Friday, February 18, 2011

Sarah. And Me. And The Dog.

We three (above mentioned) Smith Folk are all hanging out at home today. I opted not to go to the retreat with Steve because, although Sarah’s fever is down this morning, she’s still acting sluggish and sickish. (Those are complex medical terms, if you’re wondering.)

And since I’m still not feeling up to par myself, a sick day at home with my daughter and my doggie is just what the doctor ordered.

It occurred to me last night after I posted the chaotic bathroom pictures that I didn’t explain that those are pictures from almost a week ago. We actually don’t have it quite that bad at the moment.

Here’s a glimpse of the progress so far.

We’re eventually going to hang “something” under the lights in the middle; just haven’t decided what “something” might look like. A clock? A picture? A floral thingie? Just don’t know.


When the camera zooms out a little though, you can that this is still very much a work in progress.


And speaking of the bathroom, Pam T. left a comment asking if we liked having a corner shower.

Pam, I guess I haven’t really thought much about it since that’s what was waiting for us when we moved in to this house. But actually, we like it pretty well; it’s about 30% bigger than our old shower (which was teeny) and so we feel blessed with space, even though it’s not as big as a full tub shower would be. But I would have no hesitation recommending it to you and, as you said, it is a huge space saver! (Which is always a good thing.)

And finally (before I head back to bed for my Sick Lady Nap), I wanted to point your attention to a blog I just became aware of that focuses on a group of women who get together and make quilts to send to orphans in India. We hear so much bad, negative and depressing news these days; it’s especially heartening to read about people who take time out of their lives to mend and warm the hearts of small, broken children in a world far away.

Take a look and be inspired!

Quilts for Orphans

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Smithellaneous Life.

I did manage to drag my draggy behiney out of bed at about 8:00 this morning although my poor, sick self was begging my frantic, busy self to stay in bed all day. But my busy self said “no” to the sick self and so both selves eventually got a reluctant start on the day.

(Is it just me or did that paragraph make absolutely no sense?)

Steve and I are scheduled to leave tomorrow morning for an overnight marriage retreat that our church has put together; it’s being held in a 23-bedroom house (with two elevators) in the four-wheel drive area of the beach. (That means it’s an area where the houses are only accessible by four-wheel drive vehicles. Which you probably guessed. But which I thought I should explain anyway.)

Unfortunately, Sarah has developed a bad headache, has been kind of shaky and has been running a fever for the past several hours so I’m not not quite sure how that’s all going to pan out. If she isn’t feeling a whole lot better by morning, I will end up having to stay home and Steve will be the only “single guy” at the marriage retreat.

Some pastor friends of ours are leading the retreat; I’m hosting them for dinner Saturday night and then they’ll speak at the church on Sunday morning. It’s shaping up to be a wonderful weekend but I’ll just have to see how Princess Groovy Chick feels; as I told her a few minutes ago, she is way more important to me than any other plans we could possibly make.

In other news, the work on the bathroom has been continuing, which means the chaos level in that particular room has continued to escalate. And you have not truly lived on the wild side until you have dealt with a steadily escalating chaos level in your bathroom. Trust me on that.

Here are a few pictures:

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And may I just say that I usually fold my towels and washcloths nicely before putting them on the wrought iron stand thingie. However, with a chaotic bathroom? I must admit that I have lost my vim (not to mention my vigor) for the Art of Neat Towel Folding.

Also, please note in this picture that Steve is a staunch member of the group which believes that one must stick one’s tongue out when one is fervently concentrating on something. In fact, the members of this particular group actually believe that difficult jobs cannot adequately be accomplished without that particular facial protrusion. (Do you know anyone like that?)


It appears as though the bathroom is not capable of handling all the chaos that has been foisted upon it because recently said chaos has inexplicably burst forth from the bathroom out into the bedroom. Well, actually I guess it’s not all that inexplicable. Steve had to cut a hole through the closet wall in order to do something with some pipe thingie (that was the technical explanation) so he had to move a whole bunch of his clothes in order to gain access to the pipe. But the hole is still not completely re-done so the clothes are still bursting forth. Inexplicably or not.

I just love me some chaos.


I posted this picture just because I thought it was fun to come up with a dramatic picture of a guy fixing a bathroom.


So there you have it.

A hard working hubby. A marriage retreat in a big house on the ocean. A chaotic bathroom—and bedroom. Out of town dinner guests. Packing (or not packing) a suitcase for a trip. A daughter with a fever.

It’s all just part of the Smithellaneous Life!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Git ‘Er Done.

I woke up with great plans to conquer the world, reinvent the wheel and solve the majority of the world’s problems; however, I shortly found myself back in bed with a sore throat, cough and general malaise-esque yuckiness. Three naps later, I have finally dragged myself to the computer so that I can do something more entertaining than lying abed watching my fat cells multiply.

Unfortunately, we have the busiest of busy weekends ahead of us and today was supposed to be my day to git ‘er done! But, oh well. All the things on my git ‘er done list will still be there tomorrow; the only difference is that I will just have to git ‘er done in half the time! (Which might aid the in the dissolution of the aforementioned fat cells.)

However, all is not lost because I do happen to have some lovely pictures to share with you from yesterday’s mother/daughter outing.

Sarah has been contemplating getting her hair cut into bangs for quite a while and yesterday she finally geared up her courage to, well, git ‘er done.

Since we were going to one of the most beautiful salons ever, I took my camera along so that I could occupy myself with taking pictures of all sorts of beauty (human and otherwise) while Sarah and Linda went the through the Cutting of the Bangs Process.

So here then are pictures of Sarah, pictures of Linda (who is a church member and who actually lived in our house for three years!) and also pictures of Linda’s lovely salon. (Which I could take pictures of endlessly because there’s so much loveliness afoot. If loveliness can, indeed, be afoot.

The salon collage I created is followed by a few of my favorite “single” pictures. (I realize I posted a few pictures of this business when Sarah and I had our pedicures but I'm sort of hooked on it!)

salon collage

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I turned my camera to Princess Groovy Chick as the process began.

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And the final result? Is she cute, or what?


Thanks, Linda, for an afternoon of loveliness!



Let me just say how wonderful it was to once again see Sue Guenther’s name pop up in the recent comments. Sue, we have all missed you around here and continue to send our most heartfelt hugs and prayers in your direction. Thanks for taking the time to sign in; we love you!

Kim wrote, “ pictures. So tell me, what photo program do you use?”

Kim, I actually have Photoshop Elements 6 but every I attempt to open it and learn how to use it, I get intimidated and run screaming from the room. However I have made it a life’s goal to (soon!) master that program ‘cause I know I’ll love it.

In the meantime, I adore using It provides the funnest fun you can possibly have and it’s only $25 a year. Plus, there’s a free option that offers great stuff, too. (My favorite button is the “thinify” button.)

Jill asked, “Has Steve ever shared his story on your blog from his "wild" period? I'd love to hear about it and what made him change his ways.”

Jill, that’s a great question! I’ll forward it on to him and see if he would like to write something up.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The End Of Today’s Hoorays.

I absolutely adore this series of pictures of Nathan and Sarah so I put them together into a collage for a more potent blend of smiling opportunities.

These were taken just a few months after Sarah’s bone marrow transplant while her hair was starting to grow back in. I remember what a big deal it was for her the first time a barrette stayed in her hair—it’s the simple joys of life, isn’t it?

Nathan is coming home for Spring Break in a couple weeks (just in time for my birthday!) so as I look at my younger Nathan in these pictures, I get to look forward to seeing my older Nathan soon.

Hooray for sons. And daughters. And families. And dogs. And cameras. And Tuesdays.

And that’s the end of my hoorays for today.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Once Upon A Time. And A Lesson In Cheese.

Once upon a time, a shy, sheltered preacher’s daughter met an un-shy, non sheltered, fighter pilot’s son.

He was a 22-year old, recent college graduate and, up to a month before I met him, had been involved in a lifestyle of drug and alcohol abuse and playing rock and roll in bars and clubs.

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As for me? When he first laid eyes on me, I was a 17-year old, socially backward, poet/songwriter who’d never been in a club or bar in my whole life.

Doesn’t sound much like a match made in heaven, does it?

But it was.

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(And if you’re wondering, why yes, those were Ritz crackers on the table, enchantingly enhanced with lovely dollops of Cheese Whiz.  You can probably tell our wedding budget was not unlimited.  But hey, don’t knock it! Cheese Whiz is a tasty, food-like substance!)

Anyway . . .

The years went by.


Faster . . .


and faster.


And the passing years brought us the arrival of two small Smith-ette People.

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The growth of their friendship over the years has been such a delight to Steve and me.

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Aren’t we such a happy looking family?


Of course, we can’t leave out this little member of the Smith Family Clan.  (Or Smith Clanily Fan.)

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Four years ago, Steve and I celebrated our 25th anniversary.

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And if you’re good at math (unlike me) you have probably deduced that this year we’ve been married 29 years.

That means that I have spent twenty-nine years being married to my favorite valentine and twenty-one years enjoying the precious privileges of motherhood.

And so today, on Valentine’s Day, 2011,  I want to wish my dearest husband, my sweetest kids, and my darlingest dog (not to mention all of you!) a most cheery, chipper and chocked-with-chocolate Valentine’s Day.


I just had to post this comment in its entirety because it was such a delightful tale.  Who knew that our family would ever be recognized while we were out and about?  Susan, thanks for sharing!

Susan wrote:  A story for you - I was getting gas at the TA Travel Center on I-85 at the Gibsonville exit last Saturday afternoon and happened to glance at the gentleman at the next pump and thought he looked familiar. But after looking again just couldn't place where I knew him from. Then as he drove away from the pump I saw Snowy - it was Snowy's Dad! I contemplated chasing him through the parking lot to introduce myself as a follower of Sarah's site and Becky's blog but decided since the family still had several hours drive ahead maybe being chased through the parking lot wasn't such a good idea:) Have a great weekend!

Q. Debbie Jean said, Your home is so beautiful and so tidy!! Does it always stay that way?

A.  Debbie Jean, I guess I’d have to say that our living room/dining room area is usually pretty clean--most of the time.  The fact that we don’t have young children at home makes a big difference in that regard.  However, we have been known upon occasion to have messes and clutter galore, just usually in other areas of the house.


Q.  Anon said, Hmmmm, Lasagna recipe sounds wonderful, but could you use ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese?

A.  I actually wasn’t sure of the answer so I did a little research and found out some very interesting Cheese Informational Stuff!  Read and learn and then you can sound uber knowledgeable the next time the subject comes up.  (Well, if it ever does.  If it doesn’t, you can just have the satisfaction of knowing that you know something of great culinary importance.)

Here’s what I found on the Internet:

When a cheese maker separates milk or cream into curds and whey, the curds are used to make cottage cheese and the whey is used to make ricotta. That's why both cheeses, although similarly soft and mild in flavor, have such different textures. Both are considered "fresh" or unripened cheeses. Both are usually sold in the same type of round plastic container.

They can be used in many recipes interchangeably, but there are some distinct differences. Ricotta is a soft cheese that has a fine, moist, grainy texture. Cottage cheese is "lumpier", whether the curds are small or large. Cream is added to the curds to create the rich "creamed cottage cheese" we are all familiar with.

Some savory recipes such as lasagna or stuffed shells will accommodate either cheese. However, because of the extra liquid in cottage cheese, the end result will be runnier than if you use the drier ricotta. On the other hand, substituting one for the other in a dessert in which texture is crucial (such as cheesecake) can be problematic, unless the recipe specifies otherwise.

So now you know!