Monday, January 31, 2011

Bird Man Cometh

I love it when the mailman rings my doorbell. It means something is on my porch waiting for me that doesn't fit in the mailbox.

I peeped through the peephole of my door to be sure it wasn't a naked pyschotic man (this happened in my town last week). Seeing no one, I cautiously opened the door and saw the mail truck pulling away.

Yay! There was a package for me. It was an art print I bought off Etsy. Here's where I got it: Skyblu126 Here's where I temporarily "perched" it in my kitchen-family room area.
I like it. It's prettier in person than on the Etsy site.

So what else? I didn't feel well today so I stayed home from all real estate dealings until a friend called to say an ice storm is on it's way and the electric is expected to go out. Having only a few home-baked Ginger Snaps in the house and very little coffee left, I dragged myself to the store and bought oj, bread, and the like. On the way home I stopped at a thrift store and bought a Loft sweater for $3.00. I found this amazing orange and gold dress by Guess for $3.00 but I put it back because I'm too old to wear it. I found an Ann Taylor jacket with fake fur for $3.00 but I put it back too because I started to feel sick again and was too weak to try it on. I grabbed Suze Orman's book "Dare to be Rich" for $1.00. I've always wanted to read it but was always too cheap to buy it.

When I got home the UPS man brought me a new book called the New Christians, The Good News About the End of Christian America, How a New Generation is Restoring the Faith (what a ridiculously long title!) by Gabe Lyons.

Some birds have finally started coming around to my seed piles. Mostly junkos. A swarm of house wrens were here today. A pair of cardinals came too but left after 10 minutes. The squirrels are such pigs, it's amazing to watch them stuff their faces silly. I forgot to pick up seed from the store, so, sorry'll be disappointed tomorrow.

To Da Lou

Friday, January 28, 2011

Looking for Lassie

I want one of these. I'm trying to find one from a rescue, but the only ones so far are on their last leg (thus a rescue need) or they are adopted before I can contact the rescue.

If you know of a Rough Coat Collie who needs a home, please contact me. I will drive far, far away to get one. I would prefer a neutared male.

My Welsh Corgi, Princess, died a year ago. So I'm ready now for a big, furry dog and I always wanted a Lassie Dog. I don't want a Sheltie, they aren't Collies, they're a different breed all together.

My first 16 years of life I had a Border Collie, named Boots for her four white paws.. Then I got a German Shephard-Collie mix from the pound and had Zeke for 15 years. However, I'm convinced Zeke was actually an English Shephard. There is an English Shephard breeder northeast of Columbus. Then I had the Corgi for 14 years. So, now, I'm searching for my own Lassie, and I plan to name him King when I get him.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mister, Have you Seen My Birds?

Where have the birds gone? I put out piles of seed in several spots. The suet hangs unvisited. Only the fat squirrel has come to feast. I think that's who ate all the cranberries. I keep looking. I keep listening. I don't see a bird or hear a bird outside at all. I did see a hawk in the sky about 3 miles from here. Geese go honking by overhead.

I have had food out for the little darlings for days and days! Where could they be?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Book Review - Lady In Waiting

Lady in Waiting
A Novel,
Written by Susan Meissner, ISBN: 9780307458834

Romance novels aren't my bag. Yet, I read Lady in Waiting in just a few days. I would recommend the book, but with the caveat that it's light reading, and light entertainment. I also expected it to be more "Christian" than it is. The only "Christian" identification I found in the book is that it doesn't contain provocative language or situations. In comparison to say, Francine Rivers' book, "Redeeming Love," "Lady in Waiting" is not a book that introduces you to Jesus nor leaves you pondering the goodness of God. But, hey, nothing wrong with an entertaining, interesting, and clean read! And it was a fun read. I have no problem recommending the book to lovers of fiction, Protestant or Catholic, or no religion at all.

Lady in Waiting isn't just a story inside a story. It's two stories of two women who share the name Jane and the same small ring inscribed with their name. Modern Jane lives in Manhattan, an antique shop manager. In the midst of a sudden marriage crisis she finds the 16th century ring hidden inside a small antique Protestant prayer book. Jane Grey is the 16th century Jane, who was given the ring by a suitor. Historically known as the Nine Days Queen of England, Jane Grey's story is told from her dressmaker's viewpoint. The characters are believable and I really enjoyed the details of modern living in downtown Manhattan, as well as the historical details of English royal life during the tumultuous religious/political period of the 1500's.

I've enjoyed that feeling that antiques give us, a touching in the present something used by those in the past. This novel perfectly conveys that romantic fancy.

You can view a video of the trailer below and scroll further down to read the first four chapters. Also you can buy the book at these online retail places:

I received the book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah for review. I didn't have to give a favorable review in exchange for the book.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Horse People and House Hunting

Yesterday was tundra-type weather here. Mr. Seriously Though came along on my job of showing people houses. I was so happy to have him as the driver. I sat in the back seat with the wife. and her husband sat in the front with my husband. Our tour of homes was a 150 mile round trip of 6 HUD homes. HUD homes are repossessed homes owned by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. This meant, no utilities on at any of the homes. It was a cold 4 1/2 hours.

One of the properties had 5 acres a house and two barns. We went into the house, which is a completely worn out and tattered double-wide placed on top of a basement. The basement walls were caving in, but held up securely by well-positioned steel I-beams all around the basement. It is a truly crappy house.

We walk through the snow out to the barn and I unlock the barn entrance. We step inside. Here's where you would hear angels singing and see golden rays of light beams coming down from heaven. The barn is awesome. It has 6 horse stalls made of beautiful hardwood planking and iron bars. A real tackroom. The pastures were already fenced in with wooden horse fencing, and the riding arena has massive lighting installed for night-time riding. With just a little adjustment, the barn is large enough for an in-door riding arena.

I didn't tell the buyers what I was thinking and feeling, but I was drooling. I hoped they didn't want it, because I wanted it. I glanced at Mr. S T as we stood in the barn. He was quietly looking at the tresses, the stalls, the tack room, and I could see something in his eyes. No words spoken.

Over pizza and coffee with the buyers, the husband tells us he really likes the property with the barn, but he doesn't wish to go into debt over the house. He knows nothing about horses. He wouldn't know what to do with that hay field. I told him he could rent it out to a horse trainer and have a little income off the property. No, he says, he hates debt more than he likes the property.

Sunday morning while I sip my first cup of coffee Mr. S T says to me in very serious voice, "we need to talk." I look up at him and he says, "I didnt want to say anything just in case the buyers wanted the property. Since they don't, I can tell you now. I want to buy that land and barn. Can you live in that dump of a house?" I answer, "I would probably live in the barn mostly and just sleep in the dumpy house, so yes, I could live there"

We go to church. The usher at the door is a fellow horse person. I excitedly told her that we had found some land and a gorgeous horse barn. Wow, she says. I tell her the house is a dump, to which she responds, "so." ?? Then she laughed, and said, "who needs a house anyway when you've got a great barn?

Horse folk are so interesting.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Old Football Wounds-written a few days ago.

Pittsburgh Steelers won today in a very exciting game to the very end. I was fascinated with the Steelers when I was very young, say, age 8-14. They were fun to watch and I liked their "image" of bad boys. Then I went to school in Cincy and went to a lot of Bengal games for free. I never really became a fan of the Bengals, but I really enjoy NFL. I did go to a playoff game of the Bengals back in the early 80's and this was back when it wasn't uncommon for players to get arrested for cocaine use. There were so many huge fist fights on the field then. The cameras never showed those big fist fights on the field, but being in the stadium we had great seats for the mayhem.

When I moved back to Columbus from Cincy I met my husband and he was an avid Browns fan. I told him I favored the Steelers and this towering 6'4" man glared down at my little 5'2" self with disgust. My husband, who was just a date at the time, bellowed, "what?! only an idiot would be a Steelers fan. Steelers fans are evil." On and on he goes, or something like that. I said, "well, I found the team exciting in the 70's and I just kind of stayed a fan." "Oh, you liked that team? Of course they won, they were a dirty team and played dirty." I was confused. I had never met such passionate football fanaticism before. Living in a Columbus it's hard not to be consummed by the furious love for the Buckeyes. Now, Buckeye fans are ridiculous, and I say this with great Buckeye pride. Yet, I had never seen such intense emotions for a footbal team as I saw in my husband that day. I discovered later that's because I had actually never met someone from Cleveland before. If you've been to Cleveland, ok, you KNOW what I'm talking about. Let's just say, I had a neighbor from Cleveland once, and she would often say, "don't f- with me. I'm from Cleveland." There's a reason this was a valid warning.

Back to the Steelers and marriage. I didn't feel THAT passionate about the Steelers so I bought me a cheap Browns sweatshirt and watched the Browns lose over and over again for years, but hey I was now married to a Browns fan. It's not about winning. It's about being a fan. Secretely, I would watch the highlights of the Steelers and know that it is much, much easier to be a Steelers fan.

Then, the Browns left Cleveland and Art Model took the team to Baltimore. Boy, was my Cleveland husband angry with this. As I said, people from Cleveland... ahem. Years roll by and my little adorable baby boy grew up cheering for the Browns (or I should say hoping for the Browns). As we know the Browns lose-alot. My adorable little boy goes to school and defends his team to Jets fans and the Eagles fans. Little Samuel stands behind his dad's team.

Then one day, not long ago, a ball cap arrives in the mail for my husband. It has a Steeler's logo on the front. Where on earth did you get that I ask? Someone has a made a mistake! No, he tells me. He ordered it! Then a little while later, the neighbor across the street stops by to give my husband a yellow towel she picked up for him while in Pittsburg. Huh? ? I gasp! That's The Terrible Towel. What is going on ?

Oh, he has now decided he is a STEELERS fan. He hates Baltimore, because that was the team that deserted Cleveland. Now he doesn't care for the Browns because.... they aren't as good as the Steelers. What? Aren't Steelers fan stupid? Aren't the Steelers dirty?

He tells me I need to get over that rant about the Steelers he made over 25 years ago and forgive him and join him on the couch to watch Hines Ward (who is amazing) and Palamahu (who is also amazing) and Rothelsberger (who is just so awesomely tall, and I'll forget he's a possible rapist)

Don't judge me, ... It's footbal!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Goals for my House for 2011

I'm trying my first "linky" up thing with the Nester. "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful" is her motto. Her link up is: "House Goals 2011" These are goals for her house/home projects for 2011. I like making goals, like any successful sales woman. The issue is executing those goals! Since I've had an on-going torrid hate/love affaire with my house since I moved in, I decided this would be a great "first linky" experience for me!

2010 Summary:
To recap 2010, I achieved almost all of my goals for my house. These included a foundation & drains repair done in the basement & the walls freshly dry-locked. The Lawn was re-graded & two juniper sky-rockets & 4 boxwoods installed in a new raised bed. The fascia was replaced along with a gable vent. Plus, I got all the vents & trunk of the HVAC system sucked out. I replaced the flat, hollow doors downstairs with white 6-panel doors. Painted the kitchen, dining room & living room. That was all in 2010.

So this year I do have some goals for my house.

Top of the list is still (as it has been since I moved here):

1.) Love my house more. Thanks to the Nester for helping me with this. It's something I caught from her the moment I discovered her blog. This means quit complaining about it's deficiencies and the fact the family room is a narrow rectangle and there's no room for a kitchen table. (and that it has a side yard and no back yard...yikes my hate list is long) My goal is to be thankful for what I have here and to have some affection for my house. Hopefully, as I love my home more, the people who live here and the people who come inside for a visit will feel love and not a disquieting feeling. I've been in many homes with no practical kitchen at all and the hostess was able to whip up some great eats and share his/her house (& love) with friends. This leads to my number 2:

2.) Have friends and family over and use my house more. I plan to eat, drink, play, & sing together with friends, new friends & old friends, inside this house in 2011.

Other project goals 2011:

3.) Install with my own bare hands real solid 3"X1/4" oak floors in the Living room, dining room and kitchen. (I like carpet in the family room for freezing cold nights in the winter) To be finished by 2/14/2011
4.) Rip out the old and install new kitchen cabinets & counters with my own bare hands. To be finished by 3/14/2011
5) Paint all the trimwork throughout the whole house cottage white. To be finished by 6/19/2011

So those are my House Goals for 2011!

Now on to preparing my taxes and receipts and mileage reports.... so much fun....I love paying my taxes.

To Da Lou!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Homeless Guy in My Town

You know I just finished reading a book about Homelessness. Then this happened this morning while watching the morning news: This guy lives in my town. You might want to watch. He then was on CNN, CBS, MTV, the list goes, this morning.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Book Review: Under the Overpass

Mike Yankoski and Sam Purvis, 20-year old middle class guys, feel God calling them to live on the streets as homeless men. So they drop out of college and their comfortable lives and take to the streets. Under the Overpass is a first-person, true-story account of their five month journey in five major US cities carrying only their thrift store sleeping bags, their bibles, journals, and guitars.

The vulgarities and crudeness of the language used on the streets has been left out, making for a softer, less jarring read. However, the harsh realities of their experience and the desperation of those they meet are still raw and honest in the telling. The challenges they face are those basic needs I don’t often think about: where to use the bathroom, how to get something to eat, not to mention storms, violence and rats. Those type of issues I take for granted and I enjoyed reading how Mike and Sam solved these problems in each city. If you’re hungry enough you will eat out of a trash can, for instance.

Still more interesting are the tales of meeting the people on the street. Crazed drug addicts, the mentally impaired, and handicapped veterans are just a few of the types of people they commune with. The negative treatment Mike and Sam receive from the “normal” passersby on the street, even professing Christians, and churches is disappointing.

I didn’t find the book depressing, or guilt-producing. It’s an easy read. Mike’s accounting of their experiences is straightforward story-telling without preaching. I did get choked up here and there with some of the stories and observations. This book doesn’t try to solve the homeless problem or point fingers. It does, however, confront the reader’s pre-conceived ideas about those who are most despised and intentionally ignored in our society. After reading the book I am genuinely concerned for those in my own city. I have from time to time headed downtown at night looking for homeless people who need a blanket or pillow, especially when it’s cold. I never felt like that was doing much. After reading the book, I feel encouraged to do more. I have also been fearful of the homeless and this book confirms we need to be careful when reaching out to those sleeping on the streets. I plan on contacting my local rescue mission to see how I might be able to help those in need on a more regular basis as result of reading Under the Overpass.

I like this book so much I wish I could buy several boxes to give away to my friends. “You need to read this book,” is what I want to tell everyone. Even those who don’t share my faith in Christ will find this book thought-provoking.

*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review

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