Thursday, December 30, 2010

The kindness of strangers

You all are such wonderful friends. Such big hearted, loving friends.

Your thought and prayers from the last post were so very kind. And I know they were felt. Your kindness, sharing your love to a complete stranger touched me.

There is a prayer service for the baby tonight. And I know it will be so beautiful and the love will pour over this family.

When I spoke with my friend today she acknowledged that she's doing ok right now but that she'll probably have bad days/weeks and then good again. So, my friends, if you think of this over the next few months, please send a little prayer up for this lovely family.

I can't thank you enough for being as kind and loving as you are.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Loves, a request

It is rare that I come here to share things about my friends. Perhaps even more rare to ask things of you all.

But this time it is so needed.

One of my best girlfriends was due to be induced on December 28th. A baby girl was going to bless her and her husband's life.

On Wednesday morning she went into labor and when they got to the hospital and the doctor checked the baby's vitals, there was no heartbeat.

The baby didn't make it and the parents are devastated.

My heart aches for them.

If you'd please, in your happiness of the next few days, please lift this family up in your prayers.

Hope you'll all have a wonderful Christmas and cherish your loved ones.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A time to Gather, a time to laugh

We're heading to see Mr. Potts' family in Louisville The majority of his family live within a 5 mile radius.

We're hopeful that Meme, his grandmother, will be feeling better. She's currently back in the hospital. She gets weekly blood transfusions for her leukemia and this time there were complications.

I think that she is trying to hold on for one last Christmas with every one there. We plan to laugh while we're with her.

Since we'll be in KY over Christmas we went to my mom's tonight and celebrated Christmas with my niece and nephew & my mom & brother. We were so happy to be there to be able to share this with them.

But when I left tonight, I was sad that I would be missing the time with them.

It's quite the trade-off, isn't it?

One family has more support for everyone, but a sick matriarch.
One family has little support (basically Mr. Potts and me) and struggle daily.Align Center
They always love to hang out with us & it was magic to see their faces as they opened their presents.

To be away from my babies breaks my heart, but to be able to see Meme and the rest of the family, also tugs at my heart.

I think in my mind that those babies of mine will always hold first place.

Are you all ready for Christmas & everything that comes along with it? I hope so!

Happy Holidays, Happy Christmas, Merry Christmas, Peace for the Coming year.

So may different ways to wish you well.

Here's an easy one.

"You've touched my heart and I will never be the same.
I hope that this season your heart will be touched in a way that will change you forever.
God bless you and your families (Pets are DEFINITELY included).
All our love,
The Potts' Family

Saturday, December 18, 2010

It was a COLD day in December

I was in Maine again this week.

When I arrived there it was actually warmer than it was in NC. That quickly changed.

There were days when the high was 19. Personally, when it is that cold, I think it is too cold for it to even snow.

So this past week I was in a meeting with my boss and two of my coworkers. The offices in Maine are older (1970's-ish) and haven't been very well maintained. We were in a conference room and had opened the door because it was so warm in there.

I was a little stuffy so when I thought I smelled something I attributed it to that stuffiness. Yet the smell kept getting more intense and I thought it may have been burning rubber.

We sat at the table calmly discussing it, as all reasonable people would do, when the fire alarm went off.

My immediate thought was that it was a drill. Until we saw the smoke in the hallway.

So I did what any Southern woman would do. I ran for my bag. And then pulled on my coat and scarf. Because as I mentioned, the highs were barely close to the 20's.

My rationale was that if the building went up in flames, I still wanted to be able to get home, which would require my license, which was in my purse.

And if it turned out to be a false alarm, I didn't want to be out in the cold without a coat.

I was bundled & then panic hit. I looked at my boss and said, "I have too much on my laptop to lose!"

So we both, bundled & with our bags, ran to the conference room and shoved our laptops into our bags and hightailed it out of the building.

Y'all, it was COLD. So cold that after 20 minutes standing outside my hands hurt and I looked at my boss and told her that we should head to our hotels - no telling how long we could be standing outside.

Which we did, because being as Southern as I am, my constitution is not built for such extremes.

Everyone was safe, the building didn't go up in smoke (fortunately or unfortunately) and we were able to head into the office the next day.

But I wasn't worried about the building, because I had rescued my laptop and would be able to get home since I'd rescued my bag.

BIG happy face.

And now I'm home for the rest of the year and don't have to go anywhere until 2011.

Happy Saturday, y'all!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Touching my heart

During the course of the holiday season, we often focus on gifts for those close to us. The people that we hold near and dear to our hearts.

Sometimes we focus on ourselves just a little. Or at least I do, because let's be honest, every once in a while we need to do that.

But what about the people we don't know?

There are angel trees in malls for children. There are organizations which will help you adopt a family for Christmas. There are websites devoted to "love-bombing" people in need.

Every way you could want to help people in need is out there.

The holidays bring my thoughts back to my grandparents and the emptiness in my heart that they're not here. And I so wish that I had had more time with them. Time to show them the woman I've become. Time to just sit and hold their hands and listen to their stories.

I don't have that luxury, so instead, I shower that attention on Meme, Mr. Potts' grandmother. She's had health problems this entire year and has been in and out of the hospital. She's recovered from two staph infections - amazing, right?

So this Christmas, we're journeying home to Louisville and we'll make sure we spend extra time with her. Because you never know when a holiday may be the last one you have with someone.

But this isn't the focus of this post today.

The holidays bring my grandparents to mind. When this happens I often drift to the elderly people alone in their homes or in nursing homes.

A coffee shop in Charlotte, Dilworth Coffee, partnered with a local organization to help people in our area "Be a Santa for a Senior". I was so touched by that and the thought behind it since so many seniors can be forgotten during this time of the year.

While children (my munchkins and the babies of my friends) bless me, seniors tear at my heart. Mr. Potts will laugh with me, but sometimes when I see an older couple I just want to hug them.

In fact, I've been known to do this to random strangers.

Not like in a random, scary way, but in a, "Hi, I think you're wonderful & beautiful & now I'm going to hug you."

The reaction is always immediate. The hug is returned, I walk away with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face.

It brightens my day and so often I'm thanked for that simple kindness.

I try to think regularly about how I can brighten days and bring smiles to people's faces; the holidays tend to bring that out in me a little more.

I hope that I manage to touch other people's hearts, because God knows, so many have touched mine. Including many of you.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Can you find the Elf?

I have a special place in my heart for Christmas. It is such a magical time of year & my munchkins love it. We make cookies & snuggle and decorate trees & snuggle and drink hot chocolate...yep & snuggle!

There doesn't seem to be anything much better than that.

We recently spent a Saturday making & decorating cookies & decorating our tree with them. It is an annual tradition that they look forward to each year. Honestly, we do too.

As you can see by the posed shot in front of the tree, she's going to be a natural!

They were very proud of their cookies - as they should be!

We also did a bit of holiday decorating. I found these pretty trees at Target & love how they turned out!

For our table, we have a small vase filled with miniature ornaments in shades of gold & bronze.

And now for my hair. This next one is one of the last of me with long, blonde hair. It was taken at our annual Friend's Thanksgiving.

Mr. Potts and I post cut.

Where you see the hair hitting the scarf in front is where my hair now ends. And for some reason, it doesn't show as well in the pictures, but I can tell it is darker.

And nice nude bra, huh? You'd think I'd know better & would have worn a black one!

Eh, who cares!

Happy Friday, y'all!!!

PS: From the title, can you find the elf in the picture below?
He likes to lay under the tree!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dear Me

Dear Stomach,

Please quick thinking you're bigger than you are. Otherwise you WILL end up being bigger, knocking all my hard work out the window.

Thanks much!


Dear Brain,

Could you knock it off & quick eating because I'm tired/stressed/bored. If eating were an Olympic sport, we'd be like Michael Phelps and all his medals!

Thanks much!

Anyone else feel like this during the holiday season when it's all about food & drinks? Food at the office, food at parties, etc.

Monday, December 6, 2010

January 2011

May as well start planning for January since December is already gone.

Kidding, but only kind of. Because when I look at the commitments that Mr. Potts and I have lined up for this month, I realize that the month is already "gone" in a certain way.

I remember that my mom always told me that time passes more quickly as you age. She was so right.

She also told me that I wouldn't be able to eat what I wanted forever. That time would catch up with me. I think I thumbed my nose at her then.

She was SO right!!

One important thing that Mr. Potts and I must decide upon is our Christmas movie. We escape it all the night of Christmas and head to a theater for a late night movie.

And some popcorn & Sour Patch kids - YUM!!!

I'm looking at The Tourist or The Fighter. Any movies you're looking forward to seeing this month?

Biggest news of the weekend! Three inches gone from my hair & a little bit darker. Once I upload pictures, I'll have to share them.

Happy Monday, y'all!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It was the BEST DAY EVER

At least according to my nephew. My sweet nephew. The munchkins were over on Thanksgiving & had such a great time. They hunted for Pepe Cat (because that cat is like *poof* when they come over!), they played with Hayden & they spent precious time with us.

We ate good food, not a thing bad was to be had. And then we hung out.

Simple things like this make days like those the BEST DAY EVER!! And I LOVE it. I love that the actions we take with them, the things we do, the things we teach them, the love we shower them in, that these things, these times we spend focusing on them are how we make the BEST DAY EVER!!

The next best day ever was this past Saturday when we made our Christmas cookies & decorated them. And I mean DECORATED them. Icing & sprinkles & sugar dusting and shimmery icing & cream cheese icing.

It was perfect.

They're not mine, but they are. Or should be. I wish they could be. That those two little ones who look up to us could be ours.

They'd never want for anything and they'd never fear not being loved or wanted.

When an ornament broke (I broke one & munchkin broke one) I had to soothe his tears because he wanted me to be more careful & he was sorry about his ornament. I rocked that little guy until he was calmed and then we finished the tree. And decorated a few more cookies.

In my last post I mentioned that my world is not perfect. It is far from it, but even though it is not perfect, it is perfect for me.

I have perfect children who are in my life and whom I love with everything I have. And while none of us will ever find pure perfection, I want to keep giving them as many "BEST DAY EVER", as many PERFECT DAYS as I can.

Because if I could, truly could, I'd bring those children into the Potts family & make them my own. But since that is not going to happen, I do the best I can and strive for perfection for them.

What do you do to change the lives of others? Insignificant? Small, big - it all counts!
Share with me so I can combine & share with others.

Happy Monday y'all! I'm in Bangor Maine.
Do you say (spelled for pronunciation) Bain-gor or Bain-ger?
Or have you ever thought of it?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Imperfect in a Perfect World

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. There are a number of reasons for this, but part of it for me is that people don't have the unrealistic expectations that come with other holidays.

Unrealistic expectations tend to hover around the holiday that rhymes with "listless".

You know, put up the perfect tree, perfectly decorate the perfect tree, pick the perfect present(s), find the perfect outfit, plan the perfect meal, have the perfect party, celebrate the last holiday of the year perfectly, etc.

I tend to appreciate the un-perfect in our perfection seeking world.

Which is why Thanksgiving is my favorite.

The whole idea behind Thanksgiving is to celebrate the things you're thankful for. Even if those things aren't perfect.

Because really, no one (and no thing) is truly perfect. I'm certainly not. Nor is anyone I know.

My friends aren't perfect, my pets aren't perfect (especially not Pepe Cat who woke us up before 5am crying for his breakfast - think you've got it bad with daylight savings??), my husband isn't get the picture.

But I'm thankful for them, one and all. Probably more thankful for them because of their imperfections.

And really, if your stuffing is a little dry, is it anything that some gravy can't fix? If the pumpkin pie droops in the middle, will anyone care when it's covered with whipped cream?

But one thing that IS perfect, that is perfect for Thanksgiving, is the Corn Syrup Free Pecan Pie I'm about to rock your world with.

I make it every year and LOVE it.



  • 1 cup light brown sugar – used the Splenda brown sugar blend which made it 1/2 cup (measurement conversion on the bag)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar – used the Splenda sugar blend - made it 1/8th of a cup + 2 teaspoons (measurement conversion on the bag)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy, and stir in melted butter. Stir in the brown sugar, white sugar and the flour; mix well. Last add the milk, vanilla and nuts.
  3. Pour into an unbaked 9-in pie shell. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until done.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Those Pesky Tears at 2:30am - or - Thankful for Mr. Potts

It seems this time of year there is a plethora of posts around what people are thankful for. I have many, many things that I am thankful for, but I wanted to share with you the person that I'm most thankful for.

Mr. Potts, yep, you guessed it. He's the person I'm most thankful for.

When I'm thirsty and we're lounging on the couch, he'll get me a glass of water. One of our great, big 32 ounce cups because I drink a LOT of water.

When I finish reading at night, he'll get out of bed and turn the light off so I don't have to.

While I'm gone, he keeps me updated with tales of Pepe Cat and his morning chatter and Hayden with her sweet calmness.

He laughs at my goofy jokes. And trust me, they're GOOFY. I'm goofy. And he loves this about me.

He'll rub my feet after a long day and then will cuddle with me at night. This is BIG because he is not a cuddler.

Perhaps the thing I'm most thankful for about Mr. Potts is that he knows me. He knows how I'll react to things. He knows where my thought process is going to take me.

He'll let me cry when he knows I need to at 2:30 in the morning and he'll smooth my hair and talk me through my tears.

He knows what sets me off, what worries me and what can bring me to my knees in fear.

He knows my heart.

Mr. Potts...I thank God every day for bringing him into my life.

In this time of reflection, what (or who) are you thankful for?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Another One Bites the Dust - Or What to Wear to a Formal Wedding

Mr. Potts has the good fortune of having several close friends. Over the years, most have gotten married and he's been in a number of the weddings.

This Spring (2011) one of the last will bite the dust, so to speak. He's the last in Mr. Potts' long line of friends to make that monumental decision to spend the rest of his life with a truly wonderful woman.

Good thing we approve!

Mr. Potts will be a groomsman in a formal wedding.

Now, wedding parties are easy for men. Probably the most difficult decision is what style of tux to wear. But Mr. Potts won't have to decide what to wear.

I will.

So, I come to you all for help.

Formal weddings

I know long is the standard, but do those standards still apply?

What kind of long? Any recommendations?

And most importantly, what do I do with my hair?

Kidding - only kind of.

PS: In about 2 weeks I plan on a change with my hair. Thinking 2-3 inches off & going a bit darker.


Friday, November 12, 2010

I've misplaced my inner Giada!!

The title to this is exactly what came out of my mouth one night this week.

I was in the middle of the grocery store whining to a friend of mine about how I hadn't made many meals from scratch this week.

I was stopped at the end of the aisle, phone to my ear, head cocked to the left to keep a signal, standing on one foot with the other on the metal of my cart.

What? It kept me from dropping the call.

After I whined into my phone, "I'VE LOST MY INNER GIADA!!" I realized how ridiculous I sounded (and probably looked). I mean, Mr. Potts enjoys that I go the extra mile to make special meals when I'm home, but really, truly, he'd be happy with pork chops, mashed potatoes & green beans.

Knowing this, I was still whiny, because those special meals, well, they're my thing.

It's what I do It's something special I can do for Mr. Potts since I'm not home as often as most people.

My friend suggested an "easy" meal of kielbasa with potatoes, onions & sauerkraut. He even said I could probably find some turkey or chicken kielbasa.

You know, to keep it healthy.

As I stood there, foot cramping, I knew without a doubt that Mr. Potts would no way go for sauerkraut.

But I thought about it for a split second.

Just for a second, because even though I would probably eat it, no way would Mr. Potts.

We had the Green Bean, Ginger & Beef stir fry instead. Which was a traumatic trial in and of itself, as I was missing 3 of the ingredients.

Mr. Potts to the rescue - he called a neighbor & dinner was saved.

And while it wasn't a new recipe, it was good.

Because I made it with Mr. Potts in the kitchen making me laugh.

Pretty good for a weeknight dinner, no?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Two years

Isn't it interesting how anniversaries cause people to look back over the time that has passed? Do most people think back to the positive or the negative? I try to remember both, because how else can you appreciate where you're at if you don't look at the whole journey?

Two years ago Mr. Potts and I made promises to share each others happiness & pain. We vowed to love each other in sickness and health. The two years we've spent married have not been the easiest for a myriad of reasons.

We've laughed together, we've cried together and sure, we've gotten angry together.

The key word to this is together.

I couldn't imagine my life without him in it. Actually, I don't want to think about my life without him.

So when these flowers arrived for me at work on Monday, they made me smile. I remembered the laughter and the fun.

This picture sits on our buffet - seriously, good times.

Thinking about all this made me wonder. What do you remember when an anniversary comes around?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Nesting Season

This weekend is nesting weekend for the Potts' family.

I'm home, y'all. Not only am I home this weekend, but next week too (BIG, happy smiley face).

With being home, comes a desire to nest. I guess you could say my domestic side came out and the urge to cook, bake, do a little cleaning hit.

Last nights I filled that desire.

We had homemade chicken & dumplings for dinner. Except this time, I simply boiled the chicken breasts instead of cooking with the oil.

As if homemade chicken & dumplings wouldn't be enough, I decided to tackle d.a.r.'s pumpkin bread.

So yum.

So comforting.

So home.

Enjoy your weekends!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dry Hair + Moroccan Oil

I recently had to reschedule a hair appointment recently because I was going to be out of town & not able to make it.

Wah wah - I know. Can I be ANY more pathetic? Poor, poor Mrs. Potts. Always gone, never home.

Well, besides missing my husband and pets, my beauty routine is starting to show cracks.

Seriously. My nails are all splitting. Cold, dry air + OCD handwashing = a manicurist's worst nightmare.

My face looks like I haven't seen the sun in years. I mean, I'm not trying to rock Jersey Shore skin, but I'd like to look a little less Bill Compton.

My eyebrows are OUT OF CONTROL. I called to reschedule a hair appointment and caught my aesthitician on the phone. Such a sweet girl. She proceeded to tell me I'd missed another appointment.

And I was wondering why I kept thinking my eyebrows were going to cocoon soon & burst forth as butterflies...

But y'all. My hair. My hair is just a mess.

Or a hot mess, depending on where you're located.

So back to the rescheduling.

I've had to cancel/reschedule my last appointment because I was out of town. So I got worked in to see another person. But I didn't want her to cut my hair.

To be honest, I've done that before & it hasn't worked out so great. That is why when I find a fabulous hair stylist, I don't cheat. No trims somewhere else, usually no ones hands in my hair but hers.

But this time I was desperate. My roots were out of control. My color was drained & sad.

I loved what the "Save the Day" girl did. Some new lowlights, a few brights around my face.

Voila! Fresh feeling hair. But without the nightmare of having someone new come to my hair with scissors. But you see, I had planned to take off a good 2-3 inches this last time.

So, no trim (no split ends, but still) and here I am in New England with dry heat inside & dry, cold air outside.

And my hair is feeling that lack of love. It is a little dry, no matter what great shampoo/conditioner/leave in treatment I use.

So, in true, DIY fix it style, I decided to treat my hair like a rock star.

Actually, like Fergie treats her hair. Because I read recently in one of my magazines about how Fergie keeps her hair looking incredible. Because, let's be honest, when you rough up your hair like she does: heat styling, color, braids, etc., it just takes a beating.

via & via
Each night she takes her extensions out (not that I have those, but my hair is pretty long), soaks her hair in Moroccan Oil and twists it up in a bun.

So last night, I skipped that first step, but soaked my hair (the bottom 5 inches or so) in Moroccan Oil & tossed it up in a bun.

My Verdict?

Seems to have helped & I may have to try it again.

The problem? My paycheck does not exactly match Fergie's & Moroccan Oil can be a bit expensive.

Is it worth it to keep my hair from looking & feeling like horse hair?


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

This one time, I walked into a bathroom...

Do you ever have those moments where you just wonder what kind of alternate reality you've walked in to?

I did that recently.

I was tired - which seriously, I'm so tired of hearing come out of my mouth, but I am. I'm exhausted and I feel like I never catch up on sleep.

So, I was tired. So very very tired and looking it.

Like death warmed over. Or a bag of poo. Your choice - they're both fairly accurate lately.

I was driving in New England and stopped at one of those nice roadside gas/food/snack places. Had a Starbucks & everything.

Got my gas, was going to grab some water and realized that I needed to go to the bathroom.

Finding the signs I headed towards the bathrooms. Found the door with the "Women" sign on it and pushed open the door.

As I walked into the bathroom I noticed the stalls. At the bottom of the stalls' doors I saw legs.

Which would have been all fine and normal, in most circumstances.

However, these legs were encased in workboots and faded out jeans.

Slowing to a stop I did that little half bend. You know, where you're looking to see if someone is in a stall. But I wasn't looking to see if there was an empty one (which there was), but to get a closer look at the boots.

I turned right back around, opened the door & looked at the sign on the outside.

Yep, said "Women".

I turned back & went to that empty stall.

But I laughed about it on my way back to the hotel.

Because in most circumstances, I doubt I would have even thought twice about the workboots.

Except I was in New England and I was tired. And at that point it made all the sense in the world to me.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How to Stretch a Cat

Have you all met Stewie? He's the newest holder of the title of "World's Longest Cat" measuring in at 48 1/2 inches.


Mr. Potts and I both saw this story over the weekend and ended up almost in tears over it.

"Why?" you may ask?

We took one look at Pepe Cat and knew that he could compete for the title. Of course he could! He's long, he's fluffy, when he stretches....well, let's just say that his stretches are incredible to see.

At the opportune moment, I grabbed him up and held him close.

He began to purr - which is highly unlike him when I decide to love on him.

Mr. Potts headed for the tape measure.

Which is when Pepe Cats eyes started to get bigger and the purring stopped.

When the tape measure was pulled open & made the whirring sound I knew we were in trouble.

Pepe Cat pulled himself into a tight ball and dug his back claws into my shoulder.

"Hurry Mr. Potts! Hurry or he'll never let us do it!"

As my dear husband approached with the tape measure extended Pepe Cat let out a low growl and his head began moving from side to side.

He was looking for an escape route.

He found it, pulling his claws from my shoulder, embedding them in my upper chest and pushing off.

Dying laughing, we decided he must be at least 3 1/2 feet. Not quite World Record holder material, but we'll keep him.

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Someone I love

When someone I love is given a gift, no matter big or small, I'm always thankful for that gift for them. I love to celebrate them and their celebration.

And man, I hit the happy place last night. Landlocked Mermaid (private blog) has shared with so many of us her struggles to conceive and the heartbreak of loss. I can't imagine two people more wonderfully suited for not just each other but also for their littlest one growing along. I've said to LM many times that the baby is out there meant to be for them, it just may take a little time.

She'll be a wonderful mother, of this I have no doubt.

This post is for you LM. Loud & Proud & in love with your new baby growing right now.

My love has been sent to lift that baby in prayers. Not just your baby but you as a family.

I can't wait to see this picture with a little one snuggled right in the middle.

I can't wait to see Baby LLM.
This picture comes from her blog.

I will be celebrating with you & loving all three of you.


Monday, October 18, 2010

A weekend full of memories

The last two years we have taken my niece and nephew to a local farm to pick their own pumpkins. The third time must have been the charm.

We picked up the munchkins and my brother after church on Sunday and piled into my car to head for the pumpkin patch. The five of us were set and ready. We were on the mission to find our perfect pumpkins. We started out by looking at what was already available, but decided we wanted to go into the field and pick our own.

Pulling the wagon, my nephew kept telling us, was HIS job. We started out with one or two willy nilly pumpkins. Uncle Mr. Potts imposed some structure so that we began finding pumpkins that would suite our needs.

As they brought their pumpkins to the wagon, we talked about how if one new one went in than an old one had to go out.

Although there were a few wonky ones that shouldn't have been allowed in the wagon to begin with - neither here nor there.

We walked around and looked at things. My sweet nephew suddenly stopped the wagon & I ran into it. Golf ball sized lump on my shin. I'm clumsy, what can I say.

We looked at animals, we pulled our wagon, we held hands. We had a great day.

We definitely saw pumpkins!
Gotta get it up in the wagon!

Which one to pick?

We found them and made our choices. A full wagon& a tired little boy.
My munchkins

At the end of the day we had to refuel with cotton candy!

He's got quite the Cotton Candy Mustache going on - watch out little girls, he'll break your heart!

"This was the BEST DAY EVER!"
My nephew told me this on the way home. And I tell you, I had to agree.

What makes a day the BEST DAY EVER?

It's the choices you make

I've been gone a lot lately.

It seems like I don't get much time to sleep in my own bed, use my own towels, go to my own gym, cook my own food...

I don't get to see my munchkins as often as I'd like.

I don't get to walk my dog or brush my sweet fluffy cat.

I don't get to kiss my husband every night.

That last one stings the most.

I had someone pay me such a compliment last week though. And let me tell you, it rocked me to my core.

My co-worker told me that she admires me for staying so positive and friendly when at the end of a long week, I must be so ready to just scream at anyone who crosses my path wrong.

She doesn't know how close she is; how hard she hit that nail on the head.

Because when I've been gone all week, I've been getting up and heading down to the hotel gym at 4am. I'm trying to make healthy choices in my life. I work to get enough sleep so that I can stay on top of my game.

By the end of the week, I'm TIRED. Beyond exhausted.

I really could snap at someone so easily. It would be so easy to lash out at someone and lose my temper.

Yet I don't. I make the choice to be kind.

I hold the door for people.

I say "Thank You" and "Please".

I help people when they drop things.

I make a choice to hopefully be a positive influence to others.

Because you never know who is watching.

And I truly hope that I can be an inspiration to others.

Especially to those two little munchkins that totally rock my world - we went to the pumpkin patch Sunday & had "the BEST day EVER!!!"

Best Day Ever - attributed to my precious nephew.

What do you choose? What choices do you make to inspire others, not knowing who may be watching?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday, Friday, Fabulous Friday

After an "Off Week" (and Thank You, by the way to everyone who commented to let me know I'm not alone in these sometimes), I just can't tell you how happy I am that today is Friday.

I get to spend the evening with some of my most favorite peeps:

This handsome man (who happens to be my most favorite person in the world)

This lovely lady. Isn't she TALL??

We'll be hanging out tonight, eating risotto and laughing and chatting.

The munchkins are coming over tomorrow and we're going to replant my flowers on our deck and by our front door. Maybe a pot or two of pansies and some mums.



What wonderful things do you have planned for your weekend?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

An "Off" Day

Ever have one of those days that is just off? My last few have felt that way. Maybe more in the vein of people have irritated me....still, just off.


Bad drivers drive me crazy

Women who adjust their wig while driving. Seriously. In the rear view mirror. Like she's asking herself, "Does it look better tilted forward, backwards, either side?" I thought to myself, "It's the end of the day lady. Just go home & take it off."

Motorized wheelchairs on city streets blocking a lane of traffic. When there is a perfectly good sidewalk to ride on. Wheelchairs are not a moped & can be ridden on the sidewalk.

Going to one store to pick up flank steak & having to go to a different one because they didn't have it.

Compression Hose. Need I say more? Actually, someone asked the other day how my legs felt. My answer? "Compressed." I can't wait to get the veins zapped away.

Bangs that are growing out & are all sorts of wonky. Cowlicks that make them stick out.

Y'all, I think I'm having an off week!

Tell me I'm not alone in this & if you're having an off day/week/month/year, let me know! I can't make it better, but I can commiserate!

And just for fun, I googled Wonky. First thing that pops up is Paris Hilton.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Where I've been - A quick look

Ok, so we all know Wordless Wednesday is a bit of an impossibility for me, but I recently found an interesting website that lets you map out where you've been.

It is actually easier to tell you where I've NOT been.

Idaho (sorry Brittany, just haven't gotten there yet!)
North Dakota
South Dakota

Of the ones I've never been to, I've got Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho and Oregon on my lists as definite "Must Go To's". Montana & Wyoming are "Maybe's".

I think I'm above the national average for states visited.

So do you have a favorite state you've visited (US) & which state is on your "Must Go To" list?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Definite Redo!

On a roll again, here I am, trying to make sure that Mr. Potts is well taken care of while I'm here. Even when I'm not, I try to make sure he has leftovers for a few days.

Does anyone else out there pull recipes out of magazines & end up with a bunch of loose papers? I used to but then would lose the 2nd half of a recipe if a page got lost.

So I bought a binder with a few tabs and started saving my recipes.

Dinner last night was one of these recipes. I found this recipe for Coq Au Vin in Shape back in May and had never gotten around to trying it out.

It was super easy & very yummy!

I didn't use the mushrooms - the only food I absolutely abhor!

Coq Au Vin


  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp white wine (such as chardonnay or pinot grigio), divided
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 oz uncooked egg noodles
  • 2 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup 1/4 -inch diced Canadian bacon (about 1 ounce) (optional - I left this out)
  • 1 cup 1/4 -inch-thick sliced carrots
  • 1 cup 1/4 -inch-thick sliced mushrooms (definitely left this out!)
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, plus whole thyme sprigs (optional - left out, didn't have)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions


Bring a large pot of water to boil for the noodles. Slice chicken into bite-size pieces, being careful to cut across the grain of the meat. (If you cut with the grain, the chicken will be tough.)

In a medium bowl, combine chicken, garlic, 1 tablespoon wine, cornstarch, and pepper. Toss to combine and let sit for a few minutes. In a small bowl, combine broth and remaining wine. Once water comes to a boil, add noodles and cook according to package directions for about 7 to 10 minutes or until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat a 14-inch flat-bottom wok or 12-inch skillet over high (I used my 12 inch cast iron). Swirl in 1 tablespoon oil, then add chicken and spread evenly in 1 layer in pan.

Cook undisturbed for 1 minute, letting chicken begin to sear. Stir-fry for 1 minute or until chicken is lightly browned but not cooked through. Transfer chicken to a plate. Swirl remaining oil into wok, add bacon, carrots and mushrooms and stir-fry for 1 minute or until mushrooms begin to brown. Return chicken, along with any juices that have accumulated, to pan.

Swirl broth mixture into pan, add thyme leaves and salt and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes or until chicken is just cooked through. Stir in scallions, cook for 20 seconds. Divide noodles among 4 plates, top with chicken & vegetables and serve, garnished with thyme sprigs if desired.

Turned out wonderful & Mr. Potts has asked for a redo (that's how we determine if something is good & should be made again).

Anything new in your kitchens?

Monday, October 4, 2010

The icing to my cake

This past week was a long one in New England. The weather was wet and all I could think of was getting back home.

My travel day on Tuesday was one of the most frustrating I've had in a while. It started when I was on my way to the airport and stopped behind someone at a red light. Stopped behind someone who was driving a manual transmission car.

Remember the part about being stopped at the light? We were on a hill. A fairly steep hill. Apparently the girl in front of me wasn't so great at getting going on a hill.

The light turned green and she promptly stalled her car. But instead of stalling and hitting the brakes, she stalled & rolled back about 2 feet. And then proceeded to stall 2 more times, each time rolling another 2 or 3 feet. At this point, my car was in reverse & I was just trying to keep from getting rolled into.

Eventually she got going, but by then, my nerves were on edge. What else?

I walked up right as the shuttle bus at the airport pulled off.

I tried to enter the airport and went for the "Exit" door. Didn't work so well.

The man at the security line was a LIAR. "Security Line at D is much faster." Not so much.

A woman and her father were behind me going through security. She was impatient, she was short, she was fussy. And he was confused.

We chatted a little and after getting through security I turned to her and said, "It must be hard for you both to have him traveling." She looked at me and told me that he suffered from Alzheimer's/Dementia.

And I almost started crying. I wanted to give them both a big hug - I've been there & seen the effects.

But I didn't. I went on to my gate and was off to New England.

I got my car, a funny little Yaris, and was off to the office.

image via

Almost there when I suddenly had to slam on the brakes. As I was coming off of the interstate, this animal came trotting across the exit ramp:

image via

And this wild turkey took his sweet time getting across the road.

As he reached the grass, that guy turned around & I swear I hurt him say, "Gobble Gobble Sucka!"

I shot right back, "You're lucky I didn't hit you & pack your birdy butt in dry ice & ship you home!"

And that, was the icing on my travel day cake.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Kissing Mrs. Potato Head

Don't you love when you have time to wake up slowly on a Saturday? No where to be, nothing important to do, no reason to fix your hair or put on make up?

That was my morning today - we were heading to the lake and in no hurry.

I read an interesting article lately (October's Women's Health) about the fact that many of the things we do to stay healthy & in shape contribute to a loss in facial volume.

Or, "After a certain age, you have to choose between your fanny & your face."
Quote often attributed to Catherine Deneuve

So as I was slowly waking up I turned to Mr. Potts & asked if he could see my "Eleven".

He looked at me a little perplexed and I explained the lines (one major, one minor) between my eyes. I told him that next year (2011) I may check into the fillers to smooth them out.

He said that was fine, as long as I didn't get my lips done too.

"Because then, you know, it would be like kissing Mrs. Potato Head."


I die. What a way to wake up!

Hope you all have had a wonderful Saturday!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Steak - Not just for special occasions

Last night I made my third "new to us" meal and was thrilled with the results.

I'm a HUGE lover of sandwiches: Philly Cheese, Reuben's, Pastrami on Rye, Beef on Wec, etc. When I ran across a recipe for Steak & Cheese Sandwiches (which also had mushrooms in them, but I took that out because..EWW!) I knew these had to come into play this week.

I followed the recipe almost to a t - obviously I left out the mushrooms, I added a bit more Worcestershire Sauce and used more onion/pepper than it called for (I used a full onion & pepper each).


To go along with them, I made the homemade potato chips. To season them, I used cracked black pepper, a little garlic & one of the salts I won from Mrs. Life Accounts forever ago. How awesome are these salts??? I love them!


I learned from the last batch & gave myself more time to cook them. This allowed me not to broil them to make them, "Hurry up & get ready!". The broiling last time may have resulted in us losing a few. But only a few!

I also tried to make a cheese dip - which didn't turn out so hot. I just kind of winged it & we could tell. Anyone have a good way to make a cheese dip that will hold up to thinly sliced, baked potato chips?

You know what the best part of today is? It's FRIDAY Y'ALL!!

Happy Fabulous Friday!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Tale of Risotto

Last night was the second night in my "Make a New Meal for Mr. Potts" week. Y'all. It. Was. FABULOUS.

I kid you not. Monterey Jack, Corn & Roasted Red Pepper Risotto. D-VINE.

And yes, I know that it is spelled "Divine", but I had to do something to show you how wonderful it was.

I, as always, made some modifications. I added a little chicken, I threw in some black beans, I used frozen corn that had a Southwestern flavor.

In the pan - notice the dented side? Yes, I need some new pans.

Close up - look at the chicken, the black beans, the corn & the red peppers. I love the color of this dish!
Side Note: If anyone would like to recommend a camera that will take better pictures than my old Cannon Powershot (point & shoot) that will not break the bank, I'll gladly take those recommendations.

The highlight of the night was not the food, however. It was spending time with Mr. Potts in the kitchen while he stirred the rice (short grain brown, takes a little longer to cook than the recipe calls for) and I chopped the peppers and chickens.

We talked about our days. We laughed about MOTY - my brother recently said she was living her dream life of being a donut maker. You had to be there, it was a hilarious comment.

We talked about his new Kindle that came in the mail yesterday (part of his 35 for 35).

We spent time together that we don't normally get.

It was absolutely wonderful.

And the food? Well, that was just the icing on the cake.

Or the best risotto ever!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A little of this, a little of that

I've got to follow in b.e.g.'s & Susannah's steps and throw a little randomness out there for you.

I'm absolutely exhausted. As in worn out, plum tuckered out (as my step-mom would say), lost all my energy, in bad need of good sleep....TIRED.

I plan to remedy above situation by being in bed at 9pm tonight. On the dot. No Fantasy Football will keep me up tonight.

Since my norm has been airports, hotels & rental cars so frequently, I decided to pull out my Cooking Light cookbook and pick some new recipes for Mr. Potts this week.

Last night's dinner was a result of cookbook perusing. We had Smoky Bacon & Blue Cheese Chicken Salad Pitas and Potato Chips with Blue Cheese Dip. Both were excellent. I made numerous small tweaks, which is the norm with all recipes I use, and was so happy with the results.

I'm ready for fall. I get a good taste of it when I'm in New England, but then I come home & it is 90+ degrees. I get to wear sweaters one week and short sleeves the next.

Driving to work this morning, there was a man waiting to cross the street in jeans, a turtleneck and his leather coat. Guess he's ready for fall too.

These stockings help, but they are so ugly. They were great in Vermont last week while I was standing & at the end of the day, my legs don't hurt as badly, but yeesh, they're ugly! And when I take them off I suppose the blood all rushes for my legs which makes them tingle.

We've all got these random thoughts that run around in our heads - at least, I hope I'm not the only one.

What's running around in your head lately?

Monday, September 20, 2010

A magical night at the fair

The county fair was in town the last week and a half. Since I was out of town last week, Mr. Potts & I took the munchkins this weekend.

And they had the best time. My nephew kept telling me that it was the best day he'd ever had in his WHOLE life (he'll be 4 in January, so he has tons to compare it to).

**On a side note, why is there no sarcastic font. Or a way to show how important things are to a kid?**

We went through a petting area and petted the animals. The kids loved it & Mr. Potts even got in on the petting and feeding action.

Pure happiness, I tell you!

Such a fuzzy llama.

We ate fair food because nothing is better than a corn dog & lemonade for dinner.

We rode fair rides.

The munchkins were thrilled and squealed & oohed & ahhed.

Mr. Potts even volunteered to ride the last ride of the night with them.

The fair was a success.

We also went to the Panthers' game yesterday afternoon. I won't bore you with the details of the game (it was sad), but I will tell you that at 90 + degrees, I swear I sweated off 5lbs yesterday.

Certainly not the highlight of our weekend. The kids and the fair take that spot!

What was the best part of your weekend?