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Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Lovely Summer Evening

I am so spoiled  ~  in some ways! Since meeting MSM eighteen months ago I have been out to more nice restaurants than perhaps my entire prior life.  It's nice but there always seems to be a flip side. From this photo that was taken last night it is quite obvious that the added calories are not serving me any favors. In the last month we have gone out less and I have worked hard at eating smaller portions even though it is difficult to turn away from such delicious flavors.

Last night we went to the same restaurant that we go to almost every Sunday for Brunch after Church. We had not eaten together at this restaurant for dinner and on Friday and Saturday night they serve Prime Rib. So, that is what we ordered. It was good but the freshly made Crepes with Cream Cheese and Fresh Peach Sauce was something to really talk about.

After working outside most of the day in the 90 plus degree weather it was super sweet to sit on the deck at this nice golf course and enjoy the cool evening breeze and dinner with MSM. 


Doesn't it look serene and relaxing ???


Thanks for stopping by to visit my blog today.

Take Good Care ~ ~ ~ OK.




Friday, July 29, 2011

Saturday Afternoon Drive To The Lakes

A few Saturdays ago we headed up the hill to the high country at 7000 to 8000 elevation. My home is about 2100 foot elevation  and our weather was about 84 degrees. Not bad, but certainly warmer than 68 to 74 degrees where we stopped to get out of the car and enjoy the lakes and sights. There still was some snow in the shady spots at Lake Alpine. The melting snow was creating little streams all around!











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We enjoyed a nice lunch out on the deck overlooking Lake Alpine which was across the road.

The deck was so colorful with all the brightly colored umbrellas and pretty flowers around the edge of the deck!


This was a very interesting pontoon boat that had two seats with foot pedals for paddling the boat. They looked like they were having a grand time. And, the water was so high and so blue.


Look at these adorable children learning to fish. The little one in the center was the cutest little thing persisting to keep the line in the water. Their parents were close by.


After leaving Lake Alpine, this was the scene prior to arriving at Mosquito Lake. The snow covered mountain side was gorgeous.

 


And, look at Mosquito Lake - - - it is still covered with ice and snow at the beginning of the lake. It was a beautiful sight.


Then we have the beautiful lake "in all of its glory". 


We have been so busy with one thing or another  (or, I should say I have been) with taking care of all the gardening projects that need attention in the summer. I seem to be working from morning until evening with keeping up with the watering and weeding. Usually, on the weekends we are getting out and about seeing the sights, going to farmer's market,  summer festivals, music in the park, lots of restaurants and short trips.

For that reason I have not been blogging as much as I would like. In addition, we are getting ready for a vacation to Michigan to visit the sister of MSM. The itinerary is looking very enjoyable. 

Hope you are doing Great.






Friday, July 22, 2011

Another Trip To The Cardiologist Office

For another diagnostic test. And, I hope this is the last one for awhile. I can't imagine there being any more tests that I have not undergone regarding my heart. Yesterday's test was a Cardiac Nuclear Imaging Scan. I am so happy that this procedure is behind me. It takes approximately three hours to complete. The purpose is to assess how the heart responds to the demands of physical activity. There are several types of this test. Because of my back problems, I am not able to walk on a treadmill for this test. So, they introduce a medication via an I.V. that simulates the symptoms of a heart attack. THIS IS NOT A GOOD FEELING! They quickly reverse the medication/symptoms by introducing another medication. It takes a few minutes before you start to feel OK again! Imaging scans are taken before and after the medication administration as well as electrocardiograms. This is about as simple as I can explain the procedure.

The professional staff was WONDERFUL and I felt very safe and secure.



During a brief conversation with the Nuclear Imaging Technician I was so surprised to learn that he graduated about 30 years after I did from the same small high school that I graduated from in Southern California. And, then he went on to USC for his degree in nuclear medicine and thereafter to work at Stanford University Hospital. Then on to Stockton Cardiology Medical Group where my doctor has his practice. He was very familiar with where I obtained my Registered Nurse education.

Even though we did not have much time to talk, it was a lot of fun. He was so nice and we quickly exchanged memories of our childhood experiences even though it was generations apart. It was the first time I have experienced an exchange like this of meeting someone who related to my childhood memories. When I attended the high school it was a new school and I was in the first graduating class of the school in 1957!

After my diagnostic test, MSM and I went to Macaroni Grill for a great dinner. Since, I had been fasting prior to the test, I was hungry and I could not wait for a cup of coffee. : > } 

I hope you are having a Fabulous Day.





Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rarely Seen Flower

Occasionally, you will see something that makes you take a "double look".  This cactus is a good example of just that. It resides on the street where MSM lives. It is so beautiful.  There are over 300 varieties of the Cactus Americana. From what I have read, the large leaves of the cactus at the base have characteristics which can help to identify the species.

I believe that this may be Agave Americana with the powdery blue leaves. Reportedly, it is the most tolerant of all the Agaves and for that reason it has the widest distribution.

Description: Solitary or slowly clumping large leaf succulent with a basal rosette (up to 4 m wide)

Leaves: Thick and massive grey-blue up to 150-200 cm long and 25 cm wide, and have sharp spines on the margins and tips. The margin spines are recurved like fishhooks and the tip spines can be more than 2,5 cm long.

Flowers: The inflorescence of the Agave Americana is branched can reach epic proportions, soaring 3 -7 m or more, and bears large (6-10 cm) yellow-green flowers. Inflorescences look like asparagus spears as they grow.



Sometimes it is called The "Century Plant" but it doesn't really take a century to bloom. But it does take 10 years or so in warm regions and as much as 60 years in colder climates. It dies after blooming,  but produces offsets or "pups" throughout its life and these remain to continue the lineage.

I thought this is so beautiful that I wanted to share it with all of you flower-plant lovers.

I hope you are having a Wonderful Day. My days have been filled with lots of activities. More on that next time.







Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Impressed With Neurologist

Following lots of confusion when scheduling a neurological appointment for evaluation of my recent lumbar spine MRI, I was delightfully surprised to meet a very professional  and impressive physician. I was taken to a exam room within 5 minutes of arrival. And, the doctor walked in shortly thereafter. He spent 45 minutes obtaining a very detailed history and completing a very extensive physical neurological examination. My current spinal neurological status was explained and my anxiety about serious changes in my back was calmed. All of my questions were answered.

Nothing dramatic is changing in my lumbar spine. The increased pain is associated with the progressive degenerative spine  condition. I have always known that my back pain is very likely to increase with age as the degenerative process continues. During the past ten years I have "just lived with it" doing all the various noninvasive procedures available to me including hypnosis. I have worked hard to live a life whereby "Even though I have pain, I am NOT my  pain ."

There are some treatments for pain management that I have not pursued because I felt that they did not have enough long range data for success rates. The neurologist brought the current  nerve block procedures to my attention and we discussed them. I may consider a consultation with Richard Derby, M.D. at Spinal Diagnostics and Treatment Center near Stanford University Hospital. Dr Derby is a well known spinal researcher from California who has perfected the technique of  Nerve Ablation and Intradiscal Electrothermal Annuloplasty which may be a procedure appropriate for me. 

For the time being, I am doing OK and my "glass is half full".

I am so grateful for yesterday's medical consultation. I feel blessed.


I hope your day is Going Well.




Monday, July 11, 2011

A Garden Project

I have a garden project that I would like to share with you. Let me show you the finished results first. Because I can't wait! And then I will tell you what I did.  The Rebecca At The Well Fountain is in service again and creating the nicest sounds in my garden!


I have had this fountain outside my dining room window for several years. It is a lovely three piece structure. The beautiful base is now covered by azaleas that were only one gallon plants when I planted them. Because we have had colder weather and  snow in the winter for the last few years the cement basin deteriorated and crumbled because I did not cover it with plastic protection some of the years. Seriously, I really missed hearing the sounds of the flowing water during the warm summer days. So, I decided that I was going to do something about it. The next photo was taken in spring time and it is a photo of the fountain amidst the flowering azaleas and without a basin! So - - -

 



I bought a very large plastic terracotta basin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


And, a couple cans of Krylon Stone spray paint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .





 And, then a can of Krylon Sealer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  



And, now Rebecca is getting water from the well. And, I Love It.


Happy Summer Days to you.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Angelo's Is The Place

What a wonderful restaurant and evening. ANGELO'S  is one of the newer restaurants in town which opened around Easter time. The first night they were open we stopped by to see how it was. They were swamped with customers and had to turn some away. The food was good but it was clear that the wait staff was new and had a lot to learn about the computers and everything else. They were the previous owners of a small deli down the street named DeliNini's which was a top rate deli. We felt like they just needed a little time and they would have everything humming right along.  And, they did.

A couple months later we picked up some take-out of spaghetti and meatballs and we liked it a lot. For some reason we did not return until last night. Well, I guess we have very busy and not eating out as often, at my request!.



What a delightful dinner and dining experience! I had Caprese Salad, Lasagna (special of the day) and Bruschetta. It was the best lasagna that I have ever had throughout many years. MSM had Pear Salad, Sirloin Filet - Pancetta wrapped with Gorgonzola and garlic mashed potatoes. The steak was juicy tender and our food and service was outstanding!


And, look at this Creme Brulee Cheesecake we shared for dessert. I have not tasted a cheesecake that I like better. It was so smooth and creamy with the caramelized sugar topping. I have always been a big fan of cheesecake - and - creme brulee. So, putting them together can send me into ecstasy. Every bite was worth the calories!  I am sure we will be returning to Angelo's soon.



After having three days to myself, it was so nice to be going out for the evening.

After dinner, we walked over to the Veteran's Memorial.. Since it was installed last year, it had been vandalized. All of the repairs have been completed and it looked beautiful with the evening lighting.



If you are in the area, don't forget to stop in at Angelo's for a great meal.

Wishing you a Fun Filled Weekend.

Friday, July 08, 2011

I Got A Brand New Pair Of ~ Books

Do you ever get a song in your head and it won't leave for days? That is what is happening to me with the song "Brand New Key".  If you are one who remembers the early 70's, then you may recall ~ ~ ~ "I got a brand new pair of roller skates, you got a brand new key. I think that we should get together and try them out, to see . . . " Silly, how the brain won't let go of something like that!

Well, this is "my brand new pair of books". 

  
I have been interested in these books for quite some time and thought this was a good time to get them.  I have been having fun looking at all the different ways that I can do the borders on my Stripey Blanket. Stay tuned!

I hope you are having Fun on this Summer Day.



Thursday, July 07, 2011

Rolling Right Along

And, WHAT FUN I am having. This is the project that my thoughts go to in the evening when I watch television. It is so relaxing and rewarding to work on my crocheted Stripey Blanket. I am a multi-tasker and always have been. If I am watching TV,  I am not happy unless I am doing something else. Or course, many times I am not able to multi-task , especially when I am lying dowm on the sofa because of my back problems. I have found the resting of my back in that manner is very helpful.



I love the colors. 
I love the Cascade 220 wool yarn. 
I love the feel of the yarn. 
I love selecting the "next" color.
I love how it is progressing.
I love the size it is going to be when finished.

YES, I LOVE IT. 


It seems as though I just ordered yarn, but it is time again. You can see where the Raspberry color ends with a strand of yarn. That is where I ran out of that color of yarn. I am also short on a few other colors. I know the border will take a lot of yarn. Just not sure what colors I want to use. I am planning on making about three or four rows of border, each in a different color.  I try to order enough yarn so I do not have to pay for shipping. Every penny saved, helps!

With the very hot weather, I have the air conditioning on when I work on this project because it is way too hot to work on a big and somewhat heavy project like this without the cool air.  


Stay tuned for the next progress report.

Take Good Care Of Yourself Today.




Wednesday, July 06, 2011

What Did The Doctor Say

Would you believe that the doctor was not there! ! ! ! !  How did that happen?


We drove  60 miles down the mountain to see a specialist and the office staff said the doctor was at the hospital and could not see me. Reportedly, they did not have the correct telephone number for me. I do not know why they did not try to locate it by trying to call the referral doctor/service. Needless to say, I am not happy about this. As, we drove home the outside temperature was 104 degrees! Not a good day to be out running around.

They said I could see the doctor on August 9th. After I resisted the long wait for another appointment they gave me an appointment for next week on Tuesday. Hopefully, I will get some answers then.

Sorry that I did not blog earlier in the day. I was just too upset.

Hope you are staying comfortable and having a Great Day.


Monday, July 04, 2011

235th Birthday

Today is the official July 4th holiday and the celebrations have been going on for days. I hope people realize how blessed we all are to have the freedoms we experience day after day. To me, it seems as though many (not all) of the younger people do not realize what patriotism means. We are such a young country. Today is America's 235th Birthday!

According to Wikipedia, “In 1777, thirteen gunshots  were fired, once at morning and again as evening fell, on July 4 in Bristol, Rhode Island. Philadelphia celebrated the first anniversary in a manner a modern American would find quite familiar: an official dinner for the Continental Congress, toasts, 13-gun salutes, speeches, prayers, music, parades, troop reviews, and fireworks. Ships were decked with red, white, and blue bunting.”

Never should we forget!



My holiday petunias have been blooming  nicely.  These six-packs were some of the healthiest plant I have ever purchased. Recently, a small nursery opened in another little town nearby. It is owned by a Mennonite family and it is very nicely managed and the plants are well cared for. The weather has turned HOT, close to 100 degrees. That means that I have more hand watering in the garden! And, I am grateful that I am physically able to do it!

Tomorrow is a big day for me. I will be going to a Neurologist (out of the area) to have my recent lumbar spine MRI evaluated, with hopes of gaining some information regarding future treatment and guidance about the bone spur protruding into the spinal canal.. When a local doctor used the word of potential paralysis I was shocked and very dismayed.

The report conclusion states "Scoliosis and multilevel degenerative disease. Nerve root impingement is suspected at several levels but the most prominent finding is at L4/5 where there is impingement on the left L4 nerve root within the foramen and possible impingement on the left L5 by osteophytes (bone spurs) intruding into the neural canal."

If you believe in prayer, I would be grateful is you would include me in yours!

I hope you had a Fabulous 4th of July weekend and everyone is safe and sound.



Sunday, July 03, 2011

My Best Effort

This is the best I could do with my limited photography skills when taking a couple photos of the fabulous fireworks that we saw last night, right here in Murphys.  But then, what fireworks are not fabulous? I think I am beginning to sound like the Chamber of Commerce!













Maybe, these photos look more like abstract art instead of fireworks.    ; > )

 


After having dinner at a favorite restaurant downtown we went to see the fireworks at a local winery called Ironstone. Another time I will tell you more about Ironstone Winery. Since it is a big amphitheater and the event started at 4:30 PM we decided to drive up above the winery and view the fireworks from my car. I am blessed to have a great 1998 Chrysler Sebring JXi Convertible similar to this picture. Same color and all ~ emerald green with beige top and nice gold wheels. When I purchased the car about 12 years ago it only had 12000 miles. It was a mighty fine deal!


We reclined the seats and just lay back and enjoyed the show. Now, that's living! And, we did not have to wait in long lines to return home. A few years ago, I viewed the fireworks in this manner. So, I decided to show MSM how I take the back roads so I can go later in the evening and avoid the crowds. The fireworks display started at 9:30 PM.




Oh, I must tell you that I had the most divine Crab Macaroni and Cheese for dinner. Real crab, not the artificial! Believe me, it wasn't the time to count calories.

I really do not enjoy going out to dinner as much as MSM, primarily because of the high salt content and calories of restaurant food! He can go out every day and eat whatever he wants and not gain an ounce nor alter his health.. He has always been like that. It's just not fair. I would rather discipline myself by limiting the calories in the present instead of working at taking them off after gaining way too much. 

I hope you are Enjoying a Happy and Safe Holiday Weekend. We are having fabulous weather which is certainly an added bonus and blessings!

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Some Additional Special Photos

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Mother's Day 2012

Mother's Day 2012

Happy Family (2014)

Happy Family (2014)
Grandma Pride

Valentine's Day 2013

Valentine's Day 2013

High School (1957) Friends Of Mine On The Left Live In New York and We Met In Canada In 2013

High School (1957) Friends Of Mine On The Left Live In New York and We Met In Canada In 2013

Bud Mietz

Bud Mietz
1928 - 2014