RIP Brinkman Grill!

My Brinkman Grill is dying. It is literally having pieces of it fall off of it. I can’t say that it is shocking but it is one of the sadder moments for me. I LOVE my Brinkman Grill. If anyone is looking for a really great grill I highly recommend this brand of grill. My grill is about 10 years old and for a grill to last that long is truly amazing.

All of my grilled recipes on this blog were made on my Brinkman grill. It has 3 burners which is exactly what I needed to make my Beer Chicken with Vegetables and my new recipe of Teriyaki Glazed Duck (Duck recipe coming soon). I can’t imagine making it through summer without my grill but right now replacing it isn’t in my budget. To say that I have had a rough year is an understatement. I will persevere though and will survive.

Do you recall the horrible water damage that occurred in the kitchen when I first started the blog and I was without a kitchen for many months? I did the majority of my cooking on my Brinkman Grill. Can you tell that I am distraught to be losing my precious grill? I have been surfing the net looking at grills and trying to find a good deal on one. Unfortunately, it looks as if getting another Brinkman won’t be in my budget. sniff sniff. My last 2 grills were Brinkman’s and I just can’t imagine not having another but as with everything else in life it is time to put on my big girl panties and deal with it. I will keep you informed as to what grill I am able to get and when. It just won’t be the same though.

RIP Brinkman Grill!

Hawaii Day 3

On Saturday while we were in Hawaii we rented a car and explored the island. We found a cute little farmer’s market/swap meet that had very cute things to purchase. Afterwards we went to a cute little restaurant on the ocean and the scenery was beautiful. The food was wonderful. I had the catch of the day which was very fresh. I just can’t get that here in West Virginia. This is Kristin taking pictures of the ocean from our table.

Everywhere we went we were surrounded by little birds begging for food from our tables. Birds were not as skittish there as they are at home.

Kristin had been wanting to get a tattoo and we found a very nice, clean shop and she got this very cute tattoo on her foot. It really is beautiful.

We knew that we couldn’t possibly leave Hawaii without visiting the volcano so we set off across the island to find it. When we left the restaurant it was about 85 degrees and we were wearing tank tops, shorts and flip flops. After about 90 minutes we were definitely away from the beach area and we happened to come across hundreds of goats roaming along the side of the road. We pulled over to take their pictures and when we exited the car we quickly realized that it was about 40 degrees outside now.

We didn’t spend very much time outside of the car because it was freezing. After we started driving again we began feeling enormous pressure in our ears and an empty water bottle actually collapsed.

Within a few minutes we began to drive through what we thought was fog and it was only 4:10 in the afternoon. We could barely see to drive and there was a fine mist on the windshield and we had to use the wipers the entire time. We could barely hear each other speak and we just couldn’t figure out what we were getting ourselves into at this point.

When we got to the volcano we spoke to someone that was able to explain what we had just experienced. He said that we had just drove over a mountain and we were at 9000 miles above sea level. We didn’t drive through fog. We had been driving through the clouds. The next morning we looked up at the mountain and noticed that the mountain was definitely sitting in the clouds.

We loved the volcano.

While we were in the volcano museum Kristin came running up to me to tell me she had learned about the volcano lava tube. It is a huge underground tube that was hollowed out naturally by hot lava flowing. We quickly jumped in the car to make it to the lava tube before it got dark.

This was large enough for us to easily walk through without having to bend over. The wooded area that led us to the lava tube reminded me of what it would be like to walk through a rain forest. It was beautiful.

Kristin was a great traveling companion. She was always smiling and happy to go at a moments notice. She has a great sense of direction too which truly helped me because I was always getting lost over there. :)

I loved traveling around in Hawaii and experiencing all the sights and natural foods that were available. We tried some native fruits that I have no idea what they were called or how many carbs were in them. I just knew that this was going to be a once in a lifetime experience and I wasn’t going to miss a moment of it. I am grateful for Kristin agreeing to go with me. Everyone who earned the trip was allowed to take a guest with them and now that I am divorced it gave me the opportunity to spend this time with the woman who makes my son and grandson happy every single day. She is a truly wonderful person who deserves to travel around the world and enjoy everything that life has to offer.

Hawaii Day 2

Day two in Hawaii was just as fantastic as Day 1. We woke to perfect weather and this was our early morning view from the patio.

On Friday morning after breakfast I needed to sit in on a business meeting while Kristin spent time enjoying the resort on her own. She said she must have walked over 3 miles. She learned so much and was so happy when we met up for lunch.

After lunch Kristin and I jumped on a bus and went to a marina and hopped on board a rapid rafting boat with 14 other people from my company. They took us out for 3 1/2 hours and we enjoyed snorkeling at the site of Captain John Cook’s Memorial. I don’t have any pictures but Kristin did have a water proof camera and I will get to see her pictures at a later time.

You should have seen the look on the captain of the raft’s face when I informed him that I couldn’t swim and here he was about to help me into water that was over 100 feet deep. I was hoping that they would give me a life jacket but instead they said for me to try a pool noodle first and if it didn’t work for me they would give me a life jacket. I was very apprehensive but I am a true West Virginia girl and I accepted the challenge with a smile on my face. :)

I did fine with just the pool noodle but I really would love to learn how to swim this summer. I loved being in the water and the water was so clear that we could see all the way to the bottom of the ocean.

We arrived back at the resort about 5:30 and we had to immediately get ready for a formal dinner that the company was providing for us. Kristin and I got dressed up and joined over 1000 people from Bankers in a huge ballroom.

Our menu was amazing and I have to admit that I ate every single bite of it. Even the things that were not low carb. This was a once in a lifetime experience for me.

This evening was amazing. Every meal we had fresh flowers on the table and tonight was no different.

I learned from the night before and I took flip flops in my purse and even though we took the tram from the ballroom to the hotel I still changed my shoes before leaving the ballroom. :)

I found another picture from last nights luau. It is a bit blurry but the night was fantastic. The wind was raging and we all laughed and enjoyed the evening.

We had a big day planned for the next day so we turned in early. Well…. Early considering other people. :)




Hawaii Day 1

Last week I went to Hawaii. It was a dream come true and I am still in shock over actually getting the chance to go to Paradise. The way that this worked out is where I worked set goals for each of us for the year. I met my goal and so I was sent to Hawaii and I was able to take one person with me. Over the past year I have been tested, encouraged and led to push myself so far outside of my comfort zone that I have lost sleep over the stress of the many changes in my life.

My job has provided me an outlet that I could sink myself into when my personal life was a constant state of chaos. Having this time to relax and take a few moments to myself was exactly what I needed to reflect on my dreams and my wants. My job does allow me to reach for my dreams. It has allowed me to purchase a home that I love and each day I return home and look around in amazement that I actually live there. A co-worker once told me that I needed to allow myself to believe that I am worthy of having a nicer home and traveling to beautiful places.

I work for Bankers Life and Casualty as an agent. I enjoy what I do and I hope that I am able to continue to work there for many years but I will trust God to lead me where he wants me to be.

Last week my daughter-in-law, Kristin and I arrived in Hawaii and we were met there by wonderful people that Bankers had arranged to take us to the hotel. They took care of our luggage and later delivered them to our room at the Hilton in Kona, Hawaii. There are several buildings in the resort and it is very spacious and they have enough amenities to provide almost your every want.

We were in the Paradise Towers and this was a very fitting name. From the pillow top mattresses to the bath towels that literally wrapped around us twice to a shower head from HEAVEN we were pampered every moment that we were there.

This amazing fountain was what we found as we entered the foyer of the our tower.

We were located on the second floor but this actually meant that we had a patio that led out onto a beautiful lawn. We sat on this patio every morning and just enjoyed the view.

Kristin found a beautiful cat the first night and she tried for days to get this cat to come to her but it never did. She also found a mongoose and called for it to come to her and to my horror it did. I quickly screamed and ran into the room while she laughed at me from the patio.

We had to either walk a 1/2 mile to the area that our meals were served or we could take a tram. We enjoyed the walk and it truly helped us considering we enjoyed way more food than we should have over the week. But in the end I didn’t gain any weight. I didn’t lose as I should have considering our pace but I didn’t gain either. :)

Each morning we would sit at our table and enjoy our breakfast and this was our view.

After our first breakfast there we explored the grounds and took over 100 pictures. They have a dolphin training area and we loved watching the dolphins play and they were so sweet. I wish that I had room to have one at home.

Kristin just glowed during the entire week. She was a great travel companion and I was so blessed to spend this time with her.

The hotel had this beautiful life size statue in the Lagoon Lanai.

They had many shops located within the resort. I saw several things that would have looked great in my home. Unfortunately they were not in my budget. This is a quilted table runner.

I would have loved this little basket but I couldn’t make myself spend $18 on it.

The resort had many forms of wildlife for us to enjoy.

They also had many historical artifacts as well. This statue is reported to be used during tribal counsel meetings and speakers stand next to it and if they tell a lie they will become violently ill. I could think of a few people that I would love to have stand next to this. :)

This very nice lady demonstrated how to make leis. She was very talented.

Kristin and I were enjoying our stroll and we came upon this sign that made my heart sink. Those of you who are friends with me over on facebook know how badly I hate swinging bridges. I had to walk across this thing only once. I found ways to avoid it the rest of my trip. haha

The evening ended with a beautiful luau and I tried to take pictures but they all turned out blurry. The wind was fierce that night but the food was magnificent. There was a live band and hula dancers. They had people dancing on rafts in the water as well. It was a magical evening and we will cherish our memories of a few days in paradise.

I will be sharing more pictures of the vacation and our experiences in Hawaii. I am very grateful to be working at Bankers. I have learned a lot over the past 18 months. I am stronger and I have finally learned to use my voice and stand up for myself. I am no longer afraid to work to achieve my dreams. I have accepted that I am just as worthy as anyone else and that if you really do work hard that you can achieve your dreams.


My Next Furniture Project

I have been looking for a new project to do and my step-father surprised me with these two gems. The first is a small chest of drawers that I will be doing for the boys room here. I like to keep extra clothing just in case they get dirty or want to spend the night on the spur of the moment. Bill had this beauty in his workshop and he and Mom scrubbed it and presented it to me on Saturday. I will stare it for a few weeks to decide what I want to do with it to make cowboy ready for the boys. :)

Bill gave me this end table too. I will have to really study this one for a bit. The top is leather. I have always loved this table. Many years ago it was in their living room and then used in their bedroom eventually. I will find it a place of honor in my home soon too.

Thank you Mom and Bill for the new furniture for me to be creative with. I love them both already and I know the boys will cherish their new furniture for their room here. :)


House Update

First I have to apologize for not responding to comments that people have been making. With the move and working I have been swamped. I used to have a problem going to sleep at night and since I moved I am sleeping like a baby now. I think walking up and down the stairs so much has been giving me a lot of exercise. I love it.

My stepfather, Bill and my mother came to my home and painted my bedroom ceiling for me and then a co-worker came over and we painted the walls the next day. Bill came in later and just shook his head at our attempts. He wasn’t impressed with the trim work we did along the ceiling. When I came home from work the next day he had came over and fixed it. haha After that he and Mom took over the painting detail of my new home.

I chose to do one wall in the living room orange and the others a khaki color. The ceiling is white but the glow from the lamp makes it appear to be yellow. For now I will share my favorite 2 spots in the room. this is the corner where hopefully a piano will go someday. Do you like the lamp? My sister Donna invited me over to go “shopping” in her garage and guest room and I got the lamp at her home. Shopping at her house doesn’t involve money at all. haha The wall sconces Caleb bought me at a yard sale for $1. I think they are perfect in this corner. The picture came from Hobby Lobby.

I have a large bay window in my living room. It is very pretty during the day but at night it just draws my attention to it. The large round basket candle holders came from Donna’s home when I was “shopping”. She has great taste! I bought the lamps at the Salvation Army for $4.



The dining room is completed now. I am very happy with the way it turned out. One wall is green and the others are khaki too. Do you remember the chest of drawers that I renovated a few months ago? I am using it in the dining room to store my linens. It is perfect here.  The painting came from Hobby Lobby and the orange tiered candy dish came from a yard sale a couple of years ago for $2. I have added almond colored candles in the candle holders after taking the picture.

Once I had the linen chest in there and the picture on the wall the placemats that I had planned to use on my table didn’t quite seem fitting for in there. Donna and David blessed me with a gift basket and in it included placemats, candles, napkins and napkin rings along with a few more goodies that fit my color scheme. I love the way my dining room table looks now.  Donna had already given me the candle holder in the middle of the table but I needed 2 more so she came back the next day with the other 2 from her bedroom and now my table is complete. I love shopping at Donna’s home!! hahaha

I will be sharing more pictures along the way but this is it for now. I am holding off showing the entire living room and the bedrooms until I get finishing touches on them. I am sooooo close to be finished! Please forgive me for not posting a lot while I am getting settled. I promise to post again as soon as I can.




What A Day!

Yesterday it reached 73 here in WV and it was fabulous. I drove around with the AC on in my car and no coat at all. This morning when I left the house it was 57 degrees and by the time I came home it is 33 degrees and snowing. This is crazy.

Today after work I called my sister, Donna and the conversation went like this.

Me: I think I have time to come by your house.

Donna: Oh good. I have chicken to make for dinner.

Me: Do you have capers and lemon juice too?

Donna: Yep!

hehehe I am so spoiled. We had chicken piccata and it was wonderful.

I also went “shopping” at Donna’s house too. Shopping involves entering her guest room and seeing a lamp that I love and putting it in my car! hahahaha

I also saw a heated full body massage mat in her garage and I am currently sitting in my living room in my pajamas sitting on this thing and wondering why I haven’t gotten one of these of my own. I may have to actually try to buy this from them to keep it permanently. hahaha

Life is good. I am so close to being in my own home. I am so very blessed. God has a plan for me and I am confident that it will all work out in his time.