Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Yeah, I know, it's the most wonderful time of year... yaddah yaddah yaddah... While the snow sure it pretty, it sure is a bit of a burden. I LOVE my house and it's location, but it's not a ton of fun hiking in the snow a 1/2 mile.

To top it all off, the Christmas shopping needed finishing. Matthew did manage to take me on Sunday, and then yesterday I left him at work and ventured out... along with the other 1,000s of people who needed to fninsh their shopping, too.

Today, I successfully rescued my little truck. I needed to get back out there to get a few more gifts. The ride to town was bumper to bumper, but I expected that. I did get a sweet parking spot close to the first store.

The next spot was a little nerve wracking to exit. A lady saw that I was backing up, so she backed up to take my spot. I'm trying to back up and not hit her, someone else decided to back up at the sametime. I don't have a little car that can turn on a dime, so I needed to pull foward into the "other" lane and the lady makes a beeline for the other spot almost hitting me! CRAZY!!!

OK. So I make it home... well, to the driveway, at least. I'm debating on how far I want to try to go. I don't have 4-wheel drive, which limits my choices. As I'm about to gun it for my last spot, the neighbor is coming up the driveway. She can't go anywhere. I had to back out of the driveway and into the church drive across the street.

After parking it in the old spot, I begin the hike up to the house with a 12 pack and a honeybaked turkey + 2 jars of chutney. I guess it's good training for our trip to Mexico. :)

See that? I managed a smile. I can find the bright side... OK. No more whining! (Unless I can wine... beer works, too!) Christmas shopping is finished, mom & dad are on their way to visit and spend the night, and tomorrow we celebrate with the King family. Then tomorrow night (YIKES!) we'll drive to Charlotte to spend the night.... You won't hear from me again until after January 4! Unbelievable! Sorry I had to vent, there are SO many positive things that outweigh any of the above.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Another Snow Day

So Moldy has not been much for going outside since the snow. Today, she was a little restless and decided to try it. After several minutes, she came running back to the front door. I let in, and she took off for the back bedroom and hid under Matthew's desk. Moldy promptly began to pull up the register vent. I was afraid she was going to dive inside! Something definitely spooked her. (I have the feeling it was some mischievous crows.)
A little later, she tried going out again. She even braved going out in the snow! (Of course, the top layer was so frozen, she just walked right across it without getting her feet wet.)

My favorite visitor came by today. We have a Pileated Woodpecker, and this is frist time I've managed to get a good picture of him.

A Broad-Winged Hawk landed in one of the trees towards the fence. He was too far away to get a good picture.
I walked to the mailbox and back. That was a pretty good workout. I checked on my poor little truck, and she's not going anywhere for awhile. Matthew helped our City Cop neighbor get his crusier out of the driveway... Yup... That's about it...

4 MORE DAYS!!!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Riding Around

Let the adventures begin... Actually, it wasn't too bad once we got to the main road. We only had to back up once to make a second running start up the driveway.

A pic of Grandad's Apples. They have a John Deere tractor on top of their silo.
This is a shot of Four Season's Blvd.

We had a good time in town. We went to Hannah Flannagan's, our local Irish pub. We played Texas Hold'Em on the TV. They were closing early, so we headed to Binion's for dinner.
The trip back up the driveway was not successful. We didn't think it would be, but it was worth a shot. We realized that we have a bulldozer in the driveway, so that is where Matthew is right now. Maybe I'll be able to get my truck out! Poor thing has been stuck in the orchard since Friday.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow Finale

Here is the scene at 8:30pm.

And the scene at 8:30AM the next morning.

Needless to say, we got around 8 - 10 inches of snow! It's so pretty. Matthew and I played in it today. We made some massive snowboulders. Then we made a sled out of a piece of metal roofing. Finally, around 3:30pm, cabin fever took hold, and we made the trek out.
We had a great time playing Texas Hold'Em at Hannah Flannagan's. They were closing early, so we headed to Binion's for dinner. It was great!
We made it safely home but the F250 did not want to get back up the driveway. So... it's sitting in the driveway at the creek.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Snow News Pt. 2

This is the scene at 2:00pm. It has not paused since my last post.

This is a pic of my little froggy that sits out front. Matthew calls him "Baby Jabba".

Snow News is Good News?

Today was supposed to be an early release day for students. They get out at 1:00pm. The faculty has been working on a silly Christmas play for the kids. The teachers have 2 furlough hours, so we would leave at 1:30 (instead of having to stay until 3:30).
At 6:20am, I received "the call". "This is David Jones, Assistant Super. of HCPS. Due to inclement weather, HCPS will be closed. Today will be an optional teacher workday." Ughh!
Matthew left at 6:30am and called me at 7:00. He had left something at home and needed me to bring it to the shop. I go out to crank up the truck, and it's snowing pretty heavy already. I managed to make it to the shop, but decided it was a bad idea to try and go to school.
I left and headed home. I managed to pull into our driveway but decided to park the truck in the orchard and hike the rest of the way to the house.
Here is the scene at 8:30 this morning.

Shortly after Matthew arrived home, the snow had turned to a rainy/sleety/snow. It practically ruined the pretty snow. But never fear... it's snowing again! We are supposed to get about 10 inches total. I think I'll just enjoy the snow and not worry about having to make a day. :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Before tackling Christmas, our family has several birthdays. It begins with my sister's, Michelle, on November 28. Here she is with her present from me, Taylor Lautner on the cover of Rolling Stone. :)

One week later, we celebrate my nephew's, Joshua, birthday. He turned 5 this year! He shares a birthday with my mother-in-law (age not announced).

I love my little leprechaun.

Michelle & my oldest nephew, Stephen. (He's 10!)

Josh received $5 in one of his birthday cards. He likes to save his money. His dad told me how they all went to the movies and had some time to play video games. Steve gave each boy $2. Stephen went right away to play games. Josh looked around, put the money in his pocket, and said something about saving it for later!


The next day is my birthday. I had a great one. Sorry, there are no pics. My birthday began with birthday beers with good friends (on a Friday night, btw).
Saturday was with the family (see pictures above). Mom, Michelle, and I went shopping which invloved a trip to Old Navy and Target. :)
Sunday was THE day. Mom and dad had already given me my present... A SHARK FLOOR STEAMER! It's AWESOME! I can clean my tile AND hardwood floors. I actually used it... on my birthday. Matthew bought me two rackets and some birdies because I have been talking about getting a badmitten set for the last 3 years. I love that boy. The King crowd went to dinner at 131 Main, and it was sooo good. I'm glad Mom and Dad got to join us.

One more week of school! Then let "Countdown to Mexico" begin! You heard me... Matthew & I are headed South for Christmas!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Decorations

The first decoration is Moldy and her Santa pillow. (It might be wishful thinking...)

My most favorite Christmas to put out is my Willow Tree Nativity set. Most of the statues are situated to face the Baby Jesus... except the donkey. But I guess he brought them there, so he's good.

I have so much to be thankful for this season. We're in our beautiful new house, which we did a lot with our own two hands. I have wonderful family and friends. I have a full-time job with benefits. My kitty, despite the fact that she jumped on my face in the wee hours of the morning AND scratched my chin, is a good snuggler. I am also glad Matthew and I will be taking our first vacation TOGETHER since... well... it's been a few years. We leave Christmas day for MEXICO!
Well, I am off to shop with Mom & Sis today, then celebrate Josh's 5th birthday! Tomorrow will be my "big" day :)
I hope everyone has a WONDERUL Holiday Season!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wish I had pictures...

Moldy has not had fleas since we found her 5 years ago! For a few months, she has had a small clan of fleas living on her. Then they decided to give us a try. I bought some flea medicine, but it did not do anything! OK... short story long...

While Matthew getting corn for the turkey feeder, he picked up some flea bath for kittens and cats. He figured if it was safe for kittens, then it should be gentle enough. :)

While I was in Winston-Salem, Moldy had her first bath! Matthew held her under the running water... bathed her... rinsed her... AND ended up turning on the shower to finish rinsing her! He said she didn't mind it at all. Plus, he towel AND blow dried her. AMAZING! I only wish I had pictures...

Crazy couple of weeks!

Greetings! The past couple of weeks have been nutty! My orchestra had a concert last week. We combine the four high school orchestras into one large group. They rehearse separately for 9 weeks, and then they have 2 rehearsals with a guest conductor before the concert. It was a great success! With 700 seats, we still had people standing in the back.

Last weekend, I took a Youth Symphony student to Winston-Salem to participate in the NC Honors Orchestra. We arrived to the hotel Friday afternoon. A basson player from Asheville joined us. Then my whirlwind weekend began!

The NC Music Educator's Conference is happening at the sametime. On Saturday, we had a "new" music reading session. While the students are rehearsing, the teachers gather and read through some new music. The conductor let me play her cello (which was really nice). She got tired of conducting, so we traded places. I got to conduct an orchestra of my peers.

I was unable to get online all weekend, because my computer would find a wireless connection but chose not to connect. Anyway...

Sunday's concert was AMAZING! I also watched a choral performance which was very inspiring. I attend various sessions Monday and drove home late Monday night. I had a good time catching up with friends I see about once or twice a year, and I made a new friend! It's always good to talk to other music teachers.

It's good to be home. :)

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Here is the previous post with pics from the driveway before it was poured.

This is the opposite view.

And, I always like to add a personal touch to any concrete work done on the house. The basement walls have this on top somewhere (even though the rest of the house sits on top of it).

Next is to pour the driveway all the way to the creek. This will involve about a week of not driving on the concrete. You have to let it cure for at least a week, or it will crack. It should be interesting. :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Prevent the Spread of Germs!

My sister emailed this to me, and I sent it to my entire school and friends at other schools. I had several colleagues tell me they printed it out, so I thought I would share this with you, too.
Dr. Vinay Goyal is an MBBS,DRM,DNB (Intensivist and Thyroid specialist) having clinical experience of over 20 years. He has worked in institutions like Hinduja Hospital ,Bombay Hospital , Saifee Hospital , Tata Memorial etc..Presently, he is heading our Nuclear Medicine Department and Thyroid clinic at Riddhivinayak Cardiac and Critical Centre, Malad (W).The following message given by him makes a lot of sense and is important for all to know The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat.

In a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):

1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).

2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (except to eat or bathe).

3. * Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt). *H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

4. Similar to 3 above, * clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. *Not everybody may be good at using a Neti pot to clean nasal cavities, but *blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.*

5.. *Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla and other citrus fruits). *If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

6. * Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can. *Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Quite Fortunate

Often I take for granted the beautiful area surrounding me.

Rigth now the leaves are rapidly changing to beautiful yellows, oranges, and reds. However, this evening has been masked by a mysterious fog.

This is an unzoomed view from my front door. The edge of the pasture is may 50-60 yards(?) away, and by this point I almost could not see it! I shall try to get a picture comparison. We have a lot of Poplar trees, and most of them have lost their leaves! Matthew says they are the first, anyway.

I take for granted the fact that I get to live in a beautiful area. My friend, Andy, reminded me that he and his family will have to travel to see such sites. I merely drive to work and see all the beautiful colors.

Meanwhile... I'm not sure I could handle a place that has snow already... BTW~ Hey, Cuz! How much snow do you have in Montana???

Friday, October 9, 2009


Please choose your favorite mustache. We have Spirit Week next week, and Monday is hat AND mustache day. I have a dorky hat (the bat hat is for character day), but I need help deciding which mustache to wear.

The Bruiser

The Square
The Hero
The Hollywood

The Grandpa

The Sheriff

The Weasel

Sunday, October 4, 2009

That, my friends, is...

the Moultrie EZ Feeder.

Matthew's dad bought us a feeder to help keep the turkies hanging around and maybe draw some deer into the yard. Don't worry, though, we only plan to take pictures when they show up! It is on a timer, which we have set for 6:00pm and 6:30am. It will throw seed out for 3 seconds. When the turkies start to hang around and eat all the feed, then we'll up the timer to 6 seconds so it throws more seed.

So far the turkies are still doing what they want. But I expect that they'll start to come around more regularly when there are no more acorns on the ground.

Still under construction...

Well folks... just what you've all been waiting for... final house pictures! Haha! So... it's still a work in progress, BUT I thought I would share some recent pics anyway. :)

This is the view as you walk in the door.

As you gaze to your right, you will see the dining area and into the kitchen.

Pan to your left and you will see the granite bar top. We are hoping to get another couple of bar stools. It's a great spot to eat breakfast because you can see the TV and watch the news.

This is the master bedroom. We use the armoire to hide the TV. On a side note: This is not our normal bedspread. This is a quilt that Matthew's nanny had made for us.

This is the "backside" of the kitchen. The top cabinets are really tall!

The view from this side of the kitchen puts you in the back hallway (you can see the corner of the tile that is the kitchen).

All the trim, Matthew and his buddies made from scratch. We had hemlock wood "drying" in the barn for a couple of years. The stair railing was simply purchased at Lowe's unfinished. We stained it to match everything else.

As you traverse to the end of the hall, you hang a right and enter the guest bedroom/office. Matthew bought a desk so he could work on estimates, look at plans, etc. I have yet to decorate this room.

Should you ever sleep over, we have a hide-a-bed. Mom and dad were the first to try it out, and they survived (I'm not 100% sure about their backs, however...)

Next, we have the guest bathroom. I am in need of making some curtains. Actually, no one would ever be able to see you unless they were in a tree or on a ladder.

Now we exit the guest area and travel back up the hallway. I need to hang some pictures...

At the other end of the hall, you can exit onto the back deck.

This is just a view of the stucco. Matthew and some guys finished the basement stucco a few weeks ago.

The most recent project is finishing up the driveway. We put up a retaining wall, which Matthew's brother stained kind of red. We didn't like that as much as we thought, so Matthew is working on putting stucco on the wall.

The driveway was regraded and Matthew's brother formed the turnaround.

We also had our sidewalk poured last week! I was very excited about that because, maybe now we won't track in so much dirt. Although Matthew blames Moldy... Matthew also did a nice job of landscaping out front. We are going to mulch all of it once it's closer to being finished.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the tour of our work in progress. We are entering month three with the couple renting the old house.

Today's project was to seed, lime, & fertilize the places next to the new circular drive. We also spread about 4 bales of straw. I bought more seed and straw today.

It's still all coming together and looking great! I really like what they did with the driveway, and Matthew will be putting stucco on the porch columns soon. I'll try to remember to post pictures of that, too! Hope all is well with all of you out there!