Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Everything is either too small, too expensive or gone by the time we see and it and call about it. One house rented overnight. We saw the sign at 1am and by the time the place opened at 9 am, it was gone.

A house in Clarkton rented while I was on the phone with one agent. The listing was taken down as we were discussing a time for me to see the house.

This is a bit frustrating. Everyone we know is looking for places for rent and nothing seems to be available.

Which begs the question: if the places we like and can afford are being rented about a minute before we see them, where are the houses those people are leaving?

It's going to be ok. I just have to have faith.

Monday, March 30, 2015

the trip recap

So much good happened on our trip that I don't even know where to start.

It snowed on our first night in the mountains. It was gorgeous. We had our anniversary dinner at an Italian place (tradition) which sucked (not tradition). We saw some bear and some elk and went all over the Blue Ridge Parkway and into the Great Smoky Mountains and up and down the mountain and to Cherokee where I got to see Harrah's but had no desire to actually go in. We went to several places and did some shopping and went trout fishing and I caught a bunch of trout and just generally had a marvelous time.

On Sunday we started home. But then I saw a sign that said Linville Caverns and the Linville Gorge was like half a hour ahead and Chris, bless his soul, took me to see them. We did the tour through the caverns and went on the blue ridge parkway to see the Linville Pike and it was amazing. The scenery all up there is absolutely breathtaking.

Oh... and Saturday he took me into Tennessee. Gatlinburg (which we both disliked) and through Pigeon Forge and it's the first time I had ever been in Tennessee so that was cool.

I have a ton of pictures that I will probably be boring you with over the next several days.

Now it's back to looking a place to live.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 110

Things I am grateful for today

1. a wonderful anniversary weekend getaway with my favorite person.

2. fresh snow on the mountains.

3. a side trip on our way home that perfectly complimented our main trip.

4. fresh trout that I caught myself

5. Having reasons to smile. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

To my daddy

Happy birthday to my amazing daddy. I love you to the moon and beyond.

Friday, March 27, 2015

7 Quick Takes # 28

Today is our 18th official wedding anniversary. We've been together for 22 years now. One of the best decisions I ever made was saying yes. Even if I did try to put the ring on his wrong hand even while he was steadily trying to give me the correct hand.

We've had our ups and downs but mostly we've had more ups than downs and for that I am immeasurably grateful. Things lately have been pretty good because we both put in the time and effort to work at it. I learned long ago that marriage is an immense amount of work but it is so worth it.

We have reservations for the weekend for Maggie Valley. We have never been there and it seems like a good place to spend an anniversary weekend. We originally were going to go to the beach but the weather is supposed to be cold and rainy so we decided to go to the mountains instead. I am looking forward to it.

Not only will it be a good trip for an anniversary weekend but we both have been working long hours and there is some stress involving our place of residence that I'm not going to get into here but we really need this break.

Chris keeps reminding me to not stress. Things will work out and everything will be okay. I promised him when we decided to keep our plans for this weekend that I would put aside the stress and enjoy myself so that is exactly what I plan to do starting right now.

Lilly Mae is such a welcome addition to our family. She greets me at the door each night and is just genuinely excited to see me every time I walk into a room. I'm glad that I got her.

I packed a book for my trip but I'm almost betting I won't read a word of it. Have a great weekend everyone!
For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain't the Lyceum!

Thursday, March 26, 2015


It's been a day and I'm not any less angry about the situation. I think a lot of it has to do with the timing. We had told her boyfriend a few weeks ago that we were definitely going to stay until June so Elizabeth could finish school at Tar Heel and not have to move towards the end of the school year and now Kerri is all, I need you out now.

The original word was that someone she worked with was going to get the house in June. Now the word is that her daughter, who lived there before we moved in and had trashed the house that we spent quite a bit of time and our own money fixing, is moving back in.

Not that it matters. We are moving out. Where we are moving out to, I have no flipping idea. There aren't very many places for rent in this area and we are not ready to buy anything. I have to trust that we will be ok in this. Otherwise, I'll go crazy.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

This should be a Wordless Wednesday...

...but I have words. I have so many words and none of them are pretty or nice or anything remotely of the sort.

Text message from today to Chris from Kerri. Basic gist of it was this: I know I said your 2 years was coming up at the end of June and ya'll needed to move then but I need you to be out by the 15th of April which is 30 days from the date that I called you to tell you your 2 years was up in June because I have someone that is going to move into the house.

What in the ever loving &^%$? I am so upset with her at the moment because she told us when we moved in, it would be for 2 years and we were even going to get a paper notarized so that this couldn't happen but Chris and I chose to trust that she was a woman of God who would keep her word (because she's always talking about being a woman of God) and then this happens.

So now we are in crisis, must find a place asap mode because oh hey, the 15th of April is in 20 days. I am so not amused right now.

Monday, March 23, 2015


Our anniversary is coming up at the end of the week and we have plans to go to Maggie Valley. I've never been to the mountains so I am looking forward to it in all the ways.

Our original plan was to go to the beach but the weather is supposed to be rainy there and nice in the mountains. Plus, it fulfills one of my wishes.

I am so looking forward to this trip.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 109

Things I am grateful for today

1. glorious sunshine.

2. The dogwoods and the Bradford pear trees and the cherry blossoms are starting to bloom and it is absolutely gorgeous.

3. Elizabeth made pancakes from scratch last Sunday and again yesterday and they are amazing. I may never buy pancake batter again.

4. the smell of fresh cut grass

5. being more happy than sad lately. It's still a process but I am doing much better than I was and I'm extremely grateful for that.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Happiest of birthdays

Among the many people who are celebrating birthdays today, two of my favorites were also born on this day.

My father in law and my Uncle Mack.

Happiest of happy birthdays to both of them. I love them both dearly.

Friday, March 20, 2015

7 Quick Takes # 27

This week has been mostly gorgeous on the weather front like spring is known to be and I have seen a great amount of people outside cleaning up their yards and mowing the grass. I love the smell of fresh cut grass.

I took a quick trip to the library today after going to the bank after dropping Chris off at work because he had to be at work early today and I wasn't going to show up at my work 2 hours ahead of time. I believe in being early but that's a bit too much, even for me.

I am working a 6 day week this week so tomorrow is my only day off and it's my father in law's birthday. He's 82 this year. It's also my uncle's birthday (he's 68) and next Saturday is my father's birthday. He's going to be 66. I can't believe that they are going to be as old as each of them are. They all seem much younger in my mind. I guess that's what happens as time keeps marching on. I'll never look at any of them and see "old" guys.

I had a turkey rachel from Arby's today and it was so good that I immediately wished I had bought another one for later. That rarely happens to me when I get food from somewhere. Also, I'm going to deny that it's good because Arby's has a tendency to take the sandwiches I really like off the menu. That might be how weird my likes are.

Given the amount of sneezing I have been doing lately, it may time to go buy some more Claritin. I love spring but it doesn't love me back/ My allergies are kicking in and I want to enjoy the weather, not curse it.

Elizabeth's computer is locked and we can't seem to find a way to reset her password. I have researched it and tried and tried but nothing seems to be working. I may just give up on it. If she has good grades at the end of the school year, we plan to get her a new laptop and in the meantime, she can use mine or her daddy's.

I finally paid attention to some advice and registered my own domain name. We'll see if I can manage to do anything with it that I'm happy with.
For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

This man

... has my heart. This photo is a bunch of years old (I can't even remember how old, that's how old it is. I know it was taken at the ranger station on Fort Bragg. And judging from his youth like appearance that he's trying to mask with facial hair, he's in his 20's. So eons ago.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Saint Patrick's Day and a birthday

I've not really enjoyed a Saint Patrick's Day in years once I discovered that it was also the birthday of a woman that I didn't really much care for. That may seem silly but it has always thrown a damper on the day for me. Mostly because I'm human.

Today was different. I decided to move past the whole "it's this woman's birthday" and just let it be. As silly as it may seem, it made the whole day a lot better. I still have lots of work to do but I'm getting there.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Monday Musings

Short post because I don't have a whole lot to say other than this: Kerri called Chris today to remind him that our 2 years is up in June. I knew it was coming up and he knew it was coming up but we haven't really been thinking much about it what with the business of working and living life and all. I guess now it has moved to the forefront of our thoughts.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 108

Things I am grateful for today

1. I had the weekend off and I managed to get some stuff done.

2. The mountain of laundry no longer exists in my bedroom.

3. Lilly May brings me a ton of joy. I love her immensely even though I've only had her a couple of weeks.

4. daily afternoon text messages from my Elizabeth

5. sunshine

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Something on Saturday

Quick observations from the front desk:

1. People who are only staying one night always bring in more luggage than people who are here for weeks at a time.

2. People will try their hardest to sneak their pets into a non pet friendly hotel. We have cameras all the way around building and at all the doors. We usually catch them but that doesn't stop them from trying.

3. Asking me where the side door is when it is more convenient for you to come through the lobby is a sure way to make me turn around and start watching the camera to see what you are attempting to bring in that you don't want me to see.

4. Yes, I do know what exit we are on. That's one of the dumbest questions people ask. One day, I'm going to say "no sir/ma'am, they change them every day after I come to work."

5. My personal pet peeve: "Is there any room at the Inn?" (When the parking lot is empty.)

Friday, March 13, 2015

7 Quick Takes # 26

This week has been full of rain and alternating between needing the heat and opening the windows. Mother Nature has gone completely crazy.

The flowers are starting to bloom and it is so pretty. I love the Bradford pear trees even though they are only pretty twice a year: in the spring when the flowers bloom and in the early fall when the leaves all turn red.

Chris and I are still carpooling and it is still going good. I like riding to work with him and then having someone to talk to on the way home.

One thing I am disliking about this schedule we have is that I don't get the opportunity to cook as much as I would like. This weekend I am off and planning to make hamburger steaks one night and chicken alfredo another night. I wish I could get myself into a routine of cooking every day before work but I always seem to run out of time.

I need book suggestions. I have a ton of books that are on my mantle waiting to be read but I have no burning desire to read any of them. I'm kind of blah right now with what I am finding interesting.

Work is going pretty good. I am not having nearly as much trouble in being genuinely upbeat as I was a few months ago. I think all the different things I have started doing in an effort to take care of ME are really paying off.

 My father in law & my uncle are both having a birthday next week (on the same day) which is pretty cool. And our anniversary is coming up. We've been married for quite a while now. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly!

Monday, March 9, 2015

it will get better

I know the laggy feeling I have going on is because of an interruption of normal schedule and the time changing and I can not wait until I feel like my normal self again. I slept too long today and we left a little later than usual for work. We weren't late; I got to work 30 minutes early still even after stopping by the library to put a book in the book drop but it felt like we were rushing.

It's been slow tonight. I am always surprised at how the hours of busy time shift at work once the time changes. People will drive longer (and further) because it's still light out and they can see and they want to get closer to wherever they intend to be. That has made for a slowish evening tonight but it's okay because last week was so busy I barely had time to breath. I'll take a slow day every now and then.

Progress reports came home today and Elizabeth told me what hers had on it because she'll be in bed by the time we get home. Her math and science grade are terrible but she didn't mention anything else being bad. I have no idea what to do about getting her to study more and do better in math and science. It's not that she can't do the work. It's that she's forgetful (will do homework but not turn it in, won't turn in her notebook for notebook check even though she's taken the notes the woman wanted taken) It's frustrating to me.

I redid direction sheets at work tonight because I did the last ones 3 years ago and while the directions hadn't changed any, I had new stuff I wanted to add. The new ones look really good.

Dinner tonight at work was chicken enchiladas that I made last night and I think they were better tonight than they were last night.

Chris is messaging me and making me laugh with the emoticons he is sending me. He's not feeling good and the faces are hilarious.

I've got to get some stuff done. One thing I don't have to do when I get home tonight is put away laundry. I managed to conquer that mountain yesterday.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 107

Things I am grateful for today

1. Today was a day off for me and I'm really glad because we ended up not going to bed until 5am (thanks to the time change) and didn't wake up until almost 2 today.

2. Chris and I got to go to the beach for a little while last night, totally spontaneous. We went to dinner in Whiteville and then he surprised me with a trip to the beach where we walked on the sand and looked at the full moon and listened to the waves crash. I had an amazing time.

3. I cooked dinner tonight and we'll have leftovers for work for tomorrow. Chicken enchiladas were on the menu with beans and rice that ended up being put together and used as a dip for tortilla chips.

4. We bought pillow and mattress covers last night and I slept very soundly once I was actually in bed. Getting the mattress covers on became a family exercise. I don't know how anyone manages if they don't have some extra hands to help them with it.

5. We rented John Wick from Redbox and it was an amazing movie. I got up once to get a refill on my drink and almost broke my neck trying to keep up with the action on the tv. I'd watch it again. That's probably a title we will end up buying.

Friday, March 6, 2015

7 Quick Takes # 25

This  work week is over. Blessedly. It has been busy and while I like busy, this week has been insane.

I don't think we have any major plans for this weekend and I could not be happier about that. I need a day or so where I don't have to go.go.go.

I am trying to finalize our plans for our anniversary weekend but I'm having a bit of trouble because Brittany had a job interview and she might be leaving before the end of the month which means that I will end up working instead. 

I want to do some more cooking because I really don't like eating out much but I need some recipes that are able to be slow cooked so it can be cooked overnight and be ready when we leave for work in the afternoons.

Carpooling with Chris has turned out to be a great thing. I really enjoy not having to drive home by myself in the evenings and I love spending that extra time with him during the drive to and from.

Looking forward to the time change (after I get over the lost hour of sleep.) I like there being more light in the evening particularly when I have a day off. It feels like there is more time in the day.

Time to update my blog reading list. I have some people on there who haven't posted in forever. Time to make room for some new reads I think.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly!

Monday, March 2, 2015

First Monday in March

This is what I discovered this weekend: I like days off where I don't have to go anywhere or do anything on a time schedule. We had an amazing time this weekend with Elizabeth, going to the mountains and to Salisbury and then on Sunday, we picked up Lilly and I'm glad we did all those things but I honestly feel like I didn't have a day off at all.

Things I didn't get done this weekend: The mountain of laundry is still in my bedroom, multiplying by the day it seems. I'm not amused with the laundry at this point.

Things I need to do this week: Pay some bills, fill out 401k paperwork, not lose my mind.

It's going to be a good week. Because I said so.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 106

Things I am grateful for today

1. We picked up my puppy today. Charles met us in Stedman at Food Lion and we brought her home. I am in love with her already.

2. We got a later start yesterday than we intended but we had an amazing time.

3. Chris bought me a coat while we were at Walker Days because I was cold but wasn't saying anything about it. He snuck me to buy that coat because I had said I wasn't going to get anything while we were there. He walked off for a few minutes and came back with it, grinning like a cat who caught the canary.

4. Elizabeth got to try a funnel cake. I can't believe that child is 12 years old and had never had funnel cake. We are slipping as parents. ;-)

5. We have already made plans to go again next year although we may get a hotel room next year because that was a lot of driving and a lot of activities to pack into one day.

GIST - The Sunday Edition # 175

It's been awhile since I have done one of these although my offline gratitude practice remains on point. In no particular order, here ar...