Friday, February 27, 2015


"Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim." 

Vicki Harrison 

I would like to thank all those who offered their support and condolences.  This has been such a rough week for me.  The house is so empty, and I am missing my little girl so much.  I cry all the time.  I look for signs that she is visiting me, but they say when your grief is too strong, they are unable to break through the energy.  But, how does one turn it off? 

 I set this little memorial up for my girl in her favorite Winter spot, the heating pipe. As soon as she heard the little clinks it made she would go running to it.  I lie in bed mornings listening to it and imagine I hear her little footsteps. 

One of the last photos I took of my little girl.  It was always so hard to get her sitting up.  She always loved laying at my feet.

This is the very last photo I took of my little Angel.

I am so lost right now.  I realize now how much of my life was completely devoted to my little girl.  I woke early in the morning because she loved to spend time with me before I went out, took catnaps in my rocker because she wanted me in the room with her, and went to bed when I was sure she was soundly asleep for the night.  I fixed lunch for her when I had lunch and the same with dinner. I sat where  she wanted me to sit, usually my rocking chair.  Oh how she loved resting her head on my feet as I rocked or rolling over for tummy rubs.  The pure bliss on her face.  I haven't been able to sit there since she is gone. 

Tears welled in my eyes when I passed the cat food shelves in the supermarket.  I spent so much time there, picking and choosing. There is a new cat food out that is more like a soup.  Miss Minga always loved her gravy.  I couldn't wait for it to hit the shelves in our neck of the woods so I could get it for her.  I just knew she was going to love it.  Now, she will never have a chance to try it.

She would have been 23 in June.  I knew this time was coming, but I just never thought it would happen.  In my mind, my little girl would be with me forever.  Denial.  I guess one is just never prepared for it.  No matter how much you are aware of the inevitable, the pain, the heartache, is so severe.  I love you little girl.  A piece of my heart is missing.

Thanks for being here for me.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Farewell My Love

 "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened. " 

Anatole France

"If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans."

James Herriot) 

My heart is broken. Miss Minga crossed the Rainbow Bridge last night. She took a nap this evening and when she woke up she began staggering and falling over. Her head was turned almost backwards and shaking, I knew it was time. She was a little better when we got her to the vet, but even the vet agreed that the compassionate thing to do was to let her go. We might be able to medicate her but that would only keep her alive for maybe a few months. So I held her close and said good bye. Now I am feeling like I should not have let her go. In four months she would have been 23. She was my best friend, the love of my life. I cannot live without her. My tears will not stop.

When I got up this morning I kept waiting for her to run to my feet.  That was our morning ritual for oh so long.  She'd come to greet me from whichever bed she had chosen to sleep in the night before.  Then, when I came to the computer to do my blogs, she come right with me and sit at my feet, very, very quietly.  Then, when I was done she automatically ran to the kitchen for her breakfast.  This morning she wasn't there.  Please, let this be a nightmare.

 She loved my feet.

As most of you know we have been without electricity for almost two days. It finally got back on a 4 am. It was so brutally cold in the house and I can't help thinking that that had something to do with her death. She was fine until the heat went out and then her behavior began to change. I love you little girl. I will keep you forever in my heart.

 I will be taking some time now for mourning.   I will be back.  Thanks all for being there for me.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Monday Morning This and That

 One is content if one can find
happiness in simple pleasures.

Thomas Malloy

Good morning, everyone.  After a brief interlude of warm temperatures yesterday we are back to the cold arctic air.  What a winter!  The coldest day of the year on Friday, snow and sleet on Saturday, temps in the 40's on Sunday, and now back down to the single digits.  Hard to keep track of it.

Stayed in on Saturday.  Addressed St. Patrick's Day cards for a card exchange group I belong to, wrote  a letter to one of my penpals, and did a lot of reading. Pulled the curtain aside and watched the snow come down for awhile before closing my eyes and nodding off.  

Sunday afternoon cleared up enough for me to make it to the parade.  What parade?  Big disappointment.  Lots of people out there peddling their wares. 

Notice that not everyone shoveled...even for the big day.

Even the police officers got into it.  The tall officer had his own can of silly string and was spraying right back at them.  The kids were loving it, and I thought it was a great way for the officer to reach out to the community.  

I'd planned on a Chinese dinner of fried rice and pork chops with spare rib sauce. (Ribs were too expensive).  Fortunately before I cooked them I went online to check on recipes and read a review of the sauce.  "This was the saltiest sauce I ever tried.  I couldn't even eat it."  Uh, oh.  I checked the jar and sure enough, two tablespoons had 1,680 mg. of sodium.  Wow. Should really have read the label before I bought it.  So, we ended up having Chinese Fried Rice...

...with Chipolte seasoned pork chops. 

Well, that's about it today.  I'm off early to take care of the monthly banking.  February sure did fly by.  Have a good one.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Roundup

Success depends upon staying power. The reason for failure in most cases is lack of perseverance.

James R. Miller
Good morning on this brutally cold Friday.  They say this is our coldest morning of the year so far.  Do I really want to go out?  I 'would' really love to make my second WW meeting. After all, I remained the same for two weeks now and seem to have hit a plateau.  I love this week's topic--'Danger Zones' which includes hibernating during the winter.  I did make yesterday's meeting, cold as it was, but both leaders have a different way of teaching...and I love them both.

Yesterday was Chinese Lunar New Year, and being that I live one block from the heart of the festivities, I did take a walk down to watch the parade.  Unfortunately, I walked over there for nothing.  They'll not be holding the parade until Sunday....and ugh, they are forecasting some very nasty weather on that day. We did, however, celebrate last night with a homemade Chinese dinner of Five Spice Chicken and Vegetable Fried Rice.

Can't believe how good this fried rice was.  And it was not only simple to make, but called for few ingredients so it was cheap. 

3/4 cup chopped onion
Vegetable oil (I use Smart Balance Omega 3)
1 egg, lightly beaten
Few drops low sodium soy sauce
Frozen peas and carrots, not thawed
Rice Cooked (I never measure but would guess I made two cups)  
2 teaspoons sesame oil
½ cup sliced scallions
Rice (I never measure but would guess I made two cups)
Bean sprouts
Additional soy sauce to taste.

In a large nonstick pan, add  oil and preheat over medium-high heat.  Add onions and stir fry until they are nicely browned.  Remove from pan. 

Mix egg with soy sauce and sesame oil and set aside.

Add more oil if needed and cook egg.  Remove egg and chop into pieces. 

Now add peas and carrots and cooked onion.  Stir fry about 2 minutes.  Add rice, scallions, and bean sprouts.  Toss to mix.  Add some soy sauce and chopped egg and mix.  Stir fry another minute.  Add additional soy sauce to taste.

This is the last time for a good long while that I am going to mention my niece/goddaughter.  She's pregnant.  Yup, she's pregnant again, 7 weeks,  and the daddy who she 'thought' she had fallen in love with and supported wants no part of it. In fact, she copied and posted a message from him that was on her messenger.  He said she was an evil woman  (because she put him out) and called her all kinds of names, said he would never support the baby, and wished the baby would die.  How awful is that?  But that is the kind of men she chooses....over and over again.

Have a wonderful weekend.  See you on Monday.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Thursday Ramble

Letting go doesn't mean we don't care. Letting go doesn't mean we shut down.
Letting go means we stop trying to force outcomes and make people behave.
It means we give up resistance to the way things are, for the moment.
It means we stop trying to do the impossible--controlling that which
we cannot--and instead, focus on what is possible--which usually means
taking care of ourselves. And we do this in gentleness, kindness,
and love, as much as possible.

Melody Beattie

Good morning. I'm feeling excited because I am finally going to get out today.  I'm only headed for the supermarket, but it will be my first time outdoors since Friday.  I'm starting to get too used to this, so I am going to force myself on out the door this morning.  The snow has stopped, and hubby said yesterday MOST people shoveled.  Of course, the church didn't shovel...again...and they take up have the block what with their parking lot and all.  Can't understand why it's like this because they run a school program there as well, and the students are teenage boys.

Did you ever just throw your hands up in the air and give up on someone?  My niece, my God daughter, I just can't do it anymore.  I've enough issues of my own to deal with.  She cannot be without a man.  She's got three children, all with different fathers, and all out of her life right now.  Only recently she had another man living with her who not only physically abused her (stabbed her in the stomach, and she still took him back) but after he was gone she found out he molested her 10 year old daughter.  Where'd she meet him?  Facebook.  

A month after he's locked up she brings another one home.  This one didn't abuse her, but he took her for everything she had.  Didn't work at all, and lived off her income.  Had other women on the side.  Left her with nothing.  She swore she was going to take my advice and focus on her children.  "I don't need a man", she says.  Where'd she meet him?  Facebook. 

Yesterday I checked out her FB page and find out she has a new one.  She;s got this picture of this sloppy looking guy captioned with "I got myself a nice Italian". I give up.  

Yesterday I made us a huge pot of sauce with meatballs and sausage. Salsa Segreta 'The Secret Sauce.  The recipe comes from a New York City restaurant, Gino's, which opened in 1945.  In its heyday, Gino's hosted such famous clientele as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennet, and Joe DiMaggio.  Salsa Segreta was one of their staples.  I got the recipe from 'Sunday Sauce' by Daniel Bell-Zwicke, but tweaked it a little, just a little.  It was deliciousl

One large can of plum tomatoes
2 cloves minced garlic
1 small onion, minced
1/8 tsp of crushed red pepper
olive oil
Italian seasonings*

Saute onions  in olive oil for about 3 minutes, then add garlic and saute another 3-4 minutes.  Add tomatoes, bring to boil, stirring until it starts to bubble, then turn down flame and simmer, stirring frequently.  I crush the tomatoes as I stir.  Add seasonings  and simmer about 30 more minutes.  Makes an awesome sauce.  (Meatballs are baked in oven and then placed in sauce to complete cooking.)

This is the best Italian seasoning I have found for a reasonable price.  It contains freeze dried basil, oregano, garlic, red onions, red pepper, marjoram and rosemary. 

Well, that's it for today.  Have a good one.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wednesday Magic

We wait all these years to find someone who understands us,
I thought, someone who accepts us as we are, someone with a
wizard's power to melt stone to sunlight, who can bring us
happiness in spite of trials, who can face our dragons in the night,
who can transform us into the soul we choose to be. Just yesterday
I found that magical Someone is the face we see in the mirror:
It's us and our homemade masks.

Richard Bach

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tuesday Ramble

The shape of my life is, of course, determined by many things; my background and childhood, my mind and its education, my conscience and its pressures, my heart and its desires.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Gift from the Sea

Good morning, everyone.  And yet another day of staying indoors.  It's cold and the snow is coming down.  Last week I was the only one who showed up for art class, and it wasn't even this cold...and it definitely wasn't snowing.  So, I'm assuming that no one will show up today either.  And if they do?  Then, so be it.  I'd rather be safe than sorry.

I've recently developed a thing for salsa.  Never tried it before I made my  Mexican dinner not too long ago.  Now I have to keep it in the house.  I absolutely love it.  The good thing about is that it is '0' Weight Watchers points.  Tortilla chips do have points, but I buy the low fat bag and have a tasty snack for few points.  Last night I made Peppered Steak with Salsa and fell in love.  Marinated the steaks overnight in a small amount of Red Wine Vinegar, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, and red pepper flakes.  Then I cooked them on my grill pan, removed, and smothered them in salsa. Oh my.  What can I say?  Can't wait to have it again.

I am so tired of scammers.  One has to be so careful because they are all over, just waiting to prey on innocent victims and take their money.  Yesterday one appeared on a pen pal group I belong to.  Now, most of the women in the group are women who stay home to take care of their children, retired or disabled.  For some reason they don't work and most are on a limited budget.  Yesterday some woman posted an ad claiming that her CEO would give her family and friends $500.  Yeah, right.

And so many desperate women believed it.  One of the comments she received was "I could use the extra cash.  I am unable to work now due to medical issues."  Another said, "This is a Godsend.  I can't afford the co-pay on my medications this month."  And it went on and on about paying rent, bills, having enough to buy that special niece a birthday gift.  All had legitimate reasons for wanting this money, and all appeared desperate enough to believe whatever spiel this crook told them in the private messages she was sending all of them who were interested. 

I checked out her FB page and saw that she was into a lot of get rich schemes from makeup, to growing your hair thicker, to something called wraps (which she encouraged everyone to take their tax return and invest in it) and this CEO paying $500.  Why she even advertized her daughter's Girl Scout cookies.  Most of these little 'get rich' schemes were nothing more than a pyramid scam.  Only those first in the door make any money.

Now, I am not one that can just sit back and watch people be taken advantage of it, so I posted, "I learned a long time ago not to let myself be taken advantage of these schemes."  She commented back, on the defensive now, "I am part of a debt free health and wellness company our flag ship is a wrap that tones tightens and firm within 45 minutes."  My response, "And how much do you stand to make on each victim you pull in?  First of all, this is nothing more than a pyramid scheme, and secondly, if that wrap worked so well, why isn't it touted on national television as a miracle firming product? I never heard of it. " I said a few more things, but you get the gist.  I didn't want to see these ladies being smooth-talked into parting with money that they needed so desperately.   She never responded to me again, but what I found disheartening, though, was after all this, one of the group members comments, "My husband just lost his job.  I would like to know more.  Please pm me."

Just goes to show that in these desperate times, people are willing to believe anything.

Have a great day.  Bundle up and stay warm. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Monday Morning This and That

Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.
Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but
instantly set about remedying them--every day begin the tasks anew.

Francis de Sales

Good morning.  I am glad today is a holiday.  It's much too cold to do much of anything but hang out at home.  On Friday I went to the post office to mail out a package and then made a trip to the Chinese market.  I didn't care how cold it was.  I 'really' wanted some mandarins.  I tried to get some when I did my bi-weekly shopping, but Met Food didn't have any...although the produce guy tried to tell me they did.

When I asked him for the mandarins he pointed out the clementines.  I said "no, that's not what I want."  His response, 'They are the same thing."  Then he walks over and points out the tangerines.  I shook my head 'no'.  He started to argue that they were mandarins.  "Yes, they are a form of mandarin, but they taste totally different.  And I find that Clementines aren't as hardy as mandarins.  They spoil quicker. 

Ever since I called 311 with my complaint, the bus stop has been shoveled out so I have been able to catch the bus there.  So on Friday I am standing there waiting for the bus.  It's brutally cold and the wind is blowing.  I see the bus at the next station.  One of the dollar vans pulls to a stop at the corner.  That's okay.  I can still get out to the bus.  The stop before me is always busy so I patiently wait for the bus to move. Finally it does, but when it comes to the light, it turns red.  This is when the van driver decided to move up and block my way.  I knocked on his window but he kept his head turned, ignoring me.  I had to struggle over the ice to get there. I look at him, and he has the nerve to give me the finger.  I don't understand.  What makes some people so mean?  I was a complete stranger to him,

Made Chicken Cordon Bleu for Valentine's Day dinner.. I served it with mashed potatoes and broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower sauteed in garlic oil.

 I use this plate because it takes very little food to make it look full.  When I was a child I couldn't leave the table until my plate was empty.  That's stuck with me throughout my life so no matter how large the plate and how much food is piled on I'll finish it...even if I am not hungry.  I am aware that it's not healthy to eat like that, but I can't stop myself.  So, I eat with a smaller plate.  That means less food.

Well, that's about it for now.  Everything is closed for the holiday today so I'm just going to hang out about the house again.  I must get out tomorrow, though.  This could really become a habit.  Have a good one.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day.  May your day be filled with love and joy.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday Roundup

 Love is a symbol of eternity. It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end. 

Author Unknown

Good morning.  Brrr!!!  It sure is cold out there today.  The coldest morning of the year so far.  I'm still going to bet out of the house and make my second WW meeting.  I stayed the same this past week.  I was so disappointed, but breathed a sigh of relief because at least it wasn't a gain.  Haven't been getting as much walking in due to the weather.  Hopefully the sidewalks will remain clear for awhile.  The cold I can deal with; it's the ice that I can't take. 

So, what is your Valentine's Day plans?  We're staying in, and I've planned a French meal for dinner.  Nothing more romantic than that...and eating by candlelight.  Hey, just because we've been together for 23 years now doesn't mean we can't add a little romance into our life.

The other day I was reading a great article about Valentine's Day. To be honest, I'm too old for candy, and much as I love flowers, there are other ways to show you care...

1.  Make time for your loved one.  I've discovered that when we were young, hubby and I always found time to be with each other.  Even though we both worked in demanding jobs with different hours we still found time for each other, even if it was just curling up together to watch a television show. Somehow as the years passed by, and a second television set was added, we seemed to drift apart.  Not that we love each other any less.  I'd give my life for him, and he would do the same for me.  I guess you can say we've grown 'comfortable' with each other.  He's in the bedroom watching his shows, and I am in the living room watching mine.  Very few words pass between us during the evening hours.  It's time to close that gap between us so I plan on surprising him by cuddling up to watch a television show with him...whether I like what he is watching or not.

2.  Listening to them.  Sometimes I'll say something to hubby, and he'll come out with something totally off topic like he hasn't heard a word I said.  That hurts my feelings, and I let him know.  Of course he denies it, and says he was listening, but if he was, he would respond to what I said.  I realized that I tend to do the same.  Now, my hubby can be very long-winded when he responds to something or talks about something he is passionate about, so I admit, I will tune him out after several minutes have passed.  We really have to start listening to each other again.

3.  Kisses and hugs.  Now, this one is easy. I'll just waltz in while he's watching television and give him a hug and a kiss.  Now he is doing the same.

4.  Make their life easier.  This is easy, and we already do this for each other by working together in keeping house.  He takes care of the bathroom, some of the shopping,  and does the laundry.  I do the food shopping, the cooking, and the kitchen.  We both take care of the living room and the bedroom.

5. Random surprise. Don't you just love a random surprise?  We used to do this for each other all the time.  I think it's time we start again.

6. Cook for them.  I already do this, but recently I've started making our meals more special.

7. Support them.  I think this is what first brought us together and has held us together...our support for each other.  It was he who encourage me to go back to school at 50, and he who has been there during my darkest times.  And through his illness, I've been by his side, loving him and encouraging him to heal.  

Great list, isn't it?

Well, that's about it for today.  Have a happy Valentine's Day...and try not to eat too much candy.  See you all on Monday.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thursday Ramble

We are like people on a moving sidewalk which is
going the wrong way. If we stand still, our goal
recedes. If we walk at an easy pace we barely keep
from slipping back. Only through extra effort
can we win real gains.

Harry K. Wolfe

Dinner last night.  Mediterranean Rosemary Chicken and chopped broccoli.

Good morning.  It's a cold one to be sure, but at least the sidewalks are finally clear. I went out yesterday and took a good long walk.  I recently joined a pen pal group, and  I've been looking for some nice stationery.  I remember the days when you could find it wherever you went.  Now, I went from store to store and no one had any.  Yet another casualty of the computer age.

On Tuesday I went to art class, and aside from the teacher, I was the only one there.  Nothing like personalized training.  Didn't accomplish much, though.  We worked on water colors and basically the training was about mixing and shading.  I got kind of bored and suggested we end early since I knew he wanted to talk to his boss about sending for supplies.  I realized that I really missed my classmates and how much they add to my day.

Today I'm off to WW this morning for my weigh-in.  Haven't been getting much walking in so once again I am feeling a bit anxious about the scale.  Oh how we fear that scale! Most of my peers are nervous about it.  It's good to know that I am not alone.  And, as motivated as I am, it would be oh so easy for me to slip, and as a retired addiction counselor I am aware of that.  Food is like a drink to me.  Hubby has been bringing home Oreo cookies, and I'm not going to lie.  I've been so tempted.  One cookie would never be enough.  So I instead reached for one of my Fiber One's.  Only 90 calories and 2 WW points.

Well, that's about it today.  Time to shower and have a bite to eat before I venture out into the biting cold.  Sure do hope this bus is running okay today.  Have a good one.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Claude Monet

"Silence is never merely the cessation of words . . . Rather it is the pause that holds together-indeed, it makes sense of-all the words, both spoken and unspoken. Silence is the glue that connects our attitudes and our actions. Silence is the fullness, not emptiness; it is not absence, but the awareness of a presence."

John Chryssavgis, 
In the Heart of the Desert: The Spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers"

A great book.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

High School Reunion

Good morning, and a very happy Tuesday to all.  Stayed in yesterday.  The weather was nasty.  In fact, I had been awoken at 4 am by the sound of the ice hitting the AC and bouncing off onto the window guards.  That is all ice on the ground in the courtyard.  Better safe than sorry.

Only an open mind still has room for new knowledge. What is outgrown
and used up must be discarded to make room for what is yet to be learned.
And much of the best thinking is done alone--in deserts, on beaches,
in bed, behind closed doors. It is why we say we need to get away--to
escape from clutter and busyness--to hear ourselves think.

Robert Fulghum

I'm planning on heading on over to art class this morning, but whether or not I get there is dependent on what it is like when I step outside.  Can't judge anything by the courtyard.  Always gets less snow and rain that what is really going on outdoors. 

I received an invitation to a class reunion of the 'Class of 65'. and I have much mixed emotions over it.  Part of me would love to go and see all my old classmates, but the fact is, I wasn't a member of the 'Class of 65' so I just wouldn't feel right.  I WOULD have been, but I never completed school there.  In fact, as I recall, after my sophomore year, the principal kindly asked my mom to send me to another school.  I wasn't wanted there.  Let me explain....

As many of you know, I was emotionally bullied during grammar school.  Up until the 4th grade everything was fine, but then my cousin moved into the neighborhood, and the school placed him into my class.  Now his father and my father, although brothers, were not raised together.  My grandmother close to keep his father, but turned my father and his twin over to my great grandmother to raise.  I don't know why the family feud between the brothers began, but I tend to believe that my dad and his twin had it so much better than the brother my grandmother chose to keep.  I'm guessing that this animosity was passed on to my cousin.  Personally, I can't come up with any other reason why someone who I had never met would have so much hatred towards me.

Anyway, everything went downhill for me when my cousin arrived.  My dad was an alcoholic, something that had been kept in the closet until my cousin arrived and told everyone.  I was teased and laughed at about my dad, my hair, the way I dressed (my mom worked and I was left alone in the morning to dress myself).  You name it, they teased me about it.  As a result, I became shy and withdrawn, something that I carried with me to high school.

The teasing abated when I started high school.  We all went to our separate classes. I wanted to be a part of the crowd, but I was so shy and had absolutely no social skills.  As I grew older mom and dad decided that the best way they could keep watch on me while still being free to live their own lives was to ground me for just about everything.  I wasn't a bad child.  I realize that now, but my parents led me to believe I was.  They'd ground me a month for something as simple as having my coat unbuttoned when I came home from school.  All the kids did this, but my parents treated me as if it were a major crime.  I never attended the Friday night school dances or even participated in other school activities, for that matter.  The only time I was free was those times I spent with my grandparents or my aunt. 

I had NOTHING in common with the other kids.  I didn't have a boyfriend, girlfriends to confide in, I didn't go to movies, nothing, absolutely nothing, but I was desperate for friendship.  So I did the only thing I could do to have friends at the time.  I started skipping school.  In the beginning it was only a day or two here and there, but it soon turned into days at a time.  The 'bad' kids became my friends.  And when I was in school, I was usually suspended.  In those days suspension met sitting all day in the school auditorium.  I glorified in the attention it brought and equated that with being cool, so I purposely did things to get suspended.  Ironically, though I rarely attended any of my classes, only for tests, I passed everything.  

And so it was that I entered my junior year in another high school altogether. Ended up dropping out three months before graduation but that's another story altogether.  

So, you can see why I have such mixed emotions about attending. I don't even know why they sent me an invitation.  Even more surprising is the fact that someone like me, who never had a great start in school, would become a lifetime learner.  In fact, I recently discovered that our local college has obtained a grant to provide free college classes for seniors and I've already contacted them about the summer semester.

Well, that's about it for today.  Hoping you all have a good one.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Monday Morning This and That

Giving is the secret of a healthy life. Not necessarily money,
but whatever a person has of encouragement
and sympathy and understanding.

John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

Good morning.  It's another messy Monday, another day to stay home.  This is the third Monday in a row.  What is it with Sunday night into Monday?  Sure glad I am a retiree.  Some of these days are not bad enough that I would have called out, but, today I have a choice and I CHOOSE not to go out getting all wet while slipping and sliding to the subway.  It's actually been almost two years since I have been on a subway. Buses are so much better, so much friendlier.  There is always someone to talk to even if it's just a good morning to the driver. 

I had a nice weekend.  Went to the Friday WW meeting and stopped at the supermarket next door.  I wish it were closer to me.  I'd shop there instead of the Met Food.  It's so much nicer, and they offer so much more.  I found a package of fresh veggies all ready to be stir fried, and I scooped it up.  Par boiled first because I don't like veggies too crispy.  Then, I browned some garlic in olive oil, added the veggies, and low sodium soy sauce.  Tastes so good I didn't want to save it for dinner.

On Saturday I made something easy.  I realized we hadn't had pasta in awhile so I put together a huge pot of American Chop Suey.  Had enough to freeze some for future lunches.

Sunday was a beautiful day.  It was warm, and as I waited for the bus, I realized that the birds were singing so much more gleefully...a lovely sign of the coming of Spring. Sunday was also Cuban day in my house.  Made Cuban steak with yellow rice and beans for hubby.  I had mine with my stir fried veggies.

Boy, I have not had much luck with my Facebook swap.  No problem with the Christmas cards so I figured signing up for a few gift swaps would be fun...and not expensive.  The Valentine's swap was a candle, a hot drink, and candy...not spending more than $10.  My return gift just arrived this weekend.  I love it, and it is always so much fun receiving packages.

My problem is with my buddy for the months.  Each of us is assigned a buddy for three months, then we switch to someone else.  Each month we send a small gift out to our buddy.  The gift is supposed to be no more than $5, but it is really hard to find something decent for that price here in the city.  I ended up spending $7.50 on her January gift and $6.99 towards her February gift.  I've not received anything in return.  I contacted her for the tracking number, and her response was "Oh, I am so many different exchanges.  Some I have tracking numbers for, others I don't. LOL!!!"  We are supposed to to have tracking numbers for everything we send out. The fact that she didn't, and that LOL on the end and nonchalant attitude really annoyed me so I contacted the group administrators. 

I then hear from her saying she doesn't know what happened, she sent me Valentine's socks and candy (don't believe her) and she feels SO BAD that she is going to buy me something special and get it out right away and send me the tracking number.  That was on Tuesday.  I've heard nothing.  So, I am chalking that up to a loss and will hold her March gift until we switch buddies.  Found out yesterday she had been booted from the group.  Turns out she is a little scam artist.  Joined all the gift clubs, received her gifts, and never sent anyone anything.  I don't understand why people have to be that way.

Well that's about it for today.  I'm off for a shower and breakfast.  Have a good one.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Friday Roundup

Follow the wisdom provided by
nature. Everything in moderation--
sunlight, water, nutrients. Too
much of a good thing will topple
your structure. You can't harvest
what you don't sow. So plant your
desires, gently nurture them,
and they will be rewarded
with abundance.

Vivian Elizabeth Glyck

Good morning.  It sure is cold out there today, but as it stands now, I still intend on bundling up and making another WW meeting.  Lost another .6 pounds at this week's weigh in.  Many complain "I'm disappointed.  I only lost a pound."  Way I look at it is a loss is a loss. Besides, you ever wonder what a pound looks like?  Took this picture at the meeting yesterday.

Makes you think twice, doesn't it?

I'm sure am anxious for Spring.  It's not the cold that bothers me--I wasn't minding Winter at all--but now that the snow and ice has hit, well, now it is a different story.  Not happy at all.  I was listening to the weather this morning, and the forecaster said we are headed into a long period of snow starting on Saturday.  The pattern will hold until Tuesday.  Fortunately, it won't be days of steady snow, but he said to expect snow about every 12 hours. Yikes!!!  The sidewalks will never be shoveled.

Not planning much this weekend.  Church on Sunday depends on the snow.  I've plenty of fruit and veggies in the house so no need to head to the fruit stand.  I just got a free book of Cuban recipes for my Kindle, so I'm thinking that on Saturday I might make some Cuban steak.  I've been getting pretty bored with cooking lately, so I'm trying to spice it up some with foods from around the world.  Chinese New Year is right around the corner, and I've got a great meal planned for that day.

I'm frustrated with the building owners.  I've been trying for months to get a copy of my lease renewal so I can apply for benefits.  I've sent letters with my rent, called three times and was promised that it would be sent out and never was, and now, this last time I paid my rent I sent a stamped self-addressed envelope.  Don't know why they are giving me such a hard time.  It's not like they are going to lose any money.  If this doesn't work, I don't know what my next recourse is.  I'd have to hate to get a lawyer on it, but I do want to apply for SCRIE and food stamps.  Need this for both.  

Well, I'm off to the shower now.  I'm pretty sure that no matter how cold it is, I'll be heading to another meeting.  May be the last time I get out until Tuesday.  

Have a wonderful fun-filled weekend.  Be sure to make some time for rest.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

It's Thursday Everyone. Weigh in Day

William Blake says the body is "that portion of Soul discerned by
the five Senses." I live with that idea. I sit and look out
my window here in Canada and the autumn trees are golden
against the blue sky. I can feel their "food" coming into my eyes
and going down, down, down, interacting inside, and I fill up
with gold. My soul is fed. I see, I smell, I taste, I hear, I touch.
Through the orifices of my body, I give and I receive. I am not trying
to capture what is absent. It's that interchange between the
embodied soul and the outside world that is the dynamic process.
That's how growth takes place. That is life.

Marion Woodman
Good morning, everyone.  We've had some very nasty weather here.  Walking has been treacherous.  You know it has to be bad for me to miss my art class, but I'm sure they didn't have it yesterday anyway.  We're all seniors, you know. Thankfully it warmed up yesterday and I was able to get out. I was  going stir crazy staying in.  At least this year I have a computer, though.  I remember last year I not only couldn't get out to see my friends, but couldn't even talk to my online friends. I was very depressed at this time last year.

Headed out to Pathmark for my refills.  I was totally out of the Losartin, and I learned my lesson well about not taking as prescribed.  I can honestly say that was one of the scariest two weeks of my life with those heart palpitations.

After coming home from Pathmark, I grabbed my cart and headed out to the Chinese market in my neighborhood.  That store is amazing.  There is so much stuff you don't know what to buy...and to be honest, many things are written in Chinese so I have no idea what it is.  I'm having so much fun trying all the new sauces.  This is what I purchased yesterday.

There are aisles and aisles of things to try--Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, etc.  The following photos show all the sauces available...

...on both sides of the aisle.

This morning there has been some light snow, but I am off to WW anyway.  I won't miss my weigh in.  Feeling a bit anxious about it this morning.  Sometimes I feel like I have eaten too much. And haven't been able to get much walking in this week.   I know it is common to gain a pound here or there, but there is no way I plan on going back over that 200 mark again.  No way.  

Last year at this time I comforted myself with food.  I sat in my rocker and ate, and ate, and ate...all the wrong foods.  I was so bored and unhappy, food became a crutch.  This journey that I am on to become healthier is perhaps the best thing I ever did for myself in my life.  Since I made these changes and began working on my new lifestyle, I am totally amazed at how much better I feel.  I know I have said it before, but I am going to say it again.  WW saved my life.

Well, that's about it for today.  I'm off to my shower now.  Have a good one and be careful.  Winter has really got strong hold on the land. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Wednesday Ramble

Life is best enjoyed when time periods are evenly divided between
labor, sleep, and recreation. . . all people should spend one-third
of their time in recreation which is rebuilding,
voluntary activity, never idleness.

Brigham Young

 Good morning, everyone.  We've had some very nasty weather here.  Walking has been treacherous.  You know it has to be bad for me to miss my art class, but I'm sure they didn't have it yesterday anyway.  We're all seniors, you know. Thankfully it is going to warm up today.  I'm going stir crazy staying in.  At least this year I have a computer, though.  I remember last year I not only couldn't get out to see my friends, but couldn't even talk to my online friends. I was very depressed at this time last year.

Speaking of art.  Finally learned how to draw a banana. LOL!!!  Don't laugh.  It turned out to be a lot harder than I thought.  Boy, do I have a ways to go.

I've got to head out to Pathmark for my refills this morning.  Just took the last of my BP pills, and I learned my lesson about going without them.   Maybe I will head on over to the old center since they are only a block away, but I haven't made up my mind.  Haven't been there in over a week now, and maybe it is time to make a clean break.  But then again, I really like this one couple I usually eat with.  

I was doing some online research, and I found a place that offers classes in herbalism, It is $30 a class, a bit too steep for me, but I see they offer senior citizen discounts so now I am waiting for a call. They also offer several other interesting classes.  I also discovered that Kingsborough College offers free classes for seniors.  The only cost is an $80 registration fee.  Can't beat that.  College credits are thousands of dollars.  Who knows, as good as I am feeling since I started losing weight I might even be able to return to some part time work.  Of course, summer is a ways down the road, and by then I may be questioning whether or not I want to get into homework and papers again.

Well, that's about it for today.  When one stays in, there isn't much to talk about.  I'm off for breakfast and a shower.  Have a good one. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tuesday Ramble and Celebrations

Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own;
and from morning to night, as from the cradle to the grave,
it is but a succession of changes so gentle and easy
that we can scarcely mark their progress.

Charles Dickens

Good morning, everyone. Yesterday I stayed in.  It was really nasty out.  It had snowed most of the night and then turned to ice and eventually to rain.  Walking was treacherous.  I've not even seen the outdoors yet. It stopped raining yesterday, but the night was cold.  Hoping the wet sidewalks have not turned to ice.  I'm planning on art class today, but who knows what I will find.  As much as I love it, it is not worth slipping and falling.  When I was younger, I didn't much care, but as one gets older it is easier to break a bone and takes longer to heal.

Had a wonderful evening yesterday.  Our meal was simple and delicious.  I tried to recreate an old fashioned traditional Irish meal--grilled sausages, sauteed potatoes with onions, and roasted veggies.   I shouldn't really have sausages, but, one certainly won't hurt.  

Dessert was more than awesome.  I topped a Fiber One Peanut Butter Brownie with fresh strawberries and fat free whipped cream.  The entire dessert was only two WW points.

This evening starts  the Jewish holiday of Tu Bishvat, the New Year for trees.  It most likely began as a folk festival to celebrate the changing seasons and emergency of Spring. It is a time to stop and reflect on the many blessings the land gives to us.  On this day it is customary to eat different types of fruit and foods--wheat, barley, figs, grapes, pomegranates, olives and dates--and to recite the appropriate blessings. One thing to do today is to eat a fruit one has not eaten for the entire season.  I WAS going to eat a pomegranate, but I also wasn't about to go traipsing about the neighborhood in yesterday's weather to find one. 

In Japan, the festival of Setsubun is celebrated today.  Festivities usually include throwing beans around one's home to keep evil spirits out of one's home.  It is said that they dislike beans.  Well, I'm not about to throw beans around my house, not really feeling like cleaning them up.  But, according to another tradition. if you eat the same number of beans as your age, you will enjoy a year of good health.  Looks like I'll be eating 67 beans tonight.  LOL!!!

Hubby went to the doctor yesterday.  They've got to follow him closely on his medication.  The doctor is also very worried about his kidneys.  His test results have been way off.  I guess you can say I have been dealing with this new diagnosis with denial.  I know it is wrong, but I just can't handle anymore on my plate right now. Here we have been waiting all these years for this miracle medication and it is definitely working, but rather than celebrate, we have to face this new diagnosis. Please keep him in your prayers.

Well, that's about it.  I'm going to jump in the shower and have breakfast just in case.  Have a good one and stay safe.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Monday Morning This and That

I just want to celebrate
another day of living;
I just want to celebrate
another day of life!

Glenn Hughes

Good morning, and a happy Monday to all.  Had a wonderful weekend.  Went to another WW meeting on Fridayand church on Sunday.  Did lots of reading and found a few great new recipes to try.  It's a nasty day out so I'm in for the day.  Lots to do so I don't mind.  

Took a walk to the fruit stand yesterday.  I noticed the furniture store shoveled the bus stop out. First time in the three winters I have been here.  Pays to open your mouth.  

Bought lots of healthy foods. Roasted the veggies on Saturday. Sprinkled them with olive oil, garlic powder, and McCormick's Grill Mate Montreal Chicken.  Boy, were they ever yummy.

Speaking of food, made my nachos yesterday.  I've been craving them for a couple weeks there.  Actually go to bed thinking about them.  So I found a WW friendly recipe and made them.  Hubby doesn't like them so I made him some yellow rice instead of the tortilla chips.

Well, today is Imbolc, or if you prefer Candlemas.  Imbolc reminds us that Spring will be coming soon. It may be cold outside, and the snow may be coming down, but it's a good feeling knowing that Spring is right around the corner. I'm planning on a quiet evening at home.  Dinner by candlelight (red and white candles) and a delicious meal.  For a first course, we'll munch on a cheese platter.  Our main course will be sausage,  a traditional food,  as well as some sort of  potato and onion dish, another traditional Irish dish.  It won't hurt to have one sausage for a special occasion.  It's not like I eat them every day. Dessert will be strawberries and whipped cream (again red and white). Making myself hungry already.

How do you plan to celebrate? 

I'll close with this short prayer I found.

Blessed be the earth, and all who dwell upon it.
We give thanks for the season now departing from us,
For the blessings it has bestowed upon us,
And upon those with whom we share this world.
 Blessed be the new season.
We pray that it will be a time filled with peace,
With abundance, with prosperity,
With wisdom,
With love.
Blessed be all who share this feast.
Let us now prepare for the time ahead
By opening our hearts, and our minds, and our spirits.
Blessed be.

 Have a good one.