Wednesday, August 31, 2011

post-storm sunny skies

We are all safe and sound after the storm...
Other than power losses and fallen trees, all my friends and family are a-ok.
Some weren't so lucky and have lost houses and cars, 
so please keep them in your prayers. :)
((I guess I'll just start all my posts with weather grids now!! 
Haaa! They are just so pretty!!
K and I were so excited when they mentioned our little town by name 
on the news because we got about 6 inches of rain!! ))
I rode out the storm at the Auburn 99!!
Don't get mad at my boss! 
I got called out, but then a friend didn't have childcare 
because her husband got called in to his job, 
so I decided to take the journey through the rain and wind and work.
That morning, after I got the news I didn't have to come in 
(since I have one of the farthest drives)
I posted this on facebook...
Then, after deciding to head to work, I put this as my status...
I guess I should have said "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning how to DRIVE in the rain!" Haa!! Off to work!! Don't have power?? Come visit me at the Auburn 99!! :) :) :)
I had NO IDEA how many people were reading my status updates!! LOL 
(Even without power!!!)
The 99 was the busiest I've ever seen it. We were on an hour and a half wait! And people actually waited because they had only dark homes to go home to and we were one of the very, very few places open!! We did twice the business with half the staff!!! I got home after midnight!  It was crazy! But I was able to (work extremely hard) for a lot of $$$$. :) 
And we were able to feed lots of people without power and a ton of National Grid workers.  We have an account with them, because NattieGrid (as I call it) pays to feed their workers when they have to work extra shifts in these circumstances. 
All in all, I'm glad I made the trip in. 
Maureen got to stay home with her kids 
and we're all safe and sound, so it's allllll gooooooood. :) :) :)
Monday morning I woke up to Dayton knocking on the door and a beautiful SUNNY day!! :)
Beth and Liv came over and we all had a picnic on our church lawn 
and went to the playground.  
The calm after the storm was wonderful...
Now, it's back to the workout and diet grind and September and DISNEY approach.
I've revamped my "motivation board"
and signed up for some 5Ks. :)
And, I've been trying my best to eat farm fresh yummy food.
Here's a super-easy Roasted Vegetable recipe.
The ingredients are Veggies, Organic EVOO, garlic, salt and pepper, and "basil twists."
That's what I call the little curls of fresh basil I added at the end on top.  
The directions are below, in photos. :)  Trust me, it's DELISH. :)

I'm off to go for a RUN!
Head on out and enjoy that SUN!!

Thanks so much to everyone for their prayers for me and my family!! :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

survival guide

As we East Coasters batten down the hatches in preparation for Hurricane Irene,
I figured it was a good time to post about a recent rainy day with the kiddos at 
Casa de Auntie Crystal...
 Step 1: Be prepared. Hearing rain, I shopped for this 
"Rainy Day Survival Kit."
 Step 2: Make Mini-Muffins :)

 Step 3: Have indoor crafts at the ready :)

 Step 4: Dry and display your crafts :)
 What the heck step are we on??
Step uh 5: FUN FUN FUN
 Step 6: Enjoy those mini muffins.
(which by the way, less than $1.00 yields 24!!) :) :) :)

We'll be waiting to see the effects of storm
and trying to have a little fun in the meantime. :)
Pray Miss Irene doesn't hit too hard...

Monday, August 22, 2011


I should clarify...
We're not, like, on a plane to disney...
:) :) :) 
We're going on October 10th 
(to celebrate being together for TEN YEARS!!) :)
Meanwhile, on Saturday, we celebrated Blake's return from Afganistan.

We gave Blake and his wife this cute gift...
(there's popcorn in there, too...and movie passes!!!)
No one goes to the movies more than they I figured...
It was so great to be home together like the old days. :)

Today, was D the G at E
and we had a little fun...

and took this one when we went on a walk with MissLivi...
(with her crown and her "seeing-scope")

AND...Fed Ex brought me a little gift from my hubby...

What a wonderful surprise!! :) :)
LIFE IS GOOD!! :) :) :)

Friday, August 19, 2011



Friday, August 12, 2011

fat tuesday

It was "Fat Tuesday
at Mardi Gras in New Orleans this week.
One of my favorite cities I've ever visited, 
and one of such great art and such great hope...
It seemed apropos to spend my day in Monson and Brimfield, 
our local towns ravaged by a tornado in early June, 
to do a little painting and a gather a little inspiration...
(and no...I didn't put all that together 'til after.  
But hey, it's apropos nonetheless.) :)
Woke up and water colored these notecards,
just washes of color that left them ripe with promise...
Then I headed to Monson with a carload of cardboard boxes, clothes, and homemade quilts...
I walked around downtown to take in the sights and see all the progress that has been made, and how much more work is to be done.
Here are a few of the many photos I took...
~~You can check out my first post after the tornado here.~~

On Hollow Road, in Brimfield, 
I checked in on some families I've gotten to know in the past couple of months
and brought them the things they needed, mostly ice and water.
I traded this man ten gallons of water for the opportunity to take this photograph...
Surely, I was on the fortunate end of that deal. :) :) :)

I returned home feeling hopeful, 
and resolved to do everything I can to help the people who lost so much...
the only difference between those people and you and I 
is that they were in the tornado's path. 

That afternoon I doodled a bit...

If anyone wants to contribute in any way please let me know or contact 
the Monson Tornado Volunteers or call the Volunteer Hotline at 1-413-258-0207.

In the meantime, let's have a little
I'll pray for you.  You'll pray for me??

Wednesday, August 10, 2011