Friday, February 28, 2014


Sunset Arch at Grand Staircase -- Escalante National Monument, Utah

Goodbye February 2014!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


We had a nutritionist come in to do a program at work last Wednesday.   We weren't busy so I was able to attend.  It was called "Cooking Through the Alphabet" and I wasn't really sure what to expect.  But I was so very glad I went.  Not only was it really informative, it was fun!

Stephanie, from the Shop Rite where I buy my groceries, showed us how to read labels, explained about the different types of fats, fibers, calories, carbohydrates and then asked who liked avocados.  None of us knew what they tasted like, so she made some guacamole and gave it to us with some whole grain tortilla chips.  It was very good!  One lady said the only time she had even seen an avocado was when she was getting an avocado facial mask.  She said the next time she had one she would stick out her tongue and lick her lips.  Ha, ha!

Here is the recipe Stephanie gave us:

Easy Guacamole
1 1/2  tablespoon coarsely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove
1/2 small jalapeno pepper
1 ripe peeled avocado
1 tablespoon cilantro leaves (optional)

Place first 5 ingredients in food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
Add avocado and process until smooth.
Top with cilantro, if desired.
A was also for apples and Stephanie did another great recipe using apples.

Apple Pie Graham Crackers
2 sheets graham crackers (she used honey graham)
1/4 cup light cream cheese
1/2 cup diced apples in 100% juice, drained (Dole makes these)
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Add cinnamon to drained apples and mix.

Break each sheet of graham cracker in half and spread with 1 tablespoon cream cheese on each piece.  Top with apples and enjoy!

What easy recipes and so healthy as well as so yummy.  You know I'm going to be trying them soon.



We are expecting more snow today, so what better way to keep warm than to get in the kitchen and bake something.  

I volunteered to bring the treat for fellowship time at church this week.  I wanted to make something different, but easy.  So I went through my recipe books and found this.  It turned out so good.

1 package (16 ounces) pound cake mix
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons orange juice, divided
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 can (15 ounces) mandarin orange segments in light syrup, drained
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Grated peel of 1 orange

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease 9-inch bundt pan.

2.  Beat cake mix, 1/2 cup orange juice, eggs and milk in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.  Fold in orange segments.  Pour batter into prepared pan.

3.  Bake 45 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.  Cool in pan 15 minutes on wire rack.  Invert cake onto rack; cool completely.

4.  Combine sugar, orange peel and remaining 2 tablespoons orange juice in small bowl; stir until smooth.  Drizzle glaze over cake.  Allow glaze to set about 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 16 servings

I had difficulty with the glaze.  It was runny and didn't really harden.  I added the orange juice all at once.  If I had it to do over I would add the liquid a little at a time to the powdered sugar until I got the right consistency.  Next time I will.

Enjoy!  Everyone at church did.  It was really good.



It's been a long time since my friend, Donna, and I have been able to get together.  Our schedules just don't seem to mesh.  When I am free, she isn't and when she is, I'm not.  Joe's sister being sick and then her death and Donna's father having medical issues that she is helping with didn't help either.  But finally last Saturday we were able to meet up and spend a big chunk of time together.

The first thing we did was to go to the farm.  She had never been to Greensgrow and I wanted to go to the Farmer's Market while it was open.  It's open only a few days during the winter.  I wanted to get some things and knew Donna would be interested in seeing it.  I was right.  We both ended up spending more than we thought we would.  Here's what I got this week:

A red onion, sweet potatoes, carrots, Pink Lady apples, an Asian pear and a loaf of Italian bread.
 Pink Lady apples are Joe's favorite.  He said it was juicy, sweet and absolutely wonderful.  We both love Asian pears too.  I had it in the salad I made for dinner on Sunday.  (I talked Donna into getting one.  I hope she likes it.)

We left the farm and went to Rite Aid.  I needed to get a few things.  As usual I went down the 50% off aisle looking for bargains.  I really wanted to get some little things for the back yard this year, but everything I liked was too expensive even at half off.  Then...

I saw these concrete jeweled animals.  There were birds, frogs, and one bunny.  And the price was right ($2.50).  I took the bunny and I am saving it for Easter.  I had to take the bunny, didn't I?  It was the only one there.  It was lonely.
See the pink butterfly on its side?  Butterflies are special to me.

Isn't it cute?

We ate lunch at Chick-Fil-A.  We both love it there. While we were eating who should walk in but my mailman!  Besides being our mailman, Paul is also a friend of Joe and myself.  So I got the chance to talk with him for a few minutes.

Donna needed to stop at Pathmark for some cat food, so that's where we ended up.  I was able to pick up a few things I needed also.

It was a fun day.  We have already made plans to do this again in a few weeks.

 Monday's weather
High:  40 degrees
Low:  31 degrees
Sunrise:  6:41 a.m.
Sunset:  5:47 p.m.
11 hours and 6 minutes of daylight

Sunday, February 23, 2014


We had such a beautiful and unusual sunset on Friday.  I looked out the kitchen window while I was making dinner and had to go get my camera to capture it.

It is gorgeous!  I've never seen anything like this before.  Have you?

Sunday's weather
Partly cloudy
High:  56 degrees  (Yes!!!)
Low:  32 degrees  (freezing?)
Sunrise:  6:42 a.m.
Sunset:  5:46 p.m.
11 hours and 4 minutes of daylight

Friday, February 21, 2014


OK, I get the message.  A few days after I said I would stop blogging for awhile good things started happening to me that I kept feeling like I wanted to share with all of you.

The weather is actually getting nicer -- warmer.  Even though it's supposed to get cold again this weekend, I can enjoy some sun and nice days.  And I figure that it's almost March.  The worst has got to be over.  Right?  Yes?  Please?

I saw the surgeon Thursday for my three-month checkup.  She said everything was looking wonderful and I don't see her again until September.  Unless I need to, of course.  But I don't think I will need to since things are going so good.  I just have to keep massaging the scar tissue to minimize it.  But I have quite a supply of wonderfully scented body lotions to use so that it is no chore to do that.  Right now I'm using one called Winter Vanilla that I got at Target.  It smells just like vanilla too.

Also at work yesterday I am running around and I see my boss talking with a man.  They call me over.  He tells me he is a magician and asks me to help him.  I LOVE magicians.  

He tells the story of Rapunzel as he takes a piece of rope and ties it in knots like a ladder.  He said that was the ladder Rapunzel made with her hair for the prince to climb up to her in her tower.  Then, of course, the witch finds out and cuts her hair (he cuts the rope at the knots).  So now the rope is in one piece but with knots on it.  But hair grows so now she is back to normal.  He shakes the rope, the knots fall on the floor and the rope is in one piece.  He gave me the rope.

The second trick he did was have me link my hands together, tied a scarf on my wrist, then told me to do three things.  Keep my hands together, watch him like a hawk, and think magical thoughts.  I know about magicians distracting you so I was determined to keep my eyes on the scarf.  But he asked me a question, I looked at him, and bam the scarf was off of me and in his hand, still knotted.  He asked me how he did that and I said I was thinking "magical thoughts."  He laughed.  We are hoping to get enough money to hire him to do a program for the kids in a few months.

As I said, things are getting better.  Work is distracting.  Life is settling into a normal pace.  I am beginning to plan for the future.  God is good.  God's blessings in my life continue to amaze me.  The world, such as it is, goes on.  So does my blog.

Thursday's weather
High: 53 degrees
Low:  29 degrees (a few days ago this was our high!)
Sunrise:  6:46 a.m.
Sunset:  5:42 p.m.
10 hours and 56 minutes of daylight

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Thank you all for standing by me.  I'm feeling better each day.  I think the anniversary of my grandmother's death, Joe's sister's death, our daughter-in-law's cancer treatments, my bad health and Joe's bad health all coming at the same time, led to things getting to a point where I became overwhelmed.  Things around the house just went by the wayside.  All I did was sleep and even though I had five days off from work, with plenty of time to clean, nothing got done.  I haven't been able to think straight and have been sad.  And having a thyroid that isn't working and makes me depressed doesn't help one bit.

But I think that going back to work has helped me.  I have to put things aside and deal with what is going on around me at the moment.  I have to get things done.

I will be back in a few days -- maybe a week or so.  I hope you'll be back too.


Monday, February 17, 2014


Sorry, folks, but I just don't have the heart to write right now.  I will be back in a little bit.  Please understand.  It's not forever, I just need a break.

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Today we said goodbye (at least for awhile) to Joe's sister Theresa.

She was a lovely lady with a kind heart.  Even the weather cried for her.  We got more snow.


I hope you all had a wonderful day today.  Look what I saw when I woke up today.  The sun!  What a welcome sight!

And we didn't get as much snow as predicted.

In fact we went out later and the sun had melted all of the snow that fell last night and we didn't even have to shovel.

I made Joe his favorite breakfast -- cinnamon french toast.

There was a car stuck across the street so Joe and our next-door neighbor George got out their shovels and helped dig him out.  That's what I like about where I live -- everyone helps each other.

It's little Miss A's first Valentine's Day and she's one month old.  She's just so adorable!

I thought I would show you some of my Valentine's decorations.  I didn't get a lot up this year, but I like what I did.
I love my little heart vase.  I got it years ago at a dollar store.  It's so cute.  Some of the roses in it are from my collection of wooden roses.

This is the wreath on my front door.  I got it from Avon.  It used to have a cupid sitting in it, but he broke.  I think it still looks good even without Cupid.

Here is the one red rose that Joe bought me.  Every year he gets me one red rose.  It's a very special thing between us.

The heart light in my front window.
I treated myself to a cup of hot chocolate this afternoon.  It just hit the spot on this snowy day.  I love hot chocolate!

I was going to make Joe a nice dinner tonight, but he wanted pizza.  Go figure.  So he ordered his favorite white pie with broccoli.

It's been a long day and I still haven't gotten done what I had planned.  Tomorrow will be even longer because of the funeral for Joe's sister.  But for tonight, all is well.
My shirt says "Snow in Love".  Very appropriate for this snowy Valentine's Day.

Friday's weather:
High:  44 degrees (above freezing!)
Low:  29 degrees
Sunrise:  6:54 a.m.
Sunset:  5:35 p.m.
10 hours and 41 minutes of daylight

Friday, February 14, 2014


Tomorrow is Valentine's Day!

The snow began last night around 10 p.m. and it is still snowing here at midnight a day later.  We still had lots of snow and ice from Sunday.

Here it is last night.  Doesn't look too bad right?

And here it is this morning.  This was when we had only 7 or 8 inches.

You can see by the flags how the wind was whipping out there.

As you probably guessed the city was closed today.  I was so glad I didn't have to go into work.  I don't know how I would have gotten there.  It was too bad to drive and even the buses all stopped running.
There was a lull in the afternoon where it rained and then stopped.  Some kids came around, knocked on the door and asked to clean off our sidewalk.  I asked them to do the car too.  They did a good job.  After they left Joe went out and put down some salt.

The car is still snowed in.

A few hours later it started to snow again.  We got another couple of inches.  10 inches in all.
My poor patio set.  Will I ever see it again?

My mums are buried and my flag almost.

My poor herb box.  Chives, thyme, parsley, oregano.  Are you still there?
I made vegetable soup for dinner tonight.  I had a can of chicken broth and added potatoes, carrots, an onion and some mini meatballs.  I also made some garlic bread.  It was so good.
It stopped snowing for awhile and instead poured rain and sleet.  Now it is snowing again and we are to get another 6 inches overnight.
Just ignore the reflection of the TV in the glass.  I didn't see it until after I downloaded the picture and I'm too lazy to go get another one.

The snow is even sticking to the brick wall of the building across the street.
 So we are in for another long snowy night.  But in spite of it I still have so much to be thankful for -- a warm (well sort of) home, food in my stomach, electricity (7,000 households without), and so much more.  God is good.
Thursday's weather
High:  37 degrees
Low:  24 degrees
Sunrise:  6:56 a.m.
Sunset:  5:34 p.m.
10 hours and 38 minutes of daylight

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


2 days to Valentine's Day

Two days to go to the sweetest day of the year and we are being hit with a nor'easter.  It has already begun to snow.  We are supposed to get snow, sleet, ice, freezing rain and finally rain from now until midnight tomorrow.  We are supposed to get an accumulation of 12 inches.  The last I heard my sister is supposed to get 16 inches.
I have been planning on taking Joe out for breakfast on Friday morning for Valentine's Day.  We will have to see if that is still feasible.  And Joe's sister's funeral is on Saturday.  Don't know how we will get to that either.  The only thing we can do is wait and see how it is.  It's supposed to get warmer and the streets should be salted by then so maybe it won't be quite so bad by then.  This winter has been just so bad!

We got the word tonight that the library system is closed tomorrow.  I'm so relieved to not have to face driving in this.  The mayor has called for a snow emergency for the city.

So since I am not going to work I have lots of plans for tomorrow.  Let's hope my energy level stays high (at least for half the day) so I can accomplish things.  I want to get a couple of loads of wash done (isn't there always wash to do?), get caught up with the dishes, bake some cookies, make some vegetable soup, clean the living room...  I certainly will not be bored!

Hopefully I will also have some pictures of my Valentine's decorations to show you too.  They are really pretty.
Wednesday's weather
Sunny/evening snow
High:  27 degrees
Low:  23 degrees  (I will look back on this with envy when it's 100 degrees this summer)
Sunrise:  6:57 a.m.
Sunset:  5:33 p.m.
10 hours and 36 minutes of daylight
It's the big one, folks!
Snow LateSnow LateSnow Late


Rather than focus on the major snow storm headed our way beginning tonight (10-12 inches predicted), I thought I would give you another segment in the continuing series of famous people Joe has met.  As I said before, Joe has met more famous people than anyone I know.

Today I want to tell you about the time he met not only Steven Tyler, but all of Aerosmith.
Joe was down the shore with some friends of his and they were sitting at an outside restaurant dock having lunch.  They saw a motorboat coming their way with a group of guys in it.  The boat pulled up to where they were sitting and one of the guys that Joe recognized as Steven Tyler shouted at them asking where the nearest refueling station was because they were almost out of gas.  Joe and his friends said they didn't know and called a waitress over to give them directions.

Joe had ordered a bucket filled with ice and some bottles of beer.  He said to them that they looked thirsty and asked if they wanted some beer.  The group in the boat all said yes and Joe threw some bottles to them.  He said Steven Tyler started talking to him and he was really nice and personable.

By this time the waitress had given them directions to the fueling station that was nearby, in fact they could see it from where they were.  They thanked her and headed off, got halfway there, ran out of gas, and had to paddle with their hands the rest of the way there.

Tuesday's weather:
High:  27 degrees
Low:  15 degrees  (brrr...)
Sunrise:  6:58 a.m.
Sunset:  5:32 p.m.
10 hours and 34 minutes of daylight
It's getting longer!