Monday, August 31, 2009

Today's Chuckle

I get many e-mail forwards from friends, and to be honest, I usually don't do too much with them. I may possibly read them, but most often hit the delete button. Today was a little different, I read this and thought it was cute. So, I am going to post it. If you have read it, just ignore it. If you haven't, enjoy it.

  • Gentle Thoughts for Today -
  • Birds of a feather flock together . . . .and then crap on your car.
  • A penny saved is a government oversight.
  • The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
  • The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat have gotten to be really good friends.
  • The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement ..
  • He who hesitates is probably right.
  • Did you ever notice: The Roman Numerals for forty (40) are XL.
  • 'If you think there is good in everybody, you haven't met everybody.
  • If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.
  • The sole purpose of a child's middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble.
  • There's always a lot to be thankful for if you take time to look for it. For example I am sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt.
  • Did you ever notice: When you put the 2 words 'The' and 'IRS' together it spells 'Theirs....
  • 'Aging: Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.
  • The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.
  • Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.
  • When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to your youth, think of Algebra.
  • You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.
  • One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young..
  • Ah, being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.
  • Long ago when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft. Today, it's called golf.

Lord, Keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth . .. . . . . . AMEN!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Remembering Summer, Take II

Writing yesterday's post opened up a flood gate of memories, so I thought I would add a few more.

Watching Dad as he sprayed lighter fluid on the charcoal and then listening to the big Whoosh as the match was thrown on.

Jumping double dutch, hula hoops, four square and dodge ball.

Being at a friend's house and swimming in our underwear.

Being allowed to play kick the can with the big kids in the street light after dark.

Wandering through the bamboo grove when it finally grew above our heads.

Playing house in the same bamboo grove.

Helping Mom hang out the clothes on the clothes line and then watching them whip in the wind.

Standing at the door calling Ju-dy, Ju-dy, instead of knocking or ringing the bell when we wanted our friends to come out to play.

Swinging so high on the swings and then jumping off to see how far we could go without hurting ourselves.

Having lunch out on the picnic table everyday so we wouldn't mess up the dinning room after mom had cleaned it.

Hurrying up to finish our chores so we could be the first ones outside.

Picking up the apples under the apple tree and then polishing them on our shirts until they shined before eating them.

Coming in when the street lights came on.

What are some more of your memories?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Remembering Summer

Do you remember catching lightening bugs and putting them into empty mayonnaise jars with holes popped in the lids?

I love summer, the sights, the sounds, the smells and the feel. With the drizzly, damp, chilly, dark day today, I am lamenting that summer is almost gone. But instead of feeling down, I started to think back to the days when we didn't have air conditioning in our house or cars, when the kids played outside instead of sitting in front of a TV or computer and when summers were old fashioned fun.

Kids riding bikes with streamers hanging off the handle bars and a playing card clothes pinned to the spoke on the back wheel making the bike sound like it was racing down the street.

Grampa sitting in a lawnchair, listening to Ernie Harwell calling the Tigers' game on the radio, while the other men in the family were drinking a cold brew, congregated around the horseshoe pits.

Hanging upside down by our knees on the crossbars of the big swing set.

Standing in the long line at the Dairy Queen waiting to get our chocolate baby ice cream cone.

Climbing the big maple tree in the yard.

Riding in the car with all the windows down and the wind blowing in our faces, smelling the diesel smell of the trucks as we passed by.

Laying in bed on a Saturday night, with the windows open, listening to the race cars racing around the track at the Mt. Clemens Race Track five miles away.

Playing tag, red rover red rover, statue and red light green light in the front yard with all the other kids in the neighborhood.

Laying down in the middle of the grass looking up at the clouds, trying to figure out what shapes they made.

Penny candy like squirrels and candy cigarettes or Mary Jane's and black licorice whips.

The smell of freshly cut grass when it was too long and playing in the big piles of grass that didn't get raked up.

Running through the sprinkler.

Shucking corn on the back porch.

Listening to the crickets chirp outside the open window.

Summer memories, they are the best.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Oh What a Morning!

I need to preface this post a bit.

For those of you who do not have dogs, will laugh like crazy and say, "that's why I don't have a dog"! For those of you with young children will say, "I understand...geesh, kids"!

Let start with this. Last year, coming off the worst time in my life, I was very lonely and wanted (needed!!!) some company during the day. We found Oliver, read here. Yes, I wanted a little doggie to love and more importantly, a little doggie to love me back. If you have been reading this blog for some time now, you will remember my past blogs about the trials of training my little Oliver. He has been something, but he is older and has turned into a pretty good dog (I thought).

For those of you who may be new to reading this blog, we have a grown man who will, unless God performs a miracle, forever be a little boy. Our Lance is disabled, read here, so it is like having a child in the house (all the time, everyday, morning and night...forever and ever...) he is our joy and full of laughter and kidding and we love him to pieces. That is why I can joke about having him here all the time. Anyway, I digress...

Back to Oliver. What I love about Oliver is that he loves people. The door bell rings and races to the door crying, he wants to greet whoever may be coming through the door. He hates to be by himself. He quite literally, lays on our feet just to be touching us, (which is hard when you are going through menopause and having lots of hot flashes). He never wants to be alone.

Lance is an early riser, but usually I am up before he is and have to wake him for school. He catches the bus at 6:33 a.m. (yes, it really is 6:33, I can't believe a driver can calculate the time to be exactly 6:33 every single morning, but he does. 6:33.)

This week Lance is on Summer break, he has two weeks off before the start of the new school year, so he could have slept in.

Kevin left extra early this morning, so I made his lunch (he packs a lunch everyday to save money) last night. That way I could sleep in a little bit later than normal.

This is what happened:

Oliver crept into my room at 5:30a.m. and began to cry. I got up and put him outside, even though Kevin had already let him out. He just didn't want to be alone. When he came back in, I told him to go lay down, it was still dark in the house and I knew he could go back to sleep. I thought...

At 5:55a.m. Lance walks into my room and tells me he stepped in something. I jumped up and turned on the light and that's when I saw it. There is was, tracked from one end of the hallway (we have a long bridge that connects the back bedrooms, across the open area of the great room, to the master bedroom) all the way into my room. (If you have certain sensibilities, you may want to skip the next word or two, or even the next few lines.)

Dog *&$%, yes, dog crap, okay for propriety's sake, doggie doo. Our little Oliver was mad at me for going back to bed and decided to show me how mad he was. And our Lance, instead of stopping and avoiding the rest of the $@#*, walked all the way to my room just to tell me about it.

So, at 6:00a.m. I am scrubbing 15, the nerd in me counted, 15 spots, regretting getting a doggie to keep me company and silently cursing a kid who can't sleep past 6:00a.m.

Now I have to decide, am I going back to bed to take a nap or do I stay up and feel groggy all day I trust the two of them? groggy it is.

Kids and dogs, what fodder for blogging.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Today is a day of random stuff. Articulate isn't it? Stuff, but that is what it is.

A new post over at Eat at Bett's, Pretend PF Chang's Lettuce Wraps. I wanted them and decided to find a recipe. I did and here are the results. Also, it is quite easy to convert to low fat and/or low sugar. Lot's of protein too. Yummm...

Pictures of Oliver while visiting with Little Sister, my sister-in-law's little pug.

Oliver and Little Sister looking at each other instead of the camera.

A friend was here this week visiting from Minnesota. Actually Kevin's best friend from childhood. They still stay in touch and visit whenever they get the opportunity. He and his wife lost one of their children a year ago, Jeff's just not the same. I am so thankful that they know the Lord and He is their source. It comforts me knowing that.

Found out there is a new pedicure place close by that does spa pedicures at a very good price (really, really good price). Lisa, if I had known, we would have so been there while you were here. I am calling today to make an appointment. My feet are so bad and crackly and dry and peeling, well, you get the picture. Pedi here I come!!!

Meeting with the elders of the church we have been attending for almost two years, on Sunday. We are going to become members. We love the church and felt it was time to make the big step. After we moved back from South Carolina, we took our time and prayed a lot about where to attend. This is a great move for Lance and well, for us too. So here it goes...

We are also attending Gateway tomorrow night. It is a big open house at church for people who want to join a small group. Church is about 30 minutes away, so we don't attend midweek service (traffic is terrible that time of night). It will be nice to get to know some people that live closer to us and also get in a Bible study again. I missed it horribly.

Meeting an old friend for lunch today. It will be good to see her.

Enough random stuff for now. We'll see what pops into my head over the next few days. Yea, that can be a scary thought.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

By Popular Demand

I had several requests for the coconut dip and iced tea recipes that I mentioned in the last few posts, so by popular demand:

Coconut Dip

This is by far the easiest recipe you will ever make and it will bring a ton of praise.

Prepare one package of instant toasted coconut (or if it is hard to find, coconut cream) pudding according to directions. Let cool in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes. When soft set, mix with 2 cups of low fat cool whip.

Cut a pineapple in half and scoop out the fruit. Put the coconut dip in the pineapple and arrange cut fruit around it. That's it!

Lisa's famous Iced Tea

Bring several cups of water to boil and then pour over four to six tea bags (whatever kind you like) and let steep for about 15 - 20 minutes. In a pitcher, add as much sugar as you would like (no more than 1 cup, I only use two teaspoons because I do not like my tea very sweet)and two pinches of baking soda. Pour the tea over the sugar and baking soda, stir until dissolved. Add water and ice.

There you have it. So simple and so good.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Surprise Birthday

It was such a gorgeous morning as I headed out to the airport to pick up Angela. She came in for the day to help celebrate her Grandma's eightieth birthday. We made a stop at Trader Joe's for snacks, then Kroger's for the balloons and lastly, the Hallmark store for a couple of cards. When we arrived home we commenced with the cutting of the fruit for a large fruit tray complete with coconut dip in a hollowed out pineapple. After that, we loaded Angela and Lance in the backseat of the car with the balloons and headed out. Mom only lives a few streets away, so the kids said they didn't mind the balloons in their faces. Well, Mom and Dad were suppose to be gone by then, but when we pulled up in front of the house we noticed their car still there. So we sped on past and ended up waiting about fifteen minutes down the road. Poor Angela and Lance were squished in with all those balloons.

Lance peeking out.

Angela with a great sense of humor.

Finally, Mom and Dad pulled out of the driveway and we pulled in to begin the preparations for the big surprise.

The back yard getting the needed setup. It was in the 90's by this time, boy was it hot and humid, but the prettiest day we have had all summer.

The sons, so proud of themselves for putting up the volleyball net.

Finally, Mom came home from her day out with Kevin's sister Renee (all planned of course) and she was beyond surprised. We had so much fun doing this for her!

Mom so surprised with Lance and Angela.

Kevin hugging his little mom.

It was such a fun day! A day we will all remember and treasure.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Updated Post

There is a new post at The Healthy Dream. Sobering Statistics.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Welcome to my home

There are some days when I miss having a yard and lots of room to roam. Days when I long for a vegetable garden or big place where children can run. But today was not one of them. As I sat on the balcony of our detached condo this morning, I realized how blessed I am to be here. Yes, my home is lovely and is, in a sense, my sanctuary. I draw peace from the water. Here are few pics of our home.

The front of our home.

The walk to my front door.

My little flower garden

Our little table and chairs

Our neighborhood.

The view from the balcony.

Across from us.

The river view from our dock. Kevin and I joke that we use to
have a boat without a dock and now we have a dock without a boat.

Across the river from us

Looking down the river
Yes, I am truly blessed.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

About a Foodie

After yesterday's post, I thought I would talk a little bit about being a foodie. I have lots of interests, gardening, boating (when we have a boat, of which we do not have at the moment), biking, reading, listening to music (use to be singing, but that is something I won't talk about at the moment), having lunch with friends (okay, that might go under the heading of being a foodie, which I will talk about in a moment), watching movies, walking the dog (who needs to be walked at the moment), etc...

Foodie: Amateurs who simply love food for consumption, study, preparation and news. Foodies want to learn everything about food, both the best and the ordinary, and about the science, industry and personalities surrounding food. They are sometimes viewed as obsessively interested in all things culinary. "wikipedia"

That's me, I love everything about food, not just eating it. I think I was the only one who would borrow ten cooking books at a time, from the library. I will go to the book store and pour over the cookbooks. I have my mom's and some of my grandmother's recipes.

I love reading cooking blogs. I love experimenting with recipes and using my family as guinea pigs for new recipes. I talk about cooking with friends and family. I love having people over for lunch and dinner just so I can get away with cooking something a bit more expensive. (I just can't justify spending too much on us for our everyday meals). I could spend hours in the kitchen wares department at Macy's or Sur La Table and dream about cooking instruments.
I love watching the Food Network Channel. I even DVR the shows I hate to miss.

I have stacks, really, stacks of recipes in my closet, (they are in the closet because if they weren't, they would be stacked all over the house), recipes that I find in magazines or on the Internet or copied from friends. I subscribe to Martha Stewart Living and Cooking Light magazines just for the recipes and articles about food. I love looking at pictures of food.

The hubs and I go to the markets for date night. Oh, to meander through the fruit and veggies, the spice isles, the meat and seafood section. Then when I smell the bakery department...I am done for.

I am a foodie...and I like to eat. There I said it, I like to eat. Which is one of the reasons, I'm sure, why I am over weight.

Maybe I need an intervention...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bits and Pieces and Food

Loved yesterday's sermon. How many times do we really keep the Sabbath? Really? Pastor talked about rest and how most of us never, ever take the time to truly rest. Yesterday we did. It was nice.

Treated myself to a movie this morning. I saw Julie and Julia today. It was great, especially for foodies. I like to consider myself a foodie. I love to cook and to bake. So now I want to do what Julie Powell did, challenge myself to cook more. She went through Julia Child's cookbook in a year and found herself. I don't think I need to find myself, I know who I am, but I would love to truly challenge myself. Especially with cooking.

Why do I enjoy blue cheese dressing so much?

Okay, another foodie bit. Just recently read A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. My daughter recommended it to me. Again, I loved it and want to try many of the recipes. I wonder what it is about food that influences people so much. Is that why Jesus says He is the Bread of Life? Food really speaks to us.

I am so thoroughly enjoying the Farmer's Market this year. The Michigan corn is amazing. We have had it several times a week for three weeks now. The beans, blueberries, tomatoes and zucchini are also unbelievable. I have been buying the free range eggs too, nothing like a fresh egg. Oh, and the hubbs and son are going crazy over the homemade baked goods that they sell.

Saw Bedtime Stories (silly little thing) and G-Force (lots of fun) Saturday with my guys.

Am looking forward to celebrating Mom-in-laws eightieth birthday Saturday. My daughter is flying in for the day. YAY!!!

Made some fantastic blueberry pancakes Saturday morning. I only had one because I am suppose to be watching what I am eating. They were very good with the fresh berries. Mmmmm...

Really enjoying my iced tea this summer. My sister told me how she makes her southern sweet tea and I modified it so it doesn't have much sugar at all. The secret is baking soda, who would have thought.

There were some wicked storms last night. There is nothing quite as cozy (even in 90 degree weather) as a crazy storm. The lights kept flickering, but we were prepared with flashlights, candles and matches. My man was kind of hoping he could fire up the generator. Well, we didn't lose our power, but we lit the candles and turned out the lights anyway. It made me smile.

It's the little things...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Boy Is He A Pill!

After having my little doggie, Oliver, vaccinated for kennel cough, he went to play with Pippen, my daughter's dog, and her poochie friends at the doggie daycare in Charleston. He had a blast, and we had a breather from two overly energetic pocket beagles, who did nothing but run and play and chase each other inside and out of the house all day and night. I do have to admit that it really was much calmer with them out of the way for the day.

A few days after we left to begin our treck home, stopping in Charlotte for another few days first, we noticed Ollie being a bit more subdued than normal and coughing in the mornings. After a few more days, the coughing became more frequent and he wasn't eating as much or as enthusastically as he usually does.

By the time we were home and he almost completely stopped eating and was sleeping most of the day, as well as, coughing a lot...I took him to the vet.

Yep, it was confirmed, kennel cough. She proceeded to tell me that even if a dog is immunized, he can still get it. So I left the office with arms full of meds and a special canned dog food to feed him because of his sore throat.

The vet told me to hide his meds in his food, so he wouldn't know he was eating it. It worked the first time! He was so excited to get soft dog food that he gobbled it down. The next time, he picked through the food and I found one of his pills in the bottom of the bowl when he was finished. The time after that, he pick both pills out and put them on the floor and continued to eat. I picked up the pills and him and put them in his mouth and encouraged him to swallow. He did.

That is when he declared war. From then on, each and every time he had to take his pills, he fought me. I tried to hide them in hot dogs, he ate around them and left the pills on the floor. I tried cheese and picked through it and left them on the floor. I then proceeded to put them further down his throat than the first time, he swallowed. Wallah!!! It worked!!!

Well, I always thought he was smart and the following day he proved it. I put the pills way back in his throat and held his muzzle closed, he swallowed three times, when I let go, he started to shake his head and work up the saliva and that's when it happened. He literally spit the pills across the room along with lots of disgusting foam loaded with doggie germs. Can you say EWWWWW!?!? He had learned to cheek the pills and then spit them out each and every time we tried to get him to take his meds. It finally took two of us to do it. One to hold his head up and the other one to put the pill down his throat as far as it would go without hurting him, while the first one person massaged his throat on the outside to get him to swallow.

Now his energy is up, he is eating his regular dog food again and growling at us if we get too close. He is not coughing much anymore and I am once again a happy dog owner. I am hoping and praying that he never gets sick again, or if he does, that we can get liquid medicine that we can sprinkle in liverwurst. I think he may like that. Hmmmm....

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Water, Water Everywhere

I love water. Rivers, lakes, oceans, fountains, sprinklers, it doesn't matter. A view of the sunset over the bay in Clearwater Beach, seeing the sun sparkling off the surface of the Clinton River outside our balcony or the tinkling sound of water trickling in the little fountain in my garden. Just the sound and sight of water calms me. I think that is why we live where we do.

Here are some pictures of several of the beautiful fountains I have seen and enjoyed over the summer.

The kids playing in the fountain in a little park in Charlotte. We love this park.

Lily looking at a fountain in Frankenmuth, Michigan

A lovely water feature at George, George Park in Clinton Twp. Michigan

Another fountain at George, George Park

These next few, are pictures from a park right in the center of uptown Charlotte. I love the sculptures of little children playing.

My little bubbling fountain in the garden in my front yard.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It Is Raining Again

After the x-rays were taken, the hygienist began to look at them. I heard an "oh!" and then an "I'll be right back". After a few minutes, she came back to the room and the dentist came in right behind her. He looked at the x-rays. "Hmmmm..." he said, and looked at Lance and I. He then put on his gloves and mask and came over to the chair. He asked Lance to open his mouth and began the exam.

We were there for a cleaning. We needed to get in before his dental coverage ran out. Michigan cut both dental and vision and we were scrambling to get the exams in before the cuts took place.

The dentist asked when his last cleaning was done. I had to admit, with a bit of embarrassment, that it was about eight months earlier with a dentist that came into his school. Medicaid patients don't have much of a choice when it comes to who provides care and most are not very good, so we were not always good about having his teeth cleaned exactly every six months. But, we have always had great reports and told that Lance's teeth were in good shape. A few fillings now and again, but never the less, good.

He told us there were no cavities. Great I thought. He then pointed out on the x-rays, that the bone around Lance's teeth were beginning to wear away, he had gum disease. He then said that Lance's medicaid insurance will not cover it. So now we had to pay for the expensive deep root cleaning, about $1000.00. Geesh... why didn't the other dentists find the problem before it got this bad? We made the necessary appointment and left.

A week later we returned knowing that Lance will need nitrous oxide to relax and Novocain for his entire mouth. Not three minutes after I left the room, the assistant came to get me. I went back to see the dentist who was very agitated, he began his tirade. "He is moving too much!" and he began to undulate in exaggerated movements. "I can't work on anyone like this!" as he got more frantic... "The instruments are too sharp!" his voice getting louder and more anxious, "and besides, he is disab..." and that's when he caught himself. He was discriminating against my son because of his disability. He quieted down and saw that I had turned red. Very quietly I told Lance to get out of the chair. It was then that the dentist patronizingly suggested that I take Lance to someone who could put him to sleep and do the procedure. We walked out of the office and I began a lengthy search to find a dentist who works specifically on people who have special needs.

I did find one (he is great!!!) and after a consultation a few days ago, it was decided that Lance will have this procedure done in the hospital. While there, the specialist may need to do some gum surgery and will also do any other dental work that he may need, including the cleaning. Medicaid will not cover any of this (government health care for you) so it will be $2000.00 to $4000.00 for the dentist's work alone, that does not include the hospital care.


Last night, Lance's PT told me that his ankles are not getting stronger and after a year of working and trying to strengthen them, she is recommending that he see and Orthopedist and get some braces to help stabilize them.

When it rains, it pours.

I am so glad that He is in control and I can come to Him when I am overwhelmed.