Andywear Plays Again!

andywearpic Andywear.  I love that name.  That’s what our son calls himself online when he is participating in the Extra Life charity event, which he is doing again this year starting tomorrow.  Participants play video games for 24 hours straight and raise money for a children’s hospital.  You can choose which hospital you want to play for and he has chosen Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C.  This is because his brother had a two-week stay there as a baby and Andy himself had to be checked out there as a 2-year-old.

His goal this year is $300.00.  He met his goal last year and hopes to meet it again this year.  My job during his 24 hours of gaming time is to keep him in food, beverages and moral support!

There is a link below to his site where you can read more about it, donate, or watch his game play live if you want.  He is still having some technical issues getting the live feed working, but hopes to have it resolved soon.

Happy gaming, son!  We are proud of you.

Extra Life – Andywear







The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith – Book Review



The Nesting Place, subtitled It Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect To Be Beautiful, is a book about making your house a home no matter what your circumstances are.  I have read Myquillyn’s (The Nester) blog for many years.  This book is a compilation of all of her experience and stories about how she arrived at the conclusion that it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.  Whether you live in a rental home, an apartment, a home that isn’t everything you dreamed, or even if you ARE living in your dream home, she gives tips and tricks for creating an atmosphere that reflects the people who live there.

I will admit that I only started recently believing her philosophy myself and I must say that I am having fun.  It is very freeing to put objects in your home because YOU like them and they bring YOU joy; not because of what other people will think.  I admire her choices and her quirkiness in decorating.  I’m not quite to her level yet, but I’m getting braver!

In the book she proves that you don’t need a lot of money to make your house beautiful and a place that is welcoming for your family.  She uses tree stumps for tables, but she might very well change those out for something else later.  Nothing is static, nor should it be.  She shows that your house should be a reflection of your tastes and your personality, and as those things can change, we can be free to change our decor to reflect our changing tastes.

I found this book enjoyable and informative, and maybe – just maybe – I’ll feel a little more comfortable putting those nail holes in the walls!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Andy and I left Tuesday morning to go to Oxford, Maryland to clean the house that Jerry is building.  This is what we do – he builds ‘em, and his wife and son clean ‘em!  We usually allow three to four days to clean a house but this time we only had two, due to Andy’s work schedule.  It was a very long two days and I’m writing this in a brain fog, but it was also fun.  We play music and generally have a good time while we’re cleaning.

Tuesday was spent cleaning windows, and nothing but windows.  Most windows we clean have the panes between the glass, but this house did not.  The homebuyer chose grids outside of the glass, so each individual pane had to be washed.

Can  you guess how many panes of glass we cleaned Tuesday?  843.  Yes, we counted them.  843 panes to be washed, stickers removed where necessary, sticker adhesive removed where necessary, scraping errant paint spatters where necessary.  I have a sizable bruise on the top of my right leg because as I folded the windows in to clean the outsides, I would rest them on my leg while cleaning them.  After about seven hours of this I got smart and used a drywall bucket to prop the window frames on.

Andy accidentally dropped his razor blade into the commode while he was scraping paint!  He subsequently had to go fishing.




Here is a picture of the front of the house.  Do you see the window directly above Andy’s head? (Andy is standing in the doorway).  Guess how you clean that one?



By taking down the two window pieces, of course.


And putting them back.




The garage is actually in front of the house.  It is a long, narrow lot that the house is on.  There are two sets of steps on the front of the house, one coming from the garage.   There is an archway going from the garage to the house.  Community ordinances dictated that the garage had to be attached to the house.   Speaking of archways…




Jerry built this archway at the top of the steps to give the house a little more character instead of just a straight, square opening.  I really like it.



This is the view from the side of the house, standing under the garage archway.



Gratuitous picture of my handsome, talented husband.  Sorry, couldn’t resist.  *Note my red Tahoe behind him?  Note the water I walked through to get stuff out of the back of it?!


There is a deck off of the upstairs master bedroom.  This is the view from there.  It was pouring rain yesterday when I took this picture, so I didn’t go out on the deck, but you can see the view.



This is a picture of the garage and archway, taken from an upstairs window, through the screen.



I was planning to really pay attention to what I ate this week because we have a 5K coming up Saturday morning, but by night time, I really didn’t care!  Tuesday night we stumbled into Denny’s at 10:00 to finally eat dinner, covered in drywall dust and smelling of Goo Gone.  Last night we went to Golden Corral.  Let’s just say I didn’t make the best choices at either place, but I’m totally okay with that!

Here is the kitchen before cleaning.  We clean the kitchen last because it is our central area to keep cleaning supplies so they’re not scattered throughout the house.  We clean top to bottom (literally – ceiling to floor, top floor to bottom floor).  When the kitchen’s clean, we can collapse!



Here’s the living room.  Andy did a nice job cleaning the wood floor.



And finally, the kitchen after.



Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to take a nap.  *Yawn*  Happy Thursday!

Forever Christmas by Robert Tate Miller – Book Review

foreverchristmas Forever Christmas by Robert Tate Miller is a a wonderful book.  I couldn’t put this book down and read it in a day.  Although the book is not very long, my reason for reading it in a day was because it kept my interest and I couldn’t stop reading until the end.

In Forever Christmas, Andrew Farmer is a successful literary agent who puts his career ahead of his marriage.  Although he loves his wife, he doesn’t realize just how much until he loses her.  He is then divinely given the gift of time, three days, to do things differently but he must also give his wife Beth a very special gift and only has the three days to figure out what that gift should be.

This is a very touching story and I admit that it brought tears to my eyes a couple of times.  The story will make you think about what your priorities are and to treasure every moment.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Always a Parent

Our oldest son is leaving today for a business trip to New Orleans.  Because we don’t get out much, our family pretty much is living vicariously through him right now.  Upon hearing that he was going on this trip,

I said, “Say hey to Emeril and stay away from voodoo huts.”

Our neighbor said, “Make sure to visit the Tabasco museum.”

My sister (his aunt) said, “If you lift your shirt you’ll get beads.”

To which his grandmother (my mother in law) said, “I doubt you’ll get many beads.”

To which Tom (our son) replied, “I accept your challenge.”

And then I wonder why he doesn’t tell us things?!


And I don’t care how old he gets, I still worry.  Here is an excerpt from our texting this morning before his flight.  The writing in green background is me, the white background is our son.


Happy Friday, everyone :)






Happy 51!

I am 51 years old today.  How can I possibly be that age?!  That number does not match at all with how I feel, and I am very thankful that I feel years younger.  We aren’t having any festivities today as it was too difficult to coordinate everyone’s schedule so we have chosen a weekend later in the month, so I’m looking forward to that.  I wanted to share something my sister sent me.   I have printed it out and it lives on my desk and makes me smile.  I hope it makes you smile, too.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to attend the shenanigans!  Have a wonderful Thursday :)


31 days?

October is coming up and that means the 31-day writing challenge begins.  I thought about participating, but for goodness’ sake – it’s a major event if I manage two blog posts on consecutive days!  Happyone would be the one for that – 31 Days of Walking Happiness!  She’s way more consistent than me.

My husband just sent me these pictures.  The ship, El Galeón Andalucía, is on tour and docked where he is working.  It’s a beautiful ship, and HUGE!





I realize the pictures are huge too!

Today was a good day.  I finished work, read a while and then started tackling cleaning the screened porch.  It’s my favorite place but it needs some attention.  Hope your Thursday was a good day, too.

Happy Thursday!




Let’s All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs – Book Review

brave Let’s All Be Brave, Living Life with Everything You Have by Annie F. Downs was an enjoyable read.  I have read the author’s blog for several years now and her book reads much like reading her blog, personal and funny.  She takes you on a journey through her life; times when she has been brave and times when she has not.  She tells about the bravery of others and encourages us to be brave.  Miss Downs writes that being brave takes many forms, big and small.  Your brave will be different from my brave, or as she puts it, your map will be different than my map of where we are going and what we need to do to get there.

At some points I feel she is writing to a younger audience, which she is well-equipped to do, having already written two books for young women and heading college-age groups.  But there is  a bigger message, no matter your age.  You can be brave and do those things that you feel God calling you to do, no matter how big or small.

I felt that Miss Downs was brave herself in writing this book.  It took courage to write some of the personal stories she wrote, sharing her thoughts and feelings so openly in these pages.  All in all, a quick read, but a good read; one that will make you want to be brave and just do whatever it is you feel led to do.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”






Loving This Weather!

I LOVE fall.  It is my favorite season, with winter being the next favorite.  I have been loving the weather the last several days.  I actually closed the house up Sunday night because it got chilly.  Somewhere between using air conditioning and firing up the woodstove is where I like it the best.

Jerry did a lot of yard work this weekend.  Mostly I just watched!  We have had bushes lining the driveway and sidewalk since we moved here 19 years ago, and they were looking pitiful.  We trimmed them up two years ago hoping that it would initiate new growth, but I think they were on their last legs and looked their very worst this year.  All of them but four are gone now and the yard looks so open now.  I’ll admit – Jerry and the boys have been wanting to get rid of those bushes for the last five years and I have been the single holdout because they afforded us a little teensy bit of privacy.   But we’ll figure something else about that; the bushes were awful looking, and even I finally had to admit it!  If I can figure out how to post a video from my phone, I will post pictures that I took.

Work has been interesting.  One of the companies I work for is now splitting into two companies and we were given the option of going with both of them or staying with one or the other.  We were told we would be offered new contracts and to make our decision after that.  It turned out not to be a hard decision.  Of the two companies the current company is splitting into, one company is keeping everything the same as it is now; same people, same pay, etc.   The other company offered us a 40% pay cut.   I could be wrong, but I’m thinking the second company really didn’t want any of us to go with them because I believe they are looking to take the work to India, whereas the other company has told us they were staying U.S. only.  While I was waiting for my contract proposals I was praying for God to help me choose.  Turns out, He did, in a big way!

I have a new book review that I hope to get posted by the end of the week, and fall housecleaning to do.  Oh, who am I kidding?!  I just need to do housecleaning – period – no matter what the season!  I am not an especially good housekeeper :(

Hope you are having a lovely kind-of-fall day.  Happy Tuesday!




Book Review – Time to Choose by Dawn Kazmierzak

This book, Time to Choose, is subtitled Growing Up under Hitler and Watching History Repeat Itself, as that is what the book is about.  I finished this book in three days, it was that good!

The book is written in Hilda Gutwein’s words (Dawn Kazmierzak is her daughter).  Hilda grew up in a rather wealthy family.  Because of ongoing territorial wars, her homeland would change hands several times as she was growing up.  This never really changed their lives dramatically – not until the war came to their front door and they had to leave everything behind.

Hilda’s story is amazing in that through losing everything, from the farm that had been in the family for generations, to literally the clothing on their backs, they never once doubted God and his provision for them.  Because there was lack of media in those days, they were for the most part uninformed about Hitler’s true purposes and watched with confusion as their Jewish friends and neighbors were rounded up and then disappeared.  It is fascinating and horrifying to read these accounts from Hilda’s perspective.

There are points to think about given at the end of each chapter.  While the points seem mainly geared to parents of younger children, they are still good points to think about.  Hilda’s purpose in writing this book and giving the points to think about, was to share her strong prayer that history should not repeat itself in our future generations.  I very highly recommend this book.  It is well written and certainly gives a different perspective into a dark period of history but also gives hope of restoration through faith in God.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”