FYI to make you smile!

I’m sitting here watching football with hubby and there was a commercial for a “NATIONAL” pinata day and hubby was like that’s not a thing!  I just laughed and pulled out the laptop to look it up. 😀  Not only was it National Pinata Day, but I found a site for National Day Calendar that will tell you what ANY given day is a “NATIONAL” thing of day.

2019 SNOWMAGEDDON update

So while the power is on and the internet is cooperating I’m going to do a quick update.  Hubby had been saying how disappointed he was that snow had been on the forecast all month, but never really materialized.  Well, I’m here to tell you BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR!

We’re accustomed to snow, lots of it even from our time in the U.P., but unfortunately this little town wasn’t!  They are used to a couple inches that melts away fairly quickly.  It would have been okay and even a little bit funny if it hadn’t happened ALL at once and taken down thousands of trees and the power too!  I was never this cold even during the long winters of the Upper Peninsula… Here we are a week later and still have several inches covering everything.

Hubby tried to keep the walkway cleaned off, but every time he’d finish it would start snowing again.  At one point during the 3 day outage it was warmer in the refrigerator than the house and it continued to snow even more with tons of road closures all hampering the repair crews and their efforts to restore power.  Even the cell towers took a beating leaving us with compromised communication.  My neighbor and I resorted to throwing snowballs at each other’s window to get each other’s attention. 

During daylight hours we would use the cars to charge up phones and electronics which would also help melt the snow off the cars while we sat there getting a little bit warm and charging up. I braved it and walked over to talk with my neighbor.  Neighbors checked on each other and banded together as necessary.  Some were kinda stupid running propane heaters in houses that had gas pilots, letting their kids go out and get cold and wet with no way to warm them back up or take their cars where they couldn’t get out without making a HUGE slushy, icy mess.

I have to tell you 2019 Snowmageddon will not be forgotten ANY time soon.  Remote rural areas will NOT even be restored for weeks to come. 

When we finally left the house we were so surprised by just how many trees and I mean BIG trees had fallen onto and over roadways, onto power lines, houses, cars…  Clean up will take some time!  The sun made an appearance on Friday for a few hours and it felt heavenly, but other than that it has usually only appeared at the end of the afternoon in time to start setting.


We had just enough snow to make a mess and slow things down.  It was a wet, cold snow – the kind that sticks to everything.  There was a 2 hour school delay and the roads are icy.

It is so pretty when it starts.

And then it ends up EVERYWHERE! I’m not sure what’s in the bird bath – guess we’ll have to wait for a thaw to find out.

It’s a good day for some homemade cream of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.  We have more ice/snow predicted for several more days over the next 10 days so I think I’m going to be a homebody and make soups, stews and jams. 😀

When Calls the Heart to When Hope Calls

I could have easily lived in Hope Valley. The sense of purpose, belonging and community was so invested in each and every person. I love this show and while it may take twists and turns we are not always happy about it does mimic real life and its uncertainties. I will continue watching for that reason.

But the exciting news is that When Calls the Heart is getting a spin off, When Hope Calls in 2019. There are no real details yet to the spin off, but it will feature Susan Lucci.  That I will have to see to believe and not real sure how I feel about it yet after all her years as Erica Kane on All My Children, but we shall see.

And as always will be doing their annual Christmas movie.


It’s hard to believe we are at the 6 month mark. Sometimes it feels like it’s been 10 years already. Then when I try to eat something I’m not yet ready for I realize, it’s just been a very short time in the realm of relearning how to eat.


So, for some weird AND unknown reason many food smells that were once welcoming AND comforting now turn my stomach. The doctor says this is fairly normal, but CANNOT answer why it is “normal”. Some of the once loved foods that I can no longer stand to be around are:

  • hard boil eggs
  • pancakes
  • cabbage
  • sausage

I also cannot eat much bread, potatoes or rices because they take up too much space in my egg sized portion of stomach with virtually no nutrient value.


I have SLE (Systemic Lupus), Fibromyalgia and recently ended up with a non-weight loss stomach bypass that changed my life beyond belief.  Just 6 months ago you would NOT have been able to convince me to EVER give up ALL sugar – (nothing like waking up from a routine surgery and learning it was anything but routine and you can never again have certain things), but I have to say no sugar is NOT the worst thing ever. I ALSO DO NOT do ANY sugar substitutes or preservatives because of the SLE and Fibro. So, while my diet does become a bit limited, it is possible to cope.  The thing I REALLY miss is coffee, but am making it work with green tea which is ultimately so much more healthy.

I had needed to lose 15 pounds or so as we all do at this stage in life, but now at the 50 pound mark lost, the doctor’s concern is that I lose no more and try to maintain where I am – he actually felt that way at the 25-30 pound mark.  Because there is no “real” stomach or holding vessel for food, the body does not absorb much at all.  For that reason I have certain vitamins and supplements that will be 5 times a day for the rest of my life. I also have to be picky on what I eat as many foods still do not agree with me and I can never eat sugar again.  Anything with high fat is also an issue so it really limits my choices every day. The biggest lifetime issue will be the amount (or lack there of) of food I can eat at any given time.  My stomach is now the size of an egg.  My stomach does not and will not stretch. It also does not absorb much in the way of nutrients.  My stomach will NOT grow or change in any way.  Eating is now and always will be in the future something of a challenge.

One of the biggest shocks was the need for ALL new clothes, I went from a size 8-10 down to a 2 so far. I have had to buy ALL new underwear, bras, pants, dresses and even shoes! Yes, I said shoes. I lost an entire shoe size – I didn’t even know that was possible.  This is just one of the piles of shoes I made when trying to find something to fit on Easter morning.

Moving right along and checking all the boxes ~ literally and figuratively

Things are moving along here and even seem to be dragging a bit at times, but I know they’ll speed up at the end so am glad to have the time to pack properly and patch nail holes, etc… I’m using canned air and dusting everything REALLY well before packing also to make life easier when we finally unpack.

We are at that point of multiple lists and decisions. I have a list of utility companies, insurances, etc… to call and cancel and another list to just change addresses. I’m also sorting (BIG TIME) and amassing ALL the warranty books and such for appliances and things for the new owner to make his life easier.  I’m even including a list of the plumbers, pest control, utility companies and electrician that we used in case he needs anything since they are already familiar with the property.

With knowing that things are going to storage for a period of time, we chose to use ALL new boxes for a couple of reasons. The first being that NEW coordinated boxes are sturdier and stack better for a cross country move and in the storage unit itself. The second being that there isn’t a chance of food stuffs or bugs from older or grocery oriented boxes going with us. We have had to make a couple of boxes to replace boxes that are no longer viable for odd shaped pieces.

We are also wrapping furniture (especially the antiques) in sheets and shrink wrap to protect the woods from dust and drying out too much. Most of the upholstered furniture is being sold or donated as it just doesn’t hold up well in storage.


Hubby and I decided to take the day off and just do something fun.  The weather was absolutely beautiful and we decided to go to the zoo.  Unfortunately, the zoo was a poor choice – EVERY school in town had a bus there and there were also strollers everywhere.  Even overflow parking was full, so we decided to just take a drive to a little town we had heard had some good antique stores.

We only went to 2 stores, both of which were multi building large stores.  I found a beautiful cross for cross wall in the first store, but the second store is where I really scored!

We walked in the door and my eye was immediately drawn to a hutch on the right that was filled with exactly what I’ve been looking for. Service for 8 plus some extra pieces totaling 70 pieces total of some original Johnson Bros. Covered Bridge china.  I checked when we got home and to buy the original set if you could even find all the pieces would total nearly a thousand dollars today.  I paid just over $100 for all 70 pieces.  No cracks, chips or discoloration.  Looks like it just came out of grandma’s cabinet.

Years ago I started collecting a few pieces here and there of Johnson Bros. China.  Made in England it is the nice bone style china.  When we were first starting out there wasn’t much money for the whole set and by the time there was, it was hard to find and really expensive.  And the bonus today was that none of these pieces are pieces I already have! There are some made in China reproductions available, but they are just not the same and I feel very fortunate to have completed my set today.


Somehow in Chasing MY Life I got away from my actual description of the journey.  My life became all about the kitchen, well at least primarily.  One of the discoveries I’ve made with life altering surgery that changed how I eat is that my life is no longer just about the food and recipes.

So, as we say goodbye to A HOUSE FROM HELL, put EVERYTHING in storage and begin the next leg of our journey to spend some time concentrating on working out and recovery and then search for our next project (hopefully our last) I want to return to my blogger roots and chronicle ALL of life.

I’ve been getting organized to get back into link parties and such, just searching around to see who is still out there and where the parties are at. I have found that many of my old favorites are no longer, but there are soooooooo many new parties to link up to which leads me to my post title, SO MANY LINKS, SO MANY BLOGS… just NOT ENOUGH TIME. Initially I’m choosing link parties by whether or not their title peaked my interest.

AND soooo many parties are now co-hosted which creates even MORE links to explore so I’m still reading as much as I can and finding new interests to become a part of.

I’m sure I’ll will find many more new blogs and parties on my future journeys, but for now I’m excited to be joining these new linky parties on a regular basis.

DISHING IT & DIGGING IT at Rustic & Refined
SUNDAY’S BEST at Mother 2 Mother
SUNDAYS AT HOME at Celebrating Everyday Life and My Soulful Home

CELEBRATE YOUR STORY at Celebrate & Decorate,
COOKING & CRAFTING with J&J AT Julie’s Creative Lifestyle
HAPPY HOMEMAKER MONDAY at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
MAKE IT PRETTY MONDAY at The Dedicated House
MELT IN YOUR MOUTH MONDAY at Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
MENU PLAN MONDAY at I’m an Organizing Junkie
MERRY MONDAY at Two Chicks and A Mom
MIX IT UP MONDAY at Flour Me With Love
SHOW and SHARE at Coastal Charm

TAKE OUT TUESDAY at The Painted Apron
TREASURE BOX TUESDAY at Memories by the Mile
TUESDAYS WITH A TWIST at Stone Cottage Adventures

DELICIOUS DISHES at Walking On Sunshine
SHARE YOUR CUP @ Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

FAVORITE THINGS at Katherine’s Corner
FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen’s Cottage

BLOGGERS PIT STOP at The Blogger’s Lifestyle
HOME MATTERS at Life with Lorelai
KITCHEN FUN & CRAFTY FRIDAY at Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons



Surgery was 6 weeks ago. I’m probably at 80%, but it still hurts to sneeze, turn over in my sleep and there are a few things I can’t do yet like lift heavy objects (anything over 10 pounds) and I’m still short of energy, but it is time to start getting it all together.

Food is still an issue, but it is getting better, SLOWLY! In 2 more weeks I can start a regular workout which will also be the 7 year anniversary of my Ovarian Cancer surgery, hopefully bringing this whole ill health cycle full circle AND to a close!

The BIG key here is to LISTEN to your body! Being able to talk comfortably WHILE working out is a GREAT pace to start at. Aiming for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week for cardio and 2 days a week for strength training is a GREAT place to start and build from.

Your body will adapt to the exercising so you can physically push yourself as time goes on. You will also burn less calories as time progresses and these exercises become part of your daily routine. I did do some research though and there are 3 key areas to focus on after this type of surgery:

Flexibility is the best place to begin to avoid too much straining and injuring yourself. I still feel sore and tight, but know that will pass as time goes on. STRETCHING is the best way to begin. Warm ups and cool down periods are vital for the best exercise routine. Take each stretch slowly and hold it for ten seconds going far enough to feel the beginning of a burn, but stopping short of actual pain! Warming up 5-10 minutes helps get your blood flowing and your heart pumping, and loosens up your muscles. Cool down for 5-10 minutes to reduce your heart rate back down to a normal resting pace.

WARM UP EXERCISES include stretching, walking, jumping jacks or light jogging.
COOL DOWN EXERCISES include walking and stretching as well as helping your body get rid of any lactic acid that was created during your workout. Lactic acid is bad for your muscles.

CARDIO – gives you more energy and helps you sleep better by working through anxiety. In order to get your energy up and boost your metabolism you have to get your body moving! Cardio also strengthens your heart and lungs, increases your bone density as wells as boasting your mental sharpness and ability to focus.

I’ve been walking and doing the treadmill at slow speeds for short periods of time up until now. It’s time to speed up the treadmill a bit and, do some cycling and as soon as things warm up adding in the pool is on the recommended list.

Since I was forced into the surgery and didn’t need to lose the weight I’m not as concerned with the calorie burning as much as I am the getting into shape. But, it’s always nice to know the potential breakdown.

STRENGTH TRAINING – I’ve lost quite a bit of muscle tone and REALLY need to work on this area the most! Having had 6 surgeries in 7 years I seem to have the hardest time regaining my muscle tone with each successive surgery and recuperation. Strength training exercises like squats, lunges, sit-ups, crunches and weight lifting are some great strength training exercise to help build up your “core” and re-tone your muscles. Being more active helps you get back into everyday things and enjoy life more!

Strength training requires a slow start with a gradual build to 3 sets of 15-20 reps. AND this is NOT the time to think no pain, no gain! Any sharp pain requires an immediate stop.

The new required vitamins and mineral supplements are mandatory in order to avoid malnutrition. These vitamins and supplements also help build both healthy bone and muscle as well as give you more energy. A regular routine of these helps to maximize the effectiveness of your new exercise routine.

A little this and a little that…

We’ve been here rehabbing the house from hell for a little over 2 years now. During this time I have realized what horrible drivers live here and how horribly they maintain roads here, but that’s why about half way through we realized we didn’t want to stay here and knew we were leaving – we’re almost there.

I am though LMBO at how many times this major U.S. city has “closed” during that time. For a city that claims it can handle water, 2 of the times were for flooding, another for the hurricane (totally understandable), but this last time was for a cold front with sleet and ice. This time is the one that makes me laugh the most!  They started closing schools the night before the cold front when it was still 60 degrees out and clear. Now it did get COLD, SERIOUSLY cold, but to shut down a city of 6 million is ridiculous! If they only knew how to drive here, would slow down and watch for ice, it would be so much easier!  Emergency personnel were left in place for excessively long shifts and others told to stay home completely. Restaurants closed, stores closed, I mean there wasn’t even any mail delivery or garbage pick up. WTH?

Hubby and I prefer to live in the colder regions, hence why we’re not staying here where it is normally warm, hot and humid.  More than once when we were in the U.P. we would go somewhere and it was a nice day, and then WHAM BAM a sudden lake effect snow or blizzard would hit and you were now trudging home in unbelievable weather, once from 70 miles away. It was a place that didn’t close schools very often, but did do delayed starts at times. Even with a massive cold front in the Pacific Northwest, the world went on.

We finally got out a little bit today (it’s still only 31 degrees but REALLY sunny)  and were amazed at how many roads are closed and how few places were even open.  We went to a favorite restaurant that is normally packed at lunchtime and they only had 3 tables when we left, we had been their first at 11:45 when they opened at 11!

This was our drain pipe out back. As you can see there was ice, but not enough to close a city! So after living near the Canadian border for several years and traveling across the northern border of the U.S. in January and then living in the Pacific Northwest for several winters, I am truly laughing my butt off this week.  LAUGHTER truly is the BEST medicine.

WOW, really 10 years already?

WOW! 10 years sure goes by fast – sometimes. I began as 3 Sides of Crazy while we were going nuts remodeling an old Victorian house back east and were literally going nuts with the different things we kept finding in that old house. Then when things slowed down a bit, a friend and I also sponsored OUR Krazy Kitchen, a cooking site for a group of foodies.  From there I began Always Eat on the Good China as my personal recipe box and then converted 3 Sides of Crazy into Savory Kitchen Table.  Eventually I decided to roll them all into a single blog and self host away from blogger here at Chasing MY Life which seems to roll it all into one category now. I’m still working at the consolidation, getting rid of old superfluous articles, giveaways and recipes not worth making again.