Saying Goodbye to Eggnog (until next year)

Oh, how I love thee rich creamy eggnog.  My taste buds dance in delight as I sip you


Ok, I can’t continue to wax poetic.  But the simple truth is I LOVE EGGNOG.  I like it natural not liquored up.  It doesn’t really love me though.  I mean really, how can this rich, creamy, vanilla infused, calorie-laden drink be good for me?  It’s not.  But it’s okay in moderation and it’s only available for a short period of time each year.  Shocking that we only bought one carton this holiday!

But you know what I’m gearing up for New Year’s Resolutions Lifestyle Changes which include better food choices and exercise.  So it’s time to let eggnog go.  The measuring tape and scale are coming back out tomorrow.  The treadmill will soon feel the thud of my footsteps as soon as my back’s back, lol.

Notice the cool bokeh effect Christmas tree lights behind the glass.  I’m loving my new 50 mm f1.8 lens my Ray gave me for Christmas.


Appreciate your health

My cats are playing nurse

I can attest to a very bad start to my day with severe spasms in my lower back, hips and thighs just like yesterday.  Woe is me.  My two kits Spooky and Buddy were frantic to check on me again this morning.  Spooky could have been Nurse Nightingale in a previous life.  They are so very sweet and in this picture above – they are very heavy!

If you’ve never experienced back problems, please count your blessings!  The lower back muscles are used all of the time and it’s shocking to me how much I am relying on my husband to function right now.  He’s my support as I struggle to get out of bed, get up and down from our couch and yes, he helps me go to the bathroom.  I hope to post something more interesting than my back troubles soon.

Until then, have a great weekend!

When your back is outta whack

What do you do?

I reached over to pick up a sock that had fallen out of the dryer when Poing I felt a rubber band snapping sensation in my lower back and before I knew it I was on all fours moaning.  My cats Buddy and Spooky were terribly freaked out since I’m not usually as close to the ground as they are.

It took me a long time to get up and it wasn’t pretty.  I hobbled to get my cell phone, popped an Aleve and then I made it to the bed where I first called my hubby and then my sister.  Bren has had lots of back problems so she’s a great resource.   Ice she tells me!  Well I have had the back drama a few times before and as much as I hate the idea of freezing cold ice on my back I knew it would help.

But I had to get out of bed to get it…

Again it wasn’t pretty.  I should also mention that I had a milder back flair up about 4 to 6 weeks ago.  I’m even more ticked off now because I really didn’t want this to happen again.

I won’t bore you with all the details.  It got uglier – I’ve screamed out a few times as I’ve tried to stand and have had more spasms in my back and my thighs decided to make me scream too as they got into the spasm action.  Well, phew I’m still kicking.  Not like a Rockette or even as high as my 78 year old Mom, bless her.

What this has done is make me furious at myself for gaining back the weight I’d lost last year and letting myself go physically.  So this is even more motivation for me to kick it up a notch as Emeril would say.  But I just need to be able to move without spasming out first.

Meanwhile, deep Lamaze breathing when I try to stand, walk or sit seems to help.  I’m grateful to my Ray for helping me get dressed and he tied my shoes.  He also helped me work this morning.  He really is my Prince Charming.  I just hope he doesn’t throw his back out while he tries to help me stand…

My Kindle obsession and a challenge


Last year Ray gave me one of the best presents ever!

Earlier last year I didn’t understand the appeal of a digital book.  I’ve been an avid reader since grade school and the thought of me giving up my beloved books???  Who me?  No way!  But then 3 things happened.  My eyesight got wonky (don’t ya just love middle age!) and I have weird issues now with touch textures and smells.  So basically my eyes were giving me fits when I tried to read (even with those magnifying glasses) and when I would turn the pages my fingers would rebel and act like it was something nasty.  Then the smell of mustiness started to really bother me.  Oh joy.   Before I go on – I know, I know I have issues!

So along came a Kindle Fire for my birthday/Christmas present.  I fell in love immediately.  I mean you can choose the font size people!  You can hold the Kindle either portrait or landscape and you can even play games on it.  LOVE. IT.

So besides reading or playing games just about every day, I have another obsession.  Free books and free game apps.  The game apps aren’t that addictive but the books-oh man.  I’ve been busy downloading freebies and I haven’t taken the time to read the majority of them.

So I thought for an enticement to get me to read all of these freebies, I would post the book of the week from my freebie collection and later in the week I would review it.  So here’s the first freebie book:

The Guestbook by Andrea Hurst (Click here to view on Amazon)  Read along with me if you’d like!

Description:  This book weaves together the heart of Nicholas Sparks, the romance of Nora Roberts, and the charm of Debbie Macomber.

Fleeing her picture-perfect marriage among the privileged set of Brentwood and the wreckage of a failed marriage, Lily Parkins decides to move to the only place that still holds happy memories, her grandmother’s old farmhouse. The lush and majestic setting of the Pacific Northwest calls to her and offers a place of refuge and perhaps renewal. Her grandmother has passed away, leaving the Madrona Island Bed & Breakfast Inn to Lily. 

Left with only an old guestbook as her guide–a curious book full of letters, recipes, and glimpses into her family history–Lily is determined to embrace her newfound independence and recreate herself, one page at a time. With the help of the quirky island residents she has befriended, she slowly finds the strength to seek out happiness on her own terms. But as soon as she has sworn off men and is standing on her own two feet, Lily meets Ian, the alluring artist who lives next door, and her new life is suddenly thrown off course. The last thing she wants to do right now is to open her heart to another man. 

Ultimately, Lily must decide if it’s worth giving up her soul for security or risking everything to follow her heart.

Have’s vs. Have Nots

I hope that you had a very Merry Christmas!

I’m happy to report that I did although this Christmas was different because Ray and I stayed home yesterday.  That’s right for the first time ever we were home and didn’t host our family and it wasn’t because of sickness.  So we were home alone just the two of us.  It was ok that way.

We celebrated with Ray’s parents on the 23rd and my Mom and two of my sisters and brother-in-law on Christmas Eve.  My son Brandon was flying back here from Texas yesterday and his brother Jeremy was going to pick him up last night.  All of that added up to our quiet day.

Several times yesterday I sat here feeling a little blue about not seeing my boys (I can hear Elvis in my head, thank you very much!) but then I would stop and think about those loved ones I was lucky enough to spend time with over the last few days.

I’m blessed to have a large family.  In fact, this was the first Christmas that the entire family didn’t congregate together because we are so large.

I enjoyed every minute of the time I spent with the family members I did get to see.  Click here to see all the photos taken during the last 3 days.

Have yourself a Merry little Christmas

Ray and I drove to Jetersville yesterday to spend the day celebrating Christmas with his parents.  It takes 2 ½ hours to get there but it’s beautiful country.  Cliff and Jeanette are active senior citizens and I love their Christmas traditions.  She puts up a small tree and has a collection of sentimental ornaments and some that aren’t ornaments at all.  Jeanette even puts brooches from her mother near the top of the tree.

Christmas Tree in J'ville

She also has a snowman/snowwoman collection, some Santa’s and then there is her manger set.  She hand painted the ceramic figurines so it really is a treasure.  Unfortunately, my new camera lens and I haven’t gotten enough practice to do these photographs justice – but I’m sharing them anyway!

The manger

After eating lunch and watching some football, we started digging into our stockings – another great tradition – we took turns opening presents.  It was great fun!  It was very emotional for me to see how they took the time to look at their “home-made” present from us.  I will share what it was after everyone else getting this has opened their present…

It was a great time!

More family visiting tonight.

Have yourself a very Merry Christmas now!