Dec 21, 2010


I cannot believe that it is Christmas week. We are all ready here, all of the stockings are hung and everything is wrapped and under the tree. This is the first year that Santa is officially not visiting our house Christmas Eve and I must not tell a lie, but I am not missing it one bit. I am so glad I do not have to talk in code and hide "special paper" and gifts this year. I may actually get some decent sleep Christmas Eve!!  Check back with me in a year or two and I may be in a great depression over how old I am and feel, but for now all is well.

Saturday, my laptop died. I am using #2's for now. Luckily the Apple Store had an opening Saturday night for an appointment. The Man of the House and I got a GREAT Christmas present when we were told that my laptop was still covered under the extended warranty we bought because the repair would have cost over $1,000, but the bad news was that I would have to live without it until probably after Christmas. The electrical  board went out on it and it would not power on. I am so worried that I might lose some things that have not been backed up automatically. With the office being redone we have unplugged and moved things around so many times I am confused what was plugged and hooked up when. I will be so upset if I have lost pictures, especially of my mom. I just hope (slim chance) to get my laptop back before Christmas because ALL of our Christmas music is on my itunes account. I just bought the BEST Christmas music. It is a remix album of some Christmas classics. I love this Bing Crosby remixed song. 

I know that I am shoving a lot into each post lately and I hate that this isn't getting it's own post, but something a little ironic happened Saturday. My hubs was not a happy camper that he was going to be headed to the mall the last Saturday evening before Christmas, but I was ecstatic. I love to wander around the mall just before Christmas, under no pressure, browsing stores like Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, Williams Sonoma and so on. It really feels like Christmas when I do that. Art (The Man of the House, The Husband, My Husband...) really likes it too, but he just will not admit it!! Just make Starbucks the first stop and he is a happy camper! Anyhow, he knew that it was a special day on the 18th and he recognized that, but before we left for the mall he said that he really wanted to go and eat at Brio.... one of my favorite restaurants. It is just outside of our mall.

Brio was the restaurant that we took my mom to on her birthday two years ago to the date, her last birthday she celebrated--and of course, he did not remember. She turned 69 that year and my family of five, along with my aunt and mom, went to dinner to celebrate.

my mom

 If you do not follow me, my parents live(d) just over an hour away from me and my mom LOVED coming to Raleigh and staying with us.  She was extremely involved with my family and all of the things her granddaughters were involved with. She really was my anchor in many ways and she was a soccer grand-ma and a cheerleading grand-ma. She died February 8th 2010, after battling breast cancer.

(Austria 2007)


 I didn't know what to expect from myself on Saturday. Last year, I spent my mom's birthday in bed with her. I laid beside her in her bed and we watched Food Network and HGTV. I had my laptop with me and showed her some recent pictures I had taken. I began to close my computer when I was finished, but she stopped me, put her hand on top of mine and asked me to click through ALL of my pictures.... and I did. We laid there in silence as we watched about six years go by. I remember cutting my eyes over to her and watching her watch the slideshow. She literally studied and took in every detail of every picture. Every so often, I would make a comment about a picture and she would not take her eyes off of the screen, but would nod her head and sometimes smile and agree with what I had said. It was as if she was recording what she was watching inside her brain.

my mom and dad at senior prom
Afterwards, I snuggled up to her. I gave her an electric blanket and several cashmere caps for her birthday. One of the caps became her favorite and wold be the one she was wearing when she passed away. I took it off of her when I left her bedside that final time and I keep it somewhere special now.  She had lost all of her hair by then and weighed less than 100lbs. By then, she was always cold. We cranked up the blanket to the highest setting and roasted together, or at least I did.  I didn't dare move until she feel asleep . One year later,  I wish I was still there, all snuggled up together, but I am not. She has moved on to bigger and better things.

My mom would have been 71 years young on Saturday, but I like to think that she turned 1 in forever-years. I cannot tell you how much I miss her and how often I think about her. She is on my mind constantly everyday, even more so this time of year. I talk to her throughout everyday and just pray that she hears me. This will be the first Christmas in 46 years that I do not get to see her. Yes, I am that old, just ask my back.

 back in the day that my back did not hurt!!

roasting marshmallows with granddaughters

me, my mom, #1 and #2 at my cousin's wedding-
I was the made of honor

grand-ma, papa and the three grandaughters (pre #3)

my mom and dad.... back when I  was in high school

#2 with grandma and daddy at Chucky Cheese

I am so glad that #2 had a file of pictures of her grandma on her computer
I just hope that all of my pictures are still on my computer when I get it back
hopefully that will be before Christmas. 

Dec 14, 2010


Hello friends. Remember me? I hope so!

I am sorry to say that I have become "ONE OF THOSE BLOGGERS",  and here I am again with my tail tucked between my legs. I have just been on a different track lately and have been working from the time my feet hit the ground in the morning until going to bed at night. I finally am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and right now I am in a good place. 

The entire upstairs of my house has been turned upside down and has been a maze of boxes and piles. I have had "men" of all walks of life in my house a lot of days for the past weeks. Once that stopped happening, a little thing called Thanksgiving and Christmas came along and stole most of my days. 

Here are some of the pictures of my house, projects and life lately:

Containers have been stacked up in my house for so long I am starting to need to dust them!

The office was our first project started.

before painting:

after painting:


finally, a space to call my own!

And now for the bedrooms:

#1 and #3 changed bedrooms.
 I was determined to not move the junk, papers and clutter from one room to the other and so I spent at least a week going through EVERYTHING and making piles for them to go through when they got home from school. 
I have bought storage boxes and file boxes more than anything else lately.
I believe the girls actually hated me for a while! 

This was #1's bedroom during the process.

after being painted with the color #3 picked out:

Now for the hard part,
 all of this stuff had to be moved into a much smaller bedroom.

This is the end result. 
#1 is all moved in to the "smallest room in the house".
We will add the finishing touches and find the perfect new bedding after Christmas. 

#3 got new furniture for her new bedroom
along with new bedding. 

I have a lot of work to do still,
 but I am just happy to have spaces that resemble rooms for now.

I really like the darker tops on top of the lighter furniture. 

She did a great job picking everything out.

This is #3's jewelry display for now.

We are going to order this....

 to replace the silver desk and set it up like a jewelry counter in a store. 

I don't have a before picture of the bathroom. I am not sure what we were thinking six years ago,
but it was Pepto pink with glittery gold circles painted on the walls. 
The cabinetry was white, but I am so happy with results of painting them a glossy black.
We have plans to replace the tile countertops and tile in the tub area with a solid white granite sometime in January. We already pulled it aside at the office and someone just needs to come and measure it and cut it. We are going to also update the faucets with brushed nickel and still need to hang all of the hardware.
We did things a little backwards in here, but it will all turn out the same in the end. 

(The curtain is just thumb tacked up. We are trying to decide exactly what we are going to do there.)

This little cart was in my grandparents house.
I am going to paint it and spruce it up a bit with glass shelves.

We have set aside the projects upstairs for now and moved into 
"Project Christmas".
I woke these beautiful (and angry) people up early one morning and informed them that
Christmas decorating would be done as a team effort
 and finished in one morning or else it would not be done.

...and all of the Odom elves got to work...

...and my supervisors kept a good eye on them.....

...and low and behold, it was done!!!

 And we were rewarded with a beautiful little snow!

 It is beginning to look and feel a lot like Christmas!

Nov 8, 2010


I have a major week ahead of me. I am on a mission to get finished with a couple of big cleaning and organization projects.  My plan is to have my garage loaded with Goodwill donations by the end of this week and my closet, bathroom, laundry room and living room to feel and look like a model home. You know who is out of town this week.....again..... in balmy Palm Springs and it is just me and my animals all day long working our little tails off while #3 is at school. 

On Thursday the contractors will be here to install the office cabinets upstairs. The sheet rock has all been replaced and the room has been painted. I am very excited to get everything in and in place. Right now there are boxes from the office stacked up in the TV room and I cannot wait to not have to see that mess every time I go upstairs. On Friday, the carpet is getting cleaned upstairs and while that is being done I figure I would unpack the office stuff and get that all organized. I want so badly to pull all of that carpet up and install hardwoods and just do big rugs in all of the rooms. That might be a project for the spring. 

So that is my week ahead and for some strange reason I am too excited about all of this cleaning and organization I will be doing!

We had a great weekend!

It was #1's twenty-first birthday!

Her roommates threw her a party in Chapel Hill on Friday and then she and #2 came home on Saturday.
It was so nice to have everyone here at once.

Here are some pictures of her celebration:

#1 and BF1 (boyfriend 1)
He has been hanging around our house for over fours years now. 

This champagne was given to me in the hospital after
 #1 was born. I kept it all of these years just for this very picture!!

"It's a Girl!"

 No birthday would be complete without looking back at old picture albums. 
This is #1 and her great grandmother, "Granny". 

This is our "You Are Special Today" plate. 
Someone gave it to us as a wedding gift and I love it more today than I did back then. 
We use for any and every special family day and celebration, not just birthdays. 

I cannot believe my little girl is twenty-one!

Happy Birthday Brittany!

Nov 4, 2010


We finally have experienced some autumn weather here.  
The other day it was a dark dreary wet day and it got me in the mood for cooking one of our favorite autumn time meals. I love this  Italian Harvest Roast because it is so easy. With all of the fresh herbs roasting away in the pan, along side the onions and garlic, the house smells wonderful.

All I do is place onions, potatoes, garlic, carrots (which I forgot this time), grapes, hot Italian sausage and chicken breast into a roasting pan. 

I sprinkle an Italian seasoning blend (I use Pampered Chef), salt, pepper and heavily drizzle olive oil on top.
I then place fresh thyme and rosemary on top of the chicken and pop it into the oven for about forty five minutes. 
(425' on convection roast)

While that is cooking, I make a balsamic glaze with brown sugar and balsamic vinegar on top of the stove to drizzle on top of each serving. 

It is the perfect hearty meal on a damp dreary day...

and it is soooo easy!


And yes, it does sound really strange that there are grapes in this. I thought so too until I tried it. They roast down and become rich and wonderful. They are a good counter to all of the earthy flavors of the herbs and the heat from the Italian sausage. I guess they add to the "Harvest" theme.