Snow! And a Tree Through the Roof.

We got almost ten inches of the fluffy white stuff here last night and today.  Only it wasn’t fluffy.  It was very, very wet and heavy.  Liv was not happy.  This is adding onto the school year for us.  But it also caused this:

Good grief.  I hope you never have a tree fall through your roof.  This is NOT how I wanted to spend my snow day!  But it could have been much, MUCH worse.  I am very thankful that it didn’t do any more damage than it did.  At least what we know right now.  We will have to wait for this snow to melt to be sure of all of the damage.

What we know for sure is that our brand new seamless gutters are toast.

Doesn’t he look awesome in a hard hat?  Safety first people!

And that one of the tree limbs came through the back part of the roof and attic; actually came through my kitchen wall.  Our house is sort of a split level.  They built the house on a sloping lot, so the second story is ground level in the back, but the entire downstairs is completely level in the front.  It sounds very strange, I know.

Trying to see how much damage…..


Yep, you can see outside from inside my kitchen right now.

My poor patio set.  By the way.  That’s not the ground you see.  It’s all the debris from the downed tree strewn all about on top of the snow.  The tree is off of the roof though, and the hole is temporarily fixed.  The claims adjuster will be here next week to assess the damage for our insurance.  So, seven or so hours later, we are all well.

But it looks so, so pretty! 

My poor daffodils.

It’ll be gone soon!!  How was your snow day?   I sincerely hope a tree didn’t fall on your house!  It’s not a great way to spend your day.  And it’s STILL snowing!

Why Can’t I Throw Away Garbage?

I have been on my decluttering journey for over three years now.  You would think that I have this down to a science.  But I still find myself agonizing over the stupidest things.  Things you shouldn’t agonize over.  Things that are obvious trash and need to go into the garbage. Things that cannot be donated to go live a more wonderful life with someone else.  Because they are trash.  Things like this:

That my friends, is a Princess House, 2 quart, made in France, pot.  I loved this pot.  It served me very, very well for years now.   And I will miss it because it did exactly what it was supposed to do superbly.

Earlier this week, I noticed that it had a crack on the outside.  Not a very big crack, but I knew that I couldn’t use it again.  I wouldn’t take the chance that it would explode and kill someone.  It could happen.  Maybe.  Probably not but I wasn’t taking a chance.  But, I didn’t put it in the garbage either.

I warned all of the family not to use it.  “Hey, that middle pot has a crack in the side of it.  Don’t use it because it could explode and kill you”.   But I still didn’t put it in the garbage.  Why?!?

Is it because I have the whole set?  Now it won’t be a complete set?  I don’t think so.  I have other things that I know aren’t a complete set and it doesn’t keep me up at night.

Is it because they cost the earth?  Nope, because you know me!  I didn’t pay the earth for them and it didn’t bother me one whit to use and enjoy them since they only cost me $12.00 for ALL of them.

I seriously think it’s because I truly have a difficult time throwing things in the garbage.  Not garbage garbage.  Used tissues.  Bags that have had meat marinating in them.  Things like that go straight into the garbage bin.

But, you knew there was a but, right?  I have a very difficult time throwing things away that I have convinced myself that might have another useful purpose to someone.

Recycle is one thing.  I have absolutely no problem every day putting things into the recycle.  That milk jug is going to recycle heaven to be repurposed into lawn furniture or a piece of playground equipment.  That cardboard box from our beloved Coke is going to become a cereal box, or writing paper.  Hundreds of times a day I toss stuff into the recycle bin and never bat an eye.  That might possibly be an exaggeration.

Anywho, I have come to the conclusion that I just have to buckle down and get over myself.  Some things cannot be recycled.  (Ceramic and heat treated cookware are just a few of them.  They can ruin an entire batch of recycled glass because they don’t melt at the same rate as container glass – I checked!)  And they are garbage.  Therefore they need to go into the trash.    Like my well loved and well used Princess House pot, since when I picked it up to move it to get to another pot that didn’t have a crack in the side, it broke and sliced my finger almost off.  That too might possibly be a slight exaggeration.  It was really deep and did bleed for a couple of hours though, and aren’t you glad I didn’t show you that?

Do you suffer from these dilemma’s too?  Do you want to own a lovely set of Princess House pot’s?  Here is a link where you can still buy them.  I will caution you that they do cost the earth, but if you are looking to invest in beautiful and functional pots and pans I love these.  Just make sure they don’t have cracks in them before you pick them up.

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What’s going on right now.

Sometimes I just want to write down what’s happening in our lives.  I want to be able to look back when I’m 102 and feel that pang for things that were.  I fear that if I don’t get them down on paper (or the internet) I won’t remember the day to day things that are so important to recall.

Here, in no particular order, are some random things that I have been pondering lately.


I envy the mommy bloggers.  They are memorializing all the little day to day things that I know are forgotten from when my kids were small.  Some things stick out in my mind, but so many others are just….gone.

I know that part of the reason that I’m feeling this angst is because Denton and I are literally living out this last season with children at home.  Hayden is at our local community college and Liv is finishing up her last couple of years of high school right now.  I can feel that thread with them stretching thinner and thinner.  And if I let myself think about too much, it’s a physical pain.  To know that we are going to have to allow it to break, so that they can go out and make their lives the way they are supposed to do.  My God how brave our parents were/are.  I don’t know how they stood it.  I was twenty two when I got married.  I had never lived away from home.  I honestly do not know how they stood back and let me take that flying leap.


In other, less depressing news, Denton and I are making more of an effort with date days.  Apparently we are old (according to Liv) and date nights are not our thing.  Date days though, that a thing for us right now.  Denton laughingly told me that his and my versions of dates are profoundly different though.  The last two weeks we have spent them either at Lowes picking out things for the house or meeting strange people from Craigslist and buying other things we I want.  I can’t wait to show you what I got for my birthday.  Here’s a hint:


Other thoughts that have crossed my mind lately are: how do you live out love?  Example:  At Christmas with my family, which was at Thanksgiving, hahahaha, I sewed buttons onto one of my brother’s shirts for him.  He had just casually mentioned one day while we were there that he had a brand new shirt that he couldn’t wear because one of the buttons had popped off.  I told him to bring it up to our Mama’s the next day and I would sew it back on for him.

One of the kids said, “Can’t you sew it on yourself?!?”.  That let to an interesting conversation.  Why yes, my brother can sew it on himself because I used to make him sew blankets for my barbies when we were little.   LOL.  I didn’t remember that!  The point though, to me, was this.  He is a grown man, perfectly capable of sewing his own button back on his shirt.  BUT, while we were home, sitting around with one another and having great conversations and time together, this was something tangible that I could do for him to show him how much he means to me.


Have you heard about people’s word of the year?  I had never heard of this phenomenon until Crystal at the Money Saving Mom mentioned what hers was a few years ago.  It still didn’t really mean anything to me.  This year she chose SLOW as her word.  That’s when it finally clicked in my brain why she was choosing these words each year.

Once our kids got to be about thirteen or so, that’s when we slowed things down at our house greatly.  We deliberately chose not to…. – I don’t want to use the word force here, but it sort of fits – …..encourage them to join everything.  By this time, all of us felt like they knew what they liked and didn’t like.  Both of them knew they didn’t want to invest the time and energy and money into soccer.  So we took that off our schedules and wallets.  When they were little we wanted to expose them to so many things that they could possibly be interested in, but once they got so old, they had definite opinions about what they liked and disliked.

I have to say it felt so good to slow down.  Hayden honed in on his music, piano particularly and Liv has her art.  They have both grown into their love for each of their things in ways I don’t think they would have if they had continued to do MANY things.

So I get it now!!  I don’t have any idea what I would choose as a word for my year.  But, I’m still liking SLOW.






A Place for Everything. The Shred Pile.

It’s that time of year isn’t it?  Everywhere I look someone is talking about how to organize and clean, or purge things.  Which I love.  But, sometimes things can be a little or a lot vague.

As we all know, I need a plan to follow or nothing is going to be accomplished.  I can say all day long, I need to organize all those papers……  Unless I have a direction and a objective for getting those papers organized, I might as well just leave them sitting in the pile.

So!  I thought I’d share one of my practices that keep me from being buried alive by all of the paperwork that comes into our house.

I have a large filing cabinet that I keep in my living room.  It looks like a piece of furniture and I love it.  It boggles my Mama’s mind.  She says I’m just like my Papaw Calvin.  One of the many, many reasons I loved that man.  He was a keeper and a filer like me.  That’s where anything that I need to keep ends up.  Tax paperwork, school records, the last years bills that I still get in paper form, things like that.

Someone very close to me told me that they don’t keep their month to month bills.  They look at the amount, pay the bill and throw the paperwork away.  That gives me heart palpitations.  What if your next bill comes and it’s wrong!  What if you need to call and give the people in Whoville a piece of your mind because they overcharged you for whatzits that month?!?  These are the things that can keep me up at night.  I’ll keep my monthly bills for a year thank you very much.

Eventually those things go into the shred pile.  Especially if it has an account number on it.  I can’t imagine why someone would want my water bill with the account number, but still.

Also, I don’t throw anything away with our name and address on it.  I can only imagine some crazed mail stealer waiting for me to throw away a piece of mail with our name and address on it so they can use it for nefarious purposes.  Denton constantly reminds me that our name and address is listed in the local phone book.  I don’t care.  I’m not taking any chances.  Anything with our name and address, anything with an account number, all of those things go into the shred pile.

My shred pile used to overwhelm me.  I had a beautiful piece of furniture to store all of my records in, but the shred pile just sat and stared at me from across the room.  Who has time to shred things all day long?  Not me.  So I put them into a pile to accumulate and I would shred all of them at once.  Usually every couple of months.  Sigh…..  I decided to do something about it.

My shred pile used to sit in that beautiful tray that now houses our air purifier.  And it would grow and grow and become the equivalent of Mt. Everest in papers that needed to be disposed of. So I put them into a container.  Once the container is full, I need to take care of it.  It is also hidden to the left of the filing cabinet.  It’s still very handy to shove all of the papers into, but out of direct site lines of the general public in my house.

See? You don’t even notice my pile o’ papers, do you?

Do you have a shred pile at your house too, or do you just chunk yours in the garbage like Denton does when I’m not looking?

Do your ears react to everything but GOLD?

Ever since we had Liv’s ears pierced when she was one, she has always had to wear gold earrings.  Always.  Real gold, not even gold filled.  If she didn’t, the post would cause her ears to turn red, swell and itch unbearably.  My Mama is the same way.

For years, she was restricted in what earrings she could pick out and eventually she just stopped wearing them altogether.  Until I figured out my little trick.  Now she can wear ANY earrings.

Fingernail polish.  All you have to do is paint the posts of any earring, and it seals them so that the metal doesn’t react with her ears.  Now she can wear all of the cheap and wacky earrings to her hearts content.  Try it and see if it works for you.

Here’s the link to those awesome dinosaur earrings above if you want to get yourself a pair!

NOTE:  I am NOT a Doctor!!!!! 

I am telling you what worked for us.  If you still have a reaction, PLEASE stop wearing cheap earrings!!

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How Cold is Cold Enough?

Every winter I am inundated with exclamations of “Where are your shoes!?!?” anytime I am out and about in public.  Well, mine are on my feet.  You just might not consider sandals or flip flops appropriate footwear at the end of December.  Or January or even into February.

Hello, my name is Tracie and I have hot feet.  To the point that I don’t wear what normal people consider “appropriate footwear” anymore unless it’s extremely cold.  Over the last decade I have pin-pointed some things that can tip me from being my normal, level-headed and calm self into a foaming at the mouth, shrieking, unhinged shrew.  Stuffing my feet into shoes that make me feel overheated can do it every single time.  So to save humanity and myself the humiliation, I will just wear my sandals into February thank you very much.

First, before I start getting emails about this let me explain.  I am not talking about going skiing for four hours and wearing flip flops while I do it.  I’m also not suggesting that I would be happy and comfortable standing around the Salvation Army kettle ringing the bell in 30 degree weather for three hours in my sandals.   What I am saying is that when it is 30 degrees and I leave my nice toasty warm house to get into my nice toasty warm car to drive to a nice toasty warm store, I am going to wear my flip flops.  ESPECIALLY if I have to fight with the people at WalMart for aisle space while they have their family reunion on grocery shopping day.

Secondly, I keep blankets, an extra pair of shoes and socks in my car in case of an emergency.  I don’t want to be stuck on the side of the interstate for hours and get frostbite either.  Although I don’t know how that would be possible.  The last time my car stopped working, I called Denton and even though he was an hour away, he rescued me in less than 45 minutes.  In broad daylight.  I didn’t even get frostbite or have to resort to putting on my real shoes.  It was the battery, by the way.  If those goofy (but nice!) men at the Exxon had just stopped trying to HELP me, I could have had my car jumped off and went about my day without all of the drama.  Ahem.

I have had many, many people suggest to me that there are multitudes of reasons for this phenomenon and that I should have testing done to correct it.  Or I can just wear my flip flops and be comfortable.

Our highs have been in the low 30’s for the last ten days or so.  I have worn my flip flops and ran in and out of the cold the few times I left my house and been very comfortable.  It’s 3 degrees right now though and our high today is 19*!  I have to go grocery shopping, so I think I’ll dig out a pair of my “normal” shoes today.  So, maybe, just maybe 3* is the magic number.  I think that’s what I’ll start telling people when they ask me how cold does it need to be.  Three.  Three degrees should do it.

Now I need to know.  Anyone else out there who detests their feet feeling hot?  Do you refuse to wear “real shoes” too?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Bridge Day 2015 | New River Gorge, West Virginia

Have you ever been to Bridge Day?  Have you even heard of Bridge Day?!?  When we moved to our tiny town 10 years ago, I don’t think that I had ever heard about it, or if I had that it even registered in my brain what it is.

Then my Daddy said very casually one day, “Hey, you should take the kids to the New River Gorge Bridge, it’s pretty cool.”  So we did.  And it was astounding.  Amazing.  Crazy.  Breathtaking.  And it wasn’t Bridge Day!


I have to say, if you want to have a relaxing experience of the bridge in all of its glory, go on a day that isn’t Bridge Day.  There are just so. many. people.  But, you need to go on the weekend that they are holding Bridge Day too.  It’s A-MAZING.


The New River Gorge Bridge is located just outside Fayetteville, West Virginia.  The bridge is 876 feet ABOVE the New River.  Did you read that?  876 feet.  On Bridge Day they shut both sides of Highway 19 down and let people JUMP OFF OF IT!!!  Want a visual of just how high that really is?


Yeah.  We didn’t jump off of the bridge and it was exhilarating.  I cannot even imagine the thrill that the people who were jumping were getting.  Crazytown, people, crazy. town.


As you approach on the day, you will be very aware that you are not going to be able to drive across the bridge.  They have it clearly stated along the way.

IMG_9657Since you can’t drive to the bridge and they don’t want 50,000 cars lined along the highway, they provide shuttles for $3.00 and will drop you at the entrance to the bridge.  You can park at the local Walmart or five other places you can read about here.


The day we were there, our shuttle was a school bus.  I don’t think I’ve been on a school bus since I was in the tenth grade.  They’ve changed a lot!  Did you know that school buses now are automatics!?  Every school bus I have ever been on was a stick shift.

When they drop you off, you’ll have to walk down the highway to actually get to the bridge.  Try to keep yourself away from the welding helmeted man with the kettle corn.  You can try. 😀

And the Hillbilly Hot Dogs.

AND the thousands of people.



It’s truly not a long walk to the actual bridge.


I thought this was pretty ironic.  You know, since there can be up to 100,000 people walking it on Bridge Day.


Good reminders along the way, especially if you have small children.


Here are some things you may see on the way…..






How.  How do you lose your shoe, adult person, and not realize it?


And you are there!  Lots of people will be hanging over the rails, watching the people who have just jumped.  It’s a very long bridge.  My advice is to head straight to the platform they have built over the edge for the jumpers.

This is where I thought most of the excitement of the day happened.

Two people taking the plunge.  See the guys hand in the air?  Yeah, he’s already airborne!

This guy.  From what I gathered, he had been there all day.  Watching people, jump, waiting, watching people jump and waiting.  He was gathering his nerve.

He stood there a LONG time.  But he did it!

I mean, come on!  Look at that.  Seriously, I honestly don’t think I could ever do it.  Do you see that tiny red and white bull’s eye down there?

Yeah, there.  That’s what they are supposed to aim for.  Go back and look at the previous picture.  Those are humans next to it.  Uh-huh.

This poor guy didn’t make it to the bull’s eye.  He landed in the water.  That’s what all of the boats are there for.  To get people out of the river.  The frigid river.  We had winter gear on and it was still cold.  I can’t imagine what the river felt like.  But these guys did it over and over.  Jump, land, ride the bus back up, get on the platform and jump again.

If you’ve never been to Bridge Day I HIGHLY recommend it.  There are a lot of other things happening during the weekend too and you can read all about the plans they have for 2018 here.  Have fun!



















The Side Eye.

When I came in yesterday afternoon, I found this top portion on our white board.

I added the bottom part and then I laid in wait for Hayden to get home to see his reaction.

He came in and glanced at the board and stood there for approximately .2 seconds before reaching up and erasing the whole thing.  He gives me the side eye as he’s doing that, and says to me, “That wasn’t for you”.

Liva didn’t have school yesterday and she was asleep when he left for school.

He’s a good brother.  And a smart aleck like his Mama.  😉  I love it, and him beyond measure.



The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Today, (in 1937!) The Hobbit was published for the first time.

I think it’s time for a marathon of reading and movies!  Thank you so much J. R. R. Tolkien for opening our imaginations to this fantastical world.

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Happy Birthday Stephen King!

Today is Stephen King’s birthday.  Happy Birthday Mr. King!  Your writing has kept me awake at night for years.  I hope you have a wonderful 70th birthday!

Here are some of my all time favorites!

The Shining

This is one of his scariest in my humble opinion.  The absolute tension throughout the book kept me up at night.



The Dark Tower – The Gunslinger


Under the Dome

This list doesn’t even scratch the surface of his writing.  You can find the complete list here.  And this link will take you to all of the movies and TV shows that have been created from his work.

Keep the lights on and enjoy!

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