My New Red Baby


I’ve been thinking about buying KitchenAid’s Nespresso Espresso Machine ever since I landed on Whirlpool soil. I get a great price with employee pricing, but I couldn’t really decide if I’d like making my own lattes at home. I love coffee shops, and it’s so much more than a cup of coffee for me. I went back and forth, and I promised myself I wouldn’t buy until I was totally sure that I wanted it.

I’d go to the KitchenAid webpage and look at the Nespresso one and then the larger version that had its own built in milk frother. The Candy Apple Red was calling my name. At first, I dreamed of getting the “big daddy” one, and I read all of the reviews and watched the videos on how it worked. How do you pass up that sexy English accent on that video? Just think how classy this country girl would be with that heavy piece of machinery that percolates coffee gold! Then I got to thinking that for one person that was probably a bit of an overkill. It’s not like I’d be making five lattes at a time.

When I finally made peace with downsizing, the decision became less of a big deal. I was a little worried about those Nespresso pods. For some reason, I was thinking of Nestle, and I was thinking that wasn’t really much of a great coffee name. Did I want to be stuck with one brand of pod to use? What if it wasn’t all that good? I talked myself out of it about three times. But, week before last, I was once again breathing heavily as I watched that beautiful brown liquor pour out of that red flashy machine on the video, and I decided I was going for it.


I texted Michael and asked if the coffee was really good. He said I would love it, so I ordered coffee off the Nespresso website and ordered my coveted machine. I got the coffee two days later. It would be another three days before my baby arrived. Luckily, I work at Whirlpool!! Our kitchens are stocked with these machines, so I took my pods to work and started drinking the most divine coffee I have ever tasted. I even drink it black frequently, and I NEVER liked my coffee black. It is silky smooth, and all I need is a touch of milk if I want any at all.


The pods come in ristretto (a small espresso shot), espresso and lungo (a larger espresso shot) sizes. I’ve been making Americanos, Espressos and Lattes all day long. I even had to place a second order for decaf because there’s no way I can drink this much coffee without blowing my mind. Right now, I’m having a decaf Americano topped with frothy milk. Yum! Who needs dessert?

And I’m saving lots of money. My $3.50 – $4.50 daily latte at Starbucks or at work has been replaced by a 70 cent to $1.40 cup of fabulous brew. The other day I bought a coffee at work, and I could barely choke it down. It can’t hold a candle to this stuff. I have no idea how I lived this long without this candy apple red toy. For a second the other day, I thought it was broken. My heart hit the floor until I realized I’d forgotten to add water. Whew! That would have been a disaster.

She’s so beautiful!!




Let the Shoveling Begin #southernbadass


I knew it was coming. St. Joseph was just on the edge of the lake effect snow of last week. We got an inch or two which was beautiful but was certainly NOT lake effect snow. All day last Thursday I watched the radar as Benton Harbor/St. Joe skirted by on the edge of the snow belt onscreen. But the forecast said we were only just starting. I knew it would get us sooner or later.


This morning I looked out the window, and I knew today was the day. I practiced a little shoveling snow a few days ago when we had a baby snow. I just wanted to figure out how to do it. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. But, then again, it wasn’t much snow.


When I lived here before I never even owned a snow shovel. I lived in a condo, and my condo fee paid for snow removal. I just waited until it was done and went on about my business. My second husband who was from Chicago did not shovel snow. I had made a deal with him that if we bought a house instead of a condo, he had to do the yard work. I didn’t realize that his agreement was based on the fact that he had an extremely low standard of yard work. If it wasn’t in danger of covering the rooftop, he wasn’t mowing it, shoveling it or weeding it. I hated having to wade through snow while my neighbors’ sidewalks and driveways were free and clear of ice and snow. But I kept my mouth shut. That was his job.


With a house, I need to shovel snow. Someone is supposed to come out for snow removal when it gets over 4 inches, but I don’t really know when they show up. I have to get out today, and when I saw what was outside I knew I would have to get on with it. I waited until I saw the neighbors out shoveling their sidewalk. I didn’t want to do something ridiculous like shovel snow prematurely. But as soon as I saw them outside, I bundled up and took to the task.

The white blanket left no evidence where my sidewalk or driveway ended, and neither neighbor on either side had shoveled yet, so i had to figure it out. The steps were easy enough, and my friend Kenny who moved to Wisconsin from Memphis had advised me earlier in the week to get some traction for my boots. I received these little pull-on “snow tires” for my feet in the mail yesterday.


My supervisor waited to see what I was going to do and bounced around a bit while I was figuring out where to start.


I started with the steps and moved on to the sidewalk before tackling my single-track driveway. I yelled at Ashok when she peed on the neighbor’s driveway. “How embarrassing,” I thought. The teenage boy came out to warm up his car while I was out, and I asked him if I should shovel the center of the driveway where grass grows. “No,” he said and added, ” Do you mind if I just drive out your driveway? If I don’t get stuck, that is.” Well, I thought, I don’t care if she peed in your driveway if you are just going to take advantage of all my hard work.

It didn’t take as long as I thought it would, and it wasn’t all that hard although I did get my upper body workout done for the day. I felt very happy knowing that there were women all down the street telling their husbands, “Honey, that southern woman has already cleared her driveway. When are you doing ours?”


As I was finishing up, my neighbor across the street walked out, and I asked him how I did. “Better than I’m doing,” he said. “Now if we can just get that dog to shovel snow.” My other neighbor didn’t seem as impressed with my novice shoveling. “It’s an art,” he told me. “You get better at it as you go along.” Of course I noticed that he drove away from his house without shoveling at all. I guess even art can be procrastinated.




Sunday Night Check-In: Organized


Last week was a big week at work for me. Our training event that had been in the works ever since I arrived on Whirlpool soil was held, and I think it went very well. But I had some early starts, and I was worn out by the end of each day. So, my house and me got short shrift last week. I didn’t eat well, I didn’t exercise, and my house was a disaster. I promised myself I’d do better over the weekend and would get back to normal this week.

Before and after…


One of the issues with my house is the lack of closet space on the main floor. There are some tiny closets, but houses that are 100 years old are just not made to hold all of the stuff we collect these days. My shoes were all over the floor, and I couldn’t make those shelves hold all of the things I crammed on them. Every time I looked in my closets or tried to find anything, I got frustrated and started to think I was going to have to remodel my house already. I was exhausted just thinking about it. .


My friend Angel told me she was one of those household organizers when I saw her in Chicago. I texted her and sent pictures of all of my problem closets. She sent me some suggestions, and I checked out her company’s website – Organizing Boston. I got some great ideas from their Facebook page, and I headed out to TJ Maxx to see if they had some stuff I could use to get organized. If not, I planned to head to Mishawaka IN which is the closest large shopping district to me.

Before and after linen closet…

TJ Maxx had more than enough baskets and bins for me to organize my tiny closets, my bathroom and my makeup drawer. I still need to do something with my jewelry, but I feel so much better now that my things are put away nicely. I feel so much better than I made lunch for tomorrow, and I am making plans to get out and exercise early. This week is going to be a better week.

My hall closet… I wish I had a before picture. It was awful.


If you have any great tips on organizing jewelry, drop me some suggestions. Angel suggested this cork board! I think it’s pretty cool.