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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne


It's me. I'm back. Believe it or not. I know how aggravated I get when the authors of my favorite sites don't update, so I do understand . . . and apologize.

So, what's been going on? Nothing. And everything!

We are into the "shoulder season" of heating. That means that it's too warm during the days to justify keeping the Central Boiler (outdoor wood furnace) stoked with wood. So, earlier this week, we did the switch over. Now, instead of coming as a by-product from the furnace, our hot water is produced by the massive hot water heater in the utility room . . . whose forced-air fan sounds like a 747 every time it runs.

The biggest cause-and-effect of turning off the furnace, though, is the temperature in the house (illustrated by the polar fleece jacket I have on over my floor-length bathrobe as I write): the mornings are chilly! Instead of having any sort of heat connected to the wall-mounted thermostats (which are turned off now until the fall), we rely on the three woodstoves for warmth: one in the kitchen, one in the middle area between the dining room and living room, and one in the sunroom. And, we let them burn down at night or when we're working outside. Bottom line, on cloudy days or until the warm sun starts streaming in the windows, the house is a wee bit on the "chill side" these days! (Oh, and did I mention that we awoke to snowglobe snow falling yesterday morning and about 2" of very wet white stuff stuck to everything? Yes, this is INDEED the year winter never ended! And, as much as I am a winter girl, I do have to say, "Enough, already!")

One of my best girlfriends has been working tirelessly this whole winter to open a deli / grocery store / restaurant in our little "blink and you'll miss it" berg on the main highway. I doubt she's slept more than 4 hours a night the last couple of weeks, but she reached her goal of opening last Thursday!
Here is a shot of her - work-weary - and Tom the evening of her opening when we stopped by for dinner. I can't tell you WHAT a treat it is to know that she is there!

For example, last night Mom & Dad and Tom & I met there for our Mother's Day dinner. Instead of us driving an hour in to Mom & Dad's (and then on to a restaurant) or Mom & Dad driving the hour out here for dinner . . . we all only had the hop-skip-and-a-jump jaunt to meet in the middle! Or, on Saturday when I was planning the meal for Mother's Day (at that point, we were still going to all gather out here), I wasn't worried about making sure I had all the ingredients when I was in town earlier on in the week: if I needed some last ingredient, I could just pop down to her! AND, we now have a place to go to meet friends and have a glass of wine or smooth draught Schell's in an iced mug (as we all enjoyed last night)!

Speaking of Mother's Day . . . . I'm SO proud of my mama! She is now a blogger! It's official! She made the mistake of mentioning that she was thinking of starting her own blog when they were out to celebrate her birthday at the end of April. By the time I went to bed that night, I had one created for her. It took her until yesterday to work up the gumption / find the right words for her first post, but she's off and runnin' now! Stop by A Home Grown Journal when you have time, and say hello to Mama Pea! ;)

Okay, I think I'll sign off for now. I have OODLES of deskwork to do this morning. Maybe I'll post again later today when I'm ready for a break . . . but no promises! ;)

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