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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It Was Fabulous

Having my Granddaughter visit for Thanksgiving was so wonderful. It had been a long time since she had been able to come to my house. She is such a cutie and is so delightful to be around. This is a young lady  that has had and continues to have a life full of drama that was and is not of her making.  But, she continues to be vivacious and extremely mature. Her second year in college is going well but very challenging with lots and lots of homework and many hours of working to support herself.  She is trying to avoid having a lot of student loans. This gal is very determined and is already planning where she will go for graduate school!  I love her "spunk" and tenaciousness!


She was able to drive from college to here in very good time without any difficulties. Now that she knows that "it was so easy" she plans to visit more often. Her plans are to visit for a few days at semester-break. We enjoyed a great Thanksgiving dinner and then we walked down town (one block away) and visited all the little boutiques. Just what young gals like to do.

The Autumn colors are changing fast these days.

You can stand and watch the leaves fall!

We had lots of fun sharing photos on the computers. She likes it that Grandma likes her computer. And, thinks it is great that MSM has recently gotten a laptop and is "always on the computer".  She and MSM have a great relationship. He thinks she is very special.

And, what is a holiday without a photo of Lily?

Now, it is time to seriously get ready for the Christmas season. We have several events, parties, etc. coming up to enjoy in the near future. And, of course, there is the decorating! 

Wishing you a Very Happy Week.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Plans can change in the wink of an eye - can't they?  I am so happy.  Shortly after our plans changed I received a call and my granddaughter is going to come in the morning to spend Thanksgiving with us. She is attending college and has been studying hard, as well as, working. We had been talking about Thanksgiving and she wasn't sure if she was going to have to work. I had told her that she was welcome where ever we spent the holiday. She is three hours drive from here and she will return to college the day after Thanksgiving. MSM has made reservations for Thanksgiving dinner at the restaurant where we frequently go for Sunday brunch. It will be nice.  And, we are looking forward to spending some time together with her.

I hope each and every one of you have a Wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday weekend.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Look What I Have ~ A New Camera

I am so happy to have a new camera. I have wanted one for quite some time and this is a nice one. It has features that I am going to have to go to the manual to learn how to use. Usually, I can figure out the buttons and nobs by trial and error. But, not this time. I have had it for quite some time and still have not had time to work with it. The camera is a belated Birthday present from MSM. It was certainly worth the wait! For the past six months I have been using MSM's camera. I am so happy to have this camera. And, I expect to feel that way in six months!

We were planning on spending Thanksgiving with MSM's family in San Jose which is about a 2-1/2 hour drive from here. Pet sitters have been arranged for one night away. Unfortunately, we just received a call telling us about a serious illness in the family. The mother of MSM's daughter-in-law went into the hospital about two weeks ago for a hip replacement and expecting to be in the hospital only a few days. Very sadly, she has developed complications not limited to but including an infection that have become life threatening. She has already been moved to a different hospital that has treatment facilities that weren't available at the first hospital. The most frightening fact is that there is talk about removing her hip! I have never heard about doing that. It sounds horrible! Perhaps, there is more to the story that wasn't told to us, like hip replacement. In addition, she has suffered from MS for many years and has been using a walker. We pray for a full recovery.

Also, today, MSM has a medical appointment with a urologist because of a slightly elevated lab work. He feels great with absolutely no symptoms. He is going, "kicking all the way", only because his doctor made the referral. I say, "be safe, not sorry".

And, then there is me ~ ~ ~ just "putting one foot in front of the other".  After, the first of the year, I will work on seeing some Pain Specialists. Yes, it has been a challenging month for many of us.

Hope your Thanksgiving week is going Beautifully. The seasonal colors are exquisite.

I have so many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season, mostly for the wonderful relationship with MSM. He has become everything I could possible wish for in my life. The past year has been one of profound personal growth, compassion and love.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Italian Chicken And Artichokes

This is an old recipe from 1991 that I found in my ever-growing recipe file drawer.  It is a Better Homes and Gardens "prize tested recipe" that I have not made in the past. It came together nicely and sure is good. I served it over rice. A nice lettuce salad and french bread and you have dinner. I like this kind of recipe because it can be prepared ahead of time.

This is the recipe ~ ~ ~ ~

Italian Chicken and Artichokes

1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped carrot
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 (2-1/2 to 3-lb.) broiler-fryer chicken, skinned and cut up
      I used all chicken thighs with bone in but I removed the skin.
      Also, I used more vegetables then recipe states.
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) stewed tomatoes
1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained and halved
1 can (8 0z.) tomato sauce
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning, crushed
Cooked pasta or rice

      In a 12-inch skillet cook onion, mushrooms, green pepper, carrot and garlic in 1 Tbsp. hot oil till tender but not brown. Remove vegetables from skillet; set aside.
      In a medium bowl combine flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, and pepper. Add chicken pieces, a few at a time, coating all sides Brown chicken in remaining hot oil over medium heat 10 minutes,turning occasionally (sprinkle any remaining flour mixture over chicken before browning). Return vegetables to skillet: and undrained tomatoes, artichoke hearts, tomato sauce, wine and Italian seasoning. Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer, covered, 35 to 40 minutes or till chick is tender, stirring once or twice. Adjust the seasoning. Transfer chicken to platter; keep warm. Boil sauce gently, uncovered, 5 minutes or until desired consistency.  Serve chicken and sauce atop cooked pasta or rice. Serves 6.

Today, my friend drove to her daughter's house to be closer to University California San Francisco Hospital where she will be seen tomorrow by an Oncologist for a second opinion. The past week was quite hectic getting all of the medical records and diagnostic films to the hospital. Her daughter was instrumental in arranging the second opinion this quickly. It is wonderful but it has been very stressful for everyone! I miss my friend and sure hope that everything goes well and that she will be back soon. And, then she can get started with her treatment. 

Hope all is well with all of you.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sunday Afternoon Laughs

I did not make it to church yesterday. However, MSM did and he sang in the choir as usual. Afterwords, he came over to my house which is almost across the street - really - and I fixed breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast, orange juice and coffee. We usually go to Camps for brunch,  but it was really nice to eat at home.

Later, we went "over the river", literally (remember I live in the mountains) to the afternoon performance of the family comedy, Over the River and Through the Woods at a little theater that seats only 30 guests and is a "theater in the round". It so happens that one of the actors lives a few houses down the street from MSM.  The theater  is a charming little place with good actors and a nice variety of performances. 

Later, we had Mexican food for dinner at a favorite place near home. My chicken tostada was very good. I asked that they substitute the refried beans with regular beans and they were very accommodating. I am learning how to order and eat in restaurants without eating foods that are not healthy for me. We are eating out less often and my tummy is feeling a lot better.

This is a busy week for my good friend who has cancer. There are several medical appointments and her daughter has come into town for a few days to be with her. It is a rough time right now because the treatment modalities are being discussed. Most likely, she will go to UCSF Hospital (San Francisco) for a second opinion with breast cancer specialist and I think that is a very good idea. It is so critical to get the best combination of therapies. It can be the difference between life and death!

Until next time ~ Be Well.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I Would Like To Do What Lily Is Doing

That's right, I would like to be taking a "lay down" as the British say. I learned that term when I lived in England for three months  ~  eleven years ago. I loved that country so much. I was blessed to be living in the southern  area of the country and it was exquisite.  My, my, how I digress! Now, where was I?  Oh, yes, I want to take a "lay down" ! ! !

This week has been busier than usual and my pain level is way too high for my preference. I can take a lot of pain, but please, please, not this much. I guess it is time to see another Pain Specialist. But, honestly, I am pretty tired of seeing doctors.

Yesterday afternoon we took our friend to the surgeon's office because she was having swelling in her right arm subsequent to her breast cancer surgery last Friday. We just needed to be sure that things are progressing as things should.  The doctor that we saw was reassuring regarding the swelling because it was within normal range following the surgery she has undergone. She may need to wear a compression sleeve is it increases. Very unfortunately, her cancer has metastasized to the lymph nodes under her arm. Next week she will see the oncologist and the surgeon for arrangement of the chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

 It was nice to get her out of the house.  And, since it was late in the day, we took her out to dinner.  She really enjoyed it and we were so happy to be able to do it.

I feel so sad that she is experiencing this challenge. This is the first time I have been this close to a friend who is going through cancer surgery/therapy and I can't deny that it is certainly impacting me with a profound sadness. Of course, I have been around cancer as a registered nurse ~ but, this is very different!  I feel so helpless. All I can do is be there for her with love, prayer and support. She is a strong person and I feel that she will get through this, a day at a time.

Tomorrow is a new day. We are expecting some rain this evening and it is beginning to feel like it.

Have a Great Evening.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Today Was The Day

~  That my very close friend had breast cancer surgery! Up at 5 AM to take her to the Surgi-center,  45 minute drive from here.  We were back home at about 3 PM after stopping at Applebee's to pick up some onion soup and sliders to take home for lunch. Also, picked up some Broccoli, Chicken Alfredo Pasta for dinner.

Her surgery took about an hour. She had a lumpectomy and removal of a few lymph nodes that demonstrated cancer cells. It was disappointing that it has traveled to the lymph nodes which means that most likely she will need both chemotherapy as well as radiation.  It is what it is.  ~ ~ ~ And she will march through it. She is an excellent patient and friend.

Isn't this google image the greatest? Must keep a sense of humor!

After we ate lunch at her house, I went home to rest a bit and she went to bed and slept quite well. She has requested that I have pasta dinner with her and stay with her during the night. She lives very very close to me and I am happy to do it for her. She, has two daughters who have to work. And, I can easily help her out.
My Special Man is coming over to pick up Lily and she will be happy to spend the night with him and his dog. We don't need Lily jumping up on our friend. Lily adores her and would not leave her alone, I am sure of it. MSM has been so helpful, supportive and understanding with the situation. He is a cancer survivor - six years.
I know my friend will be fine. The hospital staff was fabulous. They have a Breast Cancer Program Coordinator (hired recently) and everything moves like steady clockwork. Next week we will go to see the oncologist for the next step in this journey!

Please remember her in your positive thoughts. Thanks. I am on my way to her house.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

They Are Turning Red - I Can Hardly Believe It!

Who ever heard of tomatoes not turning red until October? This seems to be a universal thought this year with our vegetable gardens. And, it really has been disappointing to have such a small yield this year.

Let's hope that next year will be a better growing season with a few more warm and hot days.
The garden is filling up with oak leaves and lots of acorns ~ and I mean LOTS. Throughout the day I have been hearing the acorns bouncing off of the metal patio furniture and making quite a racket! It seems as though the volume of acorns is very abundant every other year. Last year was much slighter. I can rake the leaves and within an hour it looks like I have not been out in the garden for days. Today, the wind has been blowing more than the past few days and hopefully it will bring most of the leaves down. It sounds like we will be getting cooler weather and maybe even a little rain this coming weekend.
I have not been working on any of my creative projects and I am looking forward to getting back in the rhythm of "daily project time". My Stripey Crocheted Afghan is so close to being finished! And, I miss my sewing machine. I haven't touched it in a long time. Things have to start a changin' around here and soon. ; )

I think the time has come to start thinking about Christmas preparations. Of course, first we have Thanksgiving which is just around the corner.

I hope you are enjoying this busy time of year.


Some Additional Special Photos


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 2011

High School (1957) Friends Of Mine On The Left Live In New York and We Met In Canada In 2011

Bud Mietz

Bud Mietz
1928 - 2014