Sunday, August 19, 2018

Sunday Selections

I'm a kid at heart. I believe in the magical. Fairies, angels, mermaids, gnomes, and unicorns exist. We knew this when we were children. They coexist and walk beside us on a daily basis, but as we grew up, we closed off our minds. Have you ever seen sparkles out of the corner of your eye?  That was probably a fairy.  So, today I'd like to share with you my living room fairyland.
This is a little fairy garden I put together. 

Looks much better in person when the fairy lights are on.

I remember one day I was wandering through the woods behind my grandparents home, and I stumbled upon a fairyland when I was a little girl.  The pond looked much like this.  I remember how beautiful and peaceful it was, an oasis in the middle of the woods.  I didn't want to leave, but reluctantly I knew I had to go as the sun began to fade.  Despite the fact that it was a small woods, walkable from one end to the other in less than half an hour, I was never able to find it again.  So, when I saw this little pond on Etsy, I couldn't resist.
Another little fairyland I put together.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Saturday Thought

In the springtime, leaves unfolding,
Growing, growing one by one,
In the summer, always giving
Cool, green shade to every one;
In the autumn, tall and stately,
Dressed in yellow, red and brown,
In the winter, sleeping, sleeping,
While the snow comes softly down...
Charlotte Lay Dewey, "A Song of the Trees

Friday, August 17, 2018

Friday Roundup

As another week comes to an end.  This hasn't been the best of weeks for me.  The weather has been terrible, and I've been feeling super tired as I heal from this cold.  To be honest, I can't honestly say these feelings are JUST from the cold.  I think a bit of mild depression might be thrown in.  I get like this when I am housebound.  I'm tired of the gray skies, the steamy humidity, and the rain.  It's caused a flare up in my osteoarthritis, and it's been never-ending pain.  I try to avoid taking pain relievers as much as possible, but I do continue with my regimen of natural supplements--Yucca, Turmeric, Tart Cherry Pills, Caltrate, and Omega 3's.  I've started taking my vitamin D3 supplements again  as I have been getting no sun, and D3 is needed for joints. 

Needless to say, this is one year I am really looking forward to autumn.  Oh, I do every year because it IS  my favorite season, but this year even moreso since we have had such a rough August, so little by little  I've started getting ready.  Just got these awesome 'Flavors of Autumn' and can't wait to cook with them.
Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamom, Cloves, Orange Peel, Nutmeg  adds a warm, slightly spicy flavor to pies, muffins, cookies, and breakfast cereals.   I plan on putting this in my oatmeal in the morning.
Sage, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, marjoram, parsley, black pepper, allspice, celery seed  adds a rich fragrant flavor to stuffings, roasted vegetables, poultry, soups and stews. Have a wonderful vegetable soup I'm dying to try.  Soup season is almost here.  Yay.

Headed to the fruit stand on Tuesday.  Had to get some salad stuff, then headed back home.  Not much else to do.  Didn't think August break was going to hit me so hard. Stayed in on Wednesday, and finally on Thursday I was able to get out and socialize a bit when I went to my WW meeting.  Felt good to have a reason to get out of the house.  We even all went to brunch after the meeting.  Really made me realize how much I have been missing. 

I even managed to get a 'long' walk in.  When I got to the stop to pick up the second bus, I looked at my bus app and saw it was going to be 21 minutes.  Since my back hurts more when I stand in one spot, I decided I was going to walk all that heat.  I got halfway there, and I got dizzy. Looked in my purse and discovered I had forgotten my water.  Held onto a pole for a few, then continued on, stopping in the first store I passed for some much needed cold water.   Did the trick.  I was able to walk the rest of the way with no problems.  16 blocks.

No plans today.  More rain is on the way.  I'll be so glad when this month is over. 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Throwback Thursday

When I was growing up I was never allowed to meet any of my dad's family.  My mom was adamant about that, and my dad pretty much did whatever she said.  I understand that there was a lot of alcoholism in the family, my dad was an alcoholic, and his mom, well, let's just say she didn't have the best reputation, but she was my grandmother, and it would have been nice to have met her....even if only once.  This was an entire part of my family that I was cut off from, and they were just as much a part of me as her family was.  I feel like because of my mom's decisions, I missed out on so much.  Fortunately, when I began working on my family tree I was able to piece a lot of their history together...and even meet several cousins I didn't know I had.  It's wonderful that I found these pictures, but it really doesn't make up for all the face-to-face contact I missed.
My great grandmother Constance Mary and her step father, John Staff.  My great great grandfather, Richard Hazel, died when Constance was three months old, and her mother, Harriet remarried.  They came to America a few months later.  This photo is from the early 1900's.
Constance Mary's sisters, Annie and Flossie.  Annie was blind. When she lived in Newton, she had a clothesline tied all around her yard which helped her to get around.
Constance Mary.
 Constance Mary with her daughter, Edith and her first born, Ruth.
Constance Mary with her son,  my grandfather, Harry.  They called him 'King'.
My dad sent this to my great grandmother Constance Mary who raised him and his brother.  All the family had nicknames.  His was 'Beatle'.
This is my dad's twin brother, Harry.  He always stayed thin while my dad gained a lot of weight.  Harry's nickname was 'Twinny'.
 My great great grandfather, Ralph...Constance Mary's husband.
 My grandfather Harry as a young man.
Constance Mary
 Harry (dad's twin), myself, and my Dad.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Tuesday Ramble

The weather has not been very good here.  The weekend was a washout and showers are predicted every day.  Yesterday I spent some time planning a menu for Sunday when his sister comes and listing everything I will have to buy.  I really don't mind having company aside from the furniture, and I do love cooking for people, but I want it to be on my terms.  After all, it is my place, and I'd prefer to do the inviting.  Don't invite yourself.  Not going to buy anything yet, though.  Hubby says she may not even come.  His family is like that.  We want to visit, but we want to do so when it's convenient for us, not you.  Our lives count, not yours.  Sorry to sound so bitter, but I have a long, not so nice history with his family.  

Suffice it to say I became the enemy when I became friends with the one sister they don't like. And they have been vicious to me--sending invites to family affairs without my name on it, leaving messages on MY answering machine in Spanish, speaking totally in Spanish when we drove them home from his mom's birthday party. All kinds of nasty little things. Mind you, these are school teachers, and they speak English very well, but this was their way of cutting me out.
 Got my Himalayan salt chunks yesterday.  Putting them in my kitchen and living room to purify the air. Computers, microwaves, and air conditioners emit a lot of positive ions. Too much positive ions can make one feel tired and depressed. Hubby and I have been spending a lot of time in the house under the AC, and I am always on the computer, and lately we have both been more tired than usual.  Can chalk some of it up to our colds and the weather, but not all of it.  Just so sluggish and depressed. Salt rocks naturally emit negative ions.  Technically, they are considered sea salt, and Himalayan salt is reputd to be the purist form of sea salt.  Think I am going to buy more for all around the house.

Dinner last night.   Andalusian chick pea and cabbage stew. 0 points and very yummy.
1 can chick peas
1 small cabbage
1  can fire roasted diced tomatoes with juice
1 red bell pepper
Chopped onion
Dried oregano
Dried thyme 
Olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Black pepper
3 cups vegetable stock (I use bullion cubes)

Heat oil and saute onions until transparent.  Add the pepper and garlic.  Saute a few minutes. Add cabbage.  Be sure to stir often.  Cook until cabbage has lost its volume.  Add spices and stir.  Add tomatoes and vegetable stock.  Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring often.  Add red wine vinegar and black pepper.  Stir to combine.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Monday This and That

It's been a quiet weekend for me as I continue to nurse this cold.  I don't get sick often, but when I do it is usually a doozy. On Friday I had to get out and do a little shopping even though I didn't feel much like it.  We have to eat, and hubby has been a lot sicker than I am.  His COPD makes getting a cold a serious problem.  So, while checking out the produce, I stumbled across the following and decided to give them a try.
I like trying new things.  Last year they had bubblegum grapes, and boy were they yummy.  Haven't found them since though, so when I saw these I thought best to grab them now, or I might not get a chance.  They are not in the berry family at all and  actually closely related to the tomatillo. They are pretty good.  It's hard to define their taste, but suffice it to say they are 'sweet and sour' sort of like a cherry tomato and a pineapple.  Truthfully though, not a purchase I would make again.
Saturday was a stay in and do some cooking day after a VERY quick trip to the fruit stand very early in the morning for a few forgotten items.  It was a rainy day anyway so I really didn't mind, and it had to be done.  It's like 'something always has to be done', and sometimes I begin to feel overwhelmed.

Well, the sister didn't come.  Hubby didn't exactly tell her 'no'; he told her we weren't up to it this week, that she should come next week. Darn, darn, darn.  This place is just not up to company.  We are badly in need of furniture, and it's downright embarrassing, but we are looking to move, hopefully soon, so are hesitant about buying new at this time.  First of all, there is not room for a full sofa and nice chairs, and that's what we want to get.  No sense in buying another loveseat at this time.   

We'd been totally ripped off by Ashley furniture.  Beware of that company.  Not to be trusted.  We had purchased a leather loveseat from them as well as an extra warranty.  Miss Minga was still alive and we were fearful that she would dig her claws into it.  Well, my sweet girl never did bother the love seat, but just sitting on it did as you can see below:

It began peeling just a little over a year after we purchased it.  I contacted Ashley and was told that the store that sold us the loveseat had sold out to them, and they had no record of our purchase....OR OUR WARRANTY.  It seems the previous owners had not kept a record of the sale so we were up the creek.  Had laid out almost a thousand dollars.  So much for paying cash. Next time we know better.  Worst of all, we couldn't find where we put the sales receipt.  When you move, so many things get lost.  So, we were out our money and  a loveseat.  A friend crocheted me a coverlet, and I have another purchased cover that I alternate it with.  Just hanging on now until we move.  Then, planning buying everything new but we are both a bit wary. But one thing for sure.  We will definitely not go to Ashley Furniture.