Thursday, August 11, 2011

Here is how I know God exists

He sends me signs when I ask for them. Let me explain. For the second time in my life when I have asked God for signs to show me the way I should go, he has answered me. The first time is when I (finally) decided that I was no good at choosing the right men in my life, I turned it over to God. And said "okay, God, I give up -- it's up to you to bring the right man into my life. But I am not sure I will know when you do unless you show me a sign. How about when the right man is there you somehow show me a .... turtle." And he DID. When Lynn first invited me to his home he was showing me some travel brochures because that was always his dream -- to travel once he was retired. When he was showing me a brochure on Nova Scotia -- there it was -- a picture of a turtle! And I knew right there and then God had brought me together with the right man.

Now, I have been feeling a calling from God but I have not been able to discern exactly what he is calling me for. I do love to preach, but I do not want to become a minister because I don't want to be told where my church would be, and I don't want to give up traveling in the winter with my husband. So I am happy to continue preaching as a Lay Speaker. So that can't be what he was calling me for. The other idea I had was to start a music ministry because I love to sing, but that is the only musical talent I have -- I can't play any instruments, I can't read music, and I can't conduct music. So, that couldn't be it. Then the idea of holding a weekly Bible Study in my home (once the renovation is done) came to me. So in my prayer journal I asked God to show me a sign if this is what he wanted me to do -- to show me a ... red fox.

On my way home this evening as I came across the bridge off Route 357 and turned towards Unadilla, across the road ran a young ... yes! ... red fox! He crossed the road in front of my car and stopped on the other side of the road -- I looked at him and he looked at me... and I whooped out loud "God, you are so good!!!!" I was so excited!!! So, that is how I know God exists.

Even if nonbelievers think it is merely coincidence, I know it is a God incident! Thank you God for your continued guidance in my life.

Our home renovation continues apace. I awoke this morning to some strange sounds that I could not identify. It turns out it was old shingles sliding down a plywood ramp into the back of a dump truck. There were about five guys on the front roof tearing off shingles. By the end of the day, the front roof was completely re-shingled. I can't seem to get the right angle to get a picture of it though. The back roof will need to wait until the addition is framed up before it can be done as the new roof will join to the old roof. They also started putting the sills on the foundation and have the lumber ready to floor it.

I went to Lowe's today and bought the paint for the bedrooms along with all the assorted paint rollers, brushes, tape, etc. So, you know what I will be doing this weekend. Lynn does the taping and the edging and I do the painting. We have to do the ceilings in both rooms as well. Every day we get closer to our finished product.

Lynn and his friend Jerry went to Empire Farm Days today. They picked the right day -- the weather was beautiful today. And since it was the last day, they got some good deals on hats and t-shirts, etc., because the vendors didn't want to pack them up and take them back home. Plus they got to look at lots of farm equipment. Which they enjoy.

FOOTBALL HAS STARTED! YAY! Only pre-season, I know, but I really enjoy football! The Jets first pre-season game is 8/15, but I can watch other teams until then.

Our church (Unadilla Center) has a Hymn Sing and Ice Cream Social this coming Sunday (14th) at 7 PM. There will be congregational singing interspersed with solos by a Praise Band and various people from the congregation (I am doing "Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee"), with times for requests by those in attendance. And after everyone is invited downstairs for FREE homemade ice cream. I will be making strawberry smoothies. So, if you aren't busy and you love music and ice cream, come on over! We would love to see you.

I am hosting an AARP Create The Good House Party on Friday, September 9th at 4 PM to collect paperback books (anything except romances) that will then be mailed to our troops. I haven't gotten all the details yet, but I will be working through Operation Paperback I am excited to get this going. So if you have any paperback books you are looking to pass on, please let me know and we will figure out how to get them to me so I can get them sent out.

Lots going on right now. I'm loving life!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A good day

This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 (NIV) This has been a good day. I spent most of it working on my newest hobby -- making earrings. I am making some Christmas themed ones to sell at the fall craft show at the Sidney Elks (November sometime). I am going to sell them for $5 a pair. I find it very fun and relaxing to work with beads for some reason. Even when I drop them more than once I still seem to enjoy it. Maybe because you see the end results so quickly.

I order a lot of my beading components from and -- they both have good prices and fast shipping. Fire Mountain Gems has more "elite" stuff than Sunshine Discount Crafts, but Sunshine Crafts has more of your basic crafting materials. And both sites, if you subscribe to their emails, send you great offers for sales and discounts, etc. I have been happy with both companies.

Lynn is back to his old self (old, not as in age, but as in previous) again. I am so glad he is feeling better. I don't like it when he is sick. He was out mowing lawn for part of the day and he grilled some awesome(ly hot) chicken wings on the grill as well as a yellow squash/onion/fresh garlic concoction I put together. Very yummy indeed!

Our house renovation is going great guns. The slab got poured today in the foundation for the addition. All the wall board is up and taped in the bedrooms, dining area, laundry closet and kitchen. Our contractor said the bedrooms would be all ready to paint after they leave on Friday. I told him I wanted to do all the painting (I know, crazy huh? But I really enjoy painting!). He thought it would be better if I got it done before they put the mop boards and the heaters back on the walls and also before they put the hard wood floors down. Who am I to argue with him -- he sure knows a lot more about this construction stuff than I do!

Things are coming together quite nicely. I am very excited to see the end result. Stay tuned, and you too, can see our "new home" taking shape.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Missed a day...

Well, didn't find a time to blog yesterday. Lynn slept ALL DAY on Sunday, and he was pretty cautious about eating yesterday as well. But today he is finally beginning to feel like himself again. We have talked to a couple of other people who apparently had the same bug that lasted about a day and half for them too. Sure glad I didn't get it!

The work on the house progresses rapidly. Yesterday they had the footers for the new addition in and today they put up the blocks. Amazing. They have put up the wall board and got it all spackled in the bedrooms, the kitchen, and the dining area. Our kitchen cabinets are supposed to be delivered a week from today. I am really looking forward to seeing them put in. Then we will have the counter top guy come and make templates so he can get the granite cut.

This morning around 7:15 I was thinking about getting up but had talked myself out of it, until I heard the rumbling of a very large sounding vehicle and then the beep beep beep of a large vehicle backing up. It was a huge truck from Oneonta Block with all the blocks on the back. And yep, he managed to back up into the back yard with that load. And as I said, they got all the blocks laid today. It is quite fascinating to watch professionals do what they do. I am in awe of people who can do any kind of construction work. God has given everyone talents, but building construction is definitely not one of mine. I could probably crochet you a house, or make one out of plastic canvas, or maybe bead one, but I could never build one!

My brother, Dan, and his wife, Patti, stopped to see us and take a tour of our ongoing project. It's fun for people to see the progress in real time in real space instead of just through the pictures. And our contractor seems to be pretty patient with things like that.

Lynn took a couple pictures this morning and I took some more this afternoon that I will post on facebook.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


A gloomy, overcast day... much like Lynn himself today -- he has some kind of stomach bug that started last night. I went to church without him this morning and then had to stay for an Administrative Board meeting after services (I'm the Secretary), and he was still sleeping when I got home. That is not like him at all, but he had a pretty tough night of it. I sure hope it's a short-lived illness.

I am taking an online course right now. I would be a career student if I could afford it. Well, I could afford it if it were free like this course. It's United Methodism 101: An Introduction to the United Methodist Church. Yeah, I know, I have been a baptized Methodist for a few years now, and have attended the Annual Conference for years as well, but that doesn't mean I know what it's all about. So, I am taking this course so I will have a good general overview. Plus it satisfies my craving for continuing education. I am also signed up for Four Areas of Focus -- which outlines the focus areas for the United Methodist Church: Leadership Development, Church Growth, Ministry with the Poor and Global Health.

Lynn ended up not working at the Elks for the Car Show yesterday because they had so many people there to help that he wasn't needed. And he is not one to stand around doing nothing, so he went up to the Unadilla Rod & Gun Club instead and helped out there. There were 14 guys there helping to replace the roof and Lynn and a couple of other guys got a meal ready for them for when they were done. They fortunately had started the roofing at 6:30 AM so they had just finished when it started raining at 12:30 or so. Good timing!

We now have a third pond on our property.... it rained into our new foundation hole. Hopefully they can do something about that before the mason gets started tomorrow.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Another successful coupon-ing trip

Just returned from Price Chopper where I spent $17.42 but saved $13.68 ($5.57 Advantedge Savings + $8.11 coupon savings) plus I earned another 10 cents off per gallon of fuel for a total of 70 cents off. Everything I bought was on sale and I used a coupon for everything as well.

Some of the bargains include three items that were from bonus coupons I receive each week for signing up for Price Choppers emails: 88 cents for 1 pound Green Giant baby carrots; 50 cents for store brand rotini primavera; $2 for store brand mayo. I also bought a 1/2 gallon of Smart Balance milk that was on sale for $2.99 and I had a 75 cent coupon which Price Chopper doubles, so it cost me $1.49 which is 50 cents cheaper than the store brand of milk for the same size. Land of Lakes butter with cinnamon (which is fantastic on baked sweet potatoes or on toast) was on sale for $2 and I had a 75 cent coupon for that which they also double, so that cost me 50 cents!

Hopefully that will make up for the extra $1 I inadvertently spent on gas this morning. The Quik Fill in Unadilla has older pumps and I didn't realize until I was halfway through pumping gas that I was on the Premium side instead of the Unleaded side, so I was paying 10 cents more per gallon... geez!

It just started raining here and is overcast. For once they were right about the weather report. What other job in the world is there where you can be so consistently wrong and not get fired???

No work crew here today which tells me that they feel they are on schedule to get done on time, so I am not worried about it. As I have said already, I am so impressed with how much work they get done each day, and I am very excited for the end product!

Lynn is working down at the Car Show today at the Elks in Sidney. I hope it is not raining down there as well. The car club has had some bad luck with weather this year. They have gotten rained out of their cruise ins down at the Elks more than once.

Tonight is the inductions for the Football Hall of Fame. NFL network has been interviewing the inductees all this morning, and they will be televising the inductions tonight.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Today we went and priced stackable washers and dryers. There are a lot of choices out there, in a lot of price ranges. Fortunately, Lynn does the research on things like this -- he has the patience, I don't! The top three manufacturers seems to be Bosch, Samsung, and LG. We have considered all three. Also Whirlpool is next in line and that's what we found the best price on so far. We haven't fully decided yet on what to get, but our new laundry closet upstairs (so I don't have to go downstairs to do laundry any more - yay!) is now plumbed and wired all ready and waiting for whatever we get.

I went shopping the other day in the new TJ Maxx in Oneonta in the Southside Mall. I always liked shopping at that store when I lived in Ithaca. They have some great bargains on clothes. I bought three new blouses. I am returning two things I picked up because I don't like the way they look (no, I don't try them on in the store -- I dislike dressing rooms very much!). I decided I was tired of wearing t-shirts all the time so I am getting rid of about 10 of them and slowly replacing them with things a little more dressy. Don't know why. Just feels better I guess.

The home renovations are going very well. I am very impressed with how clean the work area is at the end of every day. Since the dumpster was taken away yesterday, they brought in their own dump truck today for trash. After the rest of the crew had left at the end of the day, our contractor moved the dump truck and then went around and picked up all the scraps that missed the dump truck when they threw trash out the window. Pretty impressive. He had it in his proposal to "remove all waste generated daily. Floors to be broom clean daily," and he has definitely lived up to that. I would recommend him to anyone for any project. Ed Fraizer from Cohen & Frazier Builders.

New York Jets update: The New York Jets have re-signed unrestricted free agent safety Brodney Pool, signed guard Trevor Canfield and tackle Pete Clifford, and waived cornerback Jeremy McGee, guard Tom Ottaiano and tackle Jeff Wills. The announcements were made by general manager Mike Tannenbaum. Yesterday they had released Jerricho Cotchery per his request. I will miss him. He played hard even when battling injuries. Only 10 more days before I can see "my team" play a preseason game. YAY, FOOTBALL IS BACK!!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Great Strides on House Renovations

The contractor and crew (2 guys today) were here again at 7:30 this morning and got right to work. The excavator showed up about a half hour later and started digging away. So now we have a beautiful hole in the back of our house all ready for the footers to be put in for the new addition. It was quite fascinating to watch the backhoe operator do his thing. What finesse! The arm and bucket seemed like an extension of his own arm. The first thing he did was push over the old yew to make way to get to the back lawn. It went over just like a matchstick. Then he "patted" the dirt down level with the scoop. Then he very gently removed our rose bushes and loaded it on the trailer behind Lynn's big old Co-op E3 tractor so we could save the bushes to replant later. As I said, it was fascinating to watch. It didn't take him long to get the hole, all nice and squared up, done.

We made the final decision on where the stove island is going to go in the kitchen area. The contractor laid out some wood on the floor to indicate where it would go, so I could decide the final placement in relation to the sink and fridge. He also needed to know so he could put the overhead pot lights in -- one over each side counter and one over the stove. Also had to decide how the countertop would go in in relation to the window in the dining area. All kinds of details.

We also made a quick change to the size of the open porch section of the new addition, which meant the contractor had to  make a change in the trusses, which fortunately had not been built yet. The hard wood flooring will be delivered tomorrow and the installation will begin on that.

I ordered the handles for the cabinets (37 of them!). We looked at them at Munson's in Oneonta but I told Bob (the guy who helped us design our kitchen) that I had found them cheaper at Lowe's. So he called me yesterday and was able to get me an even lower price, so that will save us almost $16. (hey, every little bit helps...) It pays to ask!!

The only thing we have left to purchase is the vinyl for the floor in the new addition and I think we are going to wait on that until the addition is all framed in, and then we will have someone come out and measure, etc.

Things are progressing quickly. I am so very happy with the work they are doing and very impressed with their progress!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


It is raining, raining, raining and my head is pounding, pounding, pounding. But, we DO need the rain, so I shouldn't complain.

The contractor and his work crew were here bright and early again. Today there is a full crew of about 5 guys. They have torn off the back porch already and have most of the new wiring run and all the walls, carpet, and flooring removed. What a difference no walls makes! It sure looks huge inside now. We are getting so excited about the finished project. I know there is still a lot left to do, but it is fantastic to see the progress so far. The dumpster is full after only three days. Demolition sure makes a lot of garbage, but they are great about cleaning up the work site every night. I am so impressed with their work!

NY Jets made a four year deal with LB David Harris. Coach Rex Ryan says that this is the best roster he has had to work with. Let's hope they have a GREAT season!!!

Went to Oneonta today and paid off the balance for the kitchen cabinets. Now just have to buy all the handles for the cabinets, as soon as I know how many to buy! I have been thinking about paint colors for the kitchen but haven't decided yet. I think I will have to wait until everything is in before making the final decision.  The two different shades I am contemplating are a golden color or a reddish brown color. I will need to see how the counters look once they are in. But that is a little ways down the road right now.

There is a Car Show and Chicken BBQ at the Elks' in Sidney this coming Saturday - August 6th that is open to the public. Lots of vintage cars to see, and a great chicken BBQ. I think the meal price is $9 (1/2 chicken, baked beans, cole slaw, and macaroni salad) and the chicken halves alone are $5. It runs from 9 AM - 3 PM. If you're not doing anything else, come on down!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Coupon Shopping is Awesome

Coupon shopping is the only way to go as far as I am concerned. Went grocery shopping today at Price Chopper in Sidney. They had some special sales where if you bought x number of dollars worth of certain brands you would earn x number of cents off per gallon of gas. Needless to say, with all my coupons, I took advantage of two of the offers: $25 of Unilever products earned 30 cents off per gallon of gas; $10 of Dole products for 10 cents off per gallon. And with the 10 cents off per gallon I already had previous to this plus the additional 10 cents off per gallon I earned on the rest of my groceries today, we are at 60 cents off per gallon. And if I had only known before I checked out, I could have added something worth 21 cents and I would have been up to 70 cents per gallon. Oh well, next time!

The cents off per gallon really comes in handy for Lynn's truck which takes diesel, and you know how much THAT costs now! Plus you can get up to 20 gallons at a time with the discount and my car doesn't hold that much in the tank. But Lynn's truck sure does, and then some!

Anyway, back to the deals. A couple of the best deals I got today were: Wish Bone salad dressings were on sale 2/$3 and I had a $1.50 off two coupon, so they ended up costing only 75 cents a piece; Price Chopper brand nonfat whipped topping was on sale for $1 and I had a 50 cent in store coupon, so that only cost me 50 cents. All in all, I spent $81.32 but SAVED 15 cents for using 5 of my own shopping bags (3 cents a piece off), $35.91 in Advantedge Savings (their store discount card) and $23.75 in manufacturer's coupons (all the less than $1 ones were doubled by Price Chopper). Not bad, eh? I generally don't buy anything unless it is on sale and I have a coupon to go with it. I think I bought only five items for full price today ($6.89) and the rest were sale items plus coupons. Not bad...

Our contractor and his crew sure do get lots of work done in a day. Today they got here at 7:30 AM and are still going strong (it's about 2:30 now) -- not sure when they will call it a day today, but I am sure happy with their work ethic and quantity and quality of their work! I guess they were worth waiting an extra week for to get started.

Lynn went to the Otsego County Fair today. I didn't go because 1) it's too darn hot for me to walk around in the sun with no shade, 2) I needed to get some groceries, and 3) I wanted to be on-call in case the contractor had any questions about how we wanted things done. But Lynn had a good time and saw a lot of people he knows and/or is related to. I am sorry I missed seeing them, but heat and I just do NOT get along very well!

The NY Jets lost WR Brad Smith to Buffalo. Too bad, I always liked him. Still no word on Braylon Edwards that I know of, it's tough to keep up sometimes. I do like the way the NFL network lists the free agency changes, though. They do it as a sidebar one team at a time and show by team logo where they are going for the 2011 season, of if they have not signed, it just shows an NFL logo. Makes it a little easier to follow, at least for me.

I didn't realize this, but according to the NY Jets website: The National Football League has implemented flexible scheduling for the last eight (8) weeks of the 2011 regular season excluding Week 16. For the Jets, games in Weeks 10, 12-15 and 17 are subject to flexible scheduling and may be moved from their original time slot to either 1pm, 4:05, 4:15pm or the NBC Sunday Night Game at 8:20pm. Game times will be confirmed a minimum of 12 days in advance (except in the last week when it may be confirmed six (6) days in advance).

In case you can't tell, I am REALLY looking forward to FOOTBALL SEASON!!!

Last night's First Place 4 Health meeting was good, we have two returning members and two new members to bring our group up to 29 members! God has truly blessed us.

Guess that's all for today....

Monday, August 1, 2011

Oh Happy Day!

I am so excited! The contractor is here today and has gotten started on our house renovations. He and his worker are ripping out all the kitchen cabinets and the carpeting throughout the house. They took out one small window on the end of the house already and are throwing the trash out the window into the conveniently situated dumpster below. It's quite fun watching things come flying out! But you better believe I am using the front door to go in downstairs instead of the side door which is right behind the dumpster.
The contractor explained that he was delayed because one of his best workers "did something stupid" and got hurt and is out of work for six months. Then another worker quit. So he is in the process of trying to find replacements for them and he didn't want to "send just anybody" to work on our project. And he promised they would be here "from now on," so all is forgiven.
Lynn and I went out to breakfast this morning (to Suzie's Bakery in Sidney - yum) and on the way home I prayed that there would be pick up trucks in our driveway, and lo and behold, when we got home, there were two of them. Thank you, God.
I am also happy today because a new session of First Place 4 Health is beginning tonight at the First Baptist Church in Sidney, NY. This is the Bible-based weight management group I have been attending for a few years. It is to help you become a balanced person in 4 areas of your life: spiritual, mental, emotional and physical. So far I have not gotten my weight under control like I would like to, but I have made great strides in the other three areas of my life, so I figure must be God wanted me to get those in line first. Hopefully, the weight part will start to change during this session. What a wonderful group it is, though. I have met some many wonderful people (yes, it is both men and women) from many different religious affiliations and it surely has broadened my understanding of God and his teachings. We are always open to new members, so come join us tonight! We meet each Monday evening at 5:45 pm and are generally done by 7:45 pm. It's an experience like no other you have ever had.
And, I am also excited because FOOTBALL IS BACK! I can't seem to keep from watching either Mike and Mike in The Morning, or NFL network to see what the latest developments are -- especially as they pertain to the NY Jets, of course. It looks like, according to an anonymous source, that the Jets may have re-signed Antonio Cromartie to a four year deal. Since they couldn't get Nnamdi Asomugha to replace him, they kept him on. And it seems they have also re-signed Eric Smith to a three year deal. I just hope they didn't make a mistake when they signed Plaxico Burress to a one year deal, but I guess they only have taken the risk for a short time anyway. It would be great if Plaxico has grown up a little and learned something from his past mistakes off the field. It really astounds me that so many pro athletes can make so many stupid choices, but I guess it all comes down to character in the end, right? If you don't have it before you have money, you probably won't develop it after you make obscene amounts of money.
Well I guess that's all my ramblings for today...
God is good. All the time.