Saturday, April 21, 2018

Long Time No Post

Hi, all. It sure has been a long time since I posted anything and things have changed.

We are now officially Alabamians! We bought a house in Fairhope AL this winter. We took possession on December 7th. It is in a retirement community. A 3 bedroom, 2 bath double wide, so there is plenty of room for visitors! And...it was fully furnished!

Right now we are back in Unadilla sorting and packing what we will be bringing down to our new home in late summer. Our house in Unadilla is under contract. We should be closing within the next couple of months (no solid date yet). But since our new home is fully furnished we will not be taking much furniture -- just the three pieces my youngest brother, Jon, built for us.

Last summer we got rid of a lot of our possessions -- gave some to family, and donated a bunch to the Youth For Christ organization. They have a perpetual yard sale next to Unatego School, to help raise funds for all their activities for area youth. They came and picked up a pick up truck load and a van load of things. We also auctioned off quite a bit, and still have a few things that will be auctioned off next month.

So, we are still paring down and will be having a large yard/house sale at some point before the closing.

We love our new home down south. And we were toying with the idea of having a camper up north and the house down south, but we have changed our minds. After this summer, we will not be coming up to stay for months on end, but we will be coming up for a vacation (not sure of the length yet, but at least 2 weeks probably). It has just gotten too difficult to travel that far every year and too tough (and costly) to have two homes. We are committing to becoming southern citizens, after all, we have been practicing for years. And our subscription to Southern Living all these years has conditioned us for it, too. hahaha.

The property down there is so much easier to take care of than our Unadilla house. It is a corner lot that is FLAT so it only takes Lynn 10 minutes to mow as opposed to the 2 days it takes to mow the hillsides of Unadilla. And now, I won't have to worry about him mowing the steep bank any more either (whew!)

Lynn has already made a lot of changes to the yard at the new house. When we bought it, it was very grown up around it, untrimmed bushes, out-of-control vines, and a broken down trellis/bench. The woman who owned it couldn't take care of it by herself any more (she was disabled and in her 80s and her husband had passed away.) So, we had some trees removed that were overhanging the house and blocking light from our screened in porch (they call it a Florida Room down there).  That sure opened things up.

He planted a kumquat tree and a satsuma tree, so next year we should have some citrus! Yum!

We have done a little inside work as well and when we return, we will be removing the rest of the carpet (it's so much better for my allergies to not have carpet!) and putting in new flooring throughout the house. We already replaced the carpet (yes, dark green plush carpet) in the bathroom (who DOES that?!?!) with ceramic tile. So, a few small projects to complete when we get home. (yes, now Alabama is "home" and NY is "NY" or "up North.")

We are really enjoying our new home. We're sorry if people are unhappy that we won't be spending summers in NY any more, but Lynn feels so much better physically down south in the warmth than he does up north in the cold. We are looking forward to returning there after our house closing this summer.

We will definitely keep in touch with our family and friends, no matter where we are!


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Friday, October 28, 2016

More Coloring

We have been in Gulf Shores AL for about a week and a half now for this winter. The temperature has been in the 80s most days. Some days are a little too humid for my taste, but that's what air conditioners are for! Less humid and breezy days I enjoy outside, otherwise I am inside most of the time.

But that time does not go to waste, at least as far as I am concerned. I have been coloring more and still making ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) to trade now and then. And crocheting. And reading. And practicing piano. See how all that works out???

I have found some GREAT coloring products from a company called ColorIt!
http://www.colorit.com/  I have four of their coloring books, a set of their gel pens, and I just had the privilege of winning a set of their 72 colored pencils. Each Wednesday they have a live facebook session and they award three prizes each week. I was the third winner last Wednesday and could receive any product of theirs. I chose the pencils since I already had, and loved using, their gel pens. I have since pre-ordered their markers as well.

The prices seemed a bit steep at first, but I bought one of their "bundles" so I could save some money. I could not believe the quality of their coloring books, much more superior to a lot of other books out there. What I like about them: the pages are nice heavy paper. They are well-perforated at the top for easy removal from the book. They have a top spiral which doesn't get in the way if you color the page right in the book. And there is an extra page to put behind the page you are coloring in case of bleed through. Also the pictures are only on one side of the page. I don't get the adult coloring books who print pictures back to back. You either have to decide which of the two you are going to do, or make a copy of one side or the other so you can do both.

What I like about their gel pens: the packaging is superb, coming in a hard box with a magnetic closure with a nice butterfly logo design, then a nice zippered case with all the pens securely stored inside. Also it comes with refills. And all the colors have pretty neat names. When coloring with the pens, they go on smoothly and dry very quickly so I don't smudge the colors like I have in the past with other pens. Nothing like getting a picture almost done and you smudge something! Grrr. Then you either have to toss it, or try to cover it up. Not fun.

I just got through doing a coloring page with their pencils, which also come in the great packaging (no refills -- but a pencil sharpener!) and here's what I like about them: they color very smoothly no matter how much pressure you use (heavy and dark or light and soft), they blend easily, and they sharpen nicely. I hate when the leads break on other pencils when you sharpen them, so much waste! They also have nice color names, and are numbered as well. They are grouped nicely in color batches in the zippered pouch.

A wonderful company I am happy to have found. You can order directly from them or from amazon. I have done both. So, here's the coloring page from Bible Blessings & Promises I did using the ColorIt! pencils.

and here is the latest Food Network magazine coloring contest entry I did using gel pens:

and the latest coloring contest entry for Dover Publications "Harvest Hues" from Midnight Gardens book:

and a couple more I did recently
So much fun!!!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Coloring

Yes, I admit it, I love to color and I have gone a little crazy with the number of coloring books I have bought, not to mention all the free coloring pages I have downloaded!

But, what can I say? It's relaxing to me. I love to choose all the colors and decide whether I am going to use alcohol markers, Sharpies, colored pencils, gel pens, metallic markers or pens, glitter pens, glaze pens, etc. The possibilities are endless. Not to mention the crayons -- regular, glitter, metallic, neon. Wow. What fun.

And to make it even more interesting, I entered a coloring contest with Dover Publications and actually won first place in the 18+ division! My prize was a box of brush markers from Faber-Castell. They are very nice to work with. Here is the winning entry:



And here are the rest of the pages I have colored so far...




Saturday, February 20, 2016

Remember me?

Hello, blog... remember me? I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't! It's been almost 2 years since I made an entry. Wow.

So, highlights since 2014?

July 2014 my son, Ben Serrao, and Olive Landon, were married. I call her my daughter-in-love because she is so wonderful and simply perfect for my son as he is for her. We are truly blessed to have her (and her fabulous family) in our family!

August 2014 my oldest niece, Lisa Serrao, and Jason Pomeroy were married. It was a beautiful ceremony, and they are also perfect for one another!

Sadly my Dad, Manuel (Manny) Serrao passed away on June 1, 2015. He was not a perfect man (there was only ever one of those!) but he was my Dad and I loved him, love him still, and miss him tremendously. My Mom is doing pretty well. She is a strong woman and won't always say how she is feeling, but she will make it through. As she says, it's her new reality and she needs to just take one step at a time.

I just know the thought of me becoming a widow terrifies me, so I am in awe of how she is handling it.

The winter of 2014 I took voice lessons in Gulf Shores AL from Kayla Dowling who it the most talented pianist I have ever known personally. And she is a GREAT teacher. I learned more about singing in the first hour lesson than I ever knew in my life prior to that. And I can now hit high notes I never had a prayer of reaching before, simply because she taught me how.

After my first lesson she asked if I would like to sing with the choir at the Gulf Shores Presbyterian church, and of course, I said yes! So I sing with them each winter now and I am thoroughly loving it! I sang with a women's barbershop group the previous year, but that is not my style of singing ... but worship songs and hymns sure are. I love making a joyful noise unto the Lord. 

This year during the winter I have been taking piano lessons! Yes, you heard me right, piano lessons! At my age! Again, from Kayla. I am so enjoying it, even the practicing of it. I just love learning more about music. I am finally beginning to read it well and each lesson I learn more and more about rhythm and counting and all that good stuff. It sure is like a foreign language, though. It has helped me in my singing as well. And I am hoping it will help me with learning the violin. I am so excited about doing this. I can hardly wait to show people back home what I have learned!

I am sure there are other highlights that will come to me after I post this and I will wonder why I didn't think of them before that. 

That's it for now, and I promise I won't go so long without checking in again! I guess since I am posting things on facebook a lot, that I forget about my blog... sigh. Poor neglected thing... 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Protein Shakes

This is what I have been "eating" this week:

as well as the vanilla. Sometimes mixed with banana and peanut butter and made with 2% milk. I am trying to clean out my body so I can get to the point where I can "start over" with sensible eating choices: fresh fish, more fruits and veggies and a whole lot less processed carbs. So far, it has been much easier than I expected and I am already feeling so much better. Less bloating, fewer aches and pains, and moving more easily. I am also studying the best foods I need to be eating to become healthier as I reintroduce solid foods.