Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Christmas Prezzie!!


I finally have lost enough weight that I'm not ashamed to wear nice clothes again-(altho I still have more I want to lose)- and then I found a pair of boots I LOVE and we found them for 70% OFF and my DARLING husband bought them for me for Christmas!!!!I guess HE has a quite different opinion of what "List" I should be on than Santa does!!!

Aren't they AWESOME???????????
Best Husband EVER!!!!! :-D

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Merry Christmas, Y'all!!!!













Thursday, December 15, 2011

You Gotta Have Faith.






I think that we need to have Faith and Believe...



In A Higher Power...
In Santa...
In The Person we're married to...
In Our Children...
In Fate...
In Our Parents Love for us...
In Miracles...
In Love...
In Ourselves.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

28 Today.




28 years ago today, I was holding my newborn baby boy in my arms in the newly constructed Greenville Memorial Hospital.
My Papa Coyle came to see my new little one and nick-named him Lucky.
I think we were the Lucky ones to have had such a wonderful, fun, loving, generous, thoughtful person in our lives for 23 years.

I love you Clay and think about you every single solitary day.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Trying to Muster upsome enthusiasm.




Went to Liverpool yesterday- had a lovely time.
Rode the bus- the train. Had a lovely lunch. Looked at the shops and all the decorations. people watched. Had a REALLY lovely time. Today- woke up feeling good...but as the day wore on- I've felt more and more out of sorts.
Not feeling bad-per se- just not quite....good.

Hopefully this will pass soon and I'll be able to write in detail how wonderful my outing really was!!!!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Off to Liverpool for the Day!!

Well, today is my first no-family member related outing since coming here in March.
Going with a friend to do a bit of Christmas/window shopping in the big City of Liverpool.
And I am unbelievably nervous!!!!

I'll let yall know how it goes!!!!

Can you believe it's only 18 days til CHRISTMAS???

Where has this year went????

Getting it off my Chest.......

Okay- something is REALLY bothering me and I need to get it off my chest.
Well meaning friends and family are looking for hubby and I affordable housing and looking for us/me jobs.
This is all well and good and we appreciate it very much.
But these are the problems.
1) I'm not ready to get a job yet. I've slacked off on the job hunt for a few weeks because I have two medical proceedures coming up and I don't want to be getting a job to just have to immediately ask for a few weeks off for recovery time. That does NOT look good on my work record.
2)We can't move until we BOTH get secure jobs.

Also I'd like to ask that if you have a job or housing prospect that you think we might be interested in- please pick up the phone and call the house and ask for Paul or Sunny- whichever it pertains to- or e-mail or text us and give US the information. Right now- vital people(ie ME- the WIFE) are/is more than usually being left out of the loop and am hearing about these things via conversations with other people and it's REALLY getting annoying.

Like I said- I know it's not meant to be put out that way- but that's what's happening and altho we might not be perfect for the job- or the place to live- it would be nice to be able to decide for ourselves, instead of someone else deciding whether it IS or ISN't right for us.

That being said- thank y'all for thinking about us on your daily travels.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

Just wanted to say....Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

Sorry I havent been posting more regularly, but with the holidays coming up and things being the way they are- I just haven't felt much like posting. I'm feeling a bit Bi-polar to be honest. Some days I can muster up a bit of enthusiasm and feel almost manically happy- but other days- most days- I sit around feeling sad and sorry for myself and just having a big ole pity party.



I know things will be better soon....I'm just a bit homesick at the moment. Missing my family and friends and all the festivities we associate with the holidays. Ignore me- I'll be back to my usual obnoxious, optimistic self soon.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

SOMEONE Has a VERY High Opinion Of Themselves!!!


Apparently "Dream ME" has a very high opinion of myself.
After a very long 5 hour night of tossing and turning, I slept for about 45 minutes and dreamed that hubby had 'kicked me to the curb', so to speak, for another woman.
And in my little dream world, I hear a noise outside the window and when I open the door- who to my wondering eyes should appear- but a Blue Police Box called The Tardis. Door Opens- and out the door comes not ONE Time Lord...but TWO.(Explain THAT one to me). Both Matt Smith and David Tennant were trying to persuade me that THEY were the person who should replace Paul as my husband. It was well weird tho because David Tennant was acting all "Barty Crouch, Jr." and telling me I should choose him because as the BEST Doctor EVER, he could make it right between me and Paul. Hmmmmmm......Kinda self-defeating for him wanting to REPLACE my hubby, right??

That's what I get for reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and wanting to watch a few episodes of Doctor Who (altho I didn't actually GET to watch DW) before bedtime. I'm surprised that since I was actually playing a racing game on the Xbox til 2AM that I didn't suggest they RACE for my hand in marriage.

Well, at any rate, it's good to see my "Goddess Attitude" hasn't completely deserted me yet.
.....and No- I can't tell you who won- I woke up while they were still giving their closing arguments- at the same time. LMAO!!!!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Happy Birthday!!

Happy Birthday Miss Audrianna!!!

Love you Bunches!!!
Nana Vada!!! XOXO

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEVON!!!!

I HOPE YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL BIRTHDAY AND ALL YOUR BIRTHDAY WISHES COME TRUE!!!!!!

I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU BUNCHES!!!

LOVE ALWAYS,
NANNY VADA XXX-OOO

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Guy Fawks Night...And Other Stuff.


*Well, tonight was fun. Tonight was Guy Fawks Day and it's celebrated the same way America does the 4th of July. With Fireworks. And LOTS of them!!! As soon as the sun went down,(about 6PM) they started. I think every person in England had a HUGE box of them and shot them off. Paul and I listened to them for about an hour and a half before deciding to go out in the garden and watch some of them. We stayed out there for about 45 minutes and thought...okay, seems to be dying down a bit- guess we'll go back inside now, and just as we turned to go in....BOOM- they started back up again!!! They'd go for 15 minutes, then die down for a few- and just as we started back in again- there they'd go again for 15 minutes more. You didn't know where to look there was so many going off at the same time in every direction you looked!!!
It's 10:45PM now- and there's still fireworks going off every few minutes here and there.

*Unfortunately, due to my gawking at the fireworks, I missed a call on SKYPE from my daughter who I haven't talked to in a couple of months. That made me sad. But now that my awesome husband is gainfully employed- I can put some credit on my SKYPE account and I can call her on her mobile phone and TALK to her for a few minutes every couple of weeks.
I'm so happy Paul got his job!!!

*They don't celebrate Thanksgiving over here. I think my MIL has gotten a half Turkey breast and I'm going to make dressing and Sweet potato Pie and maybe a Mock Pecan pie to celebrate it- but we wont be having the big traditional dinner like back home. It would make me sad if we did, anyway, cause all my babies aren't here to share it with us.

* Did I tell y'all I'm working on NaNoWriMo this year? It's been a definate challenge because there is always something going on here in the house. The washer is going, the TV is on, the neighbors are putting up an addition on the house next door with Jack hammers and regular hammers and saws and drills being used all day long. But I'm still trying it. If i do it- great- if not- I'll finish it at my leisure. No worries.

*I'm still trying to figure out Christmas. I'm pretty sure I won't be sending gifts home because even tho hubby is working now- His payday is sometimes after the 25th of the month I think he said. And since he won't be starting his job til the end of the month- He won't get a paycheck til December...after Christmas. So this year I'll probably be sending just cards to family and a couple of friends. Ugh. Next year will be different tho. I'm not sure how decorating is going to work this year either....Before we moved over here, Joan told me I could decorate for Christmas....but once we got here- and she saw a photo of the way I decorate the tree, she's re-thinking that offer to let me decorate. I've heard that her trees are white lights with gold tinsel and ornaments. Very tasteful and formal. Yeah. Ummmm DEFO not the way I decorate. Mine look like someone has superglued ornament on ornament, on ornament to make the SHAPE of a tree and then stuck a sprig of tree branch here and there in the spaces in between the ornaments. I admit it. I DO like my colorful happy Christmas Trees!!! Now, I think I have figured out the PERFECT solution to our problem. See- they put their tree in front of the living room window. So I figure- I can leave the part of the tree facing the room the way Joan likes to decorate it. And I can decorate the part of the tree that faces out the window the way I like to decorate it. I can see the bright colorfulpart of the tree when the blinds are open and I'm coming in from my walk every evening.
Doesn't that sound like a good COMPROMISE???? Very inventive and creative of me, I thought.
Either that or I need someone to buy me a little 4 ft tree so I can put it in our bedroom and decorate it with the bits and baubles we brought over from the states. One little box - ONE, mind you, out of 23 HUGE boxes of Christmas decorations!! I think I made a HUGE sacrifice leaving all my treasured Christmas things behind, don't yall???
(Well, That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Birthday Christopher!!!

Happy Birthday, Christopher Brown!!!!!!
I love you bunches and wish I could be there to bake you another cake!!!!
Muaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!
Love,
Nanny Vada
XOXO

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Baby Time!!!!

Come on Tiffany!!! Let's have that Baby now!!!! I'm ready to see my Grand-Niece!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

LIVERPOOL!!!!!!

Well, our sister-in-law, Marina, and the baby, Maddie, came down for a few days from Scotland to visit.

Marina decided we were going to have an outing Sunday, so we all went on a day-trip to the big city of Liverpool. We got up, got dressed, ate a bacon buttie and headed to the bus stop. We took the bus to the train station, but got there with an hour to wait, so we detoured into St. Helens for a look around. Not much open on Sundays, so we headed back to the train station pretty sharpish.









Heading to Liverpool's Lime Street Station, the train was pretty full. Very few seats- and it was HOT as BLAZES in there even tho there was several windows open in the car. After about 40 minutes and several stops along the way, we arrived.








I was being the typical tourist, stopping and having a look at even the most INCONSEQUENTIAL things and we almost got seperated from the in-laws several times.







I saw LOADS of shops that I wanted to stop and have a browse in, but the in-laws seemed to have a specific destination in mind and so I had to by-pass the browse til a later date.
It turns out, we ended up at the Maritime Museum on the famous Albert Dock.











It was amazing. All the big Mast Ships, along with fishing trawlers and such. There was even a Duck Tour...It was a big 'truck' that looked a LOT like our orange school busses back home. But they had open spaces where the glass windows should be- and they went thru the city center on a tour, then went to the top of a ramp and rolled down it into the water and turned into a boat tour.
I don't know about y'all- but that would be a bloody NIGHTMARE for me. I have a recurring dream about that very thing happening to me- only the damn thing sinks instead of floating like it should.
No. Thank. You......Now- seeing as how I've said that- You'll probably be reading a post in the future about me doing that VERY thing!!! I've learned that true to form, if there's something I say I WILL NOT do- I generally end up doing that very thing. Just sayin.

Anyway,...where was I?....Oh yeah. The Maritime Museum. We went in and met up with Marina's Uncle Carl. The way Marina pronounces it it's Carol....I LOVE her accent with it's rolling "R"s. Beautiful- just like her. Of all the accents in the family, hers is the easiest for me to mimic-(not in an ugly way, either). Anyway, we met up with Carl and Jane and their two lil' girls. They were really lovely, sweet people. We had a coffee and snack before exploring the rest of the facility. The thing that stood out the most to me about the place was...OMG- those people were OBSESSED with boats!!!







Hundreds of models of boats and anything having to DO with boats. They had loads of stuff on the Lustitania, the Britiania, and of course, the Titanic. They also had a few exibits on the trade, and of slavery and such.
It was a interesting place.

Now, after that we walked aound a bit more- window shopping. Before you ask- no, we didn't get to go by the Beetle's Haunts. The wind was gusting to about 30 mph and it was bleak and yukky, and we had the baby with us as well, so we didn't do that type of deal before heading to a Chinese buffet for Tea.

The walk there was interesting too. Christmas displays up all over the place!!! Already!!!!











I saw a Black Cab.











And loads of odd stuff. Like a main street that wasnt a street at all but was a paved walking "Main Street".









And,I noticed something else.... it was so weird, but you know how just about EVERYWHERE you go to eat in the States you're offered either fries or Soup and salad with your meal?
Well, here in England- it's a pot of tea. Everything's a combo- with a pot of tea. Hot tea.
Blasphemy for a Southern Girl. :-p
Anyway, we got to the Chinese buffet and I have to say, compared to our Chinese Restaurant at home- pickin's was pretty slim. They had a half dozen appetizers, I think...3...soups, a couple of noodle choices, one shimp dish, one fish dish, and about 8 or 10 meat OR veg dishes. Oh and ONE egg dish.
I sampled a short-rib, a chicken wing, a couple of shrimp, the fries, and a bite of the egg dish. I asked hubby for a bite of a couple of the things he got that I didn't. I didn't like the things I had samples of- so I gave them to hubby. He went up to go get his choices and since I was kind of pinned into a corner seat-(They put Baby in the corner!!!!Hahahahah!!!)- at my request, he got me a plate of sweet and spicy chicken and fries. It was LOVELY- altho almost too much sweet for me. But I left the restaurant satisfied.
Let me tell y'all what.....Those RIBS were HORRIBLE. Tough, overcooked, tasteless. Some of our good ole Southern Boys need to come over here and give'em some lessons on BBQin' some ribs!!!! Hot damn, makes my mouth water just thinkin' bout Sonny's or Maurice's or Three Pigs or Brushy Creek BBQ or Henrys Smokehouse. Southerners can DO some Ribs!!!! No one can out-do us!!!

Anyway. After that we headed back to Lime Street Station to catch the train back.







It was even more crowded than it was going up- but not NEARLY as hot and yukky. Much more enjoyable. We caught the bus back after arriving back at the rail station and arrived back at home around 7:30pm.

It was a REALLY interesting and fun day. Can't wait til next time!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

O.M.G......

Well, it finally happened. My laptop finally gave up the ghost this morning. I went on it for a couple minutes, then turned it off and went downstairs for a couple hours. Then came back up to look up a recipe and ....Nothing. It wouldn't do ANYTHING.

Hubby looked at it- tried a couple of things- nothing worked. So...he ended up having to wipe it and and do a reinstall. He's such a wonderful guy.

I lost everything. He had been telling me for the past few months I needed to put my photos and my book and a few other things in a file and back them up. But me being me, I just procrastinated a day too long and so I lost everything. That'll teach me.

Thank GOD he had already got quite a few of my photos and Clays Voicemail Greeting off my computer before we moved over here.

Paul, my darling husband, is My Hero.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Improving.

Well, things are improving a bit. Things that used to REALLY irritate or annoy me just don't anymore. I've learned to just tune them out.
I'm back on track with my exercise and diet. I don't deny myself a treat once in a while- but it's much less often. I blame it on the stress for letting myself get off track. But it's all under control now.

I'm still working on getting a job. The temp job as an ELF at the Christmas Grotto fell thru. BUT- I'm having a professional look at my CV and see if they can tweak it or give me some suggestions to tweak it myself. So.....something will turn up soon. I'm sure of it.

I've decided that as soon as I get a job and we get our own place, I'm going to see if I can find a Crossfit Gym. I may have to take buses to get there- but thru one of my friends, I've gained enough confidence to give it a try.

I still have terrible bouts of homesickness, but I'm dealing with it. I knew it would happen. You can't live in a place for 51 years of your life, move halfway round the world and NOT get homesick once in a while. So I suppose I'm "normal"...whatever THAT means. LOL

I'm just looking forward to finally managing to get a job. I miss having complete control over my life.
My sisters and mum and friends have all sent me a care package to ease my homesickness a bit. I don't know what I'd do without family & friends.

But- as I said- things are leveling out. And I'm happy about it.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dreams....or Nightmares....


Been having crazy dreams the past couple weeks. Apocalyptic dreams.....Nightmares more.
Being both here and home when it all goes down.
Waking up, being needy and clingy.
Hate those crazy, mixed up dreams...nightmares.......
Hate feeling helpless.





(Artist unknown- but BEAUTIFUL!!!!!)

Friday, September 23, 2011

My Hero....My Dad.




I Remember…

…I remember when my Dad would let me ‘ride’ on the steering wheel of the old truck we had when I was about 1 ½

…I remember when I thought the best thing ever was standing next to my Dad with my arm around his neck as he spun his tires in the sand driveway.

…I remember my Dad taking us to the Shell station on White Horse road and getting to choose any candy we wanted from the HUGE glass display case.

…I remember my Dad taking us camping in the Pisgah Forest in North Carolina and teaching me to fly-fish even though I was only 7 and a girl.

….I remember making my Dad fudge and him smiling as he took it and asking “And what do you want, now?” I also remember him taking the fudge to his office and locking it in his filing cabinet so he didn’t have to share and could enjoy it in peace and quiet.

…I remember my Dad teaching me to drive a manual transmission car. I remember him telling me that when you slow down to make a turn, you shift down. I remember trashing a transmission (trying to get home before curfew) when I shifted down to first gear and popped the clutch going 40mph because Dad assumed I was smart enough to realize you had to be going slow to do that. I also remember him not laughing at me while we towed the car home at 4am

…I remember Dad walking me down the aisle when I got married. He was trembling more than I was. Now I know why.

…I remember Dad helping me rebuild my car when it was totaled a few years back. I had just put close to $2000 in a motor for it the week before and couldn’t afford to buy a new one, even with the coverage from insurance.

…I remember Dad handing me his hanky when I cried from everything from breakups to bad grades to skinned knees.

…I remember Dad always seemed larger than life - He was always my Hero.

My Hero is gone.

On September 24th in 2005 my Dad passed away, losing an eight year battle with Cancer.

I miss him dearly.
I love you always, Daddy.
xoxox Your Sunshine.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Couple More Wedding Pics....

A couple more Photos from the Ellison-Halley Wedding on Saturday!!







Anthony & Paul in their Tux. The two most gorgeous men there, in my opinion!!!






The Happy Little Family........Carlie(The Stunning Bride), Anthony(The Debonaire Groom) and The Most Beautiful Princess Maisy.






Sorry, but I still haven't been able to locate a photo of me & Paul to show y'all!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Question For Fitness Experts.....

Okay- I know there has to be some fitness experts out there and I want your opinion please....

I have been losing weight for about a year and and four months now. I've lost a bit over 80 pounds- and STILL have about 80 more to go. Up to now, I've been concentrating on just losing weight- not toning so much. But NOW I'm wanting to start a toning exercise program as well.

I personally believe/think that even tho I still have a LOT of weight to lose- it's better to start the toning program NOW, because it not only helps burn more calories and therefore accelerates the weight loss- but it decreases the amount of time it takes to first LOSE the weight and then Tone up the muscles.

One of my friends says he thinks it's better to lose the weight and THEN do the toning- that it doesn't do any good to tone if the fat is still on you- so I should continue with the weight-loss and then do the toning AFTER I'm MUCH closer to my goal weight.

So, experts- who is closer to the truth???????? And please be honest- if he's closer to the truth it won't bother me in the least....I just want to KNOW, I don't want it to be a "Female Vs. Male" thing.
Thanks for your input!!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Wedding Weekend.








Well, this weekend hubby and I went to Carlie and Anthony's wedding. It was beautiful. We completely forgot our camera- so I was only able to take a few of hubby(who was Ant's Best man) and Anthony before the ceremony. After we have time to gather some pics from other sources I'll do a full post on it for y'all. But this is what I have for now. Sorry for the quality of the photos.... there was a lot of jostling in the room.

Carlie looked Stunning in her gown. Ant looked Debonaire in his Tux. Maisy looked like a little Princess in her dress and shoes. And my Hubby looked Yummy, as Always, no matter what he's dressed in.
It was a BEAUTIFUL wedding. Congrats Mr. & Mrs. Halley!!!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

GAH!!!

I've been thinking back....and I've known some people that could suck the fun out of ANYTHING.....even the simplest, most basic things in life.

Let's just call them Hoover.

Sigh.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Prayer....

Lord, bless each of my gardening friends
who share their crops with me.
Their veggies help me dress my salad
oh, so colorfully!
I love the fresh green peppers
and tomatoes, firm and red.
Lord, bless their homes, their hands, their hearts
for keeping me well-fed.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

About THAT Time of Year.....

Around this time every year, my kids start watching the weather every night for the 7-Day Forecast. And they start reminding me that it's getting close to time for the First Frost of the Year.
You see, the weekend after the "First Frost" we have a tradition of the family coming down to our house and me making a HUGE stockpot of homemade chili for all of us. It's always the same menu...

Chili
Topped with Grated Cheese and onions.
Served with Cornbread and/or corn-chips.
Lots of sweet tea and cola to wash it down with.

This year I'm passing my recipe down to my family so they can continue the tradition.
I look forward to our First-Frost Chili Get-Together almost as much as I do our Christmases together.

Vada’s First Frost Chili
Ingredients:
• 2 pounds ground beef
• 1/2 onion, chopped
• 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
• 2 smaller cans tomato sauce
• 1 (8 ounce) jar salsa
• 1 pkg chili seasoning mix (OR 4 teaspoons chili seasoning and one tablespoon masa flour)
• 2 (15 ounce) cans red kidney beans

Directions:
1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the ground beef and the onion and sauté for 10 minutes, or until meat is browned and onion is tender. Drain grease, if desired.
2. Add the ground black pepper, garlic salt, tomato sauce, salsa, chili seasoning mix and kidney beans. Mix well, reduce heat to low and simmer for at least an hour.
Top with lots of grated cheese and serve with cornbread or corn-chips.

Keep the tradition alive, yall. I'll be there in Spirit. xxx

PS- Don't forget the bonfire and the stuff to make S'Mores for dessert!!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Six Month-aversary.......



Well, Today marks the six month mark of our arrival in the UK.




It's been an adventure to say the least and not at all what I had expected, which is neither good nor bad- just different.

It's lovely country here. Everything is so green and lush. I'm still having a problem understanding the local accents, mainly because I'm not out and about nearly enough to begin getting used to them. That will change shortly. The family's accents I can understand- well, apart from Uncle Jim, who has a very thick Scouse (Liverpool) accent.
Of all the family, I understand my Sister-in-law, Marina, the easiest. And she's a Scots lass. I love to listen to her accent. :-)

I've done well with my weight loss here- which I totally didn't expect. I thought for sure I would be doing a LOT of emotional eating the first few months we were here and regain at least 20 pounds or so. But instead I've been losing steadily- until the past few weeks when I've been having some female issues along with the weather turning a bit nasty and it pissing it down quite a lot and so I haven't been walking nearly as much. To make up for it tho, I HAVE been making extra trips up and down the stairs every day to try and make up for it.
I weighed for the first time in about two months and much to my surprise and delight, I've only gained three pounds since my last weigh in. That's after the not walking and the week holiday last week! So beginning Monday- I'm going to just get back to being serious about my diet and exercise regime again. Cut way down on the sugars and starches, and start back walking again every day. And with the exception of Ant & Carlie's wedding next weekend, I can keep it up til Christmas. Then I'll re-evaluate, and adjust as needed to get the rest of my weight off. I'm shooting for my birthday as my goal...but failing that- I can adjust it to our anniversary on May 15th. Our 8th!!!

The food.....Well, My tummy is way better now- thanks to slight adjustments in food and being able to afford my medication so there's no gaps in my taking them. Before, in the states I had to choose between having money for food and gas to get to work and buying my $200 meds for my tummy. Not to mention my $300 blood pressure meds and anything else I/we needed. Remember, Paul was on Diabetes meds, too.God bless the medical system over here. You have no idea how wonderful it is to be able to go to the doctor or hospital and have your problems seen to and not walk out worrying how the hell you're going to pay for it and the basic essentials of life too.

Food.....Nothing really tastes the same. Potatoes, coffee, milk, butter, water- everything tastes very different from home's. Especially bread. You have no idea how much sweeter bread is in the States. Bread here- tastes like you THINK bread should taste. There is practically NO sugar added to bread over here. I made some yeast rolls a few weeks ago-(Jordan Rolls from the Southern Plate website) and compared to the rolls we have been eating from the shops- they tasted like dessert. Seriously. Even their desserts have less sugar in them than in the States. And I'm REALLY beginning to like it a LOT.

My MIL, Joan, makes sure there's loads of veggies and fruits in the house all the time too. Bless her.

What have I NOT gotten used to?

Not being able to drive. It's flippin' killing me, altho I have to admit that I LOVE Paul driving me around. It's just occasionally, I would like the OPTION of doing it myself.
Soon. Soon.
I've gotten totally used to the riding on the "wrong" side of the road. Occasionally, if I'm distracted and I look up I will "jump" before I realize that I'm in England and being in the "wrong" lane is "right" here. I think more than the wrong side of the road, my biggest problem has been sitting on the left side of the car and not having a steering wheel and pedals in front of me. Not being "in control" of the car.

Yeah, I'm dealing with control issues. Not a surprise to those people who know me back home.
Also a problem for me is not knowing where anything is in my area. I have to ask about EVERYTHING. Where is this place...where is that place....can I walk there or is it a drive thing...or is it too far to drive on a daily basis. These little details are what is driving me crazy and giving me the most problems.

The jobs we thought we had lined up- haven't come thru yet. So while we're waiting, we have started looking for other options. And I'm STILL waiting for my former employers to send me my credentials so I can figure out what I need to get into security or law enforcement here. Without those credentials, tho, it's gonna cost me dearly to get re-certified here, so maybe a change in careers will be in my future.
I have faith that whatever is supposed to happen, will happen when the time is right.

I haven't gotten used to not having my family and friends near me. It seems I'm more of a social person than I thought. I crave the stimulation of chats with my family and friends. I'm as curious as a cat- and I'm not comfortable yet with talking with my new in-laws about things I talked with my peeps at home about. I do adore my in-laws and I think eventually, we will be great friends as well....but I realize that gaining that kind of trust takes time. well, I'm not planning on going anywhere anytime soon, so let the getting to know each other begin. Someday, when I get a job and get to get out in the world over here, I'll begin making some more friends.
And you know how I feel about that- you can NEVER have enough trusted Family or Friends.

All in all, It's been a Grand adventure, and it's just beginning. Thank y'all for being here for me. For listening to my highs, and lows, for giving me encouragement and advice, and occasionally, a shoulder to cry on. You have no idea how much it's meant to me!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Food For Thought....









No this isn't gonna be a philosophical post.

It's about cabinets Vs. a Pantry.

I am a pantry kinda girl. I would LOVE to have a huge(or even not so huge) walk in pantry where all my foodstuffs are out on shelves where I can see it all at a glance. And a place for all the special occasion or extra dishes and all the small appliances that you use on a fairly regular basis- but not often enough (nor have room) to have out every day.

My parents old house in Easley had a tiny galley kitchen in it that had a open peninsula bar that opened into the dining-room. In between the kitchen and the living-room was a lovely little pantry where we kept all our boxed and canned food.

It was lovely. (It was also a lovely place to put annoying little siblings when they were being deliberately, especially, annoying....Yeah- we got punished for putting them in there- but for the 5 minutes of peace you got when you did it-not to mention the way they avoided you for the rest of the day-...it was well worth it. Heh.)

I just LOVE a pantry- it makes me feel like a kitchen queen surveying my kingdom.

Sigh....I need a life. LMBO!!!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Dinner With Anthony & Carlie

Sunday Tea

Herbed Chicken Breast Fillet
Ranch Potatoes
Southern Green Beans
Glazed Carrots
Dinner Rolls

No-Butter Chocolate Cake with Mocha-Nut Glaze

Sweet Southern Iced Tea
Coffee

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hmmmmmm......


Over the past few weeks I've come to a realization......

Altho I really enjoy eating something that smells good cooking, It's the delicious smells from the kitchen that are the best part for me.

This is kinda scary to realize. It's the same way I felt when I got down to 97 pounds when I was in my early 20's.

Don't get me wrong...it'll be quite a while before I have to worry about it- but I'm gonna have to be REALLY careful not to let that happen again.



Monday, August 29, 2011

Just Sayin.....




Sometimes.....just saying.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sounds Like a Plan....

My mother-in-law has just told me that when she comes back from their holiday, she's starting on the No-carbs diet. Lots of meat, veggies, fruit....no starches like Pasta, rice, bread, or potatoes. No cakes cookies or sweets.

Oh My.

Honestly, I think it's a GREAT idea- IF she will stick with it and both of us not MAKE any of them. And not just have a "Just a little bit". (That's cheating...I don't care what you say- it IS cheating.) I will, of course, still be making my special occasion cakes.

When I diet- it's an ALL OR NOTHING kinda thing. If I'm serious about it- I do it right. I don't do it halfway. Yeah- it'll be hard, but I can STICK with it. I've been wanting to cut back on the bread and starches, and WAYYYYYY back on portions, but it's not MY house- and I just don't feel comfortable putting dietary restrictions on the family when I'm not contributing except for housework. You know? But since she's wanting to do this- I'm well behind her in her decision. We just gotta stay away from the food programs on the Telly. They are my downfall.........As a matter of fact- I'm gonna have to stay away from TV pretty much ALL the time. Damn food commercials.

Honestly, I think TV is da debil, Bobby Buchet!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thru The Years......

On August 26th at 4AM- I received the news that my Baby Boy, Clayton, had been in an auto accident.....and he hadn't survived. A part of my heart died with him that night. I'll never take anyone or anything for granted ever again.
I miss you son. I love you a Million Bazillion. Til we meet again. XXX-OOO



















































This was on my desktop on my computer when I got home from bringing the news to my eldest son and daughter......it's still a mystery as to how it got there- Paul had gone with me and the house was locked up tight......

He Only Took My Hand

Last night while I was trying to sleep, my son's voice I did hear,
I opened my eyes and looked around but he did not appear.
He said, Mom you've got to listen, you've got to understand
God didn't take me from you Mom, He only took my hand.

When I called out in pain that morning, the instant that I died,
He reached down and took my hand, and pulled me to his side.
He pulled me up and saved me from the misery and pain
My body was hurt so badly inside, I could never be the same.

My search is really over now, I've found happiness within.
All the answers to all my dreams and all that might have been.

I Love you so and miss you so, But I'll always be nearby.
My body's gone forever, but my spirit will never die.
And so you must go on now, live one day at a time.
Just understand, God did not take me from you ...

He only took my hand"






Monday, August 22, 2011

Minecraft....

I thought today I'd write a post about my fav "Game Of the Year". It seems like every year or so I find a game that I just LOVE and play it almost all the time, and since I have a few friends(Cece and Terry especially) who love FV- I thought maybe they would be interested in this one too.

This years is Minecraft.

Minecraft is basically a sandbox game. Very much like FV- except instead of farming you mine. You make your tools, you design and build your own houses- or castles, or ships, or whatever you like. Only thing is, I'm not sure if you can get Minecraft for a MAC- but if you can- ......

Paul has created a series on YouTube showing you how to create everything you need. He created a new world just so he could show you. So if you think you might be interested- have a look at them and then decide if it's for you.

This one is a server tour- he shows you a few of the buildings/houses and a train/roller-coaster type transportation thing, and a few of the other things you can build in Minecraft.
This one is the New World he created and started building in from scratch.
The initial game costs a few $ to buy(around $13.00 I think)-and I do mean a FEW- it's REALLY inexpensive compared to most games for the computer or game console) but for the enjoyment you get out of it.....well worth it in my mind.
You can create multiple worlds to play in if you like, too.

Now the reason I like Minecraft so much is because it's sooooooo much better than FV. You can build the houses/structures the way YOU want them to look, not just pick from what you're offered- with the added bonus of not having to play weeks before you can GET the house. You can have a small one room cottage- or a HUGE castle......whatever you can dream up - if you can build it with a block- you can build it.Your only limit is your imagination- and MY friends all have wonderful imaginations!!!!

There are dogs/wolves on it too- so if you can get a bone by killing a skeleton, you can give it to the wolf/dog and he will be your CONSTANT buddy and defend you against the monsters. But they DO die if they're attacked by the monsters- or if they get hit my a tool like a pickax or a regular axe when you're working and they get in the way.....occasionally they will get caught up in some water-works and drown, like poor Keith in Paul's world. I think that one was a fluke tho.. (But anyway...I'm rambling.....)So you can have a pet. But don't anger the doggies/wolves- the will turn on you if they aren't your pet.

There's monsters......You can play with the monsters ON- or you can set it to peaceful and not have any monsters to worry about. There are Zombies, Skeletons, Spiders and Creepers.
Zombies....well they do what Zombies do- they eat your brains. Skeletons have bows and arrows to shoot at you. The spiders are docile in the day, and turn bad at night.They climb walls unless you can design something that prevents them from doing so(and yes- it can be done). The creepers are monsters that are like gunpowder- they blow stuff up. They especially like catching you unawares and blowing up your nice stuff you've just built. LOL- Luckily, they don't much like sunlight and will go away after a while.

There's lava, there's water, and there's snow and ice. There's diamonds, and gold, and fire-stone. There's iron, and lapis and roses. There's coal and pumpkins. There's sand- and with sand and a furnace you can make GLASS for windows or a Greenhouse or a glass house even... and cactus and polished stone and cobblestone. And grass and trees. And sheep for wool to make carpets and beds and paintings for walls. You can use the roses and lapis to make different colored dyes for dying your wool for different colored carpets too. There's bamboo to make maps and paper and books and bookshelves too. And you can even build a portal with the right materials and go to the NetherWorld- which is a hostile environment with lots of Lava and fire and cliffs...but there's also Netherrack and glow-stone . Netherrack is stone that makes a roaring fire and glow-stone makes light. So many things to make and place.

You can play solo- or you can find a public server to play with other people.... or you can pay something like 8.00 a month for a subscription to your OWN server so you can play with only who you invite.

As you can see- I REALLY DO like it. A LOT.

So go look at Paul's videos- they are each less than 15 minutes long- and then see what ya think.

Happy Playing!!!



Thursday, August 18, 2011

Leaving on a jet plane..................(not just yet...)

One day- real soon- I'm gonna pack a few sammiches, a couple of drinks, a blanket or throw or something, my ipod, and a book, and I'm going to go spend the entire flipping day at the park. Or maybe I'll just start walking and keep walking and not turn back until the sun starts to set. I have GOT to get out of this rut I'm in.
Get Up.
Let the dogs out.
Call the dogs in.
If any laundry needs doing-put it in the washer.
Have Coffee and water.
Hoover.(MIL and I share this and dusting...whoever gets up first usually does it)
Dust.Have water.
Sit on the computer for a couple hours looking for a job.
Apply for said jobs.
Have another cup of coffee or water.
Got the bathroom.
Listen to TV shows such as Jeremy Kyle and the morning talk shows my MIL is watching while doing all of the above.
Eat a bit of lunch.
Read blogs, or write a blog-post occasionally.
Look at my e-mail to see if anyone has responded to any of my e-applications.
Watch 60 Minute Makeover.(the flipping HIGHLIGHT of my day).
Go for a walk/run.(Haven't done that for the past two weeks tho due to tummy problems-spent this time back on the computer looking for more jobs to apply for.)
More water.
Eat supper(I mean "Tea")
Wash up dishes after dinner.(MIL almost always cooks the evening meal)
Watch the soaps with MIL.
Have a coffee.
Shower & Brush teeth.
Spend an hour or so with hubby(Yay! Alone time)
Coffee/Water.
Brush teeth.
Bedtime.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Getting the picture?

......occasionally throw in a doctors visitor trip to the pharmacy, or VERY occasionally a trip with hubby to TESCO for MIL. We've been to one family bbq other than the one we had here for FIL's B-day and on two excursions with the in-laws in the six months we've been here. Don't get me wrong- I'm very grateful to them for all they DO for us- but I'm just bored and am getting frustrated with always being broke and I'm just not used to being dependent on someone for every little thing.

How the HELL did Paul cope for 7 damn years? Altho I have to say- we did have our own money(altho not much of it) and we did usually do something on my long weekends off even if it was just go for a drive to somewhere to get away from the house for a while. Pizza in the park was always fun. So was anything tho- as long as we was together and out of the house. We didn't have to have a lot of money to have fun....just a little bit.

God I need a job.



Saturday, August 06, 2011

I Have A Dream.......

Spend 15 minutes cleaning out your closet.
That was my Daily Challenge from website a couple of days ago.

I've had an idea running thru my head ever since. Because- Yeah- I HAVE to keep my closet organized- Paul and I share a wardrobe- and a chest of drawers here. That's the entirety of our storage space for our clothes.

But I was thinking how awesome it would be if there were self-organizing units for the house. You know ....wardrobes, dresser drawers, linen closets, kitchen cabinets.....medicine cabinets. I mean just think of all the time that you would save. Just open the door up- toss in the(insert items here) close it- and the next time you open it, everything is arranged in a neat and orderly fashion. No sorting or folding clothes, no ironing , Just take 'em off the line/out of the dryer and throw them in the wardrobe or dresser. Color coded, short to long sleeve formal dress to undies....everything all nice and neat and done for you. Perfect!!!











And that would be a DREAM in the kitchen too......I especially like all my spices and flavorings all nice and neat and orderly. (The rest of the food-stuff too, but that stuff stays kinda somewhat orderly anyway.) But when someone else cooks, the spices and flavorings just get put back in the cabinets willy-nilly and it drives me INSANE to not be able to open up the cabinet door and be able to pluck what I want out because it's been moved. To open up the cabinet and be able to pick up whatever without looking at it would be divine!!!!!












Just think of the possibilities for the "junk Drawer" we all have.








Linen Closet? No Prob!!!!











And what a DREAM for the bathroom..........



Ahhhhhhhhhhhh....Yes........well, if you know where I can GET these SELF ORGANIZING do-dads.........PLEASE let me know ASAP!!!!! Or get working on inventing them. You'll be a Squigillionaire if you do.