Friday, February 26, 2010

When I Look in the Mirror

This last year and a half have truly been one of the most difficult times in my life ~ actually the last two and half years would be more accurate. Loss of many "things", but with those losses I gained strength. It's amazing to me that the things I have endured have not crippled me, made me curl up in a ball, refusing to go on. In times of toil and trouble I have always tried to be a positive person ~ don't get me wrong, I also go through the gamut of emotions ~ anger, sorrow, bitterness. I cry, but in the end, I try to focus on the positives. When I look in the mirror I see someone looking back at me who has aged this past year, more wrinkles, gray hairs, and bulges where bulges didn't exist before. I know that I'm not a young buck anymore at the tender age of 37, but have always felt young and still looked young until now. But maybe stressors in your life can truly change your appearance, along with age of course. With this move, my hubby and I really feel as if we are starting fresh, in his career, our home. I think that maybe it can also be a fresh start for me, in the way I take care of myself. In the past I never had to worry about what I ate, but now there are bulges where there were none earlier. By no means am I over weight, but I am less active than I was when I was working in California, and running around with my busy former life. Being here I'm living a slow paced life, not out and about as much mainly due to the weather. So while I try and get this home unpacked, organized, and de-cluttered I think I will take the time to try something new, 9's yoga dvd, that my mom so eagerly bought for him while we were living with her during our transition. I'm going to try and limit my coffee, which me LOVES, and drink more water. Maybe even actually start using that Retin-A that my mom swears by to help them lovely wrinkles around my face, that even though is aging, my hubby still loves. When I look in the mirror I do see someone who is aged, but who is happy, feels blessed, and who is excited about this new chapter in her life!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Quick Chicken and Mushroom Dinner

1/2 ~ Onion Chopped
1 ~ Pkg Fresh Mushrooms
2 ~ Cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 ~ Pkg of your favorite Pasta
1 ~ Cup of Milk
Shred both Chicken Breasts from Costco Rotisserie Chicken
Olive Oil

In a large pot, boil water for your favorite kind of pasta. While waiting for water to come to a boil, in a large skillet pan, add a a little bit of Olive Oil to sauté your chopped onion. Cook over low/medium heat. Once the onions are starting to look translucent, and in your fresh mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes then start adding in the cream of mushroom soup and the cup of milk. This will be your yummy gravy like sauce so play with it. I usually cook this with out measuring out the milk, so if you like you sauce thicker, add a little milk at a time to get it to the consistency you like. Start adding in your shredded chicken breast. Season to your liking ~ I add season salt and pepper. Using already cooked chicken saves you time, but you can make this recipe by cooking the chicken as well, just cube up 2 to 4 chicken breasts, and cook in the skillet before adding in the onion and so on. Once your pasta is done cooking, dish onto plate or bowls and cover with the chicken and mushroom gravy! Serve with some warm crusty bread and a salad!

You can mix the recipe up as you like! Add different veggies if mushrooms aren't your thing. I often make it with rice instead of pasta. If you want a more stroganoff taste add 1/2 cup of sour cream. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Goodwill Hunting Monday

Yesterday I was all by my lonesome and decided to swing by my Goodwill after I had run a few errands! All green tags were half off and I found some fabulous finds! At least I think they are fabulous and that what's important, no? You know me and how I love me some jackets.... I found these two and they were both green tagged! Whoo hoo! The leather jacket is a Wilson Leather and I got it for a whopping $7.49!!! The brown cord jacket is Tulle and $3.00 with the discount. The pink waffle J Crew henley I saw a few weeks ago but didn't grab it, went back the next day and could not find it. Yesterday it was found and half off for $1.99! YES! The tunic under the leather jacket was not on sale so I did spend $5.99, but it is brand stinkin new! LOVE IT! And the boots are the Shop Goodwill find that I posted about and finally picked them up at the Post Office yesterday! They are a yummy chocolate brown Anne Klein brand new! I won the bid for $19.00, but with shipping and handling they ended up being $30.00 a little too much then I would normally spend, but ME LOVES THEM anyway! I spied this coffee table while I was there and took the whole family back last night to look at it. Now I know it looks pretty ugly, but I'm planning on painting it either black or maybe a cottage white, but distressing it a bit. Even if it turns out bad it was only $19.99. What do you think? Oh, and since my love is always on my mind, I picked up this Eddie Bauer sweater, and YES it was green tagged and only $3.49!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

We Did It!

YES ~ We did it! Our stuff is finally out of storage and here in the cabin! Yay! My hubby's folks paid us a visit since 9 and 6 are out all this week for Mid Winter Break. We made two trips to storage ~ first with me, hubby, and 9. We loaded all but 5 of the boxes as well as the hutch/buffet. Then the second trip was me, hubby, 6 (to supervise), and fabulous Father~in~law, for the rest of the furniture! We couldn't of done it without his help! And fabulous Mother~in~law watched over the cabin and feed the troops with some yummy grub! Awwww ~ so nice to sleep in my wonderful bed last night! Four months on an air mattress equals NO GOOD! So now the real chore will begin! Getting organized, and reducing our stuff to the local Goodwill! But first things first ~ got to clean up this place and get the furniture exactly where we want it.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The "Love" Ring

The Story of The "Love" Ring as told by my grandmother Verna Long who wrote it down per my request over seven years ago....

On September 7th 1935 Sidney Long put a wedding ring on the finger of Verna Kendall. At Sidney's request Verna had picked it out at a jewelers in Santa Monica and had it shipped C.O.D. to Sidney in Tucson for Sidney to figure out how to pay for it!! As I recall the ring cost $60.00. It had a double row of diamonds on a gold band.
After about 30 years of wear two of the diamonds were lost. Verna was working at the Piano and Organ Center in Santa Monica with the owner Fred Mengarelli. Fred had a brother who worked in the San Francisco area for a Jewelry company. He had agreed to design a ring for me. I used the diamond solitaire that my mother (Verna Muriel Kendall Chestnut) was given as her engagement ring to my stepfather, Charles Chestnut. (This was a story book marriage). Other small diamonds and chips were gathered by my sister Katherine and me from other old jewelry we happened to have on hand including my original wedding ring. I sent everything we had gathered to Fred's brother, who designed this ring. There could never be another exactly like it. I had forgotten exactly how much I had paid for the finished ring, but am sure it was less than $100.00.
Because my ring finger had developed an arthritis bump, I could no longer get the ring off my finger. I had decided to give the ring to my granddaughter Kristie. When Kristie was about 6 years old, I had lost the large diamond. Kristie was the one who found it on the floor of my Corvair. I promised her then, she would inherit the ring when I could no longer wear it.

My grandmother Verna and I went to a local jewelry store in my hometown of Escondido where the ring had to be cut off her finger. I was hoping to wear it on the ring finger of my right hand, but it was too large. It fit my middle finger perfectly without any adjustments. My grandmother passed away the following year at the age of 92 preceded by my grandfather in 1992. After she had given me the ring I would wear it occasionally. Because it was so special to me I was afraid to wear it daily for fear that something would happen to it. Now I wear it always as a reminder of my wonderful grandmother and as a tribute to both my grandparents love for one another as well their love for my great grandmother and great aunt. Happy Valentines Day ~ may your day be surrounded in "Love".

Friday, February 12, 2010

Yes ~ I was One of Them

My hubby and I have really been reflecting on our lives and how we've made mistakes in the past with decisions we have made in order to "Keep up with the Jones". Yes it's shameful to say ~ I was one of them! Influenced by my former life in Southern California ~ needing to have the big vehicles, all the big toys, nice furniture, perfect house, etc. I didn't know it at the time, but have come to realize that it was exhausting! How freeing it has been to lose most of it and to live a simple kind of life. I find that I am so much more happier now, but did cry a lot along the way. My hubby and I both losing our jobs December 2008 really was in the end one of the best things that could of happen to us. It drew us closer, though we've always been best friends, but we really became a team. We did definitely go through emotional ups and downs, having to short sale our home, hubby feeling worthless at times since he was not working, and felt his worth was to provide for his family. But the nine moths he was out of work we got to spend our days together, along with 6, going to the park, buying ice cream cones at Rite-Aide for 99 cents. Little things that meant so much. Adjusting to our new life by shopping at stores that I would of never really considered before simply because I didn't need to and now kicking myself thinking how much I could of saved in the end. Moving to Auburn, Washington has been such a blessing, the obvious, my hubby finding employment with a wonderful company, but life here is so simple, and slow. People here are not trying to impress one another with their Juicy Couture clothing, or zooming by with their huge SUV's ~ the SUV's here are ones from the 80's that are rugged, but well loved and cared for and they would care less to what you drive and how big your home is. A dear friend of mine went through something similar and has a sign hung in her living room above her fireplace as a reminder reading "The best things in life aren't things". It took my hubby and I a big kick in the gut to realize that. I hope to find a sign as well as a simple reminder, because it is so easy to fall back into something when that's all you've know for quite a while and I don't ever what to be back there again.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Love Me Some Jackets

So yesterday I finally wore my new jacket that I got on my girls day out with my BF when we met up in Gig Harbor. I love it! I wore it with my new Drape Front Cardigan from Shade. Please excuse my cheesy smile ~ my hubby has that effect on me! My other new fav jacket is a Halogen I found at Goodwill for $6.99. The picture really doesn't do it justice. It's such a pretty green and fit's me like a glove. It hits a little past my enlarging hips (they seem to be growing everyday including other parts of my lower half, while my hubby is losing ~ sheesh) and has all these wonderful zippers everywhere. So fabulous! A friend of mine suggested I look on-line at Shop Goodwill. I did and got hooked right away and made about five bids in one day. Pretty scary! The prices are pretty reasonable until someone out bids you of course, but in the end the shipping and handling really gets you. I was on the hunt for some boots that were a little more rugged than the high heeled ones I have. I ended up winning bids on two pairs, which was good, but the shipping and handling ended up costing me about as much as I had bided! Lesson learned ~ I'll just keep hunting at the local stores and try to remain patient.
Now on to other news.... we didn't move our stuff from storage on Tuesday. 9 and 6 will be home all next week due to Mid Winter Break, and we decided that to get the most out of our U-Haul and time we would wait till then. 9 really wants to help load the truck, bless his heart, and we really would of only had about 3 hours to get it all done this week since we have to be home by a certain time to pick the boys up from the school bus. So next week it is ~ and I can't wait!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Time to Get Mooving!

Okay ~ so my work in progress really hasn't been progressing. I really haven't unpacked too many of the boxes in the mud-room, first because we've been sick, and secondly I really don't have anywhere to put most of the stuff since our furniture isn't moved in yet. Hubby and I are planning on renting a U-Haul tomorrow to bring over everything else from storage that he and I can move together. There will be a few items like our computer armoire that I won't be able to help him with, but we'll work it out and get maybe one of his uncles or cousins to help with that. My plan of attack is to put most of the boxes stacked neatly in the mud-room, put the obvious boxes like our clothing in the bedrooms and move what furniture we can in the house and get the landlord furniture back to him tomorrow. Whew! I'm already exhausted thinking about it! I'm just so tired of not having our things here, furniture wise. I'm terribly worried that the landlords furniture will get ruined somehow because of 9 and 6. I would just feel awful if that happened! My hubby is really anxious about having all the boxes here ~ he does not like clutter, but I told him he has to be done! We are paying $163.00 a month on the storage unit now and that sure could be used for other things. So tonight I plan to get a good night sleep and take a deep breath in the morning and dive in! Wish us luck ~ we'll need it!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Hairy Situation

I'm in desperate need of a trim and when I look in the mirror I'm wishing my hair looked more like the above. My hubby needs a trim too. I suggested at lunch today that next week we should go together. I can just tell the hairdresser "I'll have what he's having".

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Good Laugh

So last week on Facebook was celebrity look a like week ~ or perhaps it was the week before and I was totally way behind! Anyway, I had no idea who I even looked like and asked my hubby for advice so I could play along. "You totally look like Elizabeth Perkins" was his reply instantly. She's cute and my hubby has this thing for older women ~ He LOVES Diane Lane, Dana Delaney... you get my drift. I was hoping for Audrey Hepburn, or Natalie Portman, but Elizabeth is cute. Now you have to imagine me with my long hair again and no glasses. Do you see it? One of my friends on FB had stated that she had gone on website to find her look a like by actually downloading a photo for comparison ~ so late night I was feeling good and completely bored and took a shot at it. I did multiple photo's (the website suggested it and said "see who keeps coming up and that's your celebrity twin). Giddy with anticipation.... my celebrity twin was JAMES SPADER! AHH HAHA HA! LOVED IT! We do look quite alike no? It's terribly funny to me too, because I think he's pretty hot, not now, but especially back in his Pretty in Pinks days, and my hubby thinks he's pretty gross! I can't wait to share this info with him today. He'll now know HE'S SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY!!!! So give yourself a giggle today and go to and try it out and let me know who your celebrity look a like is. Hope you have a good laugh!

Monday, February 1, 2010


Hubby still sick.... I'm sick...... and 9 is sick.....I pray that 6 does not get it... Hubby did not work at all this week and 9 is staying home from school today. Hubby sounds like a heavy smoker when he coughs or gets a giggle. At least the illness has not caused him to lose his sense of humor. Today I feel like my head may explode. It doesn't help that our heating oil ran out Saturday, and we didn't notice of course till late and so we've been living in the chill. Woke up this morning with the house at 52 degrees. Got my cup o joe in my hand and the oven on in the kitchen......