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Upcycling & Repurposing

About seven months ago I redid a couple of our dining room chairs. The craft shop on base was closing soon and I had no time to waste. I picked out fabric that was almost identical to the other chairs. I had two to redo and really didn’t want to do all of them if I didn’t have to. Prying out staples isn’t my idea of a good time. I completed the two chairs, the craft shop closed, and then . . . the fabric on two other chairs ripped and wore thin. Seriously? Are you kidding me? So, we had two ripped up chairs for a few months. I was weighing my options: (a) order fabric on-line, (b) buy fabric locally, or (c) start using the patio chairs. Option A just ended up being a waste of time. I searched stores, but you can’t really see and feel the fabric and that’s something that I need. I just couldn’t bring myself to do Option B. I cannot in good conscience overpay for something that I don’t want to pay for in the first place. And I  think the patio chairs might be too low for the table. Many months passed and I continued to live in denial. Trying to avoid the ugly chair dilemma. But, we had some visitors coming for lunch and I HAD to do something.

I quickly sprang into action and headed for the basement (where all my brilliant plans are hatched). I decided to just get them covered, even if it meant with little cowboys and Christmas fabric. I was looking for some extra fabric – you know all that extra fabric that you can’t bear to throw out. Hey, if I couldn’t do the chairs right, at least I would make a temporary cover. Immediately, I came across a failed project of mine. I had saved one of Matt’s old long sleeve t-shirts to repurpose. I brought it up stairs, separated the front from the back, and started stapling. When Matt got home and saw the chairs, he couldn’t figure out where I had gotten the fabric from or what type of material it was.

This is just a temporary fix. I do plan on redoing all the chairs once I can do a proper job and pick out the right type of material.

Running in Germany

Running in Germany has its ups and downs. I’m talking about recreational running, not running from a cheetah kind of running. That is a whole different sport. In Germany, for instance, I just love the infinite ways to get from point A to point B. There are so many paved paths that take you where ever you want to go and places you could never see by car. Plus, the countryside can be breathtaking. Like right now, the red poppies are sprinkled in the golden fields. IMG_0506

When running anywhere it is important to be prepared. For some it’s planning the route, distance, or time. Still for others, being prepared means dressing for the weather. Personally, I try on both counts. I usually have some idea of where my run takes me, how far I’m willing to go, and when I’m expected to return. But honestly, my legs usually do their own thing. My mind says, “Hey this is too much work. Let’s turn around and go home.” Whereas another part of me is saying “Shut up and run.” I’d like to think my legs have some say in the matter.

Dressing for the weather. Dressing for the weather in Germany. That one is a doozy. My standard uniform is Nike Tempo Shorts, a mis-matched tech shirt, a hat that used to be white, sporty sunglasses, and of course, running socks and shoes. My socks are so smart too. They tell me which is left and right, so I’ll never have to wonder. Continue reading



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We just returned from another amazing trip. This time we ventured into Portugal. We spent a week in the most south-western point in a village called Sagres. Unfortunately, it was extremely windy and on the cool side so we were unable to spend everyday at the beach, as I had envisioned. However, we made some wonderful memories with the kids.

It’s a Miracle . . . Berry.

As you may know, Matt is a finder of things. Cool things. New things. Techie things. Blue things. Sometimes he tells me about things like Fury Cows, Wampa Ice Scrapers, Hamburger stuffers, and the most awesome golf clubs. He helps keep me “in the know,” you know? His latest find is called the Miracle Berry. I admit, when he told me about this berry, I was not interested in it. It makes sour or bitter food palatable.

Limes. You can eat a lime after you eat a berry. Grapefruit too. And vinegar, if you are wondering.

Matt bought a package of Mberry. Thanks to modern technology, the berry comes in a tablet. You chew it and let it coat your tongue. Then you can eat all that food that you would otherwise not eat. Gavin said the tablet tasted weird. So it took him a few minutes just to chew it up.

We tested the berry out. Matt put together a platter of food to experiment with. And vinegar. I have to say that this is a very curious berry/tablet. I ate a lime like it was a strawberry. The vinegar had a sweetness that I cannot describe. However, I will say that the smell of the food item remains. Just before I took a sip of vinegar, I inhaled the vinegar in my cup. Bad idea! I recovered and then took a sip. I warned everyone else to NOT smell the vinegar first.

It’s such trickery! Your nose, your brain, and your tastebuds just will not agree with one another.

If you see Mberry or miracle berry, you may want to experiment with it, too.

Tapas or Appetizers?


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The other day we decided to eat out for dinner. Walldorf is a town just down the road from us and has a few restaurants along the shopping area. Matt and I felt daring and decided on La Tortuga. It’s a Spanish Restaurant and has a nice ambiance. I’d been there before with a friend and I had enjoyed it. So, I was excited to bring the family there to try Tapas. When we got the menus I realized that Tapas probably wouldn’t be a great idea after all. The look […]

DIY: Corn Tortillas

To prevent drying during pressing, cover with a clean, damp towel.

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Last year we bought another kitchen gadget. The tortilla press. I have to admit, I absolutely love this little guy. You can use it for much more than corn tortillas. I have also used it to make pitas. And what’s not to like? You make a ball and then smash it down. It’s a lot like playing with play-doh. That’s probably why the kids like using the press. Homemade corn tortillas are worth it! 1. They are so easy to make. 2. There are only two ingredients: Masa Harina & […]

My New Friend

DSC03370This is a photo of my new best friend. It is a strong anti-acid that is helping my stomach heal. Thanks to each small tablet, I am able to eat without constant burning pain all day long.




If you know me at all, you know that I am a very trendy person. I am all about what is and what is not hot.

Just foolin’. I had you going there for a sec didn’t I?

I am, however, superbly keen on some of the newest trends that are ridiculous, dumb, hideous, and nonsensical. The kind that make you laugh out loud or perhaps you hear a slight whimper and realize that it escaped from your own lips.

For example, when traveling a couple of years ago from Athens to Frankfurt, I actually saw a woman wearing “Hammer pants.” Let me refresh your memory “Du du du du, du du, du du. Can’t touch this!” Apparently M.C. Hammer’s pants made a small comeback in Europe that year. I saw them several times. Continue reading

Ollie Chandler Collection

Ollie Chandler Collection

Title: Ollie Chandler Collection
Author: Randy Alcorn
Genre: , ,
Description: This series of books covers life in Oregon for newspaper columnist Jake Woods, his friends, coworker Clarence Abernathy, and, of course, Detective Ollie Chandler. The series kicks off with Deadline, where Jake Woods has to deal with his beliefs as he struggles with the murder of his two best friends. This is followed by Dominion, where Clarence Abernathy also struggles with faith and doubt, while dealing with issues of racism, gang violence and the murder of his sister. Finally, the series closes out with Deception, where Detective Ollie Chandler has to deal with what he believes while investigating the murder of a university professor.

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