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Showing posts from November, 2010

Project 52 Date Nights: Unfinished Basement and Catfish

After all of our Thanksgiving company left, Daniel and I got focused on projects. Namely trying to decide whether or not to start our newest project: We are going to convert our unfinished basement into a furnished apartment to rent out.
You might be wondering who would rent an apartment in rural Alabama. We are betting on other TVA employees. This benefits us with potential renters who 1) we know have stable jobs and 2) who have already passed a myriad of background checks in order to qualify to work at a nuclear facility.
So that is our plan. Ideally we need to get insulation installed and an HVAC system in before the end of the year in order to qualify for a tax credit. So after much discussion, we decided to get a start on the project on Sunday and drove up to Guntersville to attend church and go by Lowes for some needed supplies.
For lunch, we stopped at the Top O' The River Restaurant for some catfish. We settled into a window booth with a view of the lake. I am learning that w…

C25K in Five Days

So if you have ever decided to start running and you have the internet, you may have come across the Couch to 5K {in 9 weeks} running plan. Also known as the C25K. It helps you to slowly build up to running a 5K with no running experience necessary. It is great for newbies.
I actually started this plan back in January. Then, with my brother's encouragement, decided to just lose the plan and run as far as I could each day. I gradually added minutes until I had worked my way up to running for 40 minutes pretty comfortably. But then it got hot. And I got lazy and quit.
I briefly started running again in August {when we still lived in the camper}. But the hills in Chattanooga {and again the heat} did me in.
So this time around, I decided I needed motivation. Like an actual race to sign up for. I actually had my sights on participating in a Triathlon {which I still intend to do}, but seeing that it is winter, there are not many to sign up for – besides I have no desire to join a polar bea…

Thanksgiving Review

Sophie, Daniel and me
Now that I am well rested and most of our company has gone I feel like I can adequately describe our  Thanksgiving hosting experience {#21 on the life list}.
Riley, Emily, Josh and Zoe
First of all, I will state that no amount of planning and preparation will prevent unexpected things from occurring. It is kind of like getting married – things are bound to go wrong. Most likely these things will be what you will remember for years to come. Our T-Day had several mishaps and I lived  up to my philosophy to laugh and move on.
Regina, Josh, Daniel, Emily and Wesley
Over the last month or so, I have been coordinating with the women in Daniel's family on who would bring what. As expected, we ended up with some extra dishes, but no worries. Initially I had planned on a 2 o'clock eat time {allowing plenty of time for the turkey to cook and all of the dishes to be prepared} but Wednesday night, I found out that we were going to need to bump up the eat time by a couple …

Thanksgiving, by the numbers

1 completely blackened pie crust  2 pumpkin pies {and one pumpkin spice cheesecake} 3 dogs to annoy each other and beg for food 4 cups of turkey stock {and an incident of throwing out drippings, which meant a last-minute consultation of the internet to make gravy WITHOUT said drippings}  5 times more than enough food 6 hours of cooking, baking and orchestrating 7 days is the amount of time I need to recuperate from cooking  8 potatoes {mashed} 9 chairs crammed around a table for eight
10 strips of bacon to cover a turkey 12 sticks of butter 15 made-from-scratch dinner rolls  22 eggs And a fridge full of leftovers.
That was our Thanksgiving in a nutshell.  Will post more later when I am not so exhausted.

Thanksgiving Grub

Daniel and I are hosting his family for Thanksgiving this year. So I guess I can mark #21 off my life list. Technically, we hosted Thanksgiving for my family about 3 {or 4} years ago in Charlotte. My parents, Grandma and brother were there. We used our china for the first time {in 5 years of marriage}. The reason I am not counting that towards my life list is that my mom was there and while we planned together and it was my house, she was the one who orchestrated the cooking of the turkey and told me how to make things like mashed potatoes.
I would say this time is different because I am the one planning {and my cooking experience has increased significantly}. I have been in touch with Daniel's mom, grandmother and sister about what they are bringing. So it is more of a "true hosting."
Anyways, the hardest thing for me has been trying to narrow down what recipes I want to cook. I LOVE TO COOK so this was a bit of a challenge. My other concern is that I don't want …

Project 52 Date Nights: Thanksgiving Preparation

We are hosting the Moore Thanksgiving this year. So we created a long list of things to do before company arrives. Last weekend was supposed to be the final push. Get it all done, so we don't have to worry. Friday we went strong. Saturday Daniel got fixated on getting our new internet TV to properly connect to the internet and I didn't feel so great. 
So instead of working all day, we took it easy. Daniel got the TV and internet working together and we opted to watch an instant Netflix movie instead of working. Laying on the couch together {vegging out} was just what we needed.

Sunday we were back at it and managed to accomplish just about all of our projects {including my shopping for Thanksgiving day and other planned meals for the long weekend with company}. 
We have a few things left to do, but even if we don't have our house in perfect order, it is OK. The beautiful thing about Thanksgiving is that it is a time to be together and to be thankful {it has nothing to do with…

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Book 44

Everyday I Love You More (Just Not Today)by Nancy Shullins is a down-to-earth look at what makes lasting marriages work. Full of humor, wit and good advice, this book kept a smile on my face. The short chapters make it easy to read in small increments. I would recommend this book to anyone who is married, thinking about marriage, or in a long-term relationship. 
Excerpts from the book: The partnerships that stay fresh are the challenging ones, the ones that never stop pushing us out of our ruts, coaxing us to shut our eyes, take a deep breath, and soar.
There are always some issues that can't be resolved in a way that will satisfy both. Somebody loses and somebody wins, and that's the way life tends to go... Flexibility, resilience, and openness are invaluable marital aids. When the answer isn't obvious, give it some time and wait and see what option lies ahead. It may look different from what you had in mind, but that isn't to say that it can't work. Happiness comes …

Rural Living

Living in rural Alabama continues to take some getting used to. I can't get everything I would like from the grocery store – most recently I discovered that Stacy's Pita Chips and lamb were not available.

Then today we didn't receive a package because FedEx couldn't find our house. 
Tonight we tried to watch a movie on our fancy internet TV and the movie kept delaying because our internet signal was weak.
Thankfully I can find most things at Wal*Mart, UPS knows where our house is and we have free television {even if it is slow sometimes}.

Alabama DL

Getting our licenses and car tags this morning was ridiculously easy {unlike TN where I was told I needed a marriage license and unlike NC where you have to jump through a million hoops}. No lines. No ridiculous taxes to pay. We were done in under an hour {and even got our boating and motorcycle endorsements}. All of the offices you need are basically located at the courthouse. People are very friendly. The driver's license lady actually talked to us for over 15 minutes. Just shooting the breeze, telling us about a local gas station that sells really good hot dogs and coleslaw.

Izzy Bug and Pup Pup

This morning, my sister and niece skyped me. So sweet :) Izzy definitely knew who I was because she kept asking where pup {aka Sophie} was. Then when Sophie came and sat on the couch with me and I pointed the camera at her, Izzy climbed on the desk and tried to hug pup pup. 
I love technology.

100 things I would like to do in my lifetime:

I have an ongoing list in my mind of things that I would like to do in my lifetime. Over the years I have crossed off some of the things on the list and have added new things. I recently read Mighty Girl's list and was inspired to commit to writing down my own list. A lot of my dreams have to do with travel and adventure. Some are work oriented and some are personal goals to accomplish some time in my life. I hope that I am someday able to mark off all the things on my list. But if not, I feel truly blessed to have done the things already marked off.

1. Visit all 5 Great Lakes
2. Open a coffee shop/bakery
3. Design a yearly calendar planner 
4. Hike 100 miles on the Tour de Mt Blanc
5. Climb/hike/visit the highest points in all 50 states
--- Highest Points I have been to, to date: Mt. Magazine, AR; Mt. Elbert, CO; Mt. Mitchel, NC; Mt. Rogers, VA; Clingman's Dome, TN; Mt. Washington, NH, Brasstown Bald, GA; Cheaha Mountain, AL;Lakewood Park, FL ---6. Visit P…

Project 52 Date Nights: Getting To Know You

{via} One of the unexpected things about moving to rural Alabama has been making new friends. We have been getting together fairly regularly with one of Daniel's co-workers and his wife. Last Tuesday we had them over for a Chili and Game night. We played Things – a favorite of my family's. 
To play Things, a moderator reads a card, for example: Things you shouldn't say to your boss.
Everyone writes down their answer and the moderator reads the responses and you take turns guessing who wrote what. This can be a very hilarious game and a great way to get to know people.
It was fun but I think this is a game that is best played with a group of 8+ people. We are enjoying getting to know Daniel's co-workers better.

Hike: Bucks Pocket State Park

I remember the first time we took Sophie hiking. It was a lesson in patience for me and Daniel. She barked and growled at EVERY person and dog we came across. She wrapped her leash around every other tree. She pulled on her leash like crazy and went berserk whenever she caught the scent of a squirrel.

We have come a long way from that first hike. 

Today we went to Bucks Pocket State Park for a quick hike in the woods on the Point Rock Trail. We had planned on a Saturday hike, but we were in a groove of completing projects that we didn't want to tear away from. Today we woke up to overcast, cooler weather which was a bit of a disappointment since yesterday was gorgeous.

We thought about throwing in the towel and playing racquetball instead but we finally decided to go on and do the hike. It turned out to be a good hike. Nice and cool. And Sophie had a blast. We were pretty much the only people on the trail. Sophie no longer wraps her leash around trees and we can let her off leash to …

Weekend Projects

For the last couple of weeks, our breakfast area has been a staging area of sorts. Containment for empty boxes. We haven't been sure what to do with the boxes. In Charlotte, we would have hauled them to the curb on garbage day and they would be picked up by a recycling truck OR we would put them on CraigsList and hope that someone paid us a little for them. In Hollywood {Alabama}, we have resorted to finally moving them to our basement until we can figure out an alternate way to get rid of them – maybe have a really big bonfire?

After clearing out the breakfast area, we finally got around to putting together our breakfast table and chairs. We have decided that if we don't have to physically put together the furniture we buy, then it is probably out of our price range. Besides, putting together our furniture guarantees that it is put together well.

Another project we had this weekend was to install a new closet organization in our master bedroom closet. The house came with wire …

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Book 43

Growing up, I remember that my mom had a poster titled "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten." As a preadolescent, I thought it was a pretty clever poster. Many years later, I still find that it holds true.

The book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, by Robert Fulghum is full of short, witty views of life that brought a smile to my face. It is a quick read with short chapters that can be read whenever you need a pick-me-up.
Here are a couple of excerpts from my favorite chapters... All I really needed to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sand pile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:

Share everything. Play fair. Don't hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don't take things that aren't yours. Say you're sorry when you hurt someone. Wash your hands before you eat…

The Big City

Yesterday started out well. I went to yoga and then got ready to go to the big city {aka Chattanooga} to run some errands and to meet with a client to kickoff a new project. 
I got to go to Chick-Fil-A and Target and Starbucks. I felt like I was participating in the real world again by sitting in on a 3-hour meeting with a marketing department where my design and marketing experience was of value {no offense to Sophie, but sometimes hanging out at home with my dog can be boring}.
One of my errands was to go by our Public Storage unit to get the last of our things from storage. This would have been fine, but the following things occurred:

Daniel put the wrong address for Public Storage into the GPS and I ended up in the middle of nowhere. I stopped twice to try to recalculate where I was. In the end I ended up on Hwy 27 in Soddy Daisy {I needed to be in Hixson}. I eventually figured out where to go, but I ended up driving for an extra 40 minutes.
When I reached said storage place it was p…