Sunday, July 31, 2011

Wanna see?

A Continuation of Yesterday's Post
I put together a couple of collages of the Amish Country pics.
(Click on the collage to enlarge it, then hit your 'Back' button to return.) 
This first one is from some of our shopping.
Yes, we went to a Christmas shop,
Christmas in July, ya know!  : )
Christmas makes me happy and I'd even do a Christmas shop in January.
Yeah, I'm one of those people.
I never get sick of Christmas.
Clockwise from top left:
I love them.
I think they're beautiful.
I have my own little collection of  them.
A person can never have to many nutcrackers.
; )

A shot from the second floor of the shop.
This is a big ol' round building
and the interior is very dramatic.
All the lights, all the trees, all the glitter and glow.
It's truly spectacular.

Bins and bins of decorations are divided
according to theme.  
Several small rooms all around the perimeter 
of the building cover everything from
traditional to hunting/fishing lodge,
Wizard of Oz to teddy bears,
primitive to modern.

The Big Guy himself.  : )
I love me some Santa/Father Christmas/Saint Nicholas.
Whatever name and form of the legend you choose,
he's my homeboy.
Love that guy.  : )

And now, on to some more shots of the hotel.
Lots of shots from lots of perspectives.  
The library just off the lobby.  A lovely, quiet place to 
browse the shelves; a comfy chair to sit and read;
a cozy corner to work a jigsaw puzzle.
The second floor breakfast and sitting area.,
complete with a Baby Grand.
The beautiful, sweeping staircase.
A bright and inviting area with board and card games.
The beautiful flower beds out front.
I can't begin to tell you how beautiful and inviting 
really is.

*You may remember that last year I did a post regarding the Inn at Amish Door.
We have always stayed there but this trip was rather last-minute and they had no vacancies.
The Carlisle was a wonderful substitute and
I'm sure we'll go back. : )

And a bit more of our shopping excursion.
(Yes, we shopped a whole bunch.  
Is that not one of the reasons you go to Amish Country?)
As I mentioned in a previous post, most places aren't 
wild about you taking pics in their shops.
I managed to sneak a few.  ; )
Do you not LOVE this stuff?
There will be more on that sign in the bottom right pic in a future post.
*If you love any of it enough to want it, just check HERE.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pretty and Peaceful

This is just the tiniest snippet of the beautiful scenery
I've enjoyed this weekend.
How could a person not be at peace 
with a scene like this laid out before them?

And this sunset sky.
Is it not breathtaking?

The Hubster treated me to a couple of days 
in Ohio Amish Country.
We stayed at The Carlisle at Dutch Valley
and this is the view from our balcony this morning.
When the fog clears, the rolling countryside
seems to go on and on forever.
And in the fog at the top of this shot
I could see something trying to peek through the misty air.
I zoomed in and this is what I saw.
Just beautiful.

And this was our room.
The quilts on the beds were simply beautiful
and the artwork throughout the room was lovely.
Isn't the furniture pretty?
Love this little corner.
I'm not sure why the colors in these pics do not look true 
on my computer screen, but the carpet was a 
very pretty dark shade of green.
Not the ugly pea soup shade that I'm seeing here.  ; )
And the walls were a light sage.  
Very tranquil.
Very tasteful.
The bathroom was SPOTLESS.
That's a must for me.
I detest a nasty hotel bathroom.
The dressing room/closet.
(The closet area was to the left of this scene.)
Notice the mini-fridge under the counter.
LOVE having a mini-fridge in the room.
When you have dinner in the Amish Country, it's extremely difficult
to save room for dessert.  That handy little icebox enabled us to
order fresh, homemade pie to-go.
Midnight snack, ya know?  ; )

I have a ton more pics on my phone that I hope to share with you in the next day or two.
I took a few shots of the rest of this lovely hotel
and snapped several when we were out shopping.
Some places frown upon picture taking when it comes to 
craft or decor items,so I wasn't about to attempt it with my camera.  
Hope the phone shots are okay.

Perri and Tucker left yesterday morning for King's Island and Great Wolf Lodge for the weekend.
Brie, Josh and the boys took them for a little getaway 
before school starts back.
They won't be home until tomorrow evening sometime.  
I hope they're having as good a time as we did.
: )

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Feelin' a Little Bubbly?

I am!
Allow me to explain.
Know her?
This is my friend, Colbie,
Well, okay.
So she's not really my friend friend,
but I just know that if we ever met,
we'd surely be the best of buds.
We have so much in common!

She has long, beautiful hair...
and I wish I had long beautiful hair.

That girl can SING.
I always wanted to sing.

She's in her mid 20s.
I'd kinda sorta almost 
give my eye teeth 
to be in my mid 20s again.

So we don't really have all that much in common.
But I reallyreallyreally
love her voice (so smooth and sweet),
her songs (which she writes herself),
the fact that she plays the guitar
(how cool...I do well to play a stereo)
and the happy feeling I get 
when I listen to her music.
For me,
and when I need a lift,
I can listen to a little 
Colbie Caillat.

So, Colbie is coming to Charleston
in September and tickets went on sale
this morning at 10 a.m.

Guess who had her computer fired up,
fingers perched on the keyboard,
anxiously awaiting that moment of truth?

This girl.
And I did get tickets.
Row L.
Yes, you read that right.
Row L, a mere 12 rows back.
I am one happy girl.

And guess who else is happy!
Well, yes.
I suppose she is happy.
But I don't know her, 
so that's not who I meant.

I meant this pretty lady:
That's my girl, Brie.
Brie has never ever,
in the history of the entire universe,
been to a concert.
It just so happens that her
25th birthday is about 3 weeks or so
after this concert.
Brie also happens to be a Colbie fan.
It only makes sense that this should be 
her birthday present this year, right?

Yeah, I thought so, too.  : )
So we'll go out to dinner
and then to what I just KNOW
will be a fantabulous concert!

And, just in case you've been
living under a rock and you have
no idea why I titled this post what I did,
here is  a link to the video for 
Colbie's first big hit,

Have a listen.
And get to feelin' happy!
: )

Monday, July 25, 2011

ATBOC Syndrome...and those who suffer with it

There are two types of people...those who come into a room and say 'Well, here I am!'
and those who come in and say 'Ah, there you are!'

Frederick L. Collins

A friend of mine (thanks, Mendy!) posted this quote on her FB page and I immediately swiped borrowed it.  What a lot this little quote has to say!  Really packs a punch, doesn't it?  I would much rather be the latter type of person and I strive to not be the former, but I often wonder how I come across to others.  

I love to laugh and I like to talk and I can be loud at times.  
Does that mean I want to be the center of attention?  
No, not at all.  
I'm actually quite uncomfortable in that position.  
And I certainly don't think that I'm 'ALL THAT'.   
You know, that person who thinks they're God's gift to humankind.  
The one who feels that the sun should rise and set on him/her.  

The one with ATBOC Syndrome.  
(All That and a Bag Of Chips)

 I'm not even a fan of that type of person.  

They annoy me.

I hope to make others around me feel that I'm happy to see them.
That they are valued people in my life.
That my day has just been made better 
because they have become a part of it.

As for those with ATBOC,
I could do without.
And sometimes I'm sure those folks can tell
beyond the shadow of a doubt
that that's exactly how I feel.

Guess that's something else I need to work on, huh?

; ) 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Random Shots on a Saturday

Just going through the shots on my phone and found a few
I think are worth sharing.  

I snapped this one quite early this morning.
Brie is working at the Farmers' Market 
and she dropped off the boys
on her way out.
Hayden was still pretty sleepy
and decided that my legs would make
a comfy place to stretch out 
and watch a movie.  : )
I didn't argue.
Sweet, quiet moments like this
are few and far between with this
active little guy.

Ever had this?
If not, you MUST try it.
Tastes like summer.
This is one very exhausted Perri shortly after she returned
from band camp and took her first really hot shower
in almost a week.  
(I guess the hot water supply at the camp
can't quite keep up with more than 140 band members.)
The adorable (?) head gear she is sporting
is the famous (infamous?)
Each year one freshman is honored with this glorious chapeau.
It is adorned with mementos from each person
who has ever worn it, so this means Perri
gets to add her own special touch, too.
It has to be something that reminds her of her first band camp.
I think it's pretty cool that she was chosen.  : )
I just don't want to go anywhere with her
while she's wearing it.  ; )

And this, my friends, is Bob.
She's being....well, Bob.  
She's a good ol' cat
who brings us 'presents' on a regular basis.
Presents I at first found
somewhat disturbing.
(Mice are gross.  Disemboweled mice are even more so.)
But I know she gives them with much love.
She's looking out for us.
And keeping those pesky little rodents out of our house.  : )

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Complaint Department is Open

I've gotten a few emails recently from some of you out there in Blog Land saying that you're unable to leave comments here on Countin' My Blessings.  I'm not exactly sure what to do about it, but I'll mess around with the settings and see if maybe I need to reinstall Disqus or something along those lines.  I know I've had the same issue when trying to comment on a few other blogs (I can't get a cursor to appear in the comment box) but the problem seems to come and go.  Sometimes reloading the page helps, sometimes it doesn't.  And it isn't always blogs that use Disqus.

If you're one of the folks having a problem leaving comments, I just want you to know that I'm now aware of it and attempting to find a remedy.  In the meantime, you can feel free to click on my profile and drop me a line via email.  : ) 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Climbing Over the Hump

Perri is at band camp this week.  Her feet hurt (from marching), her lips are bruised (from playing her trumpet so much), the food is bad (so far I've delivered Hot Pockets, Timbits, iced vanilla coffee and Burger King fries and shake) and I worry about her in being out in this heat so much.

Tucker spent the night at Brie's and will stay there today to swim.  (Guess he has it pretty good.)

Phil is at this horrendous heat.  Temps in the mid 90s but will feel like well over 100.  With the high humidity it's like breathing soup. 

My shoulder is acting up.  Again.  Don't think I'm up to tackling the housework that needs done.  It will just have to wait another day.

I think my Humpday will consist of putting together a pan of lasagna and reading on my Kindle. 

It's a tough job, but someone has to do it.  ; )

So what is in store for you on this hot and humid Humpday?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Blast (or two...or ten) from the Past

If you've never seen this site, you must go take a peek.  Drew, my oldest son, is a bit of a nostalgia junky just like his mom.  ; )  He sent me this link last night and I confess...I sat and looked through all 58 pages.  Too cool.
Some of the things were familiar from my own childhood (late 60s and into the 70s) and others from those of my two older kids (mid 80s and into the 90s). 

For instance, remember these?
 Yes, I was a hair crimper.  
Everyone had their fair share of bad 80s hair, right?

Perri think that Jellies are the most hideous shoes she's ever seen.
I had at least four pairs.
White and clear, to appease my practical side.
After all, those go with anything.
And a couple of colors just to be cool.  ; )

One of my favorite toys EVER.
Loved my Spirograph!
I also loved Shrinky Dinks, Colorforms,
paper dolls...
you get my point.
We had all the COOL toys when I was a kid.
They required more imagination than batteries.

Go take a look around YeahFlashback 
and see if you don't see a few things
that bring back some cool memories for you, too.  : )

Friday, July 15, 2011


Yeah, I've been trying to get in here all week to write a post.  I feel like such a slacker, but honestly...I have been busy!  Really!!!  So this is my first opportunity and I'm joining in, once again, over at MamaM's

1. If you knew your best friend's spouse was cheating on her or him, would you tell her (him)?
 Wow.  That's a tough one.  That is SO not a place I want to be.  But I've also been the one being cheated on (not by The Hubster, TYVM) and I know how much I wish someone had told me at the time. 
Instead of finding out later.  
The hard way.  
Even though I had my suspicions.  

Let it suffice to say that there really is no great answer to this one.  ; )

2. Soda in a can or a bottle?
Okay, I'm with MamaM on this one.  It's called 'pop' around these parts.  ; )
And I don't do cans unless there's nothing else around.  Not that I mind pop in a can, but I do prefer it over ice.  
Except for my daily diet Dr. P.  I like that in a twist-top bottle that I can carry around with me.  All day long. 

Not that I'm addicted or anything. 

3. What do you wash first, hair or body?
The hair is washed first.  Always.  Don't know why.  Kind of like I don't know why the left sock always goes on first.  Or why eyeliner goes on the left eye first, but mascara on the right.  
I know.  I'm odd. 

4. What advice would you give to any new mama?
You do know how to do this.  It's instinctual; second nature.  And if you're really stumped, there is always someone around who is more than happy to give advice. And there is never just one right way
One other thing.  Remember that your baby will usually let you know what you're doing right.  Even if it's not what the book says to do or when the book says to do it, you are the mommy and you know that baby better than whoever penned the particular wealth of knowledge to which you are referring.  Trust yourself.  : )

5. What is your best hangover remedy?
Well, I don't do hangovers.  Actually, I just don't drink.  At all.  
So I guess my best hangover remedy is DON'T DRINK!  ; )

Monday, July 11, 2011

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Ahhhh, another Monday.  And this one will be spent at home sweet home!  : )  
Vacations are wonderful...coming home is, too.  Even when it's a day earlier than planned.  

*Dental appointment for Perri today.  (Better her than me!  ; )  I'd pretty much rather birth a child than have someone prodding around on my teeth.)  Then on Wednesday Tucker sees the orthodontist.  We're hoping the lip bumper gets removed, so cross those fingers.  But we also know that when it comes out, the bottom braces go on.  Not sure we should be celebrating...

*When we returned on Friday night, the laundry room became the busiest room in the house.  I started the first couple of loads and The Hubster kept it going until pretty much everything was washed, dried and put away by the time Saturday evening rolled around.  That's a good feeling, too.  : )

*On Saturday my Tucker Man turned 9 years old!
Here's a pic of my happy little guy at the beach. : )
He requested Olive Garden for dinner, so as the inlaws were heading for home, we hopped in our car and followed them as far as Parkersburg so we could all help him celebrate.  He was so excited to have the waitstaff sing happy birthday to him!  There was no hiding that big ol' grin!  : )  I videoed the whole thing and I'd love to post just a snapshot of him with the cake in front of him while they were singing, but I can't seem to figure out how to pull a snapshot out of the video.  :(  One of these days I will not be quite so technologically challenged.  Maybe.  ; )

*It's gonna be super hot this week.  Today we're seeing mid 90s but humidity is making it feel like 105*.  NOT my kind of weather.  And since I pack The Hubster's lunch most days, these temps make me a little uncomfortable packing anything that includes mayo.  I pack it with ice packs, but in these temps even they don't always make it to lunch time.  So yesterday I made my Sweet and Sour Veggie Salad.  It contains no mayo and the dressing on it is oil/vinegar based, so it's a safe bet on hot days.  I'll be posting the recipe over at Kelli's Kitchen in just a few so be sure to check it out.  : )

I believe that's it for this edition of Miscellany Monday!  Join in over at carissa graham's by posting a link to your own Monday ramblings!   

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Key to Ruining a Vacation... the key held in the evil hands of a person with no conscience and the inability to control his/her childish impulses to lash out, in secret, at folks he/she doesn't even know.  Meanness personified.  :(

Yes, someone keyed our truck.  In the parking garage at the hotel.  At night.  And there are no security cameras. 

Then, within hours of this discovery, we get another shock.  At 3 a.m. there is a knock on our door.  It's my father-in-law and it seems that he had gotten up to go to the bathroom only to step in water above his ankles. A water pipe under the sink in their room had burst.  They had to evacuate at least three rooms.  The good news? Tucker said it made a really pretty waterfall flowing over their sixth floor balcony.  ; )

And this morning the sky is looking dark and vicious.  So I believe we're heading home a day early.  Better than being stuck in the room all day while the rain pours outside our window. 

Catch you folks when I'm back in my own cozy little cow pasture!  : )

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Little Unsolicited Advice...things I've learned on vacation

And like a post from earlier this week, there will be no pics.

You can thank me later.

I'll apologize now if I offend anyone who reads this.  But hey, it's my blog, a place to express my opinion.   And while it is never my intention to hurt feelings, some things just beg to be said.  ; )

Unsolicited Advice 
Offering #1:
This one is for grown women who should know better.

If you are going to wear a two-piece bathing suit, please make sure you purchase a bathing suit that is the correct size.  No, the front of your suit bottoms are not supposed disappear beneath your 'muffin top' (or BUNDT CAKE, if you will) and you should not have to constantly readjust those two microscopic slivers of fabric that you call a 'bikini top' in order to keep them on The Girls.  Know what I mean?

Unsolicited Advice
Offering #2:
This one is for grown men who should, too. 

I understand that there are different body types.  I understand that sometimes an unattractive physique is a matter of genetics.  But I also understand that how you cover that physique on a public beach is a matter of choice.  Let's use a little common sense here.  If you appear to belong in the latest edition of Ripley's Believe it or Not! due to the fact that you look to be roughly 38 weeks pregnant though you are quite obviously male and well beyond the age of new parenthood, a shirt would be nice.  If you really don't want to wear a shirt, then please, I beg of you, at the very least you should not wear the waistband of your trunks below that hefty guy.  Pull 'em up.  Around your waist.  Or at least where your waist should be.  It's back to buying the correct size.  The trunks you wore as a skinny 15 year old kid aren't really intended to fit you as a heftier, middle-aged male. 

Unsolicited Advice 
Offering #3:
This one is for all those boys/young men out there trying to look 'cool'.

Gentlemen, PULL UP YOUR SWIMMING TRUNKS!  That section around the top is called a 'waistband'.  It does not, I repeat NOT, belong down around your butt cheeks or, worse yet, your upper thighs!  No one wants to see your underwear or any part of your anatomy that belongs within the confines of those swimming trunks.  Just remember:  CRACK KILLS....and it singes the eyeballs when you glance up from your comfy beach chair only to get an eyeful of it.  Plus it makes me want to tell you to go take a bath.  You look dirty.  Yuck.

Unsolicited Advice 
Offering #4:
This one is for all those young girls out there, trying so hard to grow up too quickly.   
Leave a little to the imagination.  Yeah, the skimpier the bathing suit and the more you swing those hips, the more attention you'll get from those young men wearing their waistbands down around their thighs.  But it also draws the attention of guys older than you; guys whose intentions are maybe not so honorable; guys who should know better.  And one of these days in the not so distant future, you'll come to realize that you should have spent a little more time enjoying growing up rather than rushing it. 

And that is it for this edition of Unsolicited Advice. 
But trust me, I'll be back with more someday.  
And you probably won't want to hear (read) it either.
; )

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth of July from Myrtle Beach!

I must admit, it's a pretty terrific place to spend the Fourth of July.
All along the beach, as far as the eye could see, 
fireworks hissed and blossomed in the night sky.
Red, white, blue, green, gold, purple.
All colors imaginable were well represented.

We are too far from the pier to really see the BIG ones,
but it seems that every hotel along the beach 
has their own amazing display.

The atmosphere is positively electric down on the sand!
Everywhere you look there are families, 
couples, groups of friends;
all excited and enthusiastically 
celebrating this All-American holiday!

So this was my first Fourth on the beach
and it was amazing.  : )
But... I miss the rest of my family back home.
And the fantastic Fourth celebration 
we always have in Ripley.
And the food and fun we enjoy 
back at our house, after the huge parade.
And the fireworks display that night,
when we all go back into town 
and find a great place to park the truck,
drop the tailgate 
and let the little ones have fun
with sparklers until time for 

Next year. : )
Next year we'll be home for

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The First Full Day

This will be a pictureless post.  I think you'll understand why when you read on.

I set no alarm for this morning, deciding I'd get out of bed when my body said it was time and not a moment before.  It's time to relax and recharge.  That's what vacation is all about, right?  ; )

I began to come alive around 8:30 and was nearly human by 9.  The others got up when I told them I was heading down to the beach for a stroll.  We all love mornings on the beach!  The original plan had included a walk and then The Hubster, my MIL and I were going to leave the kids with their Papaw and head into town to pick up groceries and supplies for the week.  (We learned last year that Saturday evening was most definitely not the time to go!  We stood in a checkout line for more than an hour.  Not my idea of a good time at the beach.  So we opted to bring enough munchies to last through Sunday morning and then go shopping.)

Well, as they're prone to do, plans changed.  We were enjoying the beach far too much to go back to the room and get ready for a trip to the store.  We decided to put it off and go in the hotter part of the day, when we'd probably be wanting to get out of the sun for a while anyway. 

I ran back up to the room, got my Kindle, my chair, my phone and headed out.  I was ready to relax and enjoy, I tell ya!  R.E.A.D.Y.

And then I struggled to do so.

I love sitting at the water's edge, letting it lap at my ankles.  What if I dropped my Kindle?  Oh my!  So I put the Kindle back into my beach bag and decided I'd read at night, in my safe, dry bed.

Then I thought I'd check my email and maybe take a peek at Facebook.

Well guess what.  My iPhone cost more than my Kindle!  What if I dropped it into those same teasing waves?  NOT. GOOD. 

I did read a bit when the kids decided to move from the ocean to the swimming pool.  The reclining chair on the pool deck seemed much less fraught with danger. 

And then the kids would come to get their towels or something else in the bag and I'd worry that they would drip on my phone.

I mean, really.  How much more could I find to stress me out? 

Plenty, I'm sure.  ; )

When we returned from our shopping expedition and I got myself ready to hit the beach again, I decided instead to leave in the room anything that isn't ocean or pool friendly.  If it requires a charger, has a touch screen or any sort of processor, it is going nowhere near that sand and surf. Period.

And you know what?  The rest of the day was quite relaxing.

And that's what vacation's all about, right?  : )

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Oh yes, I am...

I am here.  
This is the view from our room.
I have sunk my toes into the warm sand,
listened to the rhythmic lull of the ocean,
breathed in the salty air
and let the sun warm me.
(See, toes in sand.  Gotta love those funky tan lines from my sandals.)
I have found my peace.
And for a few days,
I will soak it in,
drink it up
and let it fill me.

I really needed this.

Friday, July 1, 2011


1. If you had the opportunity to bungee jump, would you?
Not.  On.  Your.  Life.  
This is a girl who can't go more than three steps up a ladder, ya know what I mean?  Asking me to attach a big rubber band to myself and jump off a bridge or something is like....well, it's like ASKING ME TO JUMP OFF A BRIDGE!!!  ARE YA NUTS???

2. Would you rather go to the movie theater or to the drive-in?

I love going to the movies and I haven't been to a drive-in in years!  But I do remember the last one I went to and I have fond memories of it, indeed.  : ) 
Confession time:  As a teenager I was attracted to bad boys.  
Okay, not 'boys'...just a particular bad boy.  One that my parents really wanted me to leave alone.  So when threatening me with being locked in the house didn't work, they sent me to live with my aunt and uncle for a few weeks one summer.  In another state.  I was not happy.  But my cousin Caroline, who is just a few years older, was determined I'd have a good time and forget all about that bad boy back home.  Bless her.  She had some cousins from the other side of her family coming to visit while I was there and she promised we'd all have fun.  
Did we ever!  : )

Those cousins had a cool car and one evening we went to the drive-in.  I don't even remember what movie was playing, but I do remember laughing and having a really good time, and discovering that not seeing the bad boy was not the end of the world.  And that that good boys could be fun, too!  And that one of Caroline's cousins was super cute and I really enjoyed spending time with him.  ; )  And that gave me hope that someday there would be a good guy in my life.  
And that's my drive-in story.  : ) 
Still didn't really answer the question, did I?  

3. Do you have your groceries delivered?
Ummmm....I live in a cow pasture.  
Short answer:  NO.   : )

4. Eyebrows: Do you wax, thread, pluck, or stay au naturel?
Pluck.  When I have to.  And not a moment before.  
But one good thing about middle age for me...that isn't as often as it used to be.  Actually, I'm almost afraid that someday I may have no eyebrows at all!   

5. Would the people you went to high school with be surprised by your life today?
I doubt it.  I was always pretty clear about wanting to be a wife and mom, have lots of kids and a house with a picket fence...all very 'Donna Reed', ya know? I doubt that any of them ever expected much else of me, really.   
In other words, I think they'd be more shocked if I'd become a career woman, climbing the corporate ladder, shattering the glass ceiling and making a name for myself in big business.  Now that, my friends, would have blown them away!  ; )

Join in the Five Question Friday fun over at Mama M's!  : )