Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Roundup

To live means to experience--through doing, feeling, thinking.  Experience takes place in time, so time is the ultimate scarce resource we have.  Over the years, the content of experience will determine the quality of life.  Therefore one of the most essential decisions any of us can make is about how one's time is allocated or invested.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi  

Good morning, everyone.  Finally got out of the house yesterday, and it was a good thing I did.  Not only did I find out that I lost another pound, but  as much as I love my WW meetings,  I felt myself falling into that old habit of not wanting to go anywhere.  Already I had to force myself to get dressed and head out the door.  It is just so easy for me to fall into that funk.  

Went across the street to the bus stop and found that, although the families there had shoveled a nice wide path, they had piled all the snow on the curb, all the way to the crosswalk. I wasn't about to climb over a foot of packed snow and ice or stand in the street waiting for the bus, so I walked to the next bus stop.  It was the same coming home.  Once again the furniture store shoveled a small path and left the 4 feet of sidewalk leading to the bus stop filled with snow.  Too dangerous, so I got out a stop ahead and walked it home.  

Now, it's not like I couldn't have been doing this all along.  The walk is only from 9th to 8th Avenue.  And since I lost weight I don't lose my breath like I used to and find that I have less pain when I walk.  So, while it is convenient to have a bus stop right across from your house, it is far healthier to walk to the next one.  Guess this is what I'll be doing from now on when it's nice outdoors.

I had two calls from my insurance company over the past two days--one to schedule an appointment with a nurse practitioner who is going to give me a physical in my own home and the second from the social worker to make sure I had food and heat in my home.  Hubby said that's because it's cheaper for them to monitor me regularly than to pay for a hospital stay.  No matter what, I appreciate the extra care.

Really enjoyed my dinner last night.  Seasoned and roasted a chicken and cut up a fantastic salad of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, steamed brocolli, and steamed carrots.  Dressing was a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Smothered the chicken with red onions simmered in olive oil and vinegar. 

One thing I am really craving is nachos.  I absolutely adore Mexican food.  Plan on finding a WW friendly recipe and making them this week.  Hubby doesn't like nachos so I'll make him some yellow rice instead.

Well, that's about it dear friends.  Another week in the books.  Have a wonderful, safe, and fun-filled weekend.  See you all on Monday.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Thursday Book Review

Lately I have been doing a lot of reading since I stopped my addiction to a game I was playing on my tablet, Hay Day.  I would play until I had pain in my arms. And reading is so much more productive.  Just finished reading a fabulous book. 'A Day of Fire: a Novel of Pompeii," a combined novel by Stephanie Dray, Ben Kane, E. Knight, Sophie Perinot, Kate Quinn and Vicky Alvear Shecter.  Not my usual type of reading, but I am so glad I bought it.  Fabulous.  I can't say enough about it. 

The book is a collection of six inter-connected stories set in Pompeii on the day that Vesuvius erupted.  Each author writes about a character and weaves them into the story.  The stories are linked by characters who show up in multiple stories--sometimes just as background, others in crucial plot twists

Book Description...

Pompeii was a lively resort flourishing in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius at the height of the Roman Empire. When Vesuvius erupted in an explosion of flame and ash, the entire town would be destroyed. Some of its citizens died in the chaos, some escaped the mountain's wrath . . . and these are their stories:

A boy loses his innocence in Pompeii's flourishing streets.
An heiress dreads her wedding day, not knowing it will be swallowed by fire.
An ex-legionary stakes his entire future on a gladiator bout destined never to be finished.
A crippled senator welcomes death, until a tomboy on horseback comes to his rescue.
A young mother faces an impossible choice for her unborn child as the ash falls.
A priestess and a whore seek redemption and resurrection as the town is buried.

Six authors bring to life overlapping stories of patricians and slaves, warriors and politicians, villains and heroes who cross each others' path during Pompeii's fiery end. But who will escape, and who will be buried for eternity?

An excellent read  

Well, I'm off to the shower and breakfast.  Going to venture out to WW today.  I can so easily fall into a rut, and I refuse to let it happen this time.  Too many good things in life to enjoy.  Have a wonderful day.  

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Just a Few Little Storm Photos

Well, the 'big' storm is history now.  Just waiting for the meltdown, but that will probably take some time what with the temperatures being so low.  I'll be staying in today as well.  Not everyone has shoveled and the crosswalks are still pretty snowed in.  Hoping by meeting time on Thursday I will be able to get out.  Until then, there is nothing really I need outdoors. and it is better to be safe than sorry.

About 7 am from my doorstep.
It was so peaceful.

 First person I saw on the street.

Later in the day everything is looking better....

...Until you reach the crosswalk.  And then...

...It all falls apart when you cross the street, and 

you reach the bus stop. Have no idea where these cars came from.

The people from this store never shovel, and when they do, it is only a small path big enough for one person.  Last year was the same thing.  A small path only, and with all the snow we had, the bus stop area was a huge block of ice.  I'm not putting up with it this year.  You own a store, you have to take care of the property around it. Last year they held me prisoner as I couldn't climb over the mound of ice to get to the bus.  Don't forget.  I am 67 years old and walk with a cane outdoors. This year I am not having it. That's why I lodged a complaint.  Let's see what happens.

Well, that's about it.  Going to go have a bite to eat now.  Have a good one.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Everything is equal in the snow: all trees, all lawns, all streets, all rooftops, all cars. Everything is white, white, white, as far as you can see. Covered by snow, the well-kept and neglected lawns look the same. The snow hides the shiny newness of a just-bought car as effectively as it does the rust and dents of a ten-year-old one. Everything looks clean and fresh and unmarred by time or use. Snow, like the silent death it counterfeits, is a great leveler.

Adrienne Ivey

Too bad it scares me so.  I tossed and turned a lot last night, thinking of all the things that could go wrong.  Power could go out, furnace could break and no one able to get through to fix it.  And Miss Minga.  She is so old.  What if something should happen and I can't get her to the vet?  I know it's wrong to dwell on so many negatives, but I just feel so powerless. Then I wake up and find out we dodged a bullet.  Not much snow at all, and by day's end it should be all cleared out.  Whew!!!

Juno begins.
Juno.  Juno is the Great Mother of the Romans.  She is the equivalent of the Greek Goddess Hera. She is a daughter of Saturn and sister/wife  of the chief god Jupiter.   Now we will also remember her as the storm.  In the 'Aeneid' Juno calls on Aeolus, the god of the winds, directing him to bring a great storm down upon Aeneas because she is angry with him.  As I sat last night listening to the winds and the thunder, I wondered, 'what has made Juno so angry.'

Three hours later.

 Just before I went to bed.  Notice the orb...only in this photo.  Odd,

Well all, that's about it.  Going to have some breakfast and check outdoors to see what's up.  For those of you still in the path of the storm, please be safe.   

Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday Morning This and That

When you get in a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. 

Harriet Beecher Stowe 

Monday has arrived, and it will be spent making last minute preparations for the storm. Have to run to the bank for my bill money and pick up a few items at the store.  I was going to go to the old center to play a little bingo, but running these errands is more important.  Don't know if I'll be able to make it to the bank at any other time this week.  Not looking forward to this storm and told hubby I wish we could just pack up and go somewhere until it was over.  I used to thrill over storms.  Maybe it's my age, but they scare me now.

Took this picture while waiting for the bus to go to church yesterday.  Looks like storm clouds, but it was actually fairly sunny yesterday.  The calm before the storm.  Although you can't make it out, the store on the corner across the street is a furniture store. The bus stop is right in front.  They never shovel.  This year I got news for them.  I'm going to turn them in.  Last year their lack of shoveling made me a prisoner in my home.

Don't know how long I'll be attending the old center, though. One of my peers said they offer so much,  they offer nothing for me except a chance to sit and have lunch with a few people that I really, really like.  The art class, if you can call it that, on Wednesday is nothing more than coloring pictures.  I usually bring my own supplies and utilize the time for practice on what I learned the day before in my 'real' art class.  The groups are all the same.  Everyone talks about the same thing week after week.  

Even Women's Group which I had looked forward to as a  place where I could speak about some of my issues always turns into a talk about current affairs.  How much can you talk current affairs?  Personally, I attend the center to have fun and get away from the madness of the world, but they bring it there. 

The new center, on the other hand, offers so much.  The exercise, the art class, and soon they will be starting both crochet and jewelry making. And I've noticed a difference in the people who attend as well.  One doesn't find the cliques they have in the old center.  I mean, I've been attending the old place for over a year now and there are many people I don't even know.  They are so into their own little groups, and I guess I am one of them. But, the difference is, I only attend now to see my friends.

Hubby's doctor called on Friday with good news and bad news.  The good news is that the medication is performing its miracle.  It is curing him.  The bad news is that his kidneys are now deteriorating, and the doctor wants to see him on February 2nd.  He's pretty depressed right now, and all he can think of is dialysis.  I am thinking, though, that because he has had regular blood tests and high creatinine levels have only begun to show,  it is early in his kidney disease and change of diet, more water, and medication may be able to help.  I'm praying that is what it will take.  He has been through so much already.  

Made a nice beef stew in my crock pot for Saturday dinner.  Can't afford to buy stew beef anymore, so I took a steak and chopped it up myself.  Added everything but the kitchen sink.  Beef, celery, onions, garlic, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, Spanish paprika, Spanish Oregano, salt, pepper, Grill  Mates Steakhouse Onion Burger seasoning, Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy, Chives, sodium free beef broth and a couple of tablespoons of tomato sauce.  As you can see, I love using spices. One can make a cheap meal taste like it came from the best restaurant. 

I served it with cauliflower topped with some low fat, low sodium cheddar cheese.  Don't like the way it melts and probably won't buy it again.  I buy these plates from the Chinese store in my neighborhood.  One thing I have learned about food intake is that when you are used to eating a lot like I am, you want to see a full plate.  On a regular plate this portion looks skimpy; hence, psychologically it leaves me hungry.  But in this plate I fool myself into thinking I overdo.
Well that's it for now.  Hoping you all have a good one. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Roundup

Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.

Winston Churchill
Good morning, everyone, and a happy Friday to all.  The weekend is almost here.  We've got snow or ice or maybe both on the way tomorrow (they are not sure yet what it will be), so I'm going to stock up on necessities today.  Will be heading out to another WW meeting for something to do since I probably won't be going out tomorrow, and they have a fantastic supermarket next door.  

Speaking of WW.  I lost another 1.4 pounds yesterday making it 25.8 pounds altogether.  Felt real good when I went up to get my 25 pound charm and everyone cheered and clapped. Feeling better every day. 

Made some stewed chicken yesterday and had a salad along with it.  Don't know what I am going to make this weekend, but I do want to try something in my crock pot.  Should have made the stew in it, but just didn't think to do so.

Time to start making plans for Imbolc/Candlemas.  Hard to believe it's less than two weeks away.  Although it may be still be in the grips of Winter, to me this day has always been a sign that Spring is on its way.

Well, not much else going on here.  Going to go take my shower and eat breakfast.  Looking forward to my Friday meeting.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Thursday Ramble

Good morning.  It snowed a bit last night, but I am still going to take a stab at heading off to Weight Watchers.  I think  it will be okay. I don't have to head in the direction where the people don't shovel or lay salt...and then again, there may be nothing on the ground.  I can't see the sidewalks from my apartment. 

Yesterday everything went well  on my eye test yesterday.  No glaucoma.  The doctor sat me down and explained that I am what is called 'glaucoma suspect'.  This means that although I don't have it now, certain tests have indicated that I 'could' develop it in the future.  So, every four months he will give me a field test.  

Hubby also had a doctor's appointment yesterday.  He had to have some blood work done to see how this new medication is working.  It is so expensive that the insurance company wants frequent blood tests to see if it is working.  If not, they will not pay for it any longer.  Now we just have to sit and wait.

On the way home I stopped at the Chinese supermarket. I'm one block from Brooklyn's Chinatown and I use lots of their products.  Their colognes, at $10, are so light, fresh, and flowery and last longer than the more expensive name brands.  I also use their shampoo and conditioner.  Chinese have beautiful hair so one can't go wrong, and I find my hair does well with them.

Today was my first time in the supermarket, and I was totally fascinated.  Oh, I have been to the front of the store where they sell fruits.  They have the most delicious cherries for $2.99, and I have stopped before for them, but I've never gone through the entire store...which is huge.  Needless to say, I am in love.  I will be back there often.  Didn't have my much money nor my shopping cart today, but I did purchase a few items.  I am really anxious to try some of these sauces...and there are so much more....Korean, Japanese, Philippine, and Chinese.  Can't wait to try them all.

A package of Moon Cakes for only 99 cents.  A little late for the mid-Autumn festival, but in ancient times, in ancient times they were used as an offering to the moon. Emperors would pay homage to the sun in spring and to the moon in autumn.  Imbolc is barely two weeks away I'll either use them then or during the next full moon.
This is a Chinese herbal lozenge that I use now for the throat.  I tend to get tickles, especially when I come into the warmth out of the cold, and these take them away without that harsh Halls taste.
Well, that's about it for today.  Time to go hop in the shower.  Have a good one.
People eat mooncakes to express their love for their family and their hope for a happy life. - See more at:
People eat mooncakes to express their love for their family and their hope for a happy life. - See more at:

Wednesday Thoughts

 We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another. 

Luciano de Crescenzo

Good morning.  Some snow on the way later on, but I should be home by the time it starts.  Going to the opthamologist for a follow-up field test.  Still trying to confirm whether or not I have glaucoma.  Although one eye failed the last test, the doctor said that a lot of times patients are so nervous that they don't get the first test right.  

The nurse came for my monthly visit yesterday.   This was the first one that had come, the Russian lady, who I felt was cold and uncaring.  Yesterday she was so friendly and nice.  Just goes to show that you can't judge someone on first meeting.  She might have been having a bad day. She noticed immediately how I had lost weight and told me I am looking so much better than the first time we met. My BP was 117 over 68.  Amazing isn't it?  Brings tears to my eyes how far I have come.

Went to art class yesterday.  He is teaching us about the different types of perception and how to draw them.  One lady got annoyed and left.  My friend told me that during the time they didn't have a teacher, she had self-appointed herself and made everyone miserable.  Now she is jealous because they brought a 'real' artist in to teach us.  Personally I don't think I would have lasted had she still been teacher.  I'd rather have someone SHOWING me where I am making my mistakes and not TELLING me what I am supposed to do. 

Miss Minga has been doing well.  She is really a true miracle.  Just when I think the worst is coming, she pulls her way out of it.  It's havoc on my emotions.  I just love her so darn much.  

Speaking of Miss Minga.  yesterday I found a black feather next to her bed.  I believe it was a gift from spirit and means something special, that is is a gift, that someone close to Miss Minga was letting her know that they were there and watching over her.  I've already mentioned that recently I have felt a cat brushing against my legs or hear claws clinking on my living room floor and Miss Minga is sleeping soundly at my feet.  I truly believe that Miss Minga's daughter is there to help her when the time comes.

Well, that's about it today.  Keep your fingers crossed that all goes well with my test today.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tuesday Ramble

Movement is a medicine for creating
change in a person's physical,
emotional, and mental states.

Carol Welch
Good morning, everyone.  Hope those of you who had the day off yesterday had a good one.  I went out looking for a new purse yesterday.  I use a cane to walk outdoors and hate carrying a purse in my hands leaving no hands free. And the handles on the purse I just bought are too short to wear over a heavy winter coat.  They keep sliding down my arm, and that is downright annoying.  I prefer having a cross-body bag.  So much easier to maneuver.  Problem is, I need something large enough to carry my art supplies twice a week.

I left the house too early, though, and came back empty-handed.  But, all was not lost.  I walked from 60th Street to 53rd and back again.  That's 14 blocks.  And I wasn't out of breath at all.  The pain, too, was a lot less than it once was.  A few short months ago I would have been stopping every other block to lean against a pole to catch my breath and alleviate the pain.  I am so amazed at my progress, and all it took was losing a few pounds.  Imagine how good I am going to feel when I lose the last 50. 

They are calling for some snow here tomorrow.  Hope not.  Have to go back for another field test.  They need a second test to confirm the diagnosis of glaucoma.  Keeping my fingers crossed that I pass this one.  

I've been reading "The Books of Rachel", the second of the Rachel books by Joel Goss.  Actually, this was the first written, but the other took place during earlier time periods so I chose to read that one first.  This is just as good as that one.  I just can't put these books down and plan on re-reading both in the future.

 From the book description:

"The Books of Rachel is a fictional microcosm of 500 years of Jewish history. Since the 15th century, in the Cuheno family, the first daughter born to the family is given the name Rachel and a heritage of faith and courage as precious as the family diamond. A saga sweeping from the Spanish Inquisition to the birth of a Jewish homeland."

Part One was my favorite. It  takes place in Spain during 1484,  Rachel Cuheno lives with her nobel family under the protection of the royal court of King Ferdinand,  She  dies during the reign of tortures of the Jewish people and others during the Spanish Inquisition.  This one really played havoc on my emotions, and I found myself so angry about the cruelty of torturous acts done in the name of religion.

My skin is so darn dry this year that I find myself scratching until I bleed.  Even my hands now.  I've tried everything, but nothing has worked.  My skin has always been dry in the winter, but never like this.  Any suggestions? 

Well, that's about it.  I'm off to the shower and breakfast. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday Morning This and That

Each of my days are miracles. I won't waste my day;
I won't throw away miracles.

Kelley Vicstrom

Good morning on this Martin Luther King Day.  Many of you have the day off so enjoy. Both centers are closed so I plan on staying in today.  The weekend itself was bittersweet.  I cherished every moment with my darling little girl, but tears flowed like a river.  I want so very much to do the right thing by her and wonder if my judgement is clouded when it comes to making a decision.  But I look at her and although she is wobbly on her feet and walking slow, she IS still getting around.  She IS able to use her litter box.  And she IS eating me out of house and home.  Not complaining.  That's a good sign. It may sound horrible to you, but I pray that the decision is taken out of my hands, that she go during her sleep. 

And today will probably be much the same...watching her every move, mourning what is to come.  My love for her is so strong, I fear getting up in the morning and not having her waiting for me.  But, enough of this morbidity.   

Bought some McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Chicken Seasoning while shopping the other day  and found a simple 3 ingredient recipe on the McCormick web site. I changed it a wee bit, but it is so simple, quick, and good. I used chicken cutlets, Dijon mustard and the Montreal Seasoning. Coated both sides of chicken with mustard and seasoning. Meanwhile, heated up my grill pan. Grilled chicken until done. 

Used my crock pot for the first time on Saturday.  Made Moroccan Chicken.  I used Campbell's Slow Cooker Moroccan Sauce.  Talk about yummy.  Chicken was fork tender, not dry at all.  It was, however, very spicy so don't try if you don't like spicy foods.  Will definitely make this again.

You will never guess what.  Do you remember the co-worker I used to talk about, the one who never worked but got paid the same amount as me? The one who used to stress me out so much?  Found out yesterday she is in Danbury Federal Prison for credit card fraud. Yep.  She, her sister, and a cousin all got caught in  a scam which involved wire fraud.   Somehow her older sister was able to hack into credit reports.  They would then take this information and obtain phony driver's licenses.  With this they went to stores and either utilized the person's available credit or applied for same day credit to purchase merchandise...which they then sold to pawnbrokers.  The lesson in this one....You never know who you are sitting next to when you go to work.

And with that, I'll be signing off for the day.  Hope you all have a good one.

Friday, January 16, 2015

FrIday Roundup

Another Friday already?  Goodness, this was a quick week, but aren't they all.  I had a pretty good week.  Stayed in Monday due to the weather, went to Art Class on Tuesday, exercise on Wednesday, WW yesterday and  food shopping yesterday. I'm thrilled to tell you I entered one-derland.  Lost another .06 pounds.  I'm 199.6 now.  Hip Hip Hooray!!!  Lost 24.4 pounds altogether.  My next goal is to hit 175.  This is really doable. 

All is not good news though.  Miss Minga is not doing well and I fear it may be coming time to let her go.  I cried most of the evening.  Haven't slept.  Can't eat.  I'm sick over this.  I love her so much. My best friend for 23 years.  I am just not ready for this.

Please send prayers and positive thoughts.  My heart is breaking.

Have a good weekend.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

A Bit of a Rant....About Myself

If you're learning, growing and trying new things--expect mistakes.
They're a natural part of the learning process. In fact, someone once
said, "If you're not making at least 50 mistakes a day, you're not trying
hard enough." What the person meant, we think, is that growth,
discovery and expansion have mistakes built into them.
To avoid situations in which you might make mistakes
may be the biggest mistake of all.

John-Roger and Peter McWilliams 

Ah, Thursday has arrived, and it is weigh-in time.  Why do I always work up my anxiety on these days?  I'm doing everything right.  I'm walking more, getting exercise, eating fruits, and although there are times when I have a little more dinner than I should, those days are few and far between. But  I don't think I am alone in my anxiety.  As I watch the other women's faces as they step on the scale, I see that same look of fear that I feel. Some women in my group won't even eat breakfast before they are weighed for fear it will signal a + and not a - on the scale.  I halfway do that.  I eat my banana in the morning, but not the oatmeal.  Instead I carry a breakfast bar with me to eat after I get off the dreaded scale. Speaking of focusing on others....

I really have to learn to focus more on myself and less on others because when I focus on the actions of others, I only allow myself  to become stressed. And, as I have learned the hard way, stress can be very bad for your health.  For example, yesterday the woman who cons her way into riding the bus for free every day sat next to me and actually began laughing and boasting that she didn't have to pay.  This, after I just paid my fare and would NEVER think of trying to cheat my way on.  Grrr!!!  It was all I could do to hold my tongue, but I realized that it wouldn't do me any good to say something.  So, I just shut her out and pretended I didn't hear.  Yes, I do have a legitimate gripe there, but what about the other instances?  

I joined a few Facebook WW groups, mainly for the recipes.  So, the other day I see someone posted pictures of Progresso Light Soups, which are delicious, but loaded with sodium, and raved about how good they were and how healthy for her diet.  Another jumped in and said how much she loves them and eats them every day for lunch.  And still another jumped in and stated she loves having them for lunch and Smart Ones (another sodium laden food) for dinner.  I piped in and advised that it might be better if they only ate these foods once in awhile because of the unhealthy amount of sodium, that they would be better off making a big pot of homemade soup.  In that way, they can control their sodium intake.  I also pointed out that sodium can add water weight and that sometimes when they see that extra poundage on the scale, it may be from the sodium.  Heck, the first week I was on the water pill I lost 7 pounds.

Well, they all just totally ignored what I had to say.  They only heard what they wanted to hear, the their peers ate the soups much as they did.  It's the same on My Fitness Pal.  I have a friend on there whose sodium level is through the roof, over 3,000 mg. every day.  She complains that her feet and face swell up.  Well, there you go.  But does she listen to me?  She will tell me, "I know you are right.  I do have to cut down", and then go about her merry way.  Now she has even gone so far as to hide her sodium level from me.  LOL!!!

I don't do it to be mean, and I certainly don't try to be a know-it-all.  I do it because I care.  I learned the hard way.  I'd be willing to guess that there were days my sodium level was over 4,000 on some days.  I got sick from it, and I just don't want others to have to go through what I did.  And I get flustered when no one listens.  I just have to remember that everyone has to learn on their own.  Everyone has to make their own mistakes and hopefully move forward when they make them.  No one anointed me the 'sodium police', and no one lectured me when I had that third slice of pizza.  To be honest, I don't think I would have listened even if they had. 

One thing I see that really irritates me is a newbie will join the WW group and latch onto one person as if that person has all the answers.  No one has all the answers, and sometimes the answers they give are so asinine you wonder where their brains went.  Yesterday a newbie posted that her feet and legs were swelling so bad that she can only wear flip flops,  and what should she do about this water retention, and should she monitor her water intake. Someone advised could be sodium and that, in fact, she should probably drink more water to flush it from her system.  I agreed and offered that it could be medication related (if she is on any). poor circulation, and that perhaps she should see her doctor to see what's going on.  We also  Both of us gave good advice, I think.

Then, another person pops on and told her that her group leader told her that drinking too much water can cause you to DEHYDRATE.  Sorry, but if her group leader told her that she shouldn't really be a leader.  Poor information.  Someone else then commented that she should continue drinking the same amount of water, that it is physiologically impossible to dehydrate yourself from drinking water.  Dehydration comes from a lack of water.  At that point, one of the great know-it-all's and this newbies leader popped up and told her "Yes, you can get dehydrated from too much water. It happened to me, and I had to go to the hospital.  Everything was out of whack."

Well, I couldn't let that one go. so I advised that one can get an electrolyte imbalance from drinking too much water and advised that would have to be a LOT of water, but one cannot become dehydrated from putting water in their system.  Well, it would have been best had I just let it go.  The original poster bypassed ALL of our advice and focused on the one person who so blatantly didn't know what she was talking about.  "Oh, thank you so much, no name.  I'm going to take  your advice and cut down on my water intake.  I don't want to be dehydrated like you did."

All you can do is shake your head.  Have to stop letting these things fluster me.  It's just not worth it.

Sorry such a long post.  Hope I didn't bore you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wednesday Ramble

Life is short. Each year passes more quickly than the previous one. It’s easy to deny yourself many of life’s simple pleasures because you want to be practical. Forget about practical and decide instead to become a joy collector. Always be on the lookout for gifts without ribbons. God is strewing them across your path right now. His gifts come tagged with a note: “Life can be wonderful. Do your best not to miss it!” Enjoy what it is before it isn’t anymore. . . . Dare to slip on a pair of bunny slippers once in a while! Surprise yourself! Enjoy the little things because one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things!

Barbara Johnson

Good morning. It's a cold winter's morn out there but it's not enough to keep me down. I'm enjoying this year of retirement, much more than my first year. And, as the above quote states, the year is already passing more quickly. We're already half through January, and another month and a half I will be another year older. Funny, the last birthday I 'really' remember was the day I turned 50. Seems like only yesterday. 

Last winter I spent much of the time feeling sorry for myself. Yes, it was icy out, to be sure, but there were days in between that I could have gotten out and done something but chose not to. I vow this year will not be the same. For once in my life my calendar is filled with activities that have nothing to do with work. Art class is one of them. I can't tell you how much I love it. I'm not very good as you can see in the following still life....

...but I really enjoy learning. Sort of like a dream coming true. I guess you couldn't guess that these are apples, oranges, and bananas in a bowl. And if you notice, the banana in the background looks more like a dolphin than a piece of fruit. LOL!!!

Well, that's about it today. I'm off to exercise this morning. Sciatica has been acting up, but I'm sure going to give it a try. Have a good one.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Chicken Afritada

Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain. 

Author Unknown

Good morning.  Had a quiet day at home yesterday. It rained and rained and then rained some more. Hubby ran out to the store and came back looking like a drowned rat.   Put my loungers on and did a lot of reading and going through my WW recipe books.  They have some great recipes.  The following recipe I got from my Philippines Cookbook.  Got it for free on my Kindle.  Love those free books.

Chicken (I bought chicken legs, already chopped for a Spanish stew)
2 potatoes quartered
Baby carrots (a handful.  Hubby don't like them so I put enough for me only)
red and green pepper, chopped
1 medium white onion, chopped
frozen peas
4 gloves garlic, minced
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 1/4 cup water
Low sodium soy sauce
Juice of 3 limes
3 tbsp cooking oil 

Marinate chicken for at least 30 minutes in soy sauce and lime juice. Heat cooking oil in a pan  and saute garlic, onion, and pepper until softened.  Add chicken and brown on all sides.  Add diced tomatoes, leftover marinade, carrots and water.  Bring to boil and simmer. Add potatoes and peas.  Simmer until done.

Serve with hot steamed rice and enjoy,

Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday Morning This and That

Happy Monday, everyone.  It's time to start a new week.  Gosh, we are almost halfway through January already.  I cannot believe it.  Had a quiet weekend.  Spent Saturday taking all the Christmas decor down.  What a chore!  It seems to me it is harder to take the decorations down than it is to put them up.  I think I am staying in today.  It's a bit slippery out, and I'm so fearful of falling.

How lovely the sky got after the snow on Friday.  Had to get a picture.

I did make  a second meeting at WW, and I'm glad I did.  What one trainer doesn't mention, another might.  For example, I love baked sweet potatoes, and I'd eat the whole thing thinking I was doing something really healthy for myself.  Little did I know how many points there was in a sweet potato.  

The following is me almost 24 pounds lighter.

Do I see the beginning of hips?  I'd lost them so long ago. Still a ways to go, about 50 more pounds, but I am finding that I  already I have less pain and easier breathing when I walk.  So grateful that I finally woke up to the damage I was doing to myself with my addiction to food.  

Question for you.  The FB group with the Christmas card exchange has started a Valentine's exchange which includes a hot beverage, candle, and candy and not spending more than $10.  I got this one.  The other one I signed up for is a monthly buddy exchange.  Each month we will be assigned someone to send a a "thinking of you" gift to the person assigned to us, not spending more than $5.  I need some ideas on this one.  What can I possibly get for $5 nowadays.  Keep in mind I live in New York.  Help!!!!

Well, I'm off for breakfast now.  Have a good one.  If you're going out, be careful

Friday, January 9, 2015

Friday Roundup

Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments,
embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour.

John Boswell

Ah, another Friday.  A cold one to be sure.  Yesterday was brutal.  Winter has truly arrived.  Hard to believe that on Sunday we hit 60 and yesterday when I woke up it was 8 degrees.  But nothing keeps me from WW and my weigh in.  Lost another pound.  That makes 23 altogether and I'm about to break the 200 pound barrier and enter one-derland. 

Today I'm headed to another WW meeting.  I really enjoyed the Friday trainer, and since it doesn't cost extra to attend another meeting, I might as well go. I have nothing else on my calendar and I really do like this week's topic--portion control. I know I don't always follow it properly basically because I don't understand it all.  For example, when they say 3 ounces of steak is the size of a deck of cards, what of the thicker steaks?  How do we handle them?

Oh, I forget to tell you what happened with my eye doctor appointment on Wednesday.  I'm fit to be tied.  I woke up early Wednesday and after hearing the weather report, really didn't want to go anywhere.  But I hate canceling appointments at the last minute so I piled on all the clothes and went.  After all, I'd had my chance to cancel when they called to remind me of my appointment on Tuesday evening.

So I trudged the seven blocks in the brutally cold weather.  Some people hadn't shoveled or laid salt so in some places it was pretty darn slippery.  I get to the office and find out the second floor had been flooded and they weren't coming in.  Of course I was annoyed, but I also understood that sometimes things happen that we have no control over and perhaps they hadn't had time to call me yet.  Actually, that was giving them the benefit of a doubt because I WAS the first appointment of the day.

As I was leaving, the guard asked, "Leaving so soon?"  "Yes", and I explained what happened.  "Well, you'd have thought someone would have called you.  It's been a whole week."  Now, I am furious.  I went home and called and let them have it.  

Hubby started his new medication and so far, no side effects.  That's good.  He also saw his pulmonologist who prescribed a stronger medication for him. Hope this helps him.  It hurts seeing him struggling to catch his breath.  

I could shoot myself.  You'll never guess what I did.  Last year when I was getting out the winter clothing I had a couple bags of clothes for hubby to take to the Goodwill.  Well, either I made the mistake, or he picked up one bag too many, but my black and my beige winter coats are missing. We tore the house apart yesterday, and they are definitely gone. I only have one heavy coat.  If the zipper on that breaks or something else happens, I'll be stuck so I have to purchase another coat.  Can't believe that happened.  Just when money is getting tighter.

Well, that's about it for this week.  Hoping you all have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Lives of Rachel

Life is a moment-to-moment happening;
any attempt to possess it, save it,
or store it, is to lose the present moment.

A Spiritual Warrior

The temperature is brutal out there today. I am so dreading stepping outdoors, but today is WW and weigh in day, and I won't miss it if I can help it. Cold temperatures aren't enough to keep me home.  I must admit, though, I would much rather stay home and read. 

I've been reading the most interesting book, "The Lives of Rachel" by Joel Goss.  Actually, this is a prequel to and written after "The Books of Rachel" which I also purchased, but I am reading this one first because it covers an earlier time period.  As you know, I've always been quite fascinated with Jewish religion, especially its mystical side so this book is right down my alley.  I love reading about their traditions and holidays.

"The Lives of Rachel"  is divided into five parts, each one a depiction of the life of a Jewish  girl named Rachel.  In every generation of this Jewish family, Jewish family one first born female is named Rachel.  When she passes on, a new one takes her place, and  passes on the legacy of courage, self-sacrifice, jewelry, and healing, of honoring the Jewish beliefs and traditions

Here is a book description...

This richly detailed novel of family, of tradition, and of faith, sweeps across a thousand years to chronicle the lives of five women -- each named Rachel and each a rare human spirit.

In every generation of this proud and ancient Jewish family there is only one Rachel, the firstborn daughter. But the name is only part of Rachel's legacy. Each bearer of the name adds, in her own way, to the legend of strength and courage that is her birthright.

There is Rachel of Judea, who defies a half-mad and lustful king to save her husband's life. Rachel of Rome, who is sold into slavery, but rises up to take just revenge on her cruel and corrupt master. Rachel of Byzantius is a miraculous healer who risks death to stop the spreading horror of the plague. A Rachel plays a crucial part in the destiny of Arthurian England; another cleverly escapes a Rhineland pogrom.

Once I get started with it, I can't put it down.  Totally recommended.

Have a good one. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Origami and a Bit of Japanese Tradition

Boy, is it ever cold outside.  Yesterday we had our first snow of the season.   Nothing really major, but enough to make it slippery, so I took it quite slow when I went out.  I wasn't going to miss art class, but when I got there I discovered that the teacher was ill and not coming.  

My Japanese friend was there though , so we both took out our origami, and she began teaching me.   It's a lot harder than I thought it was.  The first thing she taught me was how to make the crane which is a symbol of luck and longevity to Japanese people. Not very good, but it's only my first try.  

We got to talking so much that actually we didn't get much done.  I'd ask her how her holiday was and she began explaining old Japanese traditions to me.  So fascinating.  She said they don't celebrate Christmas although the more Americanized do.  New Years is the big event for them, and there are certain foods that 'must' be eaten, each dish serving as a symbol or wish for the coming year. 

Some of the foods  include black beans (as a symbol of health during the coming year), some type of tiny fish, including head and eyes (symbolize a bountiful harvest), an egg dish which symbolizes prosperity, red and white fish cakes (red for happiness and white for purity, a mixture of sweet potatoes and chestnuts  symbolizes prosperity and some type of long, skinny noodles which symbolize long life.   She mentioned a few more, but I can't remember them.  Oh, I almost forgot, at breakfast on January 1st they 'must' drink saki which is also  believed to ensure a long life.

I love learning about the different cultures, their traditions, and customs they have passed on down through the ages.  It definitely was NOT a wasted trip.  I look forward to learning more.

Last night I made some pork cutlets on my grill pan.  I'm still learning, but they were pretty tasty.  Still haven't taken my Crock pot out of the box.  Probably will begin using it this weekend. 

Well, that's about it. I'm off to get ready for my appointment with the eye doctor.  Have a good one....and stay warm.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tuesday Ramble

Just a quick shot of the winter sky as I was waiting for the bus early yesterday morning.  Here in Brooklyn it is almost impossible to get a picture without wires, buildings, or poles.

Well, the cold temperatures are descending on us.  Snow is on the way today.  Not much, an inch or two. Probably just enough to make it slippery. By mid-week we should be entering the teens.  Brrr!!!  Time to bundle up.   I am grateful that I get good heat in my apartment, unlike the last one that was so cold that one froze when they made a middle of the night potty run.  Thank goodness I wasn't on water pills back then.  I usually take them in the morning, but they don't seem to start working until I go to bed at night.  

I've been playing around with budget dinners and tried a new one out last night. Tasted real good.  It was not only budget (only about $7 for two), but it also added up to only 6 WW points. 

Beef Kielbasa
Veggie Pasta
Onion (diced)
Red and green peppers
Garlic  (I love it so I use lots of it)
Oregano (La Flor makes and excellent cheap oregano.  Stronger than the regular brands)
Low fat Mexican cheese
Olive Oil

Saute onions, garlic, and peppers in olive oil until softened.  Chop kielbasa and saute with veggies.  Sprinkle with oregano, basil, and chives.  Meanwhile, cook macaroni.  Mix all together and sprinkle in some low fat Mexican cheese.  Even hubby loved it. 

Not much else going on around here.  Hubby has an appointment with his doctor today for an explanation on his new medication and how he is to take them.  I'm praying they work for him.  His breathing difficulties are, however, becoming worse, and I am fairly sure he will be placed on oxygen before long.  How one many can take so much--emphysema, Hep C, cancer, glaucoma, and now a problem with his kidneys--and still stay so strong and motivated.  He is my hero.  

Well, I'm off to the shower right now.  Snow or not, I'm heading to art class.  That and WW are two meetings I will not miss.  Have a good one.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Monday Morning This and That

Monday morning.  The beginning of a new week.  The first full week of the new year.  Wow, yesterday was in the 60's and by Thursday we'll be down in the teens.  Crazy weather patterns, for sure.

Went to WW on Friday.  I was really feeling anxious when I stepped on the scale, moreso than on other weeks because I had gotten into the cookies and candles.  Not much.  About three cookies and two candies a day, but I know myself and how easily I could just let myself go.  How many times I tried to stop smoking and ended up sabotaging my quit!  The same with losing weight.  I tried so many times and  once I started doing well, I'd find a way to sabotage myself. So, I tossed the cookies and the candy.  Hubby wasn't eating them, and I have no company coming, so best to get rid of them before they got the best of me.  By the way, I lost .04 pounds.  What a relief that was!

On Saturday they had the funeral for the second police officer who was assassinated.  It was only a few blocks from my home.  All afternoon I heard the helicopters flying over.  I thought about going to pay my respects, but decided to do so from home instead.  Not only was it raining, but I just can't handle crowds, and there were thousands of people there. 

Some of the comments to the news made me sick, and I decided it best not to read them anymore.  Don't know whether it's just trolls trying to get a rise out of people, or if there is just that much hate in the world.  I tend to think the latter.  There are far too many to be trolls.  I mean people saying 'good riddance' about the death of ex-governor Cuomo or 'no pity here for those pigs'.  And those are just a couple of the calmer ones.  There were hundreds more and the nastiness turned my stomach.  Furthermore, it wasn't just New Yorkers, people were commenting from around the country.  What is becoming of this world when we can't even show any respect for the dead?

Finally, on Saturday I made the first of my budget recipes, and it came out so good.  This one I made up by myself.  

1 package of pork for stew (on sale for $5.29)
1 can of white of Goya Great Northern Beans (on sale 4 for $5)
red and green peppers
1 can of Campbell's low sodium chicken broth
Spanish paprika
Black Pepper

Served with a little white rice on the side, some sliced tomatoes, and it was no more than $12 for two people...and there is still some left for lunch.  Also have plenty of the veggies left for future meals.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Friday Roundup

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going
to put words on them ourselves. The book is called
Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.

Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Well, one New Year's Eve tradition was changed this year.  For the past 15 or so years, hubby has gone to a Dominican Restaurant for a whole rotisserie chicken and boiled yucca with red onion.  The best rotisserie chicken in, I tell you.  And we have enough for two days so I don't have to cook on New Year's Day either.  Well, hubby headed out for our dinner, and about twenty minutes later I get a call from him.  "You'll never guess what."  "Oh no.  They can't be closed.  Not today." I reply.  "The restaurant burned down.  It's all boarded up.  I have to go someplace else."  So much for that tradition.

I wrote the first chapter of my book yesterday.  I sat down and added up my income and how much I pay out in bills each month.  Something I should have done a long time ago.   Then, I spent about an hour making about a monthly budget, and I'm really feeling much better than I was going into the new year.  I do believe we can make it.  And now that the building owners finally agreed to send me the copy of my lease renewal that I have been requesting for so long, I will be able to apply to SCRIE (Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption).  They freeze all future rent increases for seniors living in rent stabilized apartments. It's too late for this year, but hoping next year to get a freeze put on.

Speaking of budgeting.  My youngest gave me a $100 gift card for Christmas.  He knows how I love my shopping sprees.  But this year I didn't go out and buy any new clothes.  As much fun as it is, I really don't need anything.   So, instead I got hold of a Rite Aid flier and took advantage of all their sales on toiletries--body lotion, shower gel, hair coloring, shampoo, deodorant, etc.   I am happy to say I am now stocked up with supplies enough to carry me through March.  

I also went through my recipes and picked out a few budget recipes that I hope to try this week.  In fact, I can honestly say right now that I am looking forward to this learning experience and handling this challenge.

Yesterday I sat in on an online conference  from Astrology Heals on setting intentions for 2015 which focused on "How can I love myself more?" and "How can I support my intentions?"  by working with natural cycles and energies that support and heal us.   Very interesting.

Well, I'm off to the shower.  Going for my weigh-in and a meeting today, and then it's off to do my food shopping.  Should be quite interesting working with my new budget.  Have a good one.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year

The year like a ship in the distance
         Comes over life's mystical sea.
    We know not what change of existence
         'Tis bringing to you or to me.
    But we wave out the ship that is leaving
         And we welcome the ship coming in,
    Although it be loaded with grieving,
         With trouble, or losses, or sin.

    Old year passing over the border, -
         And fading away from our view;
    All idleness, sloth, and disorder,
         All hatred and spite go with you.
    All bitterness, gloom, and repining
         Down into your stronghold are cast.
    Sail out where the sunsets are shining,
         Sail out with them into the past.

    Good reigns over all; and above us,
         As sure as the sun gives us light,
    Great forces watch over and love us,
         And lead us along through the night.
    Look up, and reach out, and believe them -
         Believe in your infinite worth.
    Do nothing to wound or to grieve them,
         And you shall find heaven on earth.

    The body needs conflict and tussle,
         To render it forceful and grand;
    The soul, too, has sinew and muscle,
         Which sorrow alone can expand.
    Though troubles come faster and faster,
         Rise up, brace yourself for each blow;
    It is only Fate's great fencing Master
         Instructing your spirit to grow.

    The new ship comes nearer and nearer,
         We know not what freight she may hold;
    Hope stands at the helm there to steer her,
         Our hearts are courageous and bold.
    Sail in with new joys and new sorrows,
         Sail in with new banners unfurled,
    Sail in with unwritten to-morrows,
         Sail in with new tasks for the world.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Happy New Year.