Sunday, December 10, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

When our family used to take trips to see my grandparents who lived where snow was never something that would be on the ground at Christmas, I remember thinking how strange it seemed to me to have sunshine and blue skies at that time of the year. Now having roads free of snow and ice is what I prefer, especially if I am traveling on curvy and/or hilly roads and in high elevations. So while certain parts of the country are dealing with the heavy snow, we are seeing sunshine, although with lower temperatures. Christmas Day is fast approaching, paying no heed to the temperatures. This year I kind of wish I could insert an extra week in the calendar before Christmas Day.

I am thankful for Josie Two Shoes blog hop and her reminders to share a post at her site Ten Things of Thankful. There are weeks when even with the reminders I mostly ponder possible entries instead of writing and sharing them, so I'll try to not let that happen again this week.



My TToT

The last of the dental appointments for my Mom, at least for another six months, but my husband is up to the plate this week. Merry Christmas to our dentist. All kidding aside, he really is a great dentist. I recently learned that not all dentists and hygienists are as willing and able to do X-Rays, cleanings, and treatments for  patients who are wheelchair bound. I'm so thankful that my Mom's dentist is able to accommodate her situation. (If she had to have any drilling, etc. she would most likely need to that done elsewhere, i.e. hospital or ?.) Seriously, this is a topic that needs consideration. As people continue to live longer and with dental care having improved drastically and people able to continue to have their original teeth, there needs to be a way that people can receive dental care even though they may be wheelchair bound. This is also a concern of people who become disabled much earlier in their lives.

I'm thankful that what apparently was a little tendinitis on the top of one of my feet most likely came about because I hadn't quite matched my desires for increased fitness, and the energy I felt to get into gear, with my body's capabilities of doing so when I started going to the fitness club. After skipping a class at the fitness club and admitting to myself that it was okay to  take a different pace when I returned, my foot is getting back to normal.

Hair stylists who are willing to tackle cutting curly hair and all its quirks.


The natural curls that just keep appearing on the back of my head, apparently a gift to me in my mid seventies.

Did you know that there are some composers who offer downloadable free sheet music? It has been a while since I went to the site of one composer who does this. Today I printed off a few pages of her arrangements of Christmas music to play on the piano.
Understandably, one must adhere to the guidelines of how the 
music is used.

Real life experiences that remind me of the Savior and what he taught and how he lived. These happenings also remind me that there is so much goodness in people of all faiths and beliefs and good acts often promote a pay it forward action.

Date with my husband to see the movie, Wonder. It is an inspirational movie!

Discovering another way to increase my knowledge of the Spanish language by viewing some You Tube Spanish classes and listening to children's songs sung in Spanish on Pandora. The following songs sung by Jose Luis Orozco on this YouTube video would be fun to learn and sing with my great grandchildren.






Trying new recipes but revising them a bit to suit our tastes. We once in a great while have artichokes to eat and have always dipped the leaves in melted butter. Since I'm watching calories a lot more now, I searched for a less fattening dip and found one that uses yogurt, lemon juice, and a little garlic powder and dash of salt. Delicious! After recently cooking pork loin chops a few different ways, I found a recipe that we really like using apple and onion slices and pork loin chops. They are so good. I'm not sure I'm going to want to cook them any other way.

Scales, whether they are to weigh oneself or to weigh the food you are preparing, are beneficial. I suppose that with time, I will get to the point when I have an idea of how much certain portions of food items might weigh, but in the meantime, I'm weighing some things, like meat. Celebrating new numbers (good numbers)! For those of you who have a battle with numbers, whatever your particular battle may be, I think you can relate.

Wishing you all a very wonderful week.


  


Friday, December 1, 2017

Six Sentence Stories - Mate

With another holiday season approaching, and most of all the reason for the season, I've decided to use Zoe's blog hop to step right up with a story that I'm linking to Six Sentence Stories - Mate. Many stories are repeated year after year as families come together around the table to feast. Stories unite us to one another and that is a beautiful gift.





With the holidays approaching, she began making a list of certain items that she needed to buy to make their normal plain food taste extraordinaire, perhaps following in the footsteps of her own creative mother.

Green beans that were typically served alone with just a dab of butter and a little salt would be served at the Christmas meal after it had been baked with cream of mushroom soup. Many years later it was considered quite an odd pairing by some of the children who survived that taste only because it had some crunchy canned fried onions as a topping to disguise the taste of the mushrooms. The aroma of boiled and then baked carrots which had been drizzled with butter and ample brown sugar sprinkled on top until they were the color of cinnamon toast, just short of being burnt, was much more palatable to the youngsters.

At Christmas it was a tradition for the family to crack walnuts to be stirred into fudge and into the creamy divinity, which was the consistency of a soft-boiled candy, just the way her mate preferred it. Some of the walnuts were always saved to stuff inside some large dates which were then rolled in powdered sugar and served on a platter full of candies, but in her immediate family there was no Risalamande, a rich Danish rice pudding with an almond hidden in it waiting to be found, but who knows, perhaps a grandchild would someday have that experience.


Monday, November 27, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

The months of November and December come closer each year to merging and being almost a reminder to be thankful for what we are blessed to have, enjoy and be, and then to share and give to others. It is as though the two months were planned to be in such close approximation. Here are my thoughts on gratitude and thankfulness this week. I'm linking my post to Josie Two Shoes Ten  Things of Thankful blog hop.




In an instant things can happen with no more than that amount of time to make a decision. On our way to our son's place for Thanksgiving, I was driving part of the way in heavy traffic. There were three lanes going each direction, and I was in the middle lane of the northbound traffic. Unfortunately a vehicle, most likely a semi, had blown a tire. A long flatbed trailer in front of me had apparently driven over the tire as the destroyed tire was suddenly flapping and moving around in my lane. There was nothing I could do to avoid hitting the tire. All the lanes were full and vehicles close behind me. Swerving wasn't an option and neither was slamming on the brakes. Traffic was moving along at about 45-50 mph at that point. My first thought was that we would have to have some repair work done, but then that thought was replaced with the realization that we could have been hurt, or caused injury to others if I had tried to change lanes or stop suddenly. We were okay, and I am so thankful. Before we headed home the day after Thanksgiving, our son was able to do a little quick fix on the car until we are able to have it inspected at a body shop this coming week. I'm thankful he is younger and more physically fit and able to  take a look at the underside of the car.

I associate holidays with playing games. Our grandchildren taught me how to play Codenames, a new game to me. Fairly quick to play and involves teamwork.

Our daughter-in-law made a scrumptious key lime pie. It was so velvety smooth. I've only had this type of pie maybe three times, but hers was the best key lime pie I'd eaten.

I haven't tracked calories these past few days. It didn't seem the thing to do with it being a holiday and all. I probably should have at least used more discretion than I did, especially since my body had no way to fight back other than to make me feel ill that night and most of the next day. Fortunately it was short lived, with no horrible repercussions.

My husband was able to take some cute photos on Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for his camera work and ability to use Photoshop to best advantage.

Thanks to a young man skilled with using a box scraper, the gravel lane we drive on daily is in much better condition. Delivery people and visitors will appreciate this too.

Being able to enjoy a good movie with my husband is also something for which I am thankful. We saw Victoria and AbdulWe should have left a few minutes earlier as the theater was packed. I think that is the first time we have had to sit apart from each other in a theater because there weren't two empty seats side by side.  Usually we share a bag of popcorn, but I said I just wanted a little popcorn, so he ordered a small bag for me. Good thing, because we were sitting a couple of rows apart and the people in the row between us probably wouldn't have enjoyed having popcorn being tossed over their heads.

Flowers in bloom are an always welcome sight, and this year all my Christmas cacti decided to bloom at the same time, by Thanksgiving!

Larger white Christmas cactus next to a smaller red Christmas cactus. Both pots are sitting on a wooden pine file box that my husband made prior to leaving for his freshman year of college.


This little pink cactus outdid itself this year!


Being around our children and grandchildren is a reminder to us that life is different now in many ways, and yet similar. The similarities are that parents still love their children and hope that their children will be able to reach their potential, and that they will always know that they are loved. 

    

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

As we approach Thanksgiving this coming week here in the USA, I appreciate having a little time to post to Josie Two Shoes Ten Things of Thankful blog hop. I like the fact that the blog hop stays open from Thursday evening until Tuesday evening. Some weeks are just busier than others, and with not having a very strict time constraint, there is less pressure on the blogger (self imposed). Our administrator is kind and most forgiving, so even if we posted at the very last minute, she would be glad we made it. 






1. A day devoted to being thankful which in the beginning began with being thankful for the harvest and then enjoying the fruits of the harvest and sharing it with others. The native Americans outnumbered the Pilgrims at the first feast. The feast lasted three days. Sometimes a lot of families enjoy leftovers now at Thanksgiving with some dishes that last three days if not shared with other family members and friends to take home with them. This national holiday was proclaimed by President Abraham Lincoln during the time of the the Civil War. He proclaimed Thanksgiving as a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens." There were many during that horrible war that were in dire and meager circumstances and probably needed a reminder to thank the Father in spite of those cruel things that mankind does to one another. 

2. The knowledge that the our family will be gathered with loved ones on Thanksgiving Day and perhaps on the day before and/or after.

3. Extended weather forecasts that enable us to know about travel conditions, and to know that at least for now the weather is conducive to safe travel in the various places and routes where our family may be this next week.

4. Restaurants that post on their websites the number of calories in their meals. If you are trying to keep track of calories, this is very helpful. It then becomes up to you whether to partake or not. You are forewarned. Have you found a favorite restaurant that does this?
This link has some helpful information.

5. Being able to wear an outfit today that I haven't been able to squeeze into for longer than I want to admit.

6. Being able to be within 10 minutes of a fitness center and having insurance that covers some of the cost of using the center. The center has a Seca mBCA machine that will do a body scan. I'm looking forward to getting my scan results which will be helpful in knowing which classes and exercises are going to be of most benefit to me. 

7. Continuing to get stronger (which means being able to keep my balance better because my core and legs are getting stronger). 

8. Volunteers who try to console my Mother by sitting by her and attempting to interact with her calmly when she has moments when she is tearful in the nursing center when I am not there. It is such a blessing to know that people are not afraid to "enter into the world" of those who can no longer make sense of their world and can't communicate in a way that makes any sense to others. The following youtube video by Kristin Belfy is the best one I have ever seen about conversing with someone who has Alzheimer's. It is about 15 minutes long.



9. Friendships. A friend treated me to lunch this week. Another friend and I made some visits to other friends. It is wonderful to see the things people have in common as well as to see ways in which they differ. What a dull world it would be if everyone was exactly alike. We all have so much to learn from one another.

10. Being possible to laugh at myself when I say or do something silly because I lack the information I need, or I forget to do something that is vitally important, or I don't hear something correctly. Humor is necessary for living joyfully. Have you been able to laugh at yourself this past week?






Thursday, November 16, 2017

Six Sentence Stories - marble

If you are short on time today, but just are feeling like reading a few short blog posts, try perusing some of the Six Sentence Stories. This is a blog hop that Zoe administers. I'm linking my post at her site over at Uncharted. Click the link SSS - Marble to see what other bloggers have written using the cue word this week. The sentences may be long or short, but the story needs to be only six sentences.


 


There were signs under the edges and in between. Some of them had never been seen by the former owners. She couldn't imagine having them and not at least holding them and turning them.

There was a time or two when she did some exploring with a sharp kitchen knife in hand when her curiosity won out. She turned back the thick cover and turned the sharp edge of the blade outwards away from her before making a slow deliberate slice between the first two sheets which had the appearance of being just one folded back on itself.

There was no beauty to behold on these rough edges, unlike the sheets pressed firm and aligned perfectly in some books with the marble-like designs.


The top book was printed in 1900 and the bottom book was printed in 1898. The edges of the top book have been marbled and feel quite smooth. The bottom book has pages that were apparently very roughly separated. Once in a while we still come across some pages that haven't been separated. Each of the books are among others in sets.


This is the cover of the book printed in 1898. Note the marbled cover in blues and golden hues.



This is the inside of the cover of the book printed in 1900.  The marbled paper is quite shiny and slick. The marbling here is a combination of greens and blues and golden colors.


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful

There are many things for which I am thankful and I know from past experience that when I give thanks for things, making those thanks specific, that I seem to be doubly blessed. However, I am behind with sharing those thankful things on my post each week to Josie's Ten Things of Thankful blog hop. If you click the link you will be able to read what others are sharing this week and may find that you also feel grateful for some of the same things.

The other day when I was visiting my mother at the nursing center, one of the residents had spilled one of her pureed foods or a drink, or both on the floor. When one of the workers came to clean up the mess, I saw that she was using some paper towels to sop up as much of the liquid as she could. She was using a method that I use quite frequently where I step on a towel use my foot to do as much as I can to clean up the mess before using a mop or getting down on the floor to do the final touches. That saves me needing to be in an uncomfortable position for very long. When the worker looked at me, I said, "Aren't you glad we have feet!" It brought a smile to her face and made her laugh. Laughs and smiles brighten those around us.






1. Last week I was ready to begin writing a post for this blog when my computer was acting up. That rotating round ball had appeared just one too many times. I hadn't been able to update to the newest operating system for some time and had been trying to live without it. Upon realizing that my computer was 10 years old, my husband boxed it up. We got another one for me this week. I am thankful that I can now log on so quickly, etc. It is so much less frustrating.

2. Among my friends there have been quite a few who have had surgeries and illnesses recently, and I am very thankful that they are  recovering.

3. I am thankful that I am making progress in learning (and relearning) Spanish using an app. It seems to be the perfect app for me at this stage.

4. Thanks to another app, I've been able to pay more attention to the  foods I eat each day, and to the calories I intake. I love being able to track my cardio and strength exercises on the same app. I'm thankful to actually see some small improvements on the all-telling scales.

5. Since I am no longer in PT, I am continuing with the suggested exercises at home and know that my balance and strength is getting much better. It is kind of a slow process, but it is progress. I will soon be going to the fitness center so I can use a couple of pieces of equipment there so I don't lose the strength I've obtained.

6. Have you ever been frustrated because you've stained an item of clothing and the stain didn't come out even with the product that was supposed to do the job? Recently I went into one of those pharmacies that sells a menagerie of items, and discovered a display at the checkout counter. When the clerk noticed that I was looking at them, she shared how some people raved that the product was a great stain remover. Since it was a very small bottle and the price was right, I decided to buy one. This week I used it to remove chocolate stains from a white shirt. The shirt has  been laundered many times, but no stain remover had taken out the stains, until using this new product. I had the same result removing some old blood stains on a pillow case and getting out an old cooking oil stain on a shirt. I sound like an info commercial, but I am so thankful to be able to get rid of these stains.

7. At a gathering at the church this week, I had a bowl of West African Peanut Soup. It was my first time to have this soup and I thought it was delicious. There are several variations of the recipe on Pinterest. I'm thankful for the many different flavors from combining foods and seasonings. Have you tried a new recipe this week?

8. I am still learning things about my iPad, such as how to make a video. That only came about because I wanted to see if the built-in mike worked. I had been having problems being able use the mike for my Spanish class, and one thing that was suggested online was to make a video using the iPad camera to see if the mike worked. Since it worked, my next step was to go buy some earbuds with a mike.



9. Today is Veteran's Day, and I appreciate all the sacrifices of our veterans and their families. I know that those sacrifices are very real.

10. To know that some of the hopes of our family are being realized is such a blessing. Things take time, hope, work and prayers. 


SSS - baked

What do you think of when you hear the word baked? A sweet memory came to my mind. This post is being linked to Zoe's Six Sentence Stories - baked.  By clicking the link you will have an opportunity to read some more stories written in only six sentences.
Enjoy and then maybe write one of your own.



After getting a small fir tree to put on their Green Stamps-purchased card table, there was almost no money left to buy Christmas ornaments, other than the popcorn and cranberries to string.

That evening as they walked down the sidewalk of the small college town, reflecting on what would be their first Christmas together since their marriage, they passed a little craft store, not much bigger than a barber shop. Although neither of them had even noticed the store until that moment, they ventured inside with the thought that perhaps they could find something to make ornaments for the tree. The sales lady gave them some suggestions that wouldn't cost too much, and they left with a bag of clear tiny rough-shaped objects resembling miniature beads without holes.

When they returned to their upstairs apartment owned by an endearing elderly couple who had immigrated from Denmark, they quickly went to work placing thin layers of the plastic beads in the cupcake pans and in the star-shaped form they'd created with aluminum foil, and carefully placed them in the antique gas oven to be baked, just long enough for the beads to merge.

After the ornaments cooled, she strung some thread through a little open space in each ornament and hung them on the tree, and then last of all carefully placed the shining star on the top.