Will I EVER Be Freshly Pressed?

Life would be so delightful if I were organized.  My blog would always be up to date with new posts and pics and recipes and good advice or awesome web sites for you to get coupons and free stuff.  Then I would be Freshly Pressed!  I need to be freshly pressed… every day.

rumpled me

Instead my little personality gets up and looks around at its rumpled little self, deciding to just wear what it already has on because, well, the chaos makes actually “getting it together” overwhelming.  How on earth does one become Freshly Pressed/freshly pressed?

I gave birth to “my baby” back in January of 2011.  My little blog has crawled along, sometimes actually getting up and walking really fast, but never quite getting to the point of where I imagined it would be at the end of the year.  And that is all my fault.  My appetite was tremendously starving for what life and I had cooked up for me, and I heaped way too many projects on my plate (hey, I am a Gemini) this past year, 2011, as usual.  BUT… I actually reached those goals!! And I documented them through my darling, little blog as I went along.

JJ & Brenda 1997

The tenth anniversary of my husband’s death was the impetus for this upheaval, this craving for living, this hodgepodge menu in my blog posting.  For a decade I had been stagnant, too full of grief over the losses and tragedies and heartaches I had endured.  What better way to break back into life than cooking and sharing that food with friends and then sharing the whole experience through a blog?

diverse appetites

Though my goal changed from filling bellies with the magazine recipes I had been saving for years to feeding my readers with thoughts on various subjects, it has been a sharing together of not just my appetite for life, but some of yours as well.

Some of the goal dates came and went — contractors do that all the time — and were reached a little later than planned.  And, well, those recipes and awesome meals for all my old and new friends didn’t quite pan out (pun intended) although I did cook a couple of good meals and make some mighty fine mice for Christmas in December of 2010, the year I started my “revamp Brenda” recipe.  That recipe is still in the perfecting stage.  The important outcome of this past year, though, is my accomplishments!  In spite of needing a freshly pressed, got-it-all-together overhaul, I managed to do all this:


the baby grand!


revamping the wood floor

stained the fence and other outdoor wood.

new windows

began kitchen remodel.

cooked a couple of meals!

took girls to Disney

teaching piano

added a porch

taking girls on their first plane ride

There were other little projects that were completed in 2011 that were on my list of to-do things.

That’s a good, good feeling that I hope to continue into 2012!

2011… already an unusual year

It’s not even halfway through the year of 2011, and there have already been historic events.  The one that touches the lives of those closest to home, of course, is the flood.  As I watched the news tonight in my basement, I heard this big sound like the washing machine starting… only there was nothing going on with the washer.  Then I realized my sump pump had kicked in!

sump pump

That means the water is trying to get in my basement.  Oh no!  I went through this just two or three  years ago, and it about killed me.  So after that fiasco, I had a sump pump put in and a concrete drain around the back of the house.  So far it has held up with all this rain.  I’ve checked the sump pump to make sure it was on, wondering if I would ever need it.  Tonight was the night.

And it’s still raining.


Osama bin Laden is dead!  After hunting for him for ten years, he has been found and brought to justice, in one way or another.  From 2001, the year I lost my husband, to 2011, the year I regained my strength, it has been a loss and victory for the United States as well as for me.

The earthquake and tsunami along the Japan coast was traumatizing… and I wasn’t even there.

Japan Tsunami

The images will forever be imbedded in my brain.  I wonder about the victims.  Who were they?  Young?  Old?  Mothers and fathers?  Entire families?  How are they managing now?

This was the year I set goals for myself and have met them; set a time schedule for those goals and met it (most of the time); achieved steps forward and inched a bit backward.

the baby grand

I planned the purchase of my baby grand, when I would buy it, and how much I would pay.  Teaching piano was one of the goals, and I am teaching.

The rejuvenating the house project may be a little behind schedule, but it’s getting there.  The wood floor was refinished close to schedule.  It turned out beautifully.

I started my blog; something I’d been researching for a few months.  And I’ve even cooked a meal in my quest to plow through the overabundance of recipes that I have.

2011 has been a most unusual year full of plans and events; some good, some bad, some happy, some sad, many out of the norm.  I’m very curious to see what the rest of the year brings.  A few things I am worried about and very sad to think of the outcome while hoping for a positive, successful one.  Some plans I am eagerly looking forward to such as our Disney trip for Kate’s 5th birthday.  The rest of what could happen or will happen, I just can’t imagine.

At the end of the year, I will come back to this month, the not-even-half-way-through month, and see how the year as a whole fared.

But in the meantime… it’s still raining and the water is still rising.

Where did our home go?

Oh Happy Day!! Oh Happy Day!!!

doing the happy dance

This has been a great day!!!  The internet customer service dude finally took the time to actually fix my internet connection.  (I can’t discuss it anymore than that, or I will forget I had a great day!)  I took pics of my neat gift from my neat friends (Funky Three without Me) (will finish that story tomorrow);

the wrapping paper (I love Veggie Tales)

I got my floor all sanded and polished and the furniture back in the house; AND (drumroll please) I got my baby grand delivered!!  YES!  What a great day.  And to top it off, I went to my Matilda and the Hogbottom Girls book club meeting,  pigged out on great food, and discussed the book Chasing Fireflies by Charles Martin.

Matilda and the Hogbottom Girls

So now I have to sing the song of joy and happiness as they did in the movie “Sister Act” with Whoopie Goldberg.                                      

the baby grand!

“Oh happy day, oh happy day, when Jesus washed my sins away.  He taught me how to fight and pray. And live rejoicing every day.  Oh happy day.  I’m talking ’bout the happy days.  Oh happy day.”