About Me

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Full Time Mom, Wife, Work, Life - Mom to three children (adults), two are college graduates and now own their own homes, and the youngest is in college in NC; wife to Thomas; Work - one full time and multiple part time jobs; Life - whatever you can throw at me....

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Merry Christmas

I have been working a lot of shifts, so I haven't even had time to write a Merry Christmas to all my friends and family and readers.

Wishing every blessing from Heaven Above.


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Theresa and Andrea's Birthday Party

I am behind the eight ball on this blog!

We celebrated our last two "group" friends birthdays last month!  Actually four from our group were born in November, but Andrea and Theresa were the last two to turn 50!

We went out to dinner to celebrate and then to Cindy's to finish off the evening with cake and more wine!!  (Wine seems to be the prevalent theme!)

Saturday, December 20, 2014


We had never been to Naples in December and there really is a lot to do with the holidays and great weather.

We went to a tree lighting at Mercado!

These are the before and after pictures of the tree lighting.  The whole area was crowded with people and families, but we were able to get into a new burger restaurant called the Counter (build your own burger!), which was really delicious.  The tree was literally out the door of the restaurant, so we got to see the whole lighting ceremony.  

This photo was taken at another new restaurant we tried on the water at Tin City called Pinchers.  We ate outside and enjoyed the view of the boats coming in and out.  We find out where we could take a sunset cruise and see the city of Naples from the water.

We also went to a Christmas walk, where they closed the main street (5th Avenue in Downtown Naples) and they had another tree lighting ceremony there (below is the tree in front of the theatre!) and lots of things for kids to do.  We ate at Cafe Luna that night, as hubby likes it there!
We tried a new beach on Marco Island called Tiger Tail.  It was quiet.  For us northerners, a 79 degree day is perfect for the beach.  But those Floridians, prefer it warmer, so we had the place to (almost) ourselves!

And we did have the pool to ourselves a LOT.  It was 75 one day and hubby and I were the only ones in the pool that morning.  Later in the afternoon, more people came to the pool.  They said the morning temperatures were a little too cool! LOL  (This is Bobo below with hubby - our friend from Naples)

And of course, we had to go see the sunset on our last evening.  Beautiful as usual!

Friday, December 19, 2014


I had to stop teaching the after school Zumba classes because of the new job (timing wasn't right).

However, while I was in Naples, I received a call from another instructor who was hurt and needed a sub through mid-January!  I accepted as I know I can handle four classes a week now.

And after the Naples vacation and eating out quite a bit, AND the cookie swap, AND the Christmas parties, I am happy to be teaching four classes a week!!  LOL

Let me know if anyone wants a new schedule!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Happy Birthday!

To my brother Damian!

God Bless and I pray you have a beautiful 2015!

Cookie Swap

We had our annual Cookie Swap last weekend with my girls!   We did it a little different this year.

We went to our local museum (which is an old homestead on a farm) and took the tour.  The house is decorated for Christmas and it was truly beautiful.  My sister and I had been many times in the past, but most of my ladies had not seen it all and didn't know the history.  It's funny how you can live in a town for 20 years or more and not have seen it all.  I still find new things all the time!!  

After the museum tour, we went back to my sister's house where she prepared a lasagna dinner with salad and bread and wine!!   It was a feast and then after the feast, came the cookies.  There were seven different kinds this time!  I don't have pictures of the cookies, but I have one of the girls!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


I have been told by my daughter and wonderful friends that I need to get back to blogging ~ and they are right!!

Life gets in the way, as usual!!

Lots to talk about over the last month!

As you know, I took a job in October after a four month layoff.  After I took the job, I was immediately offered another position (one that I would have loved), but I declined because I had just started the new job.  However, once I realized that it was not a good fit for me at this new firm, I called the person who offered me the second job and asked if it was still available and lo and behold, it was!!!   The starting date wasn't until mid-December though and I figured I should do the right thing and tell the first job that it wasn't working out for me and let them know I would be leaving.  I figured they would walk me out the door immediately.  However, they wanted me to stay....so I stayed until December 2nd.

Hubby and I had booked a trip in June for Florida, so that worked out for us and we just got back from Naples (my happy place).  More on that trip later.

I started the new job as soon as I got back from Florida last week and it is fast paced and fun and hard work and everything I thought it would be!!   So that is where I am at today!

Thank you for asking..I have some blogs to make up for (Naples, cookie swap, Christmas prep, My daughter came home for Christmas!!, etc), so I am going to try to catch up!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Wine Making

We have started this year's (next year's batch) of wine.  We are making the wine from juice this year and decided on choosing only two types this year!  Barbera (my favorite) and Muscatel (Moscato).  One red and one white.

Thomas bought the juice a couple of weeks ago and just this week, we poured it into the demi-johns.

These are the before and after photos.  We have five demi-johns (carboys) full.  It should last us through part of 2016, provided all goes well with it.

 This year's batch is still great - we had made Chianti, Barbera, and Muscatel, but we just weren't fans of the Chianti batch this year.  Maybe next year, we will try again!

Sunday, November 9, 2014


I know I have said it many times, but I LOVE the city of Pittsburgh!

It really is so clean, pretty and full of things to do!

We took our biannual (every two years) trip a couple of weeks ago with Debby and Tony!   We have so much fun with them.   Pittsburgh crushed the Colts (which is a good thing in this household!).  Even though I do not like Ben, he had a fantastic game.

This year we did two things new.  We went to the Texas-Brazil Steak house.  It is an all you can eat smorgasbord of meats and salads and wonderful-ness.  I tried (almost) everything.  There were a few things that I didn't like, but mostly everything was wonderful.  They (waiters?) come around the restaurant with meat on these skewer-like things with huge knives and if you have a green disc in front of you (green means yes) then they come to your table and ask if you would like to try what they have on the skewer.  (Red disc means stop)  We had sirloin, lamb, chicken and pork and they were cooked all different ways.  Plus you start out with an all you can eat salad bar.  Honestly - this is heaven for my hubby.  For me it was wonderful, but I wish I hadn't had lunch!   Then maybe I could have eaten more?

We also went to the casino - It has been there for some years now, but I had never gone.  I only lost $14.00, so I guess that was good.  We went to the Strip District - vendors and stores and the best church (St. Stanislaus).  We also ate at PF Chang's and Buca Di Beppo.  Very good food at both!

 These are views from Station Square.  I wish my iphone took better pictures.

 Here we are at the game.  They have a great band in the Hall that we tend to watch each time we go!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


My brother Chris went mushroom hunting again last week.  Whenever he finds an abundance, I become the bearer of wonderful mushrooms!!!

Last week, he got maitake mushrooms.  They grown in a large cluster, similar to the chicken of the woods (orange) variety that he sometimes gives me.  They were huge and I cooked them up with peppers and onions!  Hopefully this week, I plan on getting a couple of steaks to cook with the mushrooms, peppers and onions, but the price of beef (and everything else) has been so high!  Is it like that everywhere??

Monday, November 3, 2014


I opted to go trick or treating with my sister and the trips this year.  Hubby had to work and I really didn't want to give out candy alone, so off we went!

We did my mom's neighborhood first - we like to visit with our old neighbors and they like to see the trips!!

Then we did my sister's neighborhood.  Her hubby stayed at the house and made a nice bonfire in the front yard and gave out candy.  We walked the streets to all of her neighbors!

It wasn't too cold and the rain held off until we got back to her house!   These are both friends and family pictures!!  Bruno loved being a werewolf and trying to bite people!!  Cassidy was a princess of course!  Brody was a vampire.  (Adrianna and Michaela (friends) were supergirl and a cowgirl) and Cristina was scary creature!!

My brother Chris, my niece Kailee and a friend of the family decided to do their yearly haunt.  They do a great job of decorating and usually bring multiple children to tears of fright each Halloween.  They were very good at it this year.....scaring both adults and children!!!   

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Triplets Birthday

Would you believe the trips are almost seven!!

My sister likes to have their party early.  (usually in October and usually a costume party), because December 2nd is just too busy between Christmas and Thanksgiving!

This year we had it on November 1st at the local state park in a beautiful pavilion with a roaring fire and pumpkin decorating and Halloween/fall desserts and of course my crazy large family and friends!!

They decided to just have hamburgers and hotdogs and salads and desserts which makes it easy for everyone!   Unfortunately, the weather did NOT cooperate.  A cold wet wind and rain was in the forecast the whole day!  That cancelled the scavenger hunt that my other sister had planned, but it worked out okay!

Saturday, November 1, 2014


Although it has been a while since I posted, I plan on catching up on posts this weekend.  Tomorrow (Sunday), I plan on cooking all day.  It is my passion and I love to be able to create!

Pastichetta (Not sure of the exact spelling but to those of you who know what it is, you won't care!).  It is my grandmother's recipe and I made it once last month and it came out awesome....so I am doing it again.

Soup - because it is that time of the year.  For my last CSA, I got escarole and carrots and onions and I am throwing them in the pot with stock I had made a couple of months ago!!  

Stuffed cabbage - because the last two weeks of CSA, I got two heads of cabbage and my son and I can only eat so much cole slaw!  Although I do see pulled pork coming up this coming week!!

Stuffed peppers - because I need to get rid of stuff in the refrigerator!!  

Broccoli - I just need to cook it!  I have had it for almost a week and I refuse to let veggies go bad on my watch.

I have more ideas, but I think that is all I will be able to handle tomorrow.  I also have to do the weeks shopping and go to church and clean demi-johns with the hubby.

(More on cleaning demi-johns this week!)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Apple Picking

We took the trips on our annual apple picking trip today.  We usually like to go the first weekend that the orchard opens so we can get our Honeycrisp apples!  However, we couldn't make it in September, so this was the day!

I have to say that the pickings were not great this year - the first time in many years!   We tried to get McIntosh -they were all gone.  We tried to get Mutsu apples (similar to Golden Delicious) and we really had to pick through them - they were really spotted with brown spots.   However, the Mutsu were the BEST tasting apples.  I had never tried them before because they had never been ready when we visit the orchard in September!!  We tried the Enterprise Apples (I had never heard of them) and they were really tart!  Our best bet was the Fuji apple, so most of our apples were Fuji.  I didn't get too many as I just wanted to make an apple pie and get some for eating this week.

The best part of the trip is always the Cider Donuts!  They are SOO good at this farm!  My sister also got a half gallon of cider for her trip to VT.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

I got a job!

I start next Thursday, the 16th!

Very excited!!!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Universal Studios - Part 3

We spent our third day, at both parks...riding the Hogwarts Express back and forth between two parks (we actually got to the park at 7:00 am again to ride Gringotts for the last time!). The only ride we didn't do that we wanted to do was Terminator!  We got to see shows -Animal Actors,  and Horror Make up show(excellent!!) and actually did two of the Dr. Suess area rides - those are really cute!!  

Here I am going through Platform 9-3/4!
We watched the Celestina Warbeck show.  She is a character in the books only.  She is Mrs. Weasley's favorite singer and she put on one heck of a show with her back up singers and dancers.  
We also caught the tail end of the Frog Choir which I believe is in book 3. 
We did not see the Bauxbutons or Durmstrang show (we saw it in 2010).  
This was our one and only Frozen butterbeer.  There were so many other flavors and choices this time. We didn't have this many choices last time.  Butterbeer was fabulous and next to pear cider, it is my favorite.  

Just some random photos from the parks or our hotel.  

Best vacation!!  If anyone needs any information about the parks, let me know.  It is a great place for both young kids and older kids.  We hardly spent any time in Springfield (the Simpsons area), but the area is huge! They have Moe's bar, Kwik-e-mart, Duff's beer, Lard Boy Donuts (we had one and it was huge and delicious!).  and then the Krustyland ride.  There is so much to do there!  We actually found out that there is a Luau at our hotel.  It is a little pricey, but it looked like it was a lot of fun!!!  We ate at Jakes' Restaurant in our hotel for our last dinner.  It was excellent.  We sat outside and watched the waterfall above and ate French fry nachos.  

Our car came to pick up us up at 8:30 the following morning, so we actually got to sleep in until 7:30!!!