Thursday, December 27, 2012

Well, Christmas is over and we're looking forward to the New Year with new adventures around every turn.

We had a great time at the in-laws for Christmas on December 23.  My girls were buried in presents from us and their Aunt and Uncle.  I think they are spoiled.  Really, they are great kids and they deserve more than what we can give them.

We sent Joanna on her way about noon on Christmas day so that they would be back in Saint Louis before the blizzard struck.  Brian and I went for a traditional Christmas dinner -- Chinese -- to play it safe we ate at Panda Express, authentic Chinese restaurants do not agree with us.  Later that night we ate at Jack in the Box, not a great experience, the food was good, but we had to wait about 20 minutes for our food, and one group ended up leaving because they never got their food. Then we watched a couple movies at home.

The Blizzard came through in the middle of the night.  My work called me on Christmas day around 4:00pm  to let me know we would be closed on the 26th.  Brian was not able to find out until 5:45 am on the 26th.  Angie's and Eric's work closed as well.  Joanna said they did not even get a flake of snow in Saint Louis. 

Now that Christmas is over, I'm making my list for the New Year.  First, I want to set up some kind of menu so I can keep on track about losing weight.  I have already lost 23-26 pounds depending on the day, but have a lot more to go.  I have to be more focused on this and exercising regularly. My plans are also to straighten up the sewing area, which has been looming over me since July 2012.  I have a list of sewing projects to complete too.  Not to mention 2 books I have started and need to finish.  I did finish one book...oh it was the cookbook!  

I wanted to put together a cookbook of family recipes for my girls, so they would have some of the old favorites from when they grew up.  I have few recipes from my mom.   I hope they enjoy the book and use it often.  I gave one to my niece in Florida and my sister-in-law too.  She was very helpful in getting me some last minute  recipes to include in the  book.  
More on the list of 2013 in the next posting. 

Angie and Eric
Joanna and Justin
Brian and Ann
Happy Reading !
Ann

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas it upon us here.  My daughter who currently resides in Missouri, and whose heart is in Florida, arrived in Indiana last night about 12:30 am. Did I say last night, I meant this morning.  Needless to say Mom and Dad stayed up waiting for their (her boyfriend and her dog) arrival.    After carrying in several loads of luggage and presents, we finally were able to settle down about an hour later.  I think we all went comatose as we did not wake up until 8:30 am this morning.   I am so happy that they made it here safely and will be here for the next couple of days. 

After having a filling lunch at our favorite restaurant, Charleston's , we headed home where three of us took naps, I napped in the car on the way home.  We are planning on taking them downtown tonight to see the lights, and possibly watch Scrooged.

Our Christmas will be tomorrow at my husband's brother's home.  We are going to haul all the presents for our kids over there.  There is not much for them, but they are big presents.  Looking forward to tomorrow and the excitement.  

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas.

Happy Reading !
Ann
 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Merry Christmas

Along with getting everything done for Christmas, I have a birthday to celebrate the week before.  

My daughter Angie was born 27 years ago on Dec 18.  What a blessing she has been to me and my husband.  We have loved watching her grow from a tiny baby into a beautiful young woman. We are quite pleased at the woman she has become.

We enjoyed taking her out shopping and dinner yesterday for her birthday.  We had such a good time that we ended up closing the stores at Edinburgh Premium Outlet. 



        Happy Birthday Angeline Irene


I still have things to do for Christmas, like decorating the tree.  Our daughter Joanna will be home this year for a few days.  She has not celebrated Christmas with us (except by Skype) for two years.  What a joy this will be for us this year.  

She is equally a blessing to us.  So full of energy, excitement, and encouragement.  Love to see her smiling face, we do not see it enough.  

Hopefully after the Holidays I will have more time to write.  Planning on getting my 2012 list done in 2013.  I did manage to get one project done..will let you all know what it was after Christmas.  



         Merry Christmas Everyone
 



Happy Reading !
Ann

 



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Great weather and Christmas Shopping

December 1...65 degrees.  Just gorgeous outside. 

When we left home it was all overcast, the sun trying to peek out.  We drove to Madison, IN.  We stopped at Versailles State Park, IN, walked up the steps at the dam.  Really worked those thigh muscles.  We walked a little around the dam, then drove around to see what else there was. 

Then we headed to Clifty Falls State Park, IN.  By now the sun was shining and it was just beautiful out.  We walked a rugged trail, which afterwards I was reading the pamphlet, almost all the trails at this park are rugged.  We had a really great time.  The falls were just trickles of water this time.   We have seen them with rushing water before. 

After hiking, we drove to Madison, IN for lunch.  We walked around downtown, stopping in some of the shops.  We decided to eat at Hinkle's Sandwich Shop.  They have been in business since 1933. Everything was delicious. 

We then drove down to Clarksville, IN to do a little Christmas shopping at Bass Pro Shop.  That store is amazing.  All kinds of displays, they even have a shooting arcade set up in the wild.  A great place to take the kids for an adventure. We were not able to find what we went there for, but did find something else at a good price. One present done, and a long drive home.  We were exhausted.

On Sunday, the weather was not so great.  Woke up to rain.  It was rainy and overcast all day, so we took this day to do all our running around.  I couldn't tell how many stores we went to looking for that just perfect gift.  Ended up coming home and ordering it online, hoping when these items arrive, they will not be broken.  We were more exhausted from all this running around than we did the day before.  We are officially done shopping.  I still have the stocking stuffers I need to get done.

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!!


Cloudy day, sun peeking through

Steps at the dam in Versailles State Park

Building in Madison, IN - beautiful sky
Happy Reading !
Ann


Jack and Jimmy enjoying the hike 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Book Review and Discount

For anyone interested, you can view my children's book at my bookstore. Ann M Olsen's Book Store

I don't claim to be a great author or an artist, but from what I have heard, everyone that has bought the book loves it.  Their children and grandchildren enjoy it too.  One of my co-workers bought it for her 4 year old, and said she had to read it every night to her daughter. 


I sent a copy to my sister when her granddaughter was little, she wrote the review for the book.  Her encouragement led me to do the self publishing through lulu , where they print the book as ordered.   Hope you will check it out and consider ordering it.  It is also available in ebooks

Right now lulu is giving a 30% off discount on any books, but hurry today, November 27, 2012, is the last day to take advantage of this.  Use the code DELIRITAS at check out, must be in all caps. 



Happy Reading !
Ann

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Traditions

Thanksgiving is over, but not the memories.   My Thanksgiving Day was uneventful.  I worked all day and thankful I have a job.  My husband spent the day cleaning up my apartment (I was extremely thankful for this) to make ready for our daughter's visit on Friday evening.    What a joy to have her home for the holidays, it has been too long.  

My husband's brother (C) and sister-in-law (K) had a gathering at their house on Thanksgiving Day with her family, but we are always invited so they feel like part of our family. It seems like we have always been invited even when the gathering was at my K's parents home.  Since I had to work, we were not able to get there until late in the day, just as the last of families were leaving.  We did have a good visit with his C and K though.  Then we had dinner at Steak N Shake. 

We celebrated our Thanksgiving on Saturday this year.  It does not matter what day of the week this is celebrated on, the food was the same and the visit was great.  Both daughters were there along with their beaus.  C and K joined as well. 

My husband cooked the turkey and was frustrated that it seemed to never get done.  He took it out of the oven two or three times before we decided it was done. Our tradition every year. 

I had gotten up at 5 am on Friday and made a pumpkin pie and a funny cake, our traditional desserts.  Years ago I would always make two pumpkin pies, one year I decided to make a funny cake and one pumpkin pie instead.  My youngest daughter like the cake so much she requested it every year, so a tradition was born. Both came out great and very yummy. 

We had all the other traditional fixings, which I made on Saturday through out the day.  Sweet Potato Casserole, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, turkey gravy (I was never good at making gravy from the drippings, so Hienz helps me out there), and cranberries (I like the whole berries, but I could not find any Ocean Spray this year, so I made my own, very easy to do).  I also made 5 cup salad and K brought her famous 7-layer salad.  K also brought chocolate chip cookies to munch on, they appear (and disappear) at every gathering we have.  I should have had her bring the cheese ball too, we missed out on that at her house.  

We had a great day.  Thankful to have my family around me.  Thankful for the  laughter.  Thankful for the food.  Thankful for the traditions.  And thankful for what we have.    

My pumpkin pie on the left and funny cake on the right
Now onto the Christmas Rush!  Thankful I do not have to work retail.
 



Happy Reading !
Ann


 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Surprise little trip ....

through the woods. 

Saturday, we decided to go get a Christmas present.  Of course, on the way to the store, my husband took a different route.  I did not realize we were going hiking first.  We stopped at Sodalis Nature Park.    They have 3.5 miles of trails, I don't think we did the 3.5 miles, but it was close. This is a great little park close to home, most of the trails are level, some small hills and valleys. A good place to take dogs for a walk too. 

We first started on the paved path thinking it would link us up with another path through the woods.  We soon discovered it just circled around to a picnic area overlooking the the pond. Very nice view, it is a great place to picnic and relax. 

We then located the entrance to the other trails, and walked and walked and walked.  I'm estimating we walked about 3 miles (includes the first picnic area walk). We came upon a picnic table along the trail, out in the middle of the woods.  Good place to take a rest and have a snack, however I would not want to carry a huge picnic with me, it was pretty far out. 

It was a beautiful day, and we enjoyed the walk.  Now with the leaves off the trees, we could see the pond through the woods as we were returning to our car.  Very pretty.  Sorry no pictures, as I did not know we were going hiking and did not bring my camera.  I'm just going to have to carry it in my purse from now on and be ready for any situation.

I did however come back with blisters on my toes.  They still hurt when I walk, good thing I have a desk job.

We did get one present Saturday, now what to get the other daughter.  Hmm.



Happy Reading !
Ann



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Great Weekend and Christmas Inspiration

What a wonderful weekend.  We rode the motorcycle down to Brown County State Park, IN on Saturday.  Not many leaves left on the trees, but what a beautiful day for a ride.  We arrived just in time to eat lunch at the inn.  After lunch we decided to go hike trail 10, a 2.2 mile circular trail.  Of course, my stomach started making noises about a quarter way on the trail. I didn't want to end the hike, so I stuck it out and kept going.  At one point I thought we were walking in circles, I kept asking my husband if he recognized any of the trees.   It was rough, but we did it.  Other than my stomach acting up, I felt pretty good after the hike.  I also forgot the camera so no pictures this time. 

Sunday, we walked to our local theater.  We saw the new James Bond movie, Skyfall.  It was an okay movie, did not make me want to see it again.  After the movie, we walked over to Panera Bread for lunch.  Then walked home.  A lot of walking this weekend.  

We both took Monday off.  I was going to take the pups out for a walk in the morning, however it was raining.  I looked out the window later and it was snowing.  No walking yesterday, which I missed.  It seems to help loosen up these aging bones and muscles in the morning.  I can see the sun shining this morning....

Now for the Christmas Inspiration.   My niece posted a picture of her Christmas tree on Facebook, which I thought was a little early for decorating.  She works in a thrift store and they had just put out the Christmas decorations so she was inspired to start decorating.  In the end, she motivated me to start getting my Christmas past projects going again.  So for the last couple days I have been working on one of my books. Hopefully I will be checking that off my Lists page. 

Well, I'm off for a walk and will work on my book in a few. 




Happy Reading !
Ann




Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sewing mess

A while back we bought a 5 shelf rolling rack and some totes so I can sort out my material.  It is very frustrating to have everything crammed into a cabinet and when I want to make something I need to pull out stacks of material to find the colors I need.  We also rearranged the extra bedroom to accommodate the rack.  So far that is all that has been done.  

We also purchased a good light to set by my sewing table.  I took it out of the box when we arranged the room, and was going to put it together and my husband said he would do it. So I set it on the sewing table for him to do.  Monday night I came home and saw the lamp together.  I was thrilled.

I'm not saying we are lazy, but this was all started before my birthday.  My birthday is in August.  We have been busy the past few months.  We did quite a bit of walking in the evenings after work this summer, before I had my work scheduled changed to evenings.  We have also enjoyed the weather by going hiking in several state parks on the weekends.  Now that the weather is getting cooler and rainy (today is pretty gloomy), my goal is to complete this project of sorting and organizing.  Here are a couple of pictures before we started.   

This is my cutting table.  Piled with projects and my serger. The cabinet has a lot of storage area, this is where most of the material is stored, I also have material in different totes in the closet and under the sewing table.

My sewing table.  Assorted totes that hold my sewing accessories, small projects, and extra material.  My sewing machine case is on the floor next to the desk.  That is a shredder next to the case, this room also serves as our office.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

St. Louis Trip

We met our daughter in St. Louis on Saturday, November 3rd.  She currently lives in Missouri, and St. Louis is a halfway point for us to meet her.  Well, it is a little farther for us than for her, but well worth the drive to see her smiling face. 

Brian and I  managed to get stuck in traffic just arriving in St. Louis and I was able to take some good shots of the Arch.  We met FL girl  and her boyfriend at the Science Center, http://www.slsc.org. It was pretty neat, however I longed for those days when she was little and everything was new to her absorbing mind.  Going with a 24 year old is not the same as going with a 4 year old.  Nonetheless we had a great time.   


The four of us went to the Planetarium, http://www.slsc.org/WhatToDo/Planetarium.aspx, and laid on mats on the floor to view the night sky.  Felt like a little kid again.  The presenter made it very interesting.  I still find it hard to make out people and animals in the stars.   I can make out the big dipper and that is about it.  



Coming into St. Louis, stopped in traffic


View of the Arch that you don't see everyday


Joanna and Justin - T-rex stopped moving to give us a smile too.


Never to old to do something silly


On the way home, the moon was gorgeous
Next trip to see  our daughter, we will make the entire trip, as arriving home at 12:30 am is not our cup of tea.  We are getting too old for those kinds of trips. 





Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Autumn Days



  
Well, we never made it to Brown County.  We tried to locate an apple orchard on the way down and got lost on old country roads.  What a normal 20 minute ride to Bloomington, took us almost 2 hours.   I did manage to snap one picture on the way down.  Not much color left on the trees, but still it was very pretty out.  Beautiful blue sky, and just enough yellows left on the trees to make us smile.  


Twin Bridges one of the caves that was closed
We did head down to McCormick's Creek on Monday.  Still not enough Color on the trees. We hiked Trail 5, 2 miles.  The paths were covered with leaves, it did not look like anyone had been on the trail for awhile.  We did see some interesting sights along the trail.  It is sad that all the caves are closed due to White Nose Syndrome, which is killing the bats.  We used to take the girls into some of these caves when they were younger, now families can only look at the outside of the caves.  So sad.  

Read about White Nose Syndrome here:  http://www.whitenosesyndrome.org



I'm in front of Wolf Cave.  The yellow sign says the cave is closed and tells about the White Nose Syndrome.


A live tree, Brian is looking through.
I am looking through the tree from the other side.