What's your favorite Cheese says about you.

My homepage at work is MSN.com and along with "real" news, these quirky things catch my eye.  This one is "what your favorite cheese says about you"

So … at this stage in my life, I'd have to say that blue cheese is my favorite.  Here's what it says about me


"Your personality is an acquired taste, just like the noted blue cheese flavor.

Although viewed as a strong influence, you are knowledgeable and wise.

People often seek your advice."


Actually, I identified with several of the cheeses they listed.  Havarti, Cheddar, Mozzarella, Brie - let's just say I am fond of cheese.  These surveys and tests always crack me up.  Sometimes they are dead on accurate and sometimes they are really far off.  I still play along just to see what they will say.


Easter Storm

Going back in time, we had a bad storm on Easter weekend.  It started with hail, and I think ended up with a microburst or something similar.  It ended up taking out a large tree which came down on the shop.


You can get an idea of just how large the tree was from this picture of Linda standing under it.


Thankfully, the damage was only to the metal roof and not any of the structure.  There were about 10 holes in the roof, but none of the wood was broken or damaged.


Thanks to great friends we got the tree down and temporary patches on the holes.  

A neighbor who is a contractor hooked us up with a roofer, and now the roof is fixed and everything is back to normal. 

Here's what I learned … 

  • "Hunker Down" is not just a term for hurricanes.  It's probably best not to open the door In the middle of a storm to see the hail.
  • Apparently a picture is required as proof that when I say the tree fell on the shop, the tree actually did fall on the shop.
  • Having good friends in life is essential.  From my girlfriends who weathered the storm with me, to our guy friends who brought down the tree, cleaned the debris in the shop and patched the roof - we couldn't have done it without you.


Planner Craze

Planners are a big thing right now.  A couple of scrapbooking companies have come out with whole product lines for decorative planners.  I've kept a planner now for probably over 20 years.  I've mostly used a Franklin Planner, or something similar.  This year, I went to one of the creative planners.

There are several types on the market, but I chose the MAMBI brand planner … 

I like it because it has the pages ARC or Rollabind style pages.  Aside from that, MAMBI had the foresight to design the planner where if you got into the game late, you can take out pages without it affecting the remaining pages.  I got the planner in January, but it started in July, so I just removed July through December and started with January.

I don't do much, outside of work and home, so it doesn't get super filled, but it does work for me which is the important part.  What's the sense in having a planner that is cute and creative, if it doesn't work.


This month so far I've got a play, a crop, St Patty's day, and Easter.


Ebb and Flow

You might have noticed a week or so In February with no posts, and maybe thought I'd dropped off the blogosphere once again, but not so.  

Life is filled with ebbs and flows.  Sometimes, my life is super, crazy, busy, and I come home from work and promptly fall asleep in the chair, and sometimes my life is just plain boring.  It's the times in between crazy and dull that I get to post and/or have something to post about.

20160210_054830Along the lines of falling asleep in the chair, it's mostly because we purchased new furniture as our Christmas gifts to ourselves.  They were delivered towards the end of January, and we are loving them.  We got a sofa and a loveseat and both recline.  I sit down to watch a little TV, or to check email, and within a short time, I'm happily snoring away, as well as hubby.

As you can see in the picture, Max is enjoying the chairs as well.  We have a cloth cover on them so that he doesn't scratch or claw (he hasn't yet, but our other cat Michael tries to), and it keeps the cat hair in check as well.  I just throw them in the wash as necessary.

A couple of times now, I've awoke and found Max above me on the back of the loveseat looking down at me with a cocked head.  I prefer to think that he senses that I'm waking up rather than he looks at me that way when I'm sleeping which might be a little creepy.  In any case, the whole family is loving the recliners.



Gummy Drop Withdrawals

A little game I play thanks to Linda who got me hooked.  It's sort of like Candy Crush or Cookie Jam where you match blocks and clear obstacles, but it has added challenges where you work through and build monuments in several famous cities.  This weekend, I was having withdrawals.  I had the Nook with me, but forgot the charger cable, so as soon as the power ran out, I couldn't use the nook anymore.

20160215_003636Checked online to see if I could get one at the local Barnes and Noble, but apparently the model Nook I have is no longer one they sell, so no local stores had it.

Hindsight being 20/20, forced withdrawal was probably a good thing as it gave me time to do some other things.  I ended up taking a drive around town, and did some shopping.  It's not like I'm addicted or anything like that (not much anyway), but it does make the time pass when you have insomnia, when you're sitting at a car show, or when you're standing in line for checkout, or watching some TV.  

I still play some other games, but not as much as I play Gummy Drop.  It's my little addiction until something else comes along that takes its place.  With the absence of games, I did have time to pin some things to Pinterest.  I have so many things pinned it would take me a billion years to try them all, but it is fun for inspiration.


Frost and Water

Yesterday, I awoke to frost on the ground.  Not every inch of yard, but a good portion.  It looks funny seeing the green grass poking through.  Normally, this time of year the grass/yard growth is dormant and it gets a little brown - but we've been having a v20160227_070507ery wet season which makes for green grass and is unusual.  Between the frost on the ground and the mist coming off the ponds, it looked like something from a horror novel.  By about 8:30AM the sun was up an it was all gone.

We've had an unusual amount of rain - summer  was really rainy, fall it still rained, and now in winter we are still having rain.  No, not downpours every day, but rain just the same.  For instance, in January the normal rainfall is less than 2 inches, and we've had more than 7 inches of rain.  In the Orlando area, normal is a little over 2 inches and we've had a little over 5 ½ inches.  In the summer we had standing water on the property in Central Florida - compete with wading birds, and about 2 weeks ago we had water seeping up through the concrete floor of the back porch - not from a plumbing issue, but just from the saturated ground.

Lake Okeechobee in the center of the state is at all time highs - the highest levels in nearly a century.  Because of this, the lake is being drained due to  fears the aging dike won't hold.  The problem with this is that the lake is polluted … as it's been a dumping ground for chemicals, manures, fertilizers and other pollutants from big sugar and big cattle ranches in the area.  This pollution, has pretty much been confined to the lake, but now that the lake is being drained at a rate of 70,000 gallons per second, to other coastal areas, we are ultimately polluting the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic.

With rising sea levels many coastal areas are having to contend with coastal flooding, and now we have to contend with the pollution issue as well.  Normally salty water has been turned into dirty freshwater which is killing seagrass and oysters among other things.  Friday, the Governor declared a state of emergency for several counties, asking for the federal government to begin repairs to the Lake Okeechobee infrastructure/dike. It is expected to cost 800 million dollars.

It's a vicious cycle … what is really needed is to send the water south to the everglades, but to do that you need land, voters passed Amendment 1 for the purpose of buying land, but our legislatures took those funds and diverted them to state employee salaries an issue yet unresolved.

I've lived in Florida all my life and quite frankly until last year, I was naive about what is going on in my state.  I LOVE Florida, and am concerned about the direction it is heading.  

In the past, I didn't feel like I could make a difference, but now, I know even little things can and do make a difference.  What little things can you do ?  Write your state representatives - it's as simple as sending them an email - you're on the computer quite a bit anyway.  Join social media groups that will keep you informed - a few I belong to are FloridaIssues, StopBearHunt and ImagineOurFlorida, amoung many others - with Facebook, their posts come up in your feed and with a click you can read what's trending.  Aside from advocacy groups, most counties and municipalities have Facebook pages they update.  Spread the word … by mouth … the simplest and cheapest method of doing something.  You'd be surprised how many people have no clue issues like these are taking place right in their backyard.  And finally, educate yourself about the candidates so when you vote, you vote for people that care about what you care about.

This post started with my enchantment with my frosty lawn, and turned into something entirely different.   I guess what weighs on my mind, comes out in my posts - it is what it is.


The last Hurrah

It's not often we get to use the fireplace.  This will probably be the last time we get to use it this season.  A couple of weeks ago, I thought that would be the end, but this weekend, we're supposed to be in the upper 30s, low 40s.


Pretty much anytime the temp drops below 50, I want to start a fire.  It's so relaxing to watch the flame flicker, and I love the smell.  It's sort of a novelty for me since we don't often get to use it.  It also takes the chill off the house, and the chair I sit in when on the computer is just a few feet away.

When we were at the car show last weekend there was a women there creating a fire in a cast iron fire pit, which had a grate that she cooked on.  I was mesmerized watching this women while she chopped the wood into smaller pieces with an axe, started the fire, kept the fire fed, and cooked on top of the fire.  I only have to keep the fire fed - the wood came to us from a close friend, and hubby starts the fire, so I think I've got the easy part.

The best laid plans ...

Normally, I've posted by now - usually at 2 or 3 am, when the day is done and I'm about ready for bed.  Last night I was cold (see yesterday's post), so I thought I'd just curl up under the covers for a minute … a minute! -- and that was all she wrote.  Awoke this morning on the couch, bundled in a comforter, with the computer open to where I left it.

Yesterday, we also had another plan.  The plan was to leave work early and get up to the movie theater for a 9:20PM showing of "Hail, Ceasar!" the new Coen brothers film (his choice and mine a little bit), or Zoolander 2 (my choice, and his a little bit).  We did leave work early - by pretty much a full 45 minutes, (which is a feat in itself) - which meant we should have had time to get to the movie with plenty of time to spare.  But as fate would have it, 3 accident delays on I-95 later, it took us almost an hour and a half longer than usual to get where we were going.  By that point, we had missed the last showing of "Hail, Ceasar!" and just went straight home.

Do you plan ?  Do you believe "Fail to plan, plan to fail" ?

These days, I'm not that big on having my day all planned out - oh yeah, I do have a "to do" list, but it's not a hard and fast list I must follow - no ABC or 123 prioritization, but more of an outline of what's coming up that needs to be done.  I'm not a last minute person, so I can just go with the flow- which works well since hard as you might try, obstacles will get in the way.  You've got to be able to just roll with it.  

I've always used a planner, and have one now,  but my planner is mostly birthdays and when the next scrapbooking retreat is - rather than a hour by hour, minute by minute planner.  This year, since it's become popular in the scrapbooking world, I've ditched my regular one for a creative one that I can embellish and doodle to my hearts content.

Today, the only thing I HAVE to do is get to the post office and buy Powerball tickets.  I think I can get that accomplished.

As far as the movies go … the new plan is to see Zoolander 2 on Sunday - it may or may not happen since it's Valentines day, and  I don't particularly like crowds, so if it's crazy, we may postpone again, but I'm hoping we end up going.


Bringing Back the Blog

It's been awhile since I've posted on my blog - a little over 2 years in fact. WOW … didn't realize it had been that long.

Some things have changed, and some things have stayed the same - such is life.

I still scrapbook but haven't made it to many crops, 2016 will be different (Thanks Linda for scheduling crops on the right days).

I've lost thirty-five pounds (so far) and now follow a Paleo/Primal low carb high fat diet. My blood sugar numbers are in the normal range (without any medication). Because of the diet - I cook more - which means trying new recipes and coming up with my own versions of recipes.

I still have a slight Pinterest (and Facebook too) addiction, but I'm OK with that. My tastes run to DIY, Crafts, Recipes, Prepping, and Frugal Living/Cost savings.

I'm still a sucker for "Reality" TV.  I still attend car shows and cruise-ins.  I still have cats.

I've become a Florida black bear "defender" since the October debacle of the 1st bear hunt in Florida in over 20 years, and as a byproduct of this fight I'm learning lots and lots of information on how the Florida government works or rather doesn't work.

So, why the blog ? I like sharing the stuff I've learned … a new recipe, a great product, a card tutorial, bargains I've found, ways to save money, and ways to save Florida. I have eclectic tastes - it won't be a blog on a specific topic, but more a blog on a variety of topics that I hope you find beneficial and then of course there will be pictures of cool cars and very cute (if I may say so myself) cats.

Will it be a daily thing .... knowing me probably not, but I should be able to find something to say at least a couple of times a week.  I hope you'll come along for the ride and share a piece of my world.  If you do stop by, I'd appreciate a comment, even just to say hi. 

Fun and Games ...

I play games ...

They entertain me in the wee hours of the morning when I can't sleep, or when I'm a passenger on my daily commute to work.  I believe it also keeps my mind young (that's my story and I'm sticking to it).

I play Words w/Friends (almost came out Fiends, which some of you are very viscious and don't let me win once or twice - LOL) , Matching w/Friends, as well as lots and lots of Scramble (if you don't play, it's like the classic board game Boggle).  I also have a pretty strong Bejeweled addiction.

And now ... I have fallen into the black hole of Candy Crush.  It's a game linked to your facebook friends which I started awhile ago but didn't play often - but now, I've started playing again.  My sisters play, my friends play, my co-workers play, so I went along for the ride and started playing and it sucked me right in.  I am thinking Candy Crush is more poplular than I even imagined because now I'm seeing commercials on TV for the app (both for IPhone and Android). 

The games are harmless enough ... but they do want your money.  You can buy more lives, and you can buy helps.  I am being strong and haven't succombed to pull of playing longer or getting through a level.  Not to say that I haven't payed for the privelege of playing games (I do buy hammers for EggBreaker [another Facebook game - don't ask] - but at the moment, I am resisting buying into Candy Crush. 

As you go to higher levels in the game, it gets harder and harder.  You only get 5 lives, and you lose a life every time you fail at a level.  I personally believe that you should get more lives the higher you go, but then I was thinking about it, and 5 lives is really the perfect amount to keep the obsessed functional members of society.  I can blow though 5 lives in about 5 minutes - and then it's 2.5 hours for them to rebuild again.  Works perfectly.  Play on the way to work, then play on break, then play at lunch.  At home, I can actually cook or God forbid clean between life refills.  If not, I think my life would go on complete shutdown in order to finish a level.  Ahhh ... the addictive personality.