Journey

Last week I was in New Orleans for a work conference spending my days in sessions with titles such as, “Infor AP Automation  ” and  “Building Consolidated Financials with Lawson Business Intelligence “.    Our diligence in getting through the long days of information overload were rewarded in the evenings with vendor cocktail parties and good food.  Think oysters on the half shell, gator bites and of course beignets.  The highlight of the week was a concert by the group Journey.  Although I had always liked Journey, I was not overly excited for this concert because I was really a Steve Perry fan and knew he was not the lead singer with Journey these days.   Boy was I in for a nice surprise.

Band

After Steve Perry left Journey in 1998, the group went through several lead singers but never felt they had found a perfect fit for their band.  In 2007 Journey’s lead guitarist Neal Schon, saw a UTube video of Arnel Pineda performing cover songs by bands such as Journey, Aerosmith, and the Eagles.  Neal contacted the person who had uploaded the videos to UTube in an effort to reach Arnel who was living in the Philippines.  Neal emailed Arnel who dismissed the email as a hoax but eventually responded after being encouraged by friends.  Shortly thereafter, Arnel flew to San Fransisco for a 2 day audition and the rest is history.

Arnel

Arnel Pineda has a powerful and emotional voice that fits perfectly with this classic rock band.  He has mentioned in an interview that he knows the fans are hearing Steve Perry when he sings but he does not care because he is so honored and thankful for having this opportunity.

Piano

Besides hearing all the old Journey favorites, Don’t Stop Believing, Faithfully, and Open Arms just to name a few, Neal Schon, Journey’s lead guitarist played a guitar solo of the Star Spangled Banner that was lump-in-the-throat incredible.   This band had a concert hall full of geeky software types on their feet, clapping, cheering and singing.

Lead-guitar

I absolutely loved this concert and will definitely go see them again if I get the opportunity.  Until then I am just loading up the itunes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Fall Y’all!

OK, so I am a week or so early.  The official autumnal equinox does not happen until September 22 at 9:29 pm CDT.  That means September 23 is the actual first day of fall.  However, the temperature here in Lee’s Summit, Missouri today is not suppose to reach 60 degrees and that feels like fall to me.  I LOVE IT!!!  I have written about my love for fall several times on this blog.  You can see those post here, here, here and here.

There are so many things about fall that make me happy, like the first batch of chili for the season.   I put it in the crock pot this morning and it made the house smell so good!   I might have had to sneak a little for lunch.

chili

This time of year, I light a candle on my desk everyday.  Sometimes it is small things that make you smile.

candle

I love pulling out the quilt for tv watching.

blsnket

And I really love it when the kitty needs to warm up on my lap.  This blanket is definitely a cat magnet.

kitty-on-a-blanket

I am hoping to get some fall decorating done this weekend before I head out Sunday to New Orleans for work.  The forecast there for next week is high 80″s with high humidity, not looking forward to that!

Happy Weekend everyone!

Everything Old is New Again

For the past year or so I have noticed a surge in the popularity of gold and brass accents.

brass-kitchen 1

kitchen-sink

Morgan-Harrison

I have literally spent the last ten years trying to replace the gold and brass accents that we purposely selected when we built this house in 1997.  We have had (and still do in a few cases) brass fans, brass door handles, brass cabinet pulls and even brass bathroom fixtures.  Now I am reading about designers frequenting thrift stores to find these trendy brass items.

Here is another new trend, according to HGTV, “wallpaper is back in a big way. We can’t get enough of its room-transforming, style-defining powers.”

The only “room-transforming power” I have experienced with wall paper is the ripping of drywall as I spent hours steaming, scrapping and cursing trying to get it off the walls.

And now for the icing on the cake, I have been trying to talk the hubby into painting my oak stained kitchen cabinets white for the last couple of years.  Recently I read over at Centasational Girl that “natural and stained wood cabinets in the kitchen are surging in popularity and it’s to be expected, how can you deny the warmth of wood in the home?”

What have I learned from all of this?  Obviously,  I am on the cutting edge of design…..years ahead of my time (about 17 to be exact).   Oh, another thing, I am heading to the thrift store to scalp a few bathroom fixtures and door pulls!

 

 

ABC Dinner Club Update

The ABC Dinner Club ventured out for the letter “O” this week, click here to find out where this fifteenth edition of the club took us!  Here is a hint!

doors

Chicken and Orzo Soup|Best Snickerdoodle Cookies

It is no secret that I love soup.  I have shared several soup recipes with you before including Black Bean, Cheddar Ale and Chicken Noodle Soup.   I especially like soup in the fall and winter but I eat it all year long. Last week while in Omaha I ate lunch at our company cafeteria and had a bowl of chicken and rice soup.   Although the taste was not bad, it was more chicken broth with just a hint of rice, chicken and vegetables. I like thick soup, almost stew like.   I knew I could do a better job.    I started by sauteing onion, celery, garlic and carrots in olive oil until the vegetables were soft.  I added chicken broth, a diced chicken breast and some orzo.  Now this is what I am talking about!  YUM!

Chicken-and-Orzo-finished

I have included the recipe at the end of this post.  This past week I also came across an updated recipe for snickerdoodle cookies that were soft and so, so good.  If you like snickerdoodle cookies, do yourself a favor and make these cookies.

snickerdoodle2

This recipe is from Sally’s Baking Addiction.  I have made several of her recipes and have never been disappointed.  Click here for the best Soft & Thick Snickerdoodles Cookies you will ever eat!

Chicken and Orzo Soup

2 T olive oil
1/2 cup carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1 clove minced garlic
48 oz chicken broth
1 chicken breast, cooked and diced
1/2 cup orzo
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Saute the carrots, celery, onion and garlic in the olive oil until the vegetables are soft.
  2. Add the chicken broth, chicken and orzo.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the orzo is soft, about 20 minutes.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.

Sharing with Rattlebridge Farm Food Friday

 

Picture a Day | Week 1

There are two recurring themes in every book or article I read about improving your photography skills and that is to take your camera everywhere you go and practice, practice, practice. There is a community out there in blog land called The 365 Project where people with a passion for photography hone their skills and document otherwise forgotten moments in their life by committing to take a picture a day for a year.  Someday I would love to do that, but at this time in my life I have too many other responsibilities, priorities, interest, etc to take that on.  However,  I think I can commit to a picture a day for a week and then who knows, maybe I can do additional weeks in the future.  Even a week of focused picture taking will help me improve my skills.  My goal is not to search out amazing subjects but to take pictures of everyday items and/or activities in my life, working on the lighting and composition provided at the moment.

Here are the results of my first week.

Saturday, Aug 2, 2014 – a lazy morning sipping Pomegranate Tea and reading the paper on the patio.

2-Breakfast-on-the-patio

Sunday, Aug 3, 2014 – Afternoon walk on Waterfall Trail.

3-Walk-on-Waterfall-Trail

Monday, Aug 4, 2014 – Dinner.

4-Monday-Dinner

Tuesday, Aug 5, 2014 – Relaxing on the sidewalk.

5--Tues-nap-on-the-porch

Wednesday, Aug 6 – Driving in the Rain.

6-Wed - Glorius-Rain

Thursday, Aug 7 – Happy Anniversary to us!

Sparkling-Zin-2

Friday, August 8,2014 – Weekend road trip!!!!

8---Weekend-Road-Trip

Have a great weekend!

Linking to Hymns and Verses Find your voice Friday #1

 

 

Bits & Pieces #8

1.  In July, my group of girlfriends held yet another shower for one of our children getting married.  It seems all we do these days is talk about upcoming weddings and new babies.  For this shower we had a Mexican fiesta lunch and decorated in the bride’s wedding colors of gray and orange.  So fun!

Roses

fiesta

 

2.  Way back in April, the weekend before my surgery, I updated the upholstery on my favorite rocking chair.  This chair has rocked all of our children to sleep and now has also rocked our little grandson Levi.  In the twenty-five plus years I have owned this chair, this is the fourth time I have recovered it.  I am thinking it will not be the last either!


Rocking-Chair-Reuphol

3.  Dave and I recently were trying to think of ways to organize his growing hat collection and I found this awesome idea on pinterest.  All it took were two curtain rods, 50 curtain rod ring clips and an empty wall in our closet.  He loves that he can see and find his hats so much easier!

Hat-Rack

4.  We had some wonderful family time last week when my daughter and grandson visited from Houston.

Fun-in-KC

5.  Are you ready for some football?????  Thursday night is the Chief’s first pre-season game….so excited for the season to start!

chiefs image

 

Small Gatherings | July | 1st Birthday Party Brunch | Egg Muffin Recipe

My daughter and grandson were visiting from Houston this past week and since Levi recently celebrated his first birthday we decided to throw a small party so we could celebrate with him.    We did not want to interfere with naptime so we thought a brunch would be the perfect time to party.   I had recently seen some party inspiration at the blog Hostess with the Mostess.  If you are ever looking for birthday party, shower or wedding inspiration you must check this site out.  They literally have hundreds of pictures of theme decor and food ideas.  I totally copied this idea for my kitchen chalkboard.

kindra-and-levi

Our menu consisted of:

menu Breakfast-pigs-in-a-blanket

Chicken-and-Waffles

Egg-Muffins

Birthday-Cupcakes

Birthday-cookies

The egg muffin recipe is one of my favorite breakfast items.   I have been making them since my girls were little and they became our traditional breakfast for the first day back at school.   Try them sometime, I promise you will like them!

Savory-Egg-MuffinsLinking to Inspiration Monday Party

 

 

 

Gray Strip Baby Quilt

I have been wanting to try a strip quilt for a long time and when the opportunity arose to make another baby quilt I decided it would be the perfect project.  Strip quilts are often made to use up leftover scraps of fabric since they are just long strips of fabric sewn together.  For this particular quilt I wanted to keep the colors somewhat neutral so I did a little fabric shopping.

fabric

I am a little bit of a fabric hoarder and ALWAYS buy much more than I need for a project.  One can never have too much fabric!  The first thing I did was cut a few strips of each fabric in various widths and started laying them out until I found a pattern I liked.

Laying-out-the-strips

Then I just sewed the strips together.

sewing-strips-together

After I pressed the seams open,  I cut out the backing and low-loft batting and basted all the layers together.

press-seams

basting

The next step was the quilting and binding.  Since I had the time I decided to do the quilting by hand like I did on the Chevron Baby Quilt.  I am far from a perfect quilter but I like the look of handmade quilting and feel like it personalizes the quilt.  Besides that, it gives me an excuse to watch tv without feeling guilty, at least I am being productive at the same time.

on-the-tree

on-the-grass

Every quilt I make becomes my new favorite and this one is not an exception.  I love the neutral colors and it was easy and quick to put together.  This specific quilt I made for my physical therapist Christy that I talked about in this post.  Now I have two more quilts to make in the next two months.  I better get started right now!

Linking to Find your Voice Friday #1

 

 

Physical Therapy

I conservatively estimate that I have been to 120 physical therapy sessions over the past 4 years.  That is 4 surgeries, at 12 weeks of PT each, at an average of 2.5 sessions per week.  So very thankful for good insurance!   Last April I had my final surgery and am now on the countdown to finishing my physical therapy.  Over the years I have heard people complain about how much they disliked physical therapy, how it hurts and how some even quit before they finish their program.  I have to admit that there can be pain involved and sometimes it is not very convenient to take time away from work to attend the sessions.  However,  I have been very fortunate to have great physical therapists who talk me through the exercises and encourage me to keep pushing through any pain I am feeling.  I definitely see the benefits and the progression (albeit slow) it has made in my recovery.

Christy

Christy has been my lead physical therapist through both of my knee replacements.  After my first knee surgery, we spent three months talking about the upcoming birth of my first grandchild.  This past three months we have been talking about the birth of her first baby.

updating the chart

I not sure she will be around for my final two weeks!  Warning, my matching scars are showing in this next pic of me working on the leg press machine.

leg-press

Like my first knee replacement, I am struggling with getting full range of motion in my new knee.  One of the tortures stretches I must complete involves the PT pushing my knee to help it bend more.  This is NOT my favorite exercise.

pushing

I still have hard work in front of me to meet my long term goals, but thanks to Dr. L and my very patient physical therapists(Christy and Lisa) my life has changed dramatically in the last four years.  I can walk around the grocery store and go to the mall without giving it a second thought.  I can walk around our neighborhood or local park for 30 minutes and have plans to walk a 5K next spring for the Arthritis Foundation.  Life is good and getting better each day!

 

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