Thursday, February 26, 2009

Round Two: Part Two

**Spoiler Alert!** If you haven't watched the results show for American Idol yet, come back after you've watched!

Another nerve wracking results show! WHY must we drag out to an hour what could happen in FIVE MINUTES? The highlight for me on tonight's show was watching Brooke White perform her new single. I loved her last season!

In addition to dragging the results out a sweet FOREVER, we had severe weather in our area tonight, and our Meteorologist Dan Skopf kept interrupting to bring us the very latest on the storm. Thanks! Dan.

Finally! The results are in. America has voted, and here is who we chose.

Top Female: Allison Iraheta - Good Choice! I got this right. :)

Top Male: Kris Allen - Another Good Choice! Local Guy. Was undecided about him last night and ended up not voting. Glad it worked out for him though!

Third place: Adam Lambert. Relief! It was between him and Nick?/Norman?. I realized too late that the producers were pulling the Tatianna trick on me again this week. That whole "Vote for the worst" thing messes with my brain! Got this one right too! Two out of three again this week!

They gave a few details about how the wild cards will be decided. We have the last group of twelve next week, and then they will choose a final group from the contestants that weren't selected. They will be someone that they felt chose the wrong song, or didn't perform up to their ability. I'm not certain, but I think it will be a final group of twelve, and we will vote for them in two weeks.

So I was pretty happy with the results tonight - what about you? Agree? Disagree? Don't care?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Round 2: American Idol Top 36

My TV week is all messed up! I have programming designated for each night of the week, and they have thrown me all off with this moving stuff around:) The Programmer guys must not know that I thrive on STRUCTURE!

***SPOILER ALERT*** Do not read any further if you have DVR'd tonight's epsiode!
Getting down to business, tonight was the second group of twelve. Can I just say how disappointing this whole group was? It was really hard to choose favorites tonight. Here is my opinion of tonight's performances.

17 year old Jasmine Murray started the evening with "Love Song". It was a little pitchy for us. No Vote.

Matt Giraud was next. I like Coldplay's version better, and I would have to say I agreed with the judges, this was not a good song choice for Matt. No Vote.

Bartender Jeanine Vailes chose Maroon 5's "This Love". She is a judge favorite, with good reason. However, I think the nerves got the best of her. She sounded really pitchy in places. I don't think she did herself justice. Sadly, No Vote.

I'm still not sure how this guy made it to the top 36. Nick Mitchell, AKA Norman Gentle. He can't decide which personality to be. Norman showed up tonight. Maybe Nick should have. Either way, No Vote here.

16 year old Allison Iraheta chose Heart's "Alone". I was immediately scared for her when she said that was her song choice. There are not that many that can pull this song off, and judging from her interview with Ryan before she performed, self confidence seemed to be an issue. Boy was I wrong! She NAILED IT! She got a VOTE.

Kris Allen is a local boy from Conway, AR. We've heard about him on our local FOX station quite a bit, so we were really looking forward to hearing him tonight. He chose Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror". Again, I was scared - HELLO! Michael Jackson! I thought he did a pretty good job with it actually. I was on the fence about voting for him. I don't like to vote for everyone, because really, what would be the point? I like to choose my top picks for the night. Kris was put in the maybe category, and got bumped in the end. No Vote.

Megan Joy Corkrey sang "Put your Records on". This is one of those songs that sounds kind of pitchy to me, even when it's sung right. She looked cute as button in her little white dress. Except for the tat that runs the entire length of her arm. I'm just not a fan of the ginormous ink blob. I'm okay with tiny little tats on other people. A little dolphin here, a cross with your husband's initials there. Just not the entire body. And not on me. Anyway, I was on the fence with Megan too, and she got bumped. No Vote.

The Welder from Bixby, Ok was up next. Matt Breitzke sang "If you could only see". The judges all hated it. Thought he was forgettable. I thought it was wonderful, and Matt got a Vote.

Jesse Langseth chose "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes. She has a great personality, and you could tell she really connected with the song. Once again, she got put on the maybe list, only to be bumped in the end. No Vote.

Kai Kalama had his sweet Momma in the audience tonight. He sang his big heart out for her. The judges thought he chose a song that was too safe. I thought his rendition of "What becomes of the Brokenhearted" was wonderful. I'm also a sucker for a guy who gives up everything to take care of his Momma when she's sick. VOTE.

18 year old Mishavonna Henson tried out last year and was dropped during Hollywood week. She spent this past year doing everything she could to improve. She sang "Drops of Jupiter". I thought she sounded pretty darn good. VOTE.

Our final performance of the night was one of the frontrunner's, Adam Lambert. He sang "Satisfaction". I will say I had pretty high expectations for Adam tonight, and I was a little disappointed. He did good, but I have heard better from him. I don't think I got any satisfaction! I think he'll be safe tonight though.

I normally like to just vote for two or three of my favorites. Tonight I ended up voting for five. Not that they were all that great, I just couldn't make up my mind about some of them. And I think there were a couple of sympathy votes. Here's how I voted:
Females - Allison and Mishavonna
Males - Mat, Kai and Adam

We'll see how well I did tomorrow! Who did you like tonight?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How to make a Spring Centerpiece: Filigree Iron Candlestand

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to do a little decorating! Since American Idol completely messed up my schedule this evening, I decided to be a little bit productive.
The Nester recently did a series called "10 Minutes to a room you will Love". It was encouraging, a little kick in the pants if you will, to take a few minutes, "shop" your house and use things you already have to make our homes beautiful. Because we're worth it!

I had not decorated my Dining Room since I put the Christmas decorations away. It was looking a little bare, and making me a little sad. I don't like an empty table! I have a LOT of pretty things (I have a small obsession with dishes. and serving pieces. It's an addiction really...) SO, I gathered a few things I had around the house and made a centerpiece this evening. I was a good little blogger and took pictures to show you how to do one too!

I found this throw at Hobby Lobby on clearance for 80% off! I loved the soft colors and the texture of it, plus HELLO! 80% OFF!! Score! So I put that on the table first. Then I got out my Filigree Iron Candlestand (you can see one HERE) and a couple of garlands I had.

See how pretty this is! It's a nice, heavy weight too. Back to the centerpiece...

Work the greenery around the bottom of the candlestand. It doesn't have to be perfect! You want it to look natural - like it grew that way!

Grab some candles. I used two Vanilla 4x6 pillars and four 3x3 cinnamon and nutmeg pillars. The candlestand holds eight, you can use as many candles as you like, this is what I already had. For the two end candle holders, I used a little bird's nest I made with stuff from the craft store.

Then I took some loose silk leaves and just stuck in here and there. If you go to The Lob, in the Floral Department they have a basket full of plastic bags they have filled with random junk. They are usually $1.00 or $2 per bag. I've gotten these a few times and found some real treasures! You know how torn up the stems of flowers get - especially when they have them all at 50% off. They cut up those stems that most of us would call trash and bag them up. That's the stuff I tucked in here. There were even a few feather balls in there.

Isn't that little birdie cute?

Next, I set the table! Those of you that know me, know I LOVE to leave the table set. Might as well show off those pretty dishes! I have used a copper charger (Canterbury Charger for you Southern Living at HOME collectors). On top of that I used my Gallery Collection dinner plate and topped that with the Pacific Accent plate. The colors all blend beautifully with the throw that I found on clearance and am now in love with.

I like how the Tuscan Everyday Baker and Tidbits look with this too!
This took very little time to do, even with stopping to take pictures in between steps! Just a little effort makes a big difference in how the room "Feels". Look around your home - I bet you have lots of pretty things you could try in a different room than you are used to seeing them in. Even my Husband commented on how pretty it looked. That made my little effort worth it!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Weekend Recap: My Birthday Extravaganza!

We had another really nice weekend. They just go by too fast!
Friday after work we went to eat fried chicken at Bud's in Bentonville. Yummy! They serve it homestyle like the Chicken Inn in Monte Ne. Not quite the homey atmosphere as Monte Ne, but really good food and lots closer to our house! Then we made a trip to The Lob. I was wanting a bit more greenery to complete my wreath project. I had thought I would wire some of his antlers in there, but once again, it wasn't working out so well for me. Here is a picture of Plan B.

Once I completed the wreath, I tweaked the accessories on the mantle. I don't have a whole lot of room to arrange things up there. You can see from this picture I took of my hand to give you a little perspective, it isn't very wide! I wish I could figure out a way to attach some wood to the brick and make a big chunky mantle, but that's a post for another day (or two!)

Saturday evening we went to eat at Red Lobster. As we were getting ready to leave my friend Lindsay and her Husband came in. I had to play a little joke on her before we left! :) We ran back to The Lob so I could get rid of another Fall arrangement Then we stopped by to see my BFF Lisa and her husband. We ALWAYS enjoy visiting with these good people! When I got home I made this arrangement, and I must say I am VERY pleased with it.

My tablescaping...
Sunday was my actual Birthday - I told ya'll it's an EVENT! Anyway, last weekend we had purchased my gift at Lowe's. Larry's brother came over Sunday and installed it for us. It's so nice to have an electrician in the family! Especially since every fixture in our house is screaming 1990's! Here's what was hanging in our bedroom. Even in the dark you can see the shiny brass glowing in the dark! Not exactly a romantic glow from those bulbs either.

So here is the new one I picked out! Love, love, LOVE it! It has a nightlight that comes on between the downrod and the motor if we just want a really soft light. SO Romantical! The bathroom fixtures are next on my to-do list!

Larry baked me a German Chocolate cake ALL BY HIMSELF! It's VERY good too! I MAY have already had TWO pieces!! So another Birthday event is winding down. Hope you had a great weekend too! I'm anxious to see The Bachelor tonight!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Happy Birthday to ME!

Today is my Birthday! Happy Birthday to ME!

I'm a firm believer in a Birthday Extravaganza. Birthdays SHOULD be CELEBRATED! You've made it another year! And it sure beats the option! In honor of my big day, I thought I would share some cake with you! I have picked out a few that looked really good to me. Grab some coffee and share in the festivities!

Doesn't this look like a fun time is about to be had? I had the best parties when I was little. Mom and Dad always made a big deal out of our special day. We would get to pick our very favorite thing to eat and Mom would make us a wonderful meal. Daddy didn't care for spaghetti too much, but he would be a good sport if that was our choice!

My birthday is on the same day that the Father of our Great Country, George Washington was born. Some other famous people that I share a birthday with are Julius "Dr. J" Erving, Steve Irwin (The Crocodile Hunter), Drew Barrymore and Senator Edward Kennedy. Quite an eclectic bunch there!

I am not quite ready for this cake! I still have a couple of years to prepare for that one. I will honestly say that my age doesn't bother me. It's just a number! I feel very Thankful and Blessed to still be celebrating. God has more plans for me!

This one might be my favorite! I'd say there is something for almost everyone here!

I bet this one tastes as good as it looks! My choice of cake would definitely be CHOCOLATE! German Chocolate with coconut pecan icing - YUMMY!

This looks like something my Handsome Prince would do! HA!

Enjoy your Sunday! I'll have a Birthday Festival Recap for you tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Two out of three ain't bad...

**Edited to add SPOILER ALERT! If you DVR'd American Idol and don't want to know the results yet - DON'T Read any further until you've watched the show!**

Tonight was the results show for the first elimination round on American Idol. Isn't it amazing how they can drag a five minute show into a full hour? And the DRAMA! I was a nervous wreck before it was over! (I am only half kidding!)

After much reviewing of last nights performances, their journey thus far, small talk with the judges AND the contestants, and nail biting on my part we FINALLY got around to the results.
I'm not going to make you suffer like the producers did to me! Here we go with the top vote getters this week:

Top Male - Danny Gokey (this makes me so happy!)
Top Female - Alexis Grace (I love this name! She's pretty cute too)
Next Top Votes - Michael Sarver (the Rough Neck)

I'm good with these decisions, mostly because Tatiana is hopefully done. PLEASE don't let her get a Wild Card! She was back to her emotional self tonight. If I were the other contestants, I would be scared! I really thought that Ricky Braddy would get through, but I guess I should have known better, since we haven't really seen anything about him until last night's performance.

So what did you think about Round One? Agree with the results? Disagree? Don't watch/don't care? Until next week!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

American Idol: And the voting begins!

We LOVE American Idol! Tuesday and Wednesday nights (every night really!) we can be found in front of the TV. We didn't start watching until the season that Carrie Underwood won. (Season 4?) Once we started watching though, I got pretty serious about it - I have a legal pad that I take notes on the performances so that when we vote, we know we didn't forget anything and have narrowed it down to our favorite performance(s) of the night. I really like that we are going to get to be more involved in the decision making process this year. The judges narrowed it down to 36 contestants, and then divided them in to 3 groups of 12.

Tonight we got to see the first group perform, and then we vote for our favorites. Tomorrow night they will reveal the 3 contestants that got the most votes. The Female with the most votes, the Male and then the contestant with the next most votes overall will advance to the Top 12. They will do this with each group of 12, and there will be 3 "Wild Card" contestants that the Judges will choose to complete the Top 12.

Since this is the first season of Idol since I began my blog, I thought I would share some of my thoughts on the performances! We can compare notes if you like - I'd love to hear your thoughts! Here is my take on tonight's show. The 12 contestants tonight performed hits from the Billboard Top 100.

Jackie Tohn started us out tonight with "A little less conversation" by Elvis Presley. I would hate to have to go first! I am sure she was nervous, but I really didn't like this performance. I can't say I was too crazy about her outfit either, although Randy, Paula and Kara all carried on like she looked great. I have to say that I think Simon had this one right, I don't think Jackie will go any further. No Vote

Next up was Ricky Braddy. His parents were sporting their "Braddy Bunch" t-shirts - a little cheesy! Ricky sang "A song for you" by Leon Russell. I thought this was very good, and in the end Ricky got one of my three votes for the evening.

A cute little blonde named Alexis Grace was next. Alexis chose "Never loved a man" by Aretha Franklin. WOW! That tiny little thing can SING! She definitely got a vote.

Brent Keith went country with us, and sang "Hick Town". I read somewhere that Brent was on Nashville Star a few seasons ago. I think he should have gotten the message when he didn't win there! It wasn't horrible, but I didn't think he was Top 12 material. No Vote.

17 year old Stevie Wright chose Taylor Swift's "You belong with me". Such a cute girl, but I completely agreed with the judges - it was a train wreck. She's young, so hopefully she'll try again. No Vote.

Anoop "noopdog" Desai performed "Angel of mine". I was on the fence with this one. He was good, and almost made my cut, but was edged out in the end. Hopefully he'll be one of the wild cards. No Vote.

Casey Carlson was next. She wanted to perform a song that made her feel good, so she chose "Every little thing she does is magic" by the Police. So Sad! Her facial expressions drove me nuts and her dancing, if you could call it that, was robotic. Cute little thing, but I think she's done. No Vote here.

Michael Sarver works on an oil rig and wants a better life for his family. He chose "I don't wanna be anything other than me" I like his story, and tried really hard to like this performance, but it just didn't work for me. (Dawg!) I loved when Bo Bice sang this, Michael - not so much. No Vote.

Anne Marie Boskovich sang "Natural Woman". I got nothin'. No Vote.

Stephen Fowler. Stephen. Stephen. Stephen! Poor song choice. During Hollywood week Stephen forgot the words to his solo song, but had impressed enough to make it through. Everyone had high hopes for him tonight. And then he went and chose "Rock with you" by Michael Jackson. Stephen, you are NOT the King of Pop. No Vote.

Tatiana (Psycho) Del Toro sang "Saving all my love for you" by Whitney Houston. This girl was featured A LOT during the tryouts and Hollywood week and we are pretty much convinced that she is not playing with a full deck. So you can imagine how surprised I was when she actually did a pretty good job with this song. This is "her dream" and she won't let anything get in her way. She is definitely passionate! No Vote though.

Danny Gokey was our final contestant of the evening. Danny's wife passed away about a month before the auditions, and I immediately loved this story. He is a Church music director, and he had a very good friend that went with him to audition, and made it through to Hollywood with him. He (the friend, Jamar) was cut in the final eliminations last week. I completely disagreed with that decision, but I digress. Danny chose "Hero" by Mariah Carey and OH! MY GOSH! I had tears in my eyes. Just a beautiful performance. I was so proud for him! VOTE!!

So tonight my top 3 are Danny, Alexis and Ricky. I can't wait to tune in tomorrow and see if America agrees with me! Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think! Do you watch? Or are you one of those that just "don't get it"?

Tuesday Treats: Easy Cheesecake

One of my very favorite desserts is cheesecake. Any flavor. YUM!
For Tuesday Treats today, I have another super simple recipe that will make you look like a rock star without ANY stress. I don't think there is any way you can mess this up! Here is what you'll need:

Easy No Bake Cheesecake
3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
1 (8 oz.) Cool Whip, thawed
1 (16 oz.) can Pie Filling (can be any flavor, we like cherry or blueberry best)
Graham Cracker Crust (if you are using ready made, the extra helping size works best)

In a large bowl, combine powdered sugar, cream cheese and cool whip. Pour in to crust and work filling out to the edge. Spread pie filling on top. Chill until ready to serve.

Too Simple! Only FIVE ingredients!! You could make it a little more difficult if you want to make your own graham cracker crust, but why? Why would you do that?
Here is what it will look like before your choice of pie filling goes on.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Weekend Recap: Valentine's Day

We had the BEST weekend! We got to spend the ENTIRE weekend - TOGETHER! We get so busy that it doesn't seem like that happens enough. Sure, we survived the Ice Storm together, but THAT wasn't fun. This weekend was FUN!!!

My Handsome Prince and I went out to eat Friday evening. Let me back up a bit, and give you a little background. My husband is one of "those" people who are VERY superstitious. He has been known to come to a dead stop in the middle of a road, throw the vehicle in reverse and BACK UP for what seemed like MILES and miles (okay, maybe not THAT far!) all because a black cat crossed the road we were travelling. (TRUE STORY!) So the fact that it was Friday the 13th had him a BIT freaked out. We had discussed what we wanted to do for Valentine's Day, and had agreed that going out to eat would be a nice treat. I suggested that we go out on Friday night, because with Valentine's falling on a Saturday all of the restaurants would be packed.

So we had our plan, and then Friday morning while we are watching the news and drinking our coffee the news anchor said something about it being Friday the 13th. I swear I saw the light bulb come on! Up to this point, it had not occurred to Larry that in order for Valentine's day to be Saturday, we were going to have a Friday, the 13th. Panic set in! I am not even the least bit superstitious, so I laugh at the lengths he will go to all to avoid "a situation". He was a good sport, I guess because he had survived going to work and nothing bad happened! We went to Carraba's, were seated right away (my plan worked!) and enjoyed a WONDERFUL meal. After dinner we stopped by the mall and walked for a bit - we needed to after that delicious meal!

Saturday we got to sleep in! We had no plan for the day, other than spending it together. After we had our coffee we headed in to town to do some window shopping. We completely remodeled our house back in the 90's and in some areas - you can tell! We have been slowly updating flooring and light fixtures in recent years. We want to upgrade as we update, without breaking the bank. I have a Birthday coming up (YAY!) and I have asked for new light fixtures in our Master Bedroom and bath. So we stopped at a few of the home improvement stores to check out what is available. OH MY! There are some beautiful fixtures out there! I REALLY liked some that I saw that are a copper finish. SO Pretty! We found a ceiling fan that we both like, and have started with that. Once it is installed, we will try to agree on what color needs to go in our bathroom.

We watched a bunch of movies over the weekend. It was a good weekend for romantic comedies! (Chick Flicks!) We saw "How to lose a guy in 10 days" and "Sweet Home Alabama" again. Such good movies! We also watched "My best friend's girl" (I wouldn't recommend this one at all) and "Nights in Rodanthe" which was sad, but very good. I'm more of a happy ending kind of girl!

I got caught up on a bunch of chores over the weekend too. All that time without power had my laundry out of control! I also fussed around washing a bunch of my nick knacks. I've got a bunch of "stuff" and I love how they look when they are all shiny and sparkly. A sink full of hot, soapy water can make SUCH a difference! I didn't get everything done, but I accomplished a lot. So it really was a wonderful weekend! I hope yours was too!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Creations From My Heart is having a Giveaway!

Hey Bloggy Buddies!

Sherry over at Creations From My Heart is having a Giveaway! She has recently opened her Etsy shop, and is giving away one of her adorable little pin cushions. She even has a matching gift bag! How cute is that?
Go check it out and leave her a comment. Better yet, go check out her cute little Etsy Shop. If you need any gifts for Birthdays, I bet someone would LOVE to have anything Sherry has for sale there!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Roughing It - Our Ice Storm 2009 survival story!

We survived!

Yes, after 126 HOURS WITHOUT electricity, our lights came on and 7:10 this evening.

The heavens have parted, and the Angels sang!

Larry and I screamed, and laughed and jumped up and down. Happy does not even begin to describe the emotions we are feeling. Somewhere in the middle of our journey, I began writing notes so I wouldn't forget anything. So here is our story.

NW Arkansas was hit with "the worst ice storm in history" on Monday, January 26, 2009. Schools dismissed early and were closed all last week. Many businesses were forced to close because phone lines and cell towers were down and credit card machines were not working. The ice was just beautiful to look at - especially when the sun came out on Thursday. The trees just glistened. I posted just a little about it on Tuesday, and talked about how fortunate we had been not to lose power.

I spoke too soon.

Thursday was the first day temperatures were above freezing last week. The ice began to melt and the limbs began to fall. That's when the power lines, and even many of the poles began to snap from the weight of the melting ice/water. Our electricity went out at 12:47 PM on Thursday, January 29th.

We thought we were prepared. We live in the country and have experienced our share of power outages. This wasn't our first rodeo! We had purchased a generator back in 1999 preparing for the whole Y2K thing. We are on a well for our water source, so when the electricity goes out, so does our water because the pump is ran electrically. All those little things you do every day have to be planned for. We filled both of our bathtubs with water on Tuesday, along with any empty jug we had. On Wednesday we discovered one of our tubs had a slow leak and all of the water had drained out. Since the power was still on, even if the lights had flickered a few times, we didn't think we needed to worry about it. The other tub is a Jacuzzi, and holds a lot of water.

I had been having trouble with the internet all week. I normally check e-mail and blogs twice a day - morning and evening. I was annoyed that I couldn't just log on anytime like usual. Once the power was completely out, I discovered I'm addicted to my computer. No power = No e-mail, no blogs, no Pathwords - NO FUN!

Mom and Daddy came over Thursday afternoon shortly after the power went out. Momma has been fighting a bad cold, and we have a fireplace so we could keep them warm. I had just heated a pot of homemade soup, so we all had something warm in our bellies and the house was warm. We were together and we could ride this out! As it began to get dark I found candles to light and the reality that the electricity wasn't coming back on tonight began to set in. I got the spare bedroom ready for them, we found flashlights and their medicine and we all called it a night. Man was it cold! All of our bedrooms are at the other end of the house from the fireplace, and since the blower wasn't forcing the heat back there, it was chilly. Once we were in bed it wasn't too bad and we all slept okay.

Friday morning Mom, Dad and Larry all went to town to check on our business, and get our employees out working were they needed to be. Mom and Dad decided to get a hotel room. Mom needed to stay warm and rest, and she didn't want to give us her cold. We are learning that a generator is a LOT of work. It is gas powered, and will only run about five hours on a tank of gas. We have these ugly orange extension cords running through the house so that we can keep the refrigerator and television running. The generator is on the front porch, so we ran the cords under the overhead garage door, through the garage and in to the house through the garage entry door, through the "Fish Bathroom". Those doors won't shut all the way because of the cords, and this is completely freaking me out. I hate mice - mice come in when doors are left open. At least we still have TV to entertain us.

Saturday - the adventure is getting old. I want a hot shower and this isn't fun anymore. I have an order for my home based business that needs to be submitted. I'm crabby! And Cold! Larry had to start his day by going out in the cold to fill the tank and start the generator. He is tired of hauling wood. He had to find some five gallon buckets and go to town and fill them with water. That bathtub full of water is dwindling fast at three gallons per flush. It's gross, but we have started rationing how many times we "need" to flush. Just keepin' it real ya'll.

Just after lunch we went to the hotel to take a shower. Boy! Did that feel good! We felt human again. Once we were cleaned up, we went out to eat with Mom and Dad. Hot food=happy tummies! I was telling Momma about needing a computer to submit my order, and she said the hotel had two in the lobby. Yay! We went back to their hotel, I logged on and sent it in. Whew!

The last thing on our "to do" list was renewing the tags for the pickup. You used to be able to go to the automotive department at Wal Mart to do this. Notice I said "used to". My fellow Arkansans - the state decided to pull all those machines from the stores. I guess that was working too well. Move that to Monday's to do list. So we headed on home, hoping beyond hope that the lights would be back on.

Nope, no lights.

Sunday. Today is the Super Bowl. I bought all kinds of great snacks for the game - to cook in the OVEN. We ordered pizza instead, and I'm sitting here writing my thoughts ON PAPER and watching the Super Bowl on our TV run by a big fat ugly orange cord. I'm wrapped up in a quilt, wearing my flannel PJ's and fluffy pink robe having a little pity party for myself. I know I should be thankful - we have so much more than many. But I'm TIRED. Tired of have to buy fast food when we have two freezers full of things we could be eating. I'm tired of listening to that generator roaring and I'm tired of being cold. Right now I'm really wishing that I would have packed our bags and gone to a hotel and filed an insurance claim on the food in the freezers. They are telling on the news about the power companies in the area, and the progress they are making with their customers.

I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on a job well done! Your crews worked night and day to meet your promise that all power would be restored to your customers by Midnight Saturday. Would you please consider training the Carroll Electric crews? They could really benefit from your example.
Sincerely, A disgruntled Carroll Electric Customer

Monday dawns, and still no electricity. So Larry goes out in to the cold again to fill the generator with gas, crank it up, run the cords in to plug in the coffee maker and TV. Load wood in the woodbox and the buckets in the truck. He'll come back home later to see if everything is running okay.
Meanwhile, at the hotel. Mom and Dad get a bill for TWICE the amount that they were told the room would cost. After Mom has a long chat with the people at the front desk at the Hampton Inn, she is informed that she won't be able to find a room throught the week anywhere in the area because the Wal Mart vendors fill all the rooms up. So instead of the original $52.00 per night, the room they have called home since Friday is now $129.00 per night. But they would "let them" have it for $99.00 since there was the "misunderstanding". Thank You so VERY much! Home is now the Travelodge just up the street. Not nearly as pretty, but warm and the shower works.

At 4:47 this afternoon we passed the 100th hour without electricity. We celebrated by going to the motel to take a shower and getting something to eat. It was dark when we headed home. Once again we were hoping beyond hope that we would see a yard light on to signal that we had power.

We did not.

Larry poured more gas in the beast and cranked it up again. I lit candles and plugged in the TV. Tonight is The Bachelor! He sent my favorite home tonight. Throw more wood on the fire and blow out the candles, it's bedtime. At least we're clean. And Warm.

It's Tuesday.
No phone. No Computer. No book to read. No puzzles to put together. No shower. No toilets. I can't even clean even though this house desperately needs it. Larry is sick - coughing and sore throat. He has a Doctor appointment this afternoon. We are both so tired. Try to imagine your lawn mower sitting right below your window, running for 18+ hours a day. Welcome to our nightmare. It's colder again today. By noon it was only about 30 degrees. I can't get warm. It is only about 67 degrees in the family room, even colder in the back of the house. I dug in the linen closet and got some flannel sheets out and found some push pins and made a curtain over the doorway to the family room. In thirty minutes the temperature went up to 73 degrees. An hour later it was 80. Hallelujah!
Mom and Daddy are on the move again. Found a nicer hotel offering a special rate for anyone without electricity - guarenteed not to change the rate. Much nicer room, off of the highway far enough that they can get some rest tonight. Hopefully they won't have to stay much longer. The Doctor gave Larry a bag full of medicine and told him to stay in out of the cold. GREAT PLAN! Would LOVE to! Tonight is American Idol and homeland Security USA. Thank you Lord for our TV!

So we had just settled in for a good night of TV when the power came on! Hallelujah!! After calling Mom and Dad, and my BFF Lisa we ran around here blowing out candles, flushing toilets, rolling up cords and slamming doors closed. I turned up the heat, threw another log on the fire and ran to get the laptop! I just HAD to blog about this experience!

And just for the record, I never EVER want to go 126 hours and 23 minutes without electricity again! Here are a few pictures of our "ordeal"

Cords coming in through the garage.

Coffee anyone? Just let me unplug the refrigerator...

This cluster ran the TV and two lamps.

I took this through the screen on our porch. Those huge chunks of ice were on the roof of our porch. No wonder the poles were bowed like they were about to give - they were! God was looking out for us!

Another use for a mattress pad. Fits over the opening of a standard doorway perfectly! We are going to work on those drafts...
Here's my curtain made of flannel sheets. It doesn't have to be pretty, it kept me warm!