Saturday, March 31, 2012

Evening shots ...

I love to take pics of the setting sun

late in the evening....

When I learned photography many, many years ago
we were taught to never shoot into the sun

you always, always shot with the sun at your back
how dumb
it made people squint and you missed all of
the loveliness of the sun!

Now, I shoot into the sun as much as possible


Friday, March 30, 2012

Boxes ...

On Monday I received a shipment from
Williams and Sonoma...yay on that!

and it was kind of a big box
so I dragged it into the den
and immediatley, Pippa Lou jumped right on it

I have tried to turn this dang picture and it just won't cooperate!

I had to get her off of the box so I could finish opening everything
up. And right away, she's back in the box.
Once it was emptied, she starting putting some toys in there
and by the next morning, she had plenty of toys and had
dragged her blanket from her bed!

I think one reason she loves boxes so much is
because Bella Boo doesn't like boxes.
So when Bella is being a bully, she can run and jump in the box
we call it her safe zone!
I keep all of theirs toys in a box because she chews up anything
else I've tried to use.
And she has always ran for cover to the box when Bella
is hot on her trail

so here's Pippa her safe zone!


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lottery fever ....


a half of a billion dollars!

oh yes.....I'm buying tickets

someone has to win so I might as well
throw my name into the mix!

fingers crossed...


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I had a birthday ...

Last Thursday I turned 56 years old
In my mind I am much younger than that
but that's life huh?

Work was great....I work with such awesome people
The VP I support sent me a huge bouquet of flowers

also flowers from Jacquelyn and Bucky

and then my co-workers gave me my favorite cake
chocolate on chocolate!!

That evening, Johnny and I went out to dinner
to Maggianos. I love Italian food so that is always
my request...somewhere Italian!

Johnny had to order my birthday gift and I'll post
on that later when it comes in.

So that was that.....that was my birthday.
But wait....I didn't know there was more to come

On Sunday Jacquelyn and I went shopping
all day long! I was tired, like in my legs were about to give out!
All I could think of as we were driving home was to get in my
recliner, maybe a glass of wine and read my new Pioneer
Woman cookbook.
So when I rounded the corner and saw a bunch of cars at my house
I was thinking...."oh no, I don't want to cook or entertain today"
As I recognized each car, I could come up with a reason for that
person coming by....but nothing to do with my birthday!
When I walked in the kitchen and everyone was there, Jake was
cooking, food everywhere, people everywhere and
duh me....I still didn't get it!!
Finally Nicole said...."mom, don't you get it? It's a surprise
dinner party for your birthday"!!
don't laugh....I'm getting old!

What a wonderful surprise!!
All of this was put together by our son Jake.
And he did all of the cooking!
He made pizza poppers and fried mozzerella for appetizers
And for dinner......he had picked up salad from the Olive Garden
along with their awesome dressing and bread sticks.
He made roasted potatoes and chicken of my favs.

here's some pics....

Melissa was Jake's "sous chef"

We started cutting the cake and then remembered to
take a picture!
It was a yummy ice cream cake!

Afterward Jacquelyn, Lynne and Melissa cleaned it all up!

It was a wonderful surprise and such a delicious meal
prepared by our son!!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First day of spring....

Spring has def arrived here in Virginia

it feels more like May than March!

The stinky Bradford pear trees have finished blooming already

and the doggies are loving playing outside


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Backsplash ...

We went to see Elton John last night
first time we have ever seen him in concert and wow, great show
he is such a huge talent
they would zoom in on the piano and his fingers just seem to glide across and
play such beautiful music....great show!
Well worth the ridiculous price...haha

and now, back to the kitchen.....I'm sure folks are tired of hearing
it but we're getting close...
I've been having a really hard time trying to come up
with a backsplash for our new kitchen

I had thought all along that I wanted the rectangular glass
tiles in an assortment of colors....white, gray, black, stainless steel
but now that the kitchen is put together and I can
see it all, I'm just not sure

And I don't want to get something up and then in a couple of years
be tired of it. Don't think Johnny boy would appreciate me
asking for a new backsplash...haha!

Last Sunday Lynne and I were out shopping and decided to stop
in one of the townhomes in Short Pump Village....the open house

and there it was, in that kitchen that I saw the backsplash
that I want!!
It was done in the large ceramic tiles and laid out in a
diamond pattern...and the tiles were black!

My sister had suggested doing black to break up the white upper
and lower cabinets but I just kept seeing black subway tile
and wasn't really loving that.

But this idea, I'm loving!!
So now I need to get Johnny over there to see it
Dumb me didn't take a picture but really I think he needs to
see it in person

Hopefully, this is the one!!


Saturday, March 17, 2012

One year ago ...

One year ago today my husband suffered a stroke
you can read about it here  

This post here, this is a hard one for me. I still feel very overwhelmed
by what happened. This post is not about the stroke nor Johnny...this post is about me. I am not being selfish or self absorbed....I'm just being honest. I would like for others not to make the mistakes
I made in going through this crisis.
I'm in tears as I type just know, I'm
pouring my feelings out here.

But I learned valuable lessons that I would like to share
And I hope someone can learn from what I went through last year

So after we arrived at the ER and the dr told us that Johnny
had had a stroke and a big one at that, my knees turned to rubber.
Johnny has always taken care of me and here he laid unable to move
what was I going to do. I asked the dr if Johnny was going to
be ok and he said this "Mrs Delaney, we do not know, we hope so but we
do not know"
to hear those words made me numb.
But I had to pull myself together

First off, I needed to call our kids, family and friends
I had to make all of these calls and I felt overwhelmed by it
my hands trembled as I called everyone, I fought back tears so as
to not worry anyone and I felt like I was going to throw up
with each call.
first lesson learned......I should have asked someone to be with me
and help me but I didn't, I did it all myself, which was a mistake.

Then I downplayed how serious it was....and that was my next lesson learned
because by downplaying it, I was left alone to deal with it
and I really needed someone to lean on

Next, our kids were in no way prepared for anything to happen
to either Johnny nor I. Our kids are adults, I should have been able to
lean on them and together we be each
others support but instead, I had to be their support.
I had to be Johnny's support and our kids support and it
was more than I could handle. I wasn't even honest with them. When
they would ask if he will be ok I didn't tell them we don't know. I just said
yes....or hope so or whatever.....anything other than the truth.  

Lesson learned .... I should have been honest with the kids
and let them know what I needed from them. They are 
great kids, they would have stepped up to
the plate if I had allowed it.... I shouldn't have 
treated them like they were still my little babes, still trying to protect
them from all things sad.
I actually was not told until the 4th day that Johnny would survive.

I have lots of family here, my kids and lots of friends.
but I didn't lean on any of them
that was a big mistake because it wasn't fair to any of them
that I didn't let them know how very serious it was.
Johnny is their father, their brother, uncle, brother-in-law
son-in-law and friend

Johnny's sisters live out of state and kept asking....should we come
do you need us
and I just couldn't say yes...and really, I don't even know why
In my mind I just kept thinking I don't want to burden anyone
what the heck...I've never considered myself any kind of martyr
but here I was doing just that, only I didn't see it then. Maybe I
was trying to not face the fact that we didn't know if
it would be ok and so by not admitting it, it wasn't real.

A couple of days after the stroke a very dear friend
called me....after asking how Johnny was, what the drs were saying
she asked "how are you"
and I broke down
I should not have been holding all of that in and
through sobs I told her that I needed her
I don't even know how she understood what I said
but all I heard was...I'm on my way. She has 2 young
children and I don't know how she arranged things
so fast but she was by my side in no time and
with Starbucks at that!! haha..

That right there should have been my clue
that I was carrying too much
Please believe me...when you are going through any kind
of crisis, lean on your family and friends!  Don't think like I did
that you don't want to burden people. I forgot....Family and Friends really
are all you ever need!! And I know if I had let my family know what
was really going on, they all would have been there for me.
But I didn't ask.

One of Johnny's sisters did come up from Atlanta and
really I can't remember if I said yes, please come or if she insisted. So
much about that time is still a blur to me, always running so
low on sleep, not eating right and not taking care of myself.

I do know that I was grateful when she arrived
I felt like a load had been lifted off of my shoulders.
I also had a dear family friend come sit with me in the
hospital and she took the lead and talked to the
drs for me as I was just getting more and more
overwhelmed. That too was like a weight lifted off of me!

Johnny's other sister in Texas kept asking but I had such guilt
asking someone to fork over so much money for a plane ticket
that I never asked her to wrong of me.

Johnny came home after a couple of weeks of being in the
hospital and rehab center.
I think it was his 2nd night home and during the middle of
the night, he had another stroke.

and did I reach out to my family and friends, no...I just
kept on trying to do it all. We were in the middle of planning our daughters
wedding and we were scheduled to have a DIY day that Sunday.
So after being in the ER all night with Johnny, I rushed
home to get food ready for friends and family coming over
to help with wedding stuff. So running on no sleep, no food and no shower, I welcomed the bridal party and family into our messy
home! haha...My sister came early to help
but really, I think she just insisted on it, I still don't think I asked.
My sisters and sister-in-law all helped clean up from the
DIY day so that I could return to the hospital.

And during this whole time, I also didn't want to be a burden to
anyone at work. My co-workers were awesome and covering for me
but I felt bad about that. So I would work from Johnny's hospital room and
then come home and log on and work until 11 and 12 at night!
Maybe I was using work as a distraction but really, I should have been
taking care of myself.

My point of this post is that I tried to do it all. I tried not to burden
other people. I tried to be the rock for my kids and Johnny. And I wasn't
always honest with my family and friends on how serious it was, how I was doing nor if there was anything they could do for me. Believe me, this
is not a healthy thing to do. I have a very, very close family, great kids,
very good friends and the best co-workers anyone
could ask for but yet, I didn't reach out. I was so
overwhelmed and stressed that I cried myself to
sleep every night. I was very foolish.....

I was on an emotional roller coaster. Scared for my husband and
excited for our daughters upcoming wedding. I can look back
now and say it was one of the worst times in my life.
After Johnny came home I was finally able to relax and enjoy
our family and the wedding planning.
I learned a lot and I'll never do that again.

People need to remember that in tough times, that really is
what family is for!!!

and now as the one year anniversary is here, I reflect back.
I love my husband so much and am so grateful that he is still
with us. So grateful that he recovered and was able to walk
 our daughter down the aisle at her wedding just 3 months later! So
very grateful for my family and friends and with apologies to
all of you, I am sorry I didn't ask for help

Johnny is Irish.....and as the saying goes...the luck of the Irish..
well, he most certainly was lucky last St Patricks Day.

and now.....we are off to see Sr Elton John in concert on this
wonderful St Patricks Day!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New furniture ...

I have been searching everywhere for a table and chairs
for our new kitchen

I wanted a table that could be several lengths and
could hold up to 12 people

and I wanted 10 chairs with padded seats
and I wanted it black

But I just couldn't find it!
I thought I had found it in the Paula Deen collection
but when I looked at it, there was a lot of brown in the
wood grain and it just wasn't made good
it was a lot of that pressed wood, MDF I think it what they call it
I wanted a solid wood table and chairs

So after searching all of the furniture stores in Richmond I decided
to go to the unfinished furniture store

and so glad that I did!
they had the table I wanted.....solid wood and I was able to pick
out the style of legs on the table. It also has the center leg
for extra support. will go 4 lengths!!
It can be 60", 84", 102" and 120"

And the chairs are beautiful....with cream colored padded seats!
It is being finished in the color we wanted, black onyx

so now we wait.....they said it could be ready in 4 weeks but also
could take 6 weeks!

that's ok......just relieved that I have another item
scratched off the "to do" list!!

no pictures for this post......have to wait for them to come in :)


Monday, March 12, 2012

House guest ...

We have had Jacquelyn, Bucky and their 2 dogs
with us for 8 days now
they have some pretty serious plumbing issues at their house
that are being taken care of this week

But we're not complaing...far be it!
Johnny and I are loving it
true, 5 dogs here can get a little crazy but it's still fun

here's little Marley...he's only 4 lbs but wow, he sure can bark!!
he loves laying on the steps and soaking up the sun

and here's Ziggy boy
Ziggy is 7 years old and probably the sweetest dog ever
everyone loves Ziggy!
he hangs out in the kitchen a lot with me as he loves to eat
so he's always hoping someone is going to drop something

they will probably be going home this week and I'm sure they
will be glad but Johnny and I will miss them


Sunday, March 11, 2012

It's been so long.....

And I have Pinterest to blame!

when I sit down to relax with the computer, I go on FB first
have to check out what everyone is up to
and then I go to Pinterest
Oh my!

I love this site
I have made several recipes that I've found on there
have "pinned" quite a few ideas on what I want to do with
our family room

And pinned some of the cutest outfits
sure wish I could find a shopper to go out and put
all of those outfits together for me
then hang in my closet!!

and speaking of closets.....
I found a great idea on how to store my scarves

you buy shower hooks and hang them on the rod

then just thread your scarves through!

Such a simple and fantastic idea!