Thursday, August 11, 2016

Looking Forward To...

... our firm picnic
... finishing painting the dining room
... beginning to rearrange furniture/rooms
... finishing the crocheted baby sack
... beginning to work on the hat that goes with the sack
... spending time with Elliot and family.

What are you looking forward to doing this weekend?

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Twenty Happy Things

  • hot days, cool nights
  • sundresses and sandals
  • working on a crochet project requested by Kayla.  It’s good to be creating again
  • a drive to a farm to purchase fresh vegetables for salads
  • lawn mower racing with Elliot once a week
  • porch picnics
  • members’ night at the zoo
  • being half way through my 2016 Reading Challenge
  • Trader Joe’s PB&J bars
  • looking forward to Learning Something New Every Day in September
  • Animal Kingdom (Ellen Barkin)
  • playing trains
  • corn on the cob and fresh butter
  • Elliot’s wonderful imagination – this week’s role play: he is Mr. Peabody, I am Sherman and Kayla is Penni
  • Gilmore Girls (Season 6)
  • green lush houseplants
  • movies at the drive-in
  • Starbucks Passion Teas
  • Trader Joe’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil. A jar for the kitchen, a jar for dry skin, a jar for deep moisturizing dry, frizzy hair.
  • the every day!

Monday, August 8, 2016

This Past Weekend . . .

v  Saturday, Kayla and Doug went shopping at the Waterfront.  Mom, Elliot and I went to the Festival in the Lane on Twelve Mile Island (a/k/a Maple Island).  I, duh, didn’t take a camera, not even my iphone, however, I did take a few pics with Mom’s that I need to upload.  Elliot swam in the river – he loves to swim! Jumped on a trampoline, played in a ball bouncy house, played on swings and slides and just had a fabulous day! 

v  Sunday morning – what a gorgeous morning it was!  On a whim, we piled into the car and drove up to Schramm’s Farms.  Kayla had once said that she’d like to go there more than just in October, so we did.  There was an abundance of corn in the cob and I love that Schramm’s idea of 1 dozen is 13 ears of corn.  We gave 7 to Elliot’s Dad and Parents which they cooked up for dinner and said was delicious.  We will be making ours tonight.  Schramm’s also has a Grandma’s Country Oven Bake Shoppe where we each purchased our favorite baked good.  Elliot wanted McDonald’s for lunch and then we dropped him off at his Dad’s for a visit. 

v  Elliot’s Dad let him ride a skateboard without a helmet.  He fell off and scraped the whole right side of his little face.  Accidents do happen, but prevention goes a long way.  Just sayin’

v  I finished reading The Killing Forest by Sarah  Blaedel and started The Girls by Emma Cline.  My Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge target is 24 books for this year, and I am currently on target. 

v  The check engine light came on in the car.  Can’t even imagine what that means.  Will be calling our mechanic later today.

What was on your agenda for this past weekend?


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Dog Days of Summer (12 Things To Do on the Hottest of Days)

These are the dog days of summer, the time between July 3 and August 11, when Sirius, the Dog Star rises at the same time as the Sun (a little fun fact for ya!).  A time when the days are long and the heat oppressive, when little gets done due to a lack of energy, when we actually look forward to rain or even snow.  
Don’t give into the August heat, pull up a porch chair and sip cold lemonade.  Or do a few of the following:
  1.  Go to the beach or a community pool
  2. Go fishing
  3. Run through a sprinkler
  4. Go to the drive-in
  5. Visit a farmer’s market
  6. Host a picnic
  7. Toss water balloons
  8. Visit a museum (it’s air conditioned!)
  9. Go to the Zoo
  10. Make root beer floats
  11. Ride the rides - visit an amusement park
  12. Go Back to School Shopping (a child’s favorite to-do!)
No matter how you choose to spend your days, remember to use plenty of sunscreen and/or wear protective clothing, stay hydrated, and get plenty of rest.


Monday, August 1, 2016


Welcome August! 
Chloe the Deer "styling" Elliot's hair. 
*       We are just now getting around to putting up the pool we bought back in June.  Seriously.  Yesterday, Jayme and Tina came over and, after they marked off where we would set the pool up, Jayme turned over the dirt and Tina and I broke up the big chunks.  This week we will let it settle and by Saturday, it will be ready for the sand and then the pool.  Better late than never. Right? Right?
*       This month we will be decluttering the four rooms that will eventually be remade into Kayla’s room, the nursery, Elliot’s room and my room/family room (this room is large!).  I would like to begin painting in September.  My goal is to have everything in place by November, December at the latest.
*       Elliot continues to be a joy and a bright spot on each and every day. 
*       Jayme and Tina and I have begun discussing vacation ideas for next year.
*       Kayla and I are already making plans for our holiday parties and visits to the pumpkin farm.
*       I started this project over the weekend.
*       According to folklore, “If the first week of August be warm, the winter will be white and long.”  The temps in the forecast for this week in Pittsburgh are in the upper 80’s, lower 90’s. 
Cheers to a great month!

Thursday, July 28, 2016


Last week we were on Staycation and it was a huge success.  We were busy every day.  We began our Staycation Saturday evening by going to the drive-in to see Finding Dory.  The evening was warm, perfect, and gorgeous.  We packed our cooler with drinks and snacks, but still bought chicken fingers, fries and slushies from the concession stand.  Although, Elliot periodically watched the film, he spent a good portion of the time playing amongst the dirt and rocks.
Elliot, waiting for the movie to start
Sunday, Elliot went to visit his father and grandparents.  I cut the grass, washed clothes (we designated an area to layout the clothes we would be wearing during our Staycation – this turned out to be an excellent idea, a timesaver and solved the dilemma of what to wear).  All other clothes were put away.  We also prepared a few foods ahead of time for easy heat and eat meals.

Monday morning, we signed Elliot up for Vacation Bible School.  It was the only morning he went.  He couldn’t get over our leaving him there and refused to go again.  This was actually a good thing, as it made our mornings less hectic and we were not in rush mode.  We picked Elliot up at noon and headed out for the Children’s Museum, then the Duquesne Incline.  We ended this very hot day with ice cream treats at Dairy Queen.
Being creative at the Children's Museum
Tuesday, we headed down to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History (one of Kayla’s favorite places).  The building was cool and Elliot was very well behaved.  Afterward, we were supposed to ride the PNC Carousel, however, parking is an issue in Oakland, so we visited Dave and Andy’s Homemade Ice Cream shop instead.  That evening we had dinner reservations at The Olive Garden.
Checking out dinosaur bones at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Wednesday, Mom joined us for Polar Bear Pop at the Pittsburgh Zoo.  We took the tram to travel the park (it was a very hot day) and only toured a few sites.  That evening, Kay, Elliot and I enjoyed dinner and a show on a Pirate-themed Gateway Clipper Cruise.  Highlights: Elliot threw up after dinner and a few crew members cleaned that up; Elliot spent most of the time lying under the table watching Kids’ YouTube. 
Hanging with the Polar Bear at the Pittsburgh Zoo
Thursday, I left free for Kayla to fill.  She said, why don’t we rest.  HAHAHA.  So, except for her having a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon, we mostly stayed close to home.  I did laundry and we packed for our trip to Ligonier.
Touring Fort Ligonier in the rain
Friday, we loaded the car with swimsuits, stroller, blankets, sunglasses, books, and a cooler filled with lots of water, and headed on out to Ligonier.  Beautiful drive, but once we hit our destination, the Ramada Ligonier, to pick up our amusement park tickets, it began to rain and thunder and lightning.   We decided to explore Fort Ligonier instead and then walked Main Street (this little town is lovely!), had lunch at Abigail’s (delicious) and then checked into our room.  We unpacked and ordered Chinese, which Elliot and I walked to pick up. The Ramada Ligonier has an outdoor pool, and if you go there around dinner time, there’s a good chance you will have the pool to yourself (as we did). 
Enjoying the Hotel's outdoor pool
Saturday, after our complimentary breakfast of waffles, eggs, ham, potatoes, toast, juice and a ton of other choices, and after Elliot played at the Lego table, we packed up the car and headed on over to Idlewild Park where we spent the day (until the thunder, lightning, and rain) riding, playing and swimming.  We were home by six, tired, yet happy and rested.
A little downtime
Are you considering going on Staycation?  Check your State’s “official tourism” website for ideas of where to go and what to see.  In Pennsylvania, the website address is:  It has a special section for PA Road Trips that I refer to often.  Then, set a budget and stick to it.  Many of our activities we paid for strictly in cash (we set up a binder with each day’s activities and driving directions stored in a plastic sleeve, along with the amount of money we anticipated we’d need for that day).  Careful planning and lots of research ahead of time really made for a fun and relaxing week (well, except for maybe the many times we drove around in circles because I have NO sense of direction).
Elliot, ready for the road???
Have you gone on Staycation?  If so, what fun things did you do?  I’m thinking of maybe a four day during the autumn months (our favorite time of year).  Any ideas??

Sweet dreams after a day well lived

Please note that the links provided in today's post are for convenience and informational purposes only.