The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16:6 nasb

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


My February, in mobile phone pictures...

February 2.  Dad and Mom took me to Panera for lunch.  I have the best parents, not because they take me to lunch, but because they raised me well, and they call, and talk, and have fun with me.  I treasure our relationship!!

Then, a somewhat goofy selfie to text to Fernando, who was in some airport somewhere on a layover, waiting for his connecting flight to fly home to his sweetheart.

And then he came home!

February 4.  His-and-hers Andy's frozen custard.  Because it's amazing, and it was free, and Fernando was home.  Who cares how cold it is outside?  Not me.

February 5, Superbowl Sunday.  The only photo I took was of this maple-bacon brie, in puff pastry.  It was amazing.  I'll have to post a recipe soon, of course...

Oh, I also took this photo during the football game, of Danny with a huge blanket wrapped up on top of his head.  Goofy kid.

February 8.  Thomas spent three entire weekends repairing my Arabelle (BMW), and I felt like taking a picture once I arrived at work today.

February 11.  Free tickets to the Chicago Auto Show!!  Again, I left my big-girl camera at home, determined to simply enjoy the day.  I got to sit in cars I'll never own, and discuss with Fernando the pros and cons of other cars I'll also never own.

The Lego Batmobile!  We probably own enough Legos to recreate this at home...

We entered the drawing to win this Slingshot.  (We didn't win it.)

Our Saturday at the Auto Show ended with a drive to Navy Pier and a meal at Bubba Gump's Shrimp Company.  Fernando and I, and Jake, Thomas, and Bryan (friend of the guys) all had a super fun day together.

February 12.  So, something else broke--our washing machine.  But, Fernando is amazing, figured out what was wrong, and provided a fix.  The washer won't shut off now if we open the lid--lost that safety feature--but it works, so no major expense there.

February 14.  Fernando was out of town for Valentine's Day, so my sister Lori and I spent the afternoon together, culminating in dessert at Le Chocolate in downtown Naperville.  Oh, my goodness!

February 16.  Thomas did some tweaking under the hood of my car.

February 17.  Another tea time with sweet Sarah, at my home this time.  I had Thomas run out to Cali Girl Cakes for some cupcakes and cookies, and Sarah showed up with sweets of her own!  Needless to say, we were stuffed, eating all afternoon, sharing tea, and talking and laughing our heads off!

February 23.  I tend to use my mobile for food pictures--and then I post them on Instagram or Facebook.  I finally made salsa verde (salsa de tomatillo) for Taco Night.  I need to make it more often; it's that awesome.

February 25.  After an incredibly warm week--of which I worked every day, of course--the weather turned c-c-cold, so here's me bundled up for a date with my hubby, home from Korea!  I ended up getting a tummy ache while we were out, so we just came home and lounged around.  So much for a special day together...

February 26.  The second Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Commendation Bar, a two-kilo chocolate bar.  I don't know what the commendation is for, but the dark Belgian chocolate is amazing so we broke open this beauty and started enjoying it.

February 27.  On the way home from work, it happened again.  I was driving along Lake Tampier, enjoying the sunset and thinking had I had my camera with me I would've stopped and taken a few photos, when I glanced down at the dashboard and saw my temperature gauge pegged out in the red zone.  I pulled over to the only place there is to pull over in any direction--a little parking lot across from the main lake.  I popped open the hood, gave Fernando a call, called Charlie the Streaker (our towing guy, we love him!), watched three guys get in their cars/trucks and drive off without even checking on my well-being, and sat in the car and waited.

Charlie found us, even though this little parking lot isn't on the Garmin/TomTom map, and got us towed.  Fernando and I drove back to my work in the Suburban, since I forgot a package I had there, and then we drove home.

Arabelle sits in my driveway today, under Thomas' care.  Since he was laid off a while ago, he has been so helpful with my car.  I'm glad he's working on it.  The expansion tank for the radiator will be a simple fix, according to Thomas, so I'll be able to drive the car this week.

The other damage--brake issues, which we think was caused the first time the car was towed--was too expensive to get done via the dealership.  So, Thomas will work on that and hopefully he'll get things figured out and fixed.  But that's a post for March.

Back to life,

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Fernando traveled a lot the rest of January, so here is my personal January, in mobile phone pictures (sadly, I hardly touched my camera the rest of the month).

January 12.  Riding home from Dad's and Mom's house in Danny's car, I felt a sniffle and realized--bloody nose!  It was a spectacular gusher, and I managed to get blood everywhere except not on my clothes!

January 13.  I was missing Fernando, so took a selfie to text to him.

And then I made some popcorn, using a smaller bowl that I thought would work.  It didn't.

January 17.  We walked--yes, walked--to Chick-Fil-A for a free lunch!

January 21.  Thomas' car had died this past week, so this Saturday, we decided to get it towed to Laurel BMW (yes, he bought a BMW!) so that he could get it repaired under warranty (his used car got a 60-day warranty!).  I took a photo of me lounging on the stoop to our back yard patio.  What a beautiful afternoon!

We ended up calling Westmont Towing, and got Charlie on the phone...

Charlie:  I'm streaking toward you as we speak!

Me:  (In my head)  Is he naked??

Thomas:  Hey, the flatbed tow truck is here!

Me:  Is the driver naked?

We shared this back-and-forth with Charlie, who was extremely extroverted and friendly, showed Thomas around his car, and got everything set.  When he asked if someone was going to accompany him in his truck to the dealership, Thomas jumped right on it, and into his truck.  The two of them had a blast!

After we got everything taken care of at the dealership, we were walking back to the Suburban, which I drove (and Dad rode in), when my mobile phone rang.

I answered, and a voice:  Hi, this is Charlie the Streaker!

What a riot!

January 24.  I met sweet Sarah for breakfast at Honey Jam Cafe, and we spent the morning talking, drinking coffee, eating, drinking coffee, and talking.  I was w-i-r-e-d the rest of the day!

January 27.  I took a mobile phone photo of a scrapbook page of little Jake, whose birthday was today.  Isn't he just the cutest, sweetest baby you ever saw?

January 28.  I actually cooked!  I made berry banana baked oatmeal for breakfast.

That was my January in photos.  Nothing special, mostly without Fernando, just my ordinary life this month.

Back to life,

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Monday, January 9, 2017


Fernando's employer has an annual get-together in early January; this year he got to drive down.  And I got to go with him!

Friday, January 6 was the gathering at No--, so I hung out by myself for the day while Fernando attended the get-together.  Late afternoon, I met him at his work and I met lots of people whose names I'll never remember (!!), who were super friendly and encouraging to both of us.

From there in Knoxville, we drove to our hotel in Pigeon Forge, just on the outskirts of the Great Smoky Mountains.  Oh, to see those mountains!!  The photos do not do it justice.

The view from our hotel suite.

We used money from mileage plus Fernando's hotel points for this beautiful suite, free of charge!

After a yummy "down-home" meal at The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge, we retired to our suite where it began to snow yet again.  Though we didn't want to see it having come south in the winter, it was beautiful.

The next morning, we drove into Gatlinburg.  We decided to stop along the way at one of the little parking areas dotting the mountain road to tromp through the snow in order to see the river, and the view.  Just amazing!

In Gatlinburg, which was still intact despite so many recent fires near and around, we went to Calhoun's for some Tennessee barbecue--yum.

We wandered around Gatlinburg...

Paula Deen's store!

There was a distillery (one of two), and it called our names...

What a festive atmosphere--until our server got political (why do people do that?).  But the "fare" was delicious, and they gave Fernando a generous military discount!

Down every side street, we saw the mountains in the distance!

We stopped at a local brewery to get some beer for Matt and Jeff, and this little scene greeted us in the parking lot.

We had a wonderful day, spent together, just enjoying a new place and each other's company.

Sunday morning view from our suite before heading home.

On the way home, we played music, sang, and I took this photo with Rocky Top, Tennessee in the background!  I had to play the song for Fernando; he had never heard it before (poor guy!).

We stopped at a Cracker Barrel for dinner, got stuffed yet again, and even ordered dessert.  Fernando took this goofy picture of me attacking dessert...

I hope this great start to a new year continues for us.  I hope this becomes a year for new beginnings together, a new life of looking ahead with hope and joy.

Back to life,

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