Thursday, September 30

lizzy update

I had to take Lizzy to the vet today to get her annual shots, so it gave him a chance to look her over and judge her progress from the last time we were there. He was happy with how she was progressing, so that is good news. Of course, the way she runs around the house, she could easily tweak her back again, so we're going to have to try to keep the craziness to a minimum around here.

In other doggy news, Alice's nose looks weird (for lack of a better description), so she's going to see the vet on Monday. It never ends.

Tuesday, September 28

the fifth grade

This year marked Jake's first year in middle school. It was an adjustment for us all. The main adjustment is that he has to catch the bus about 45 minutes earlier than previous years (not to mention the fact that he's not getting home any earlier). So, we're all getting up an hour earlier. On the plus side, I get to start work on time, but I think I'd rather just get the extra sleep. The first week of school was a little overwhelming for him--new school; different schedule; lockers; being the youngest in the school, rather than the oldest, etc., but he seems to have adjusted. However, most surprising is the fact that he gets up on time each morning and we don't have to drag him out of bed. That is a nice change of pace from previous years.

Sunday, September 26


As mentioned in my last post, I spent some time dividing perennials. Brian helped with some of the larger ones. My goal was to make the pond area symmetrical plant-wise. Mission accomplished. I originally tried doing a random planting thing there, but I'm not a random type of girl, so I just didn't like it. I think next year, I will be pleased with the results.

I'm also planning on moving my herb garden to the myrtle patch which is right outside of the kitchen door. For the past few years, each time I have to trek to the herb garden while cooking, I think "I should have put the herb garden where the myrtle patch is". So that's what I'm going to do. I will put a raised bed in the herb garden space and plant more veggies. It'll be a win-win. As for the myrtle, I'm going to put it around the plants in the pond area. I think it will look nice over there. I'm not sure if I'll have time to do this, this fall as we have a lot going on in October, but if I catch a break, I will do so. If not, I'll do it in early spring next year. These changes have another plus--they will greatly expand my herb garden (t will almost be doubling in size). I'm not sure that I need twice as many herbs, but that's what I will have.


Jake and Brian went to a Penn State game yesterday, so I had plans to get a lot done. And, I did. Besides doing ten loads of laundry, I also replaced the shower curtain rod, put a coat of finish on some grates Brian made for the living room, dusted our bedroom, did some yardwork, and even exercised. Also, I took a nap in the middle of it all.

Today was pretty busy as well. This morning, I put another coat of finish on the grates and then in the afternoon, Brian and I stained the shed and playhouse. I figured we were safe to do that because the hourly forecast wasn't calling for rain until 3am Monday. But, of course, it's raining right now. I hope it doesn't mess it up--it was supposed to have 5 hours drying time. Damn weathermen. After supper, I even managed to scrub the bathroom floor. But, now it's time for some relaxation before it's time for bed.

Saturday, September 25

jazz along the river

Jake's guitar teacher was playing at Jazz Along the River last night, so we headed down there after work to check out his band. This monthly summertime event is held at St. Mary's Church in Cambria City. Last night's happened to be the last one of the season. We often go to St. Mary's for Ethnic Fest because they have great food. Given that, we had supper there last night. It's a pretty popular event in the region and they had a nice turnout. This was the first time we attended and I'm sure we will go again next year.

Thursday, September 23

capital crimes

Thank goodness I am finally done reading this book. I started it back in June when Brian and I went on our motorcycle trip. What a snoozer. This book was a team effort by husband and wife Jonathan & Faye Kellerman. I read a Faye Kellerman book earlier in the year and it wasn't bad, but this book sucked. The book was comprised of two novellas. I read the entire first one while we were away. The story started off ok, but the ending was completely bad. The second story, I just couldn't get into. But, luckily, I finished it last night so now I can start reading something good.

Wednesday, September 22


The past few weeks, I have been doing cleanup--taking out dead plants, weeding, dividing perennials, etc. Fun stuff. Fall cleanup in the township is next week, so I'm trying to wrap things up by then.

The weather has been pretty nice so far this month. We've had a few days in the 80s this week. Unfortunately, it's getting dark at 7:30pm so that doesn't give me much time outside in the evenings, but I'll take what I can get before the snow flies.

Sunday, September 19


Ever since we bought our house 14 years ago, we've always intended on living out our days here. That said, I've always enjoyed looking at the properties in the paper and fantasizing about my dream house (that is, a house with more room and with a lot more land). I got away from that habit whenever we canceled our subscription to the newspaper. However, I started thinking about real estate again recently and did a search online for available properties. I found what I thought was the perfect place for us and it totally got me thinking about moving. I showed it to Brian and he was on board as well. The only problem was that our house isn't quite paid off yet and it would need to be in order to make the upgrade in properties.

We drove past the property a few times to check it out and things looked pretty good. After obsessing about this for the past two months, we decided to make an appointment to check the place out, which we did yesterday. I have to say I was a little underwhelmed. The actual property is great--lots of room, but the house needs more work than I expected or want to do. So, while I'm not entirely ruling this place out, it's probably not going to work out. That said, I'm going to keep my eyes open and see if anything else pops up. Realistically speaking we won't be ready to buy until next year anyway.

I am really glad that we went to see it, though. If someone else would have bought it I would have thought that I missed out on my dream house, but now that I know that isn't the case, I'll be able to sleep at night.

Sunday, September 12

for the win

We met up with Brian's parents and our niece for the Steelers game this afternoon (which is why we were planning on spending the night in Pittsburgh last night). We had lunch at Max and Erma's and then went to the game. It was a pretty nice day for football, weather-wise.

Due to the Lizzy situation, Brian and I only stayed until halftime. It wasn't that great of a game, so I didn't feel too bad about leaving early. Jake was able to stay on for the rest of the game, though.

Speaking of Lizzy, she's about the same as yesterday--maybe a little better, definitely not worse. I have to call the vet on Monday or Tuesday with an update, so we'll see what he says. I'm hoping to have something positive to report by then.

Saturday, September 11

change in plans

We were supposed to go to Pittsburgh this morning, do some stuff, and spend the night (a mini-vacation, if you will). However, when we woke up this morning, Lizzy was having problems getting around (she was 100% fine last night). It was pretty obvious that the problem was with her back. So, we canceled our plans, called the vet, and went to our appointment.

They took x-rays and found out that she has two herniated disks. Left untreated, it could lead to paralysis, which would not be a good thing. The vet gave her a steroid shot and sent her home with some steroid pills. We should see some improvement with her by tomorrow and if there's no improvement by Monday, we'll likely be making another trip to the vet. Let's hope that is not the case.

Monday, September 6

that's why they call it labor day

Holy crap--what a busy weekend! It's my own fault, but it couldn't be helped. I really would have liked to have participated in some of the events the weekend had to offer, but that was just not in the cards for us this year.

I think I mentioned a while ago that we have leaky bathroom pipes at the office. I was able to apply a temporary fix, but all of the drain pipes for the main bathroom need to be replaced. We're going to have someone do that for us, but before we can schedule that, we have to remodel the basement bathroom so that there's a bathroom we can all use while the work is being done. Labor Day weekend seemed like the best time to do that because we haven't had time up to this point, the rest of the month is going to be busy, and it's a three day weekend.

Friday kind of set the tone for the weekend. Right after work, we went to Lowe's to buy supplies for the project. After dropping off said supplies at the office, it was practically bedtime until we got home.

Saturday was even more crazy. The intention was to start working on the bathroom in the morning, but we had to get a proposal out for work. The proposal was done, but I had to pick it up at the Staples print shop and then mail it. Brian got things together at the office while I went to Staples. I got to the post office (in the Bel Air Plaza) 10 minutes before they were supposed to be closed and they were closed. Nice. So, I ran up to the UPS Store and was able to mail it from there. Of course, it was lunchtime by this point. So, we got a late start. I didn't stay for very long because Brian was doing plumbing and there wasn't anything I could do, so I went home and finished my laundry and did a few other things.

We went to church Saturday evening and then came home and had supper. Family Movie Night was scheduled for the evening, but there were a lot of other things that needed to be accomplished--putting away the laundry and bottling wine were the two most pressing issues. Since Jake wanted to watch the movie, he helped with both. After that, I got all of the bottles cleaned and sanitized for the wine and we bottled it (2 batches--strawberry and pacific quartet). Jake was the official bottle corker. We finished just in time to watch the movie. We started much later than usual, but that just made it more fun.

Sunday was more of the same. We got up, went to the office, and worked on the bathroom. By this point, we were a little behind according to the mythical schedule in my head, but the toilet was half-installed and Brian didn't have any issues with the plumbing the previous day, so we'll call it a winner. Brian's parents had invited us over for a cookout that evening, so at least we got to enjoy a little bit of the weekend. Plus, we came home with a bounty of leftovers that covered our lunch (and my breakfast) for today.

Today, we did the same as yesterday and went to the office in the morning. We hit a few snags so we're not where I'd like to be at this point, but we got through them and I think we're in good shape to completely finish the project by the end of the month. The good news is that we now have a second working toilet in the office, so the other plumbing project can occur at any time. The bad news is that we have one more snag to figure out, but I don't think it will be too difficult to overcome. At this point, the floor is mostly in, one of the walls is paneled, and a new light and switch have been installed. What's left is to finish installing the floor, install the remaining paneling, install the sink and vanity, fir out the ceiling, install ceiling tiles, and install the trim. It sounds like a lot (now that I've listed it), but the sink and vanity will be a piece of cake (the only reason they are not in at this point is that they'd be in the road). The same goes for the trim and the remaining floor--easy. The paneling won't be too bad, but we do have an issue with one of the walls, which is our remaining snag. The ceiling tiles will likely be time-consuming, but not difficult. So, there's a lot of work left, but at least we got off to a good start this weekend, Labor Day.

hot shots! part deux

Jake wanted me to add the Hot Shots! movies to our queue. I did just that. He wanted to watch Hot Shots! for this month's Family Movie Night. So, of course, I accidentally moved the 2nd one to the top of our queue rather than the 1st one. Luckily, since it was a Hot Shots! movie, we didn't exactly have trouble watching the 2nd one first. The movie was ok. I'm pretty sure I saw it before, but it was good for some laughs.

full freezer

Despite it being a busy weekend, I still managed to do some gardening-related stuff. Today was the only evening I got to spend outside, though. Unfortunately, it was spent weeding (I did a lot of weeding this year). While I hate weeding, I have to say, the yard looks pretty good when it is weeded.

Since last weekend, I have frozen a few bags of basil. I'm close to having enough for the winter, but I might freeze another bunch or two if I have time. I also made some oven-dried tomatoes over the weekend. (and that got me thinking about making a batch Alton Brown's tomato sauce. maybe next week...) And, today, I packaged and froze the sauerkraut that I started a month ago--over 8 quart-sized bags. This is definitely the most vegetable-related matter I've had in the freezer. It should be a good winter, eating-wise.

Thursday, September 2

up in the air

I'm a little behind on my reviews as we watched this last weekend. I thought this was a pretty good movie except for the ending. But, a good ending is important for a movie, don't you think? George Clooney was his usual awesome self, but I found the ending to be disappointing enough to overshadow my opinion of the film. At the same time, it's probably worth watching if you view it as more of a popcorn flick rather than something that's going to stay with you for a while.