Sunday, June 26, 2022

Where my mind is these days

Happy Sunday! Hope everyone is having a good weekend. Just thought I'd share some thoughts about where my headspace is these days....

Can you tell where my mind and soul wants to be these days? 
Enjoy your day! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Date Day with the kids: Books, food, and Aureum

Happy Wednesday everyone! Hope you all had a good weekend and beginning to the week! After a crazy week last week, it was nice to have a nice day on Saturday to spend with the kids. The weather was perfect-- high around 70 and no humidity! Just a perfect day. Bill had to work, so I decided to kind of have a date day with the kids. 

Our first stop was the Friends of the Library Book Warehouse where we all found some books to enjoy. 

Then it was off to a lunch out at Wendy's. 

After Wendy's I surprised the kids with tickets to see Aureum which was billed as an ariel and acrobatic adventure tale. The performance was being held at Memorial Theater here in Mount Vernon. 

I wasn't sure what to expect going into it, but figured that Rebecca and I love the arts. The boys would love the acrobatics and ariel routines. I found a coupon code for $20 off each ticket so I was able to get tickets for the upper balcony for only $10 a piece. When we were there, we were able to move down to the lower balcony as there was so few people who were going to the matinee. So basically we got to sit in the $60 a seat places for $10. 

It was an amazing show. The premise is that a time traveler meets the defender of nature's power only to find that power threatened by evil. It is a good versus evil story. It was really entertaining. Here is a short YouTube preview video of the show. If it is ever in your area I would highly recommend it. 


After, we headed to Round Hill Dairy for an ice cream treat. Ben had blue moon ice cream with sprinkles. Rebecca and I had hot fudge sundaes and Jacob had a Reese's Extreme sundae as he loves peanut butter. They were super yummy but super rich. I couldn't finish mine, but Ben had no problem finishing it for me.


Overall, it was a great Saturday spending time with the kids. 

Have you ever seen an arial and acrobatic show? What is your favorite kind of ice cream? 

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Tuesday Four: All About Nighttime!

 Happy Tuesday everyone! Today I have decided to join in with Toni Taddeo's Tuesday 4 hosted by Annie! 

This week it's all nighttime! 

1. Do you have a set bedtime that you stick to? 

I don't really have a set bedtime, but I will say that by 9:00PM I am done! I am in bed and asleep by 10PM most nights. I used to be able to stay up all hours, but lately I get too exhausted. 


2. What kind of sleep attire do you prefer and why is that?

I typically sleep in a sleeveless nightgown or a tank top and capri pj pants. I can't have sleeves, unless it is in the winter and then it is short sleeves as I get too hot with sleeves. 

3. Do you have a nighttime routine before bed?   Wash.. brush teeth.. snack?

I really don't have a set routine when I head to bed. However, once I am in bed I play a few rounds of solitaire on my Kindle. LOL 

4. Quilts? Coverlet? Fluffy comforters? Woolen blankets? What do you need to sleep comfortably?

I have a comforter in a duvet cover and a sheet. During the winter I add a thick blanket in between the sheet and the comforter. I also have to have a fan on all year long. LOL I love a colder bedroom and it drives Bill insane. LOL 

So there are some fun nighttime facts about me. What about you? Come join in on the Tuesday 4 fun if you can! 

Friday, June 17, 2022

Bats?, Derecho wind storm, raccoons and no power!

Happy Friday everyone! 

Whew! What a week!! As my blog title implies, it has been a CRAZY week! So, let's recap....

Monday afternoon, I wrote and scheduled the last blog post for Tuesday 4. I am glad I did because the next 24 hours was CRAZY. 

Monday evening around 7:30ish, Bill and the kids were sitting at the kitchen table playing Uno. I was sitting in the living room reading something on my phone when I heard a big plop of something in our fireplace. I asked Bill to look to see what it was. I looked in and saw a clump of dirt/mud on the grate that you place logs on. So, I had Bill move the grate to see if he could get down and look up to see what it was. Well, when he took the flashlight and looked up, he saw an animal face looking down at him. He thought it was a bat, as we had been hearing squealing in the chimney off and on for a while and we had a bat in the house a while ago. He called the non-emergency police line to see if we could get a hold of animal control after hours. Well, I took the kids to Walmart while Bill dealt with the cops. They did not see a bat but suggested we block off the hole that we found. So, Bill stuffed a shirt in the hole and it was dangling in the fireplace and he filled in around with steel wool and said we would deal with it in the morning and we went to bed. 

Monday night, around 11:15 we got slammed with a huge storm with tornado like winds, rain, lightning, etc.

Radar from 1st round of storms

We lost power around 11:45ish. The lightning was something I have never seen before ever. It was consistent and constant cloud to ground.

Lightning strikes

This first round lasted about an hour and a half. Then another round with similar features started around 3ish, and then again around 4:30AM. It was insane and felt like we were living in a hurricane. On Wednesday it was confirmed that we experienced a derecho. 

According to the National Weather Service,  derecho (pronounced similar to "deh-REY-cho") is a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. Although a derecho can produce destruction similar to the strength of tornadoes, the damage typically is directed in one direction along a relatively straight swath. As a result, the term "straight-line wind damage" sometimes is used to describe derecho damage. By definition, if the wind damage swath extends more than 240 miles (about 400 kilometers) and includes wind gusts of at least 58 mph (93 km/h) or greater along most of its length, then the event may be classified as a derecho. It was a wicked storm. 

Tuesday morning we awoke hot and with no power still. Tuesday was hot and humid and gross. When I came downstairs, the first thing I noticed was that the shirt that Bill had stuffed into the hole in the fireplace was gone. I texted Bill to see if he had moved it. He said no. I took the flashlight and looked up in the fireplace and saw it had been pulled up into the hole. Then I saw a grayish pointy nose stick out. Um! That would be a nope! I called animal control and couldn't get through to them. So I called the non-emergency number for the police and they came out and the officer looked into it and said it was a raccoon. Ughh. He got a hold of animal control, but because it wasn't in the house (it was up in the chimney) they wouldn't come out. He called ODNR for me and they gave him the name of 3 trappers who could come out and trap them and charge me around $400-$500 to do so. I called our landlord as we also had a roof leak from the storms the night before. He came out and said he would take care of the raccoon. He sprayed some kind of repellant up into the chimney and placed plywood in front of the fireplace opening. To try to find positives in all of this... the kids nicknamed the raccoon "Bruno" and have been singing the song "We don't talk about Bruno" from the movie Encanto. LOL 

After dealing with that, my focus turned to the storm damage. We still had no power. MOST of county was without power and there were MANY trees and lines down across the county. Amazingly, the only storm stuff we saw around our house was our recycling bin was blown over, and we had a huge branch that is hanging low to the ground in the yard next to us. There were lots of branches and leaves all over the road.

My parent's power got restored in the afternoon. Our power company couldn't give us an estimate as to when it would be back on. More than likely it was going to be a long term outage. I asked my parents if I could move the meat from our full deep freezer over to their deep freeze and if we could stay there until our power came back on. They said sure. So I loaded up all the meat from our deep freeze and took it to their house, where the kids and I stayed the night. As we were pulling into my parent's driveway, I received a text from our power company saying power restoration wasn't expected until midnight Friday night into Saturday. Uggh! 

Wednesday, we were under a high heat advisory with temperatures feeling like 110 outside with oppressive humidity. Thankfully, we hung out at mom and dads, communicated with our landlord who came to spray repellant into the chimney. My sister and her partner came to town to take their dog to the vet and they had birdhouses for the kids to paint and so it was a good day. We all had dinner together and despite the heat and stress it was a good day. Rebecca went home with my sister and Cecilia to spend the night and swim in their apartments pool. 

Late Wednesday night, we got a text that our power might be on and to text our power company if it wasn't. Well I wasn't home to check, so I texted our neighbor. She was at work, but texted me later that yes power was on as she had come home on her break to check on her dog.

Thursday, Bill had a doctor's appointment and had to get new tires put on my van. When he returned to my parents, he confirmed that power was on and that our house was cooled back down. So we headed home so I could clean out the fridge and upright freezer. We lost a lot of food in our fridge and things like French fries in our freezer, but thankfully we were able to save almost all of our meat! (We will pick it up at my parents on Father's Day to bring back home. I didn't take it home with me yesterday as we were supposed to have more severe storms that day-- thankfully we didn't.)

Today, I went to Aldi to restock our fridge and figure out dinners for the next couple nights. We are blessed that we didn't lose our meats and only needed to replace things like milk, cheeses, eggs, condiments, lunch meat, etc. It was still an expensive trip ($170+) but I am thinking how much more expensive it would have been if I had to buy all new meat. 

I am trying to find the bits of thankfulness in this week. I am thankful that no one got bit or attacked by the raccoon(s) we had in the chimney and that hopefully the problem has been taken care of. I am thankful that my parents had power and we were able to save our meat. I am thankful that our power was restored earlier than estimated. I am thankful that the damage around our house wasn't worse. I am thankful that stores have power today and I was able to get groceries. I am thankful that the kids were pretty well behaved with all the craziness and they were able to keep themselves busy. Ben was thrilled to experiment with a slinky and a flashlight! LOL 


So overall it was a crazy week! I was glad to be back at home in my own bed last night and I got the best sleep I had gotten all week. think the kids are happy to be home. I am hoping the next week is a little less crazy!    

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Tuesday 4: All about Summer

Happy Tuesday everyone! Today I have decided to join in with Toni Taddeo's Tuesday 4 hosted by Annie! 

This week it's all about Summertime and since summer weather is hitting full force this week here, I thought this would be the perfect time to join in.

1. What gave you the most fun in summer as a kid or as an adult?

Well, summers as a kid meant riding bikes around the neighborhood, getting freeze pops from the corner store and playing outside from after breakfast until it got too dark to see. I loved riding my bike with my dad and brother to the governor's mansion in Ohio and then down to the library to get books to get lost in (Babysitter Club books were a favorite!). We really didn't take any vacations until I was older, but I remember that first time we went to the ocean, we went to Lewes, Delaware because my dad read about it in a magazine as being an inexpensive place to see the ocean. 

Now as an adult, I have a love/hate relationship with summer. I love Summer because it means we can do things with the kids. I hate summer due to the lack of routine at times and the heat! 

2. Does summer heat get to you? How do you cope?

It is funny, the heat used to not really get to me. Did I like it? No, but I could deal with it. Now, I can't deal with humidity at all and heat is awful for me. I tend to want to stay in the air conditioning or in front of a fan or both. 

3. Do you have summertime foods and drinks you really enjoy eating?   Does your menu change in summer?

We eat more salads in the summer for our main course. I tend to not make heavy meals, but lighter ones like hot dogs, chips and fruit or subs and raw veggies. I really only eat ice cream in the summer, unlike my husband and kids who would eat it year round. I love going to local ice cream shops. In fact, yesterday the kids and I met up with a friend and her kids for our annual after school is out ice cream date!

Lemon-Raspberry! So yummy! 


4. Do you enjoy sitting outside or on the porch in summertime?  How about some photos of where you enjoy being in summer.

I do enjoy sitting outside on a porch or deck as long as there is some shade and a nice breeze. If it is hot and humid, not so much. I don't mind sitting on the deck of my parent's house in their backyard as it looks toward woods. My all time favorite place to spend time outside in the summer is the beach of Emerald Isle, North Carolina. I am only lucky enough to go every few years but it is by far my favorite place to sit outside. 

Hope everyone is having a good Tuesday! Come join in on the Tuesday 4 fun if you can! 

Monday, June 13, 2022

Farm Markets, Cleaning/Decluttering, and Baking

 Happy Monday everyone! Whew, I think I need another weekend for my Monday. LOL. This weekend was busy but good. I feel like I got a lot accomplished. 

On Saturday, Rebecca and I went to our town's Saturday morning farmer's market on the square. Then we went about a mile down the road to Miller's Farm Market that is only open during the Summer as well. We got lots of yumminess at both. 

After we got home, Bill let to go to work. I had a couple projects that I needed to do this weekend. One of which was clean out the "closet of doom" off the upstairs bathroom. The main reason for this was so that we could get to the window air conditioners. This week we are supposed to get the heat dome that is coming across the USA. We are supposed to have temperatures in the high 90s. It took me longer than normal to clean as I am still battling fatigue and back and shoulder soreness due to the long term COVID issues that I have. But I got it done and I got 5 bags of donations out of there, and 1 bag of trash. All of our toiletries and such are organized, and Bill was able to get the a/c units out and installed today after he got home from work. I was super excited to declutter as that is a major goal that I have for this summer! 

Before-- looking in from the bathroom

Before- in the closet on the left side

After- looking in from the bathroom

After- the shelf

Saturday night for dinner, I made a huge salad with some of the fresh veggies we bought, and we had the sourdough bread with it and it was all very yummy! While we ate dinner, I also had the first of the season zucchini bread in the oven. 

Sunday, we went to church where Rebecca cantered and did a lovely job. Then it was back home to get some more things done. First thing was laundry. It is always laundry. After making lunch and some brownies, I then decided to attack our downstairs coat closet. The coat closet has been bothering me a lot lately as things were just thrown in it and every time we need the toolbox or something things fall while we are trying to get things out. It was annoying me. I got that all cleaned out and pulled out 4 winter coats to donate that were too small for the boys. I also was able to throw out several pairs of Bill's old tennis shoes that had holes in them. 

Coat Closet Before

Coat Closet after

By the time I was done, I was done. My shoulders and back hurt and I needed to sit for a while to regain my strength. I put a turkey tenderloin in our air fryer and roasted it in there and it was super yummy. The kids all loved it. I served it with stuffing and roasted green beans (that we bought Saturday at the farmer's market). 

I have a busy week on tap, including taking Rebecca to a swim lesson, meeting up with a friend for our annual end of the school year ice cream visit, and taking the kids to several library programs that they signed up, along with the usual weekly things like cleaning, laundry, grocery store, etc. Bill and I are also going to see the comedian Kevin Nealon this week as well for a date night. It is going to be a busy, hot week around here. Busy can be good though. 

How was your weekend? Do you have a busy week coming up? 


Friday, June 10, 2022

10 on the 10th: All about Vacations!

Happy Friday everyone! Today has been a really low key day around here. Bill took our van into the dealer to see why some lights were on and to have them check our a/c. $600+ dollars later the a/c is fixed. Other than that, I took a nap today when I should have been doing some cleaning. Now I am just sitting here listening to the boys fight and enjoying the breezes from outside. After today it is supposed to get hot and muggy. Ugh. Oh well. 

When I thought about what to write about today, I came across a link party that Colletta over at Colletta's Kitchen Sink shared and thought I would join in as it is about a topic that is on my mind. It is originally hosted by Marsha in the Middle. 


 Hosted by 10 on 10th: June! - Marsha in the Middle

 1.  Are you planning to take a vacation anytime soon?  Please share!

Yes. If things go as planned we will going to North Carolina this Summer meeting up with my parents, my niece and nephew, my sister, her partner, my brother and his fiancee. We are all pitching in to rent a beach house right on the beach.

2.  Have you recently gone on vacation?  Tell us all about it!

We haven't been out of the state for a couple of years due to COVID and other factors. We have done a few day trips to the zoo and such. 

3.  What is your favorite way to travel?

I love road trips usually. I have never flown in a plane or taken a train on a trip, so I only know about road trips. 

4.  If money were no object, where would you go and why?

I would go to Australia and Singapore to meet up with friends whom I haven't seen in years. I would also love to go to Alaska. 

5.  Who would be your favorite person (living or dead) to take on vacation?

I love traveling with my husband!

6.  What do you absolutely have to pack when you go on vacation?

Books. I usually take along several physical books (no e-reader books for me!) and on a week long vacation I usually end up going to a bookstore and buying a book there. 

7.  What are your memories of your all time favorite vacation?

The very first time we took the kids to North Carolina and saw a man fishing catch a shark off the beach. Then we went at night to the pier and saw several types of sharks around pier. It was so cool and fascinating. 

8.  Where would you never ever go on vacation and why?

I don't know that there is anywhere that I would not go.   

9.  What is the worst thing you ever experienced on vacation?

Rebecca gets car sick so that is bad. Also, maybe when our brakes blew coming down the mountains when we were in the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee. 

10.  What is the best thing that ever happened to you on vacation?

Being one with the ocean; walking in the water at sunset and sunrise. I am definitely a beach girl. :)


So there you have it. What about you? Been on any vacations recently? Going on vacation? Any places you would recommend? 

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

A visit to the Columbus Zoo

Happy Wednesday everyone! Hope you all are having a good week. I think I am finally starting to get my energy back after our busy weekend. After spending most of the day at my sister's on Saturday, we decided to take the kids and have a family fun day on Sunday. We headed out to the Columbus Zoo for the day. 

It has been a couple of years since we have been to the zoo. I wanted to go partly because Ben has been loving the show "Secrets of the Zoo" on Disney+ that features the animals and workers at the Columbus Zoo. I also wanted to see their new exhibit called "Adventure Cove," which features sea lions and harbor seals. 

We decided when we arrived to buy a family membership for the year, as I can take the kids later in the Summer and meet up with my sister, etc. It also was cheaper to buy a membership than to keep coming each time and paying full price now that my kids are all over age 9 which is considered to pay an adult entrance price for the zoo. 

Our first stop was the new exhibit and it is amazing. They have an underwater tunnel where the sea lions can swim above you and it was so cool.


After, we also saw my favorite animal and the animal that I am slightly obsessed with... a sloth! :) :) :) 

Rebecca had a chance to pet some sting rays. Jacob and Ben were too scared to. 

We enjoyed all the animals. We were glad to see the flamingos were out as they had been in quarantine due to the avian flu that is going around. 

We all loved seeing all the animals. Ben even got me to go into the reptile building to see the snakes, which I really don't like.

We did splurge and got some dipping dots as it was in the upper 80s and HOT! 


We spent most of the day there and according to Bill's walking app, we walked 6+ miles. No wonder I have been sore and exhausted since then. 

It was a really fun day and we are already looking forward to our next trip!  

When is the last time you were at a zoo? What is your favorite zoo animal?