me to feed him. I mean....REALLY...he can't just prance back into my life and demand my servitude. Unbelievable! Reminds me of some other male interactions in my past.

This time, I wanted to snap a photo of him, so I could PROVE that he is real. (One of my friends said that I must have imagined this cat - and likened me to Alice in Wonderland, with a "cheshire cat".) Ha!

Well, here you go, my friend. PROOF that it's a real cat.

Here he is defiantly claiming that he is my cat, and demanding food:
Black Cat

And here he is sniffing the bushes by my house, trying to charm me into thinking he's a gentle cat.
Black Cat Sniffing Bushes

Once again, showing his "true" nature, demanding attention and food with a wicked, cold stare.
Black Cat - The STARE

I'm not breaking down this time. I know his game now. He's not starving, and he hasn't lost his way. He's just out to take advantage of me again.....MEN!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Homemade Waffles

I have some nice buttermilk in our fridge today, so this morning, I decided to make some homemade waffles. I grabbed my 1974 Betty Crocker Cookbook, and turned to the recipe.

It called for two cups of flour, and I decided to substitute one cup with whole wheat flour.

They turned out very nice!
Homemade Waffles

My hubby took the first bite, and said, "These are MUCH better than the ones at Waffle House!"

What a sweetie..... :D

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Unintentional Cat Owner

For the past week, there has been a black cat continually greeting me at my driveway when I come home. He acts like I'm supposed to be his owner or something. "Fusses" at me for not letting him in the house. I speak to him, and say, "Listen, I'm not your owner, and I'm allergic to you anyway. Go home."

But, he has persisted. This morning at 5 AM, when my hubby was leaving, the cat was there. My hubby said, "Whose cat is that?" I replied, "I think it's ours now." Anyway, it was time for me to sleep, because I had been up knitting all night. So, I said goodbye to my hubby, turned off all the lights, and went to bed.

When I woke at about noon, I looked outside, and the cat was sitting on the steps, staring up at me. Unbelievable.I had my lunch, got dressed, then put my stuff in the car for piano lessons. Then, I heard a little "meow". I walked to the mailbox, and carried the mail to my car, and heard the "meow" again. I looked all around, and finally found the cat sitting on our ROOF! I looked up at him and said, "I don't know how you got up there, but I can't deal with you right now. Besides, you don't even live here!" And I left to go to teach piano lessons.

I got back home at about 7:30, and was promptly greeted by an irate cat. I very clearly said to him, "Listen're not my cat!" He ignored me of course. So, I went in the house and put down all my stuff. The cat was staring at me through the door, meowing loudly. I figured that he must be hungry. So, I opened a can of tuna, put it in a small bowl, and carried it outside, placing it on the edge of the driveway. The cat POUNCED on it, and quickly devoured it all. Poor thing. I wonder where he came from?

Anyway, I walked outside after a while, and rinsed out the bowl. Then just stood there, looking around the neighborhood, looking to see if anyone would come and claim this cat. No such luck. The cat is VERY friendly, and was rubbing up against my legs, stretching up to touch my hands occasionally. I didn't pet him, because I'm allergic, you know.

I looked online, and didn't find any mention of a lost black and white cat in my area. He's really a gorgeous cat. Tall and regal looking. Shiny black fur, white face and neck and paws. Pretty. He still has claws too, so he can protect himself outside. (I noticed the claws when he stretched up my leg.)

I wonder where he came from?

Monday, August 31, 2009

My New Cell - Verizon Blitz

I've been having trouble with my cell phone, because it hurts to text. It's a very simple phone, with no bells or whistles. So, I was having to click buttons several times just to get one letter typed for texting.

I have arthritis, and my cell phone was just making it worse.

So, my hubby decided to try to find a better phone for me. He's such a sweetie.

We were out on a date night at our local mall, and he said, "Let's go look at the phones at Verizon." We already have an account with them, so they were quick to help us.

I didn't like the look or feel of ANY of the phones on display, so I kept asking to see more. The sales rep brought out 3 other phones from a cabinet in the back of the store.

After looking at all three of them, I decided to go with the Verizon Blitz. Easy to use, and it has a full keyboard for texting. The phone is very small - about the size of a make-up compact.
Blitz Phone

The cover slides open easily to reveal the texting keyboard.
Blitz Opened

This little phone is just right for my arthritic hands. The buttons are easy to push. So long old phone!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sick at Home :(

Bummer. I'm sick again.
I'm so sick of being sick. I just seem to catch EVERYTHING now that I'm in my 40's.

It's probably because I teach piano to my students in their homes. I'm exposing myself to different germs several times a day. You'd think that it would make me build up an immunity to different sicknesses, but it seems to work in reverse in my case.

Anyway, I always get sick when school starts back again. All my piano students are back in town, and I have several lessons a day again. So, I'm hoping that I will work this sickness out of my system quickly, and be back to normal.

I have a fever, sore throat, backache, headache, achy joints, and exhaustion. I've been taking the Walmart brand of Effervescent Cold medicine, just like Alka Seltzer Plus. It helps me rest, and makes me feel better immediately after taking it.

I slept most of the day today, and was only able to knit a few rows before collapsing. It's been a good day for the internet though. :D

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Sandy's Scrumptious Sausage Stew


Today, I made a new stew, using ingredients I had in my kitchen.
My hubby and I love it!

Here's how I made it. I'll add more details on sizes of cans, etc. later.

Sandy’s Scrumptious Sausage Stew
Sausage Stew

Brown 1 pack of sausage in frying pan
Drain off all oil, and press between thick paper towels to remove more oil
Put sausage in large pot

Add the following:
1 can tomato soup & ½ soup can of water
1 can of sliced okra, drained
1 can of corn
1 can of green beans
stir these ingredients well

Season with:
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
1 small packet Splenda

Stir seasonings into stew

Cook (covered) on medium-low heat for about an hour
Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes

small basket of whole mushrooms
Half of a large sweet onion, chopped in big chunks
Can of diced tomatoes

Stir and continue to simmer for about 45 minutes

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Knitting with Some of my Handspun Yarn

A long time ago, I spun some beautiful blue merino wool on my spinning wheel.
Spinning Blue Merino no flash

Blue Merino on Lazy Kate closer

Handspun Blue Merino Yarn

This week, I actually used some of it to make a nice hair scrunchie! :)
Blue Scrunchie

Blue Scrunchie Complete Blue Scrunchie in My Hair

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Here's My Little Teapot....Short and Stout. ;)

This morning, I had a nice little pot of hot tea. Good Earth Vanilla Chai. Very yummy. I was able to get more than 4 cups out of my small teapot, and it stayed hot the whole morning. I covered it up with two kitchen towels.

I think I'll make a nice handknit tea cozy. :)

The teapot is EXACTLY like the one my mother had in her kitchen when I was growing up. I found this one at an antique store in Charlotte. The cup and saucer set was a Christmas gift from my step-children.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sheep Shearing Day at Rising Meadows Farm in North Carolina

This past weekend, on Valentine's Day, I decided to go to a sheep shearing day with a friend. It took place at Rising Meadow Farm in Liberty, North Carolina. It was a wonderful day, and the weather was perfect!

We rode in her little Smart Car, and really enjoyed talking and looking at the scenery.
Brenda's Smart Car 2

When we got there, we went straight to the sheep barn to watch the shearing.
Me in the Sheep Stall

Brenda at Sheep Stall

Here are some of the sheep, waiting to be shorn:
Sheep Ready to be Sheared

More sheep:

Here's one of the sheep, about to be shorn by the master shearer. It just quietly let the shearer grab him, lay him down, and cut his hair without complaint.
Sheep Being Grabbed for Shearing

Here's the shearer, hard at work, giving the sheep a good haircut.
Shearing Sheep

Here's the sheep after his haircut.
Freshly Shorn Sheep

And here's the big fleece that came from that sheep.
Fleece Ready

We also saw a brown lamb being shorn. Once again, it was quiet and patient during the haircut.
Shearing Brown Sheep

There were severals bags of fleece, ready to be purchased. I think it was cool that they included
the name of the sheep each fleece came from.
Bags of Fleece

After watching the sheep shearing, we wandered over to the next field, and saw some alpaca or llama. (It's hard for me to tell the difference between those two animals.)
Alpacas or Llamas

They were so friendly, and would just walk right up to you. This one went straight to Brenda and stole her heart on Valentine's Day.
Brenda with Alpaca or Llama

I got a visit from that one as well. I think he liked the way my handknit alpaca wristwarmers smelled. :)
Me Smiling with Alpaca

After walking around the farm, we went into their little shop. I checked out the roving, to spin on my wheel at home. I decided to buy 4 balls of Corriedale in a light natural shade.
Me Choosing Roving

Brenda bought some of the handspun yarn the farm had prepared.
Handspun Yarn for Sale

After our long drive and walk, we were tired, so we sat down outside to eat the picnic lunch Brenda had prepared for us. Thanks Brenda!! Next, we drove to her place, to sit and knit for a while. It was a perfect way to end our day together.
Me and Brenda Knitting

Friday, February 13, 2009

Spears Weaving Loom Instructions

Several people have asked me to mail them copies of the Spears Weaving Loom Instruction Book I have with my size 4 loom. I'm tired of copying it and mailing it, so I've downloaded it to my Flickr photo account.

I think it should be fine, since the instructions were printed so long ago. I don't think a copyright applies. But, if anyone hears differently, please let me know, and I'll remove the link.

Take care, and happy weaving!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cooking and Eating

Last year, I was on a low carb diet for most of the year, and 3 months of the year before. I plateau-ed, and never lost more than the 40 pounds I lost in the first two months of the diet.

Since I was discouraged, I put the low carb diet aside, and quickly gained back all the weight I had lost. Discouraging, but that's the breaks.

Now, I'm eating cakes and cookies and bread again. Eventually, I'll get back on a diet, but I'm not sure which one I'll choose. Maybe low carb, maybe something else.

In the meantime, I'm eating cake. Ha!

Here's the one I made a couple weekends ago. My hubby and I loved it.
Sunday Chocolate Cake with Cover

The following week, I made a "Cranberry Kuchen" from my very old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.
Cranberry Kuchen with Hot Tea