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Friday, February 28, 2014

Ms. Computer Is Not Playing Nice

So, it is time to call the maintenance man for a tune-up. Impossible to add photos to anything. Not a good sign. I give up! Believe me I have tried everything I can possibly do with my limited knowledge compared to the experts.
 

We will be back when we are playing together, again.


Mary

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Let's Play Ball


 
And, we played and played and played some more!


And, then she slept.

I love my little doggie, so much. She seems to be feeling so very much better since the household is nice and calm. What a difference. Our animals sure tell us a lot - don't they?

Mary

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Three Black Bananas

Aren't these black bananas beautiful?

 












 
This is what I did today. It would be nice if you could join me for a cup of tea and a slice of banana bread. Maybe, next time.

Mary
 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Lunch For One Plus More

I have had a wonderful day even though Blogger has given me a fair amount of difficulty. Also, the lighting for photo taking was less then ideal today. Lots of unwanted shadows, too. I am almost surprised that I was finally successful in completing this post.


It is so fabulous to feel such happiness and creativeness. The absence of unnecessary stress is far greater than I ever imagined. I had no real comprehension of just how detrimental my life style had become for me until hospitalization became necessary. I am feeling healthy and calm. In six weeks I have experienced abdominal discomfort only on two occasions! And, I can eat anything I desire without difficulties.


Now then, often my creativeness surfaces when I am in the kitchen. Frequently, I am inspired by recipes I read. Like many of us we also depend on what we have available to us in our pantry.


This is a quinoa meal that was fun to make.  It is the first time that I have made anything with quinoa. I think it is kind of funny looking and it does not have a very distinctive flavor. So, the ingredients that we add to it are very important especially the seasonings. I understand that it is healthy for us. And, that is good!


I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch. Along with a glass of chilled Gewurztraminer it was a beautiful blend of yummy flavors.

The quinoa was prepared and then onion, celery and garlic were added. Chopped dried cranberries were added next which gives them some time to soften.


This is the greatest little kitchen gadget for peeling garlic. It is so quick. And, then I used a micro-plane to grate the garlic.

Next, I added some Cranberry Pear Balsamic Vinegar. Wow, this is very nice. It has a lovely fragrance and flavor. I am able to purchase this in my little town at Marisolio Olive Oil Company.

Then, I added some local Calaveras Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It is so nice to have such good quality products so close by to purchase.   


The chopped cranberries along with the cranberry pear balsamic vinegar is a very nice combination of flavors.

If you plan to serve your quinoa mixture in acorn squash "bowls" be sure to prepare them ahead of time by baking them in the oven before you start the quinoa.

Some chopped pistachio nuts sprinkled on top of the plated stuffed squash is a great touch especially with the added texture they impart. I also like to add a little garnish of parsley. I have some growing in the garden and I try to use it when it is available.

Let me tell you a little story about myself. This will not surprise some of you that know me. When I went to get the pistachio nuts from the pantry, I could not locate them. And, I knew I had bought them. Well, when I found them (see above) the bag was more than half empty. I forgot that I had evening snacked on them a few days earlier! Bad girl, bad girl!

Mary

Monday, February 24, 2014

Turning Pages To The End Of The Book

 
Another Closing Of A Life Book was memorialized for a wonderful human being admired by all and a member of our little country church.
 

A man who lived to a beautiful age of 93 years has been described as always demonstrating high integrity and generosity of his intelligence and talents.

He was a student of San Jose State and U.O.P Stockton and subsequently graduated from Cal Berkeley obtaining his master's degree in administrative education.

Along with his benevolent career in Education he had a love of woodworking. One area where that talent will always be enjoyed is in our little church in the foothills. Many years ago, he crafted the large wall cross, church alter, pulpit/lectern, baptismal font and many church pews in his home wood shop. The furniture will continue to remind us of his love for our church and all people.





Easter Sunday last year.


"Those that knew him were encouraged to be a better person by simply being a part of his life." He will be missed. God Bless.

Mary
 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

How Can A Plastic Bucket Give Such Joy

Oh, but it does. Now that I am able to be out and about more often on my own, I have time to really see what is in the stores. In the back of my mind I have been looking for something very simple to put my yarn in so it doesn't roll around on the rug. Dog hair - you know. Not good. And, I was hoping to find something fairly large and inexpensive.

I found it! I think it is perfect.

 
At $4.96 plus tax, it is better than perfect!

 
The color is just right with the other red accents in my little room. And, it is easy to move around with me where ever I want to sit. Eighteen inches across and it has handles too.  This little spot can be it's home. 

 
Look what is inside. Some new yarn for another Prayer Shawl and in a nice masculine variegated brown color.
 
I really like the color red in the living room, but not in excess. It makes a nice accent color. Do you like red?
 
Mary

 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

How Much More Must I Learn About Automobiles

I really love my car. So much fun. But, the ol' girl is starting to show her age even with only 62,XXX miles. But, truly she has not required anything super major. Birth date 1998. Oh my, where did the years go?


O.K. now. The battery was replaced last week. And, yes, I got my monies worth with the nine year old battery that was removed. However, it would have been nice if my annoyances with dead batteries in the past year could have been eliminated if someone would not have continued to put a charger on it instead of replacing the battery. No money issue, just poor judgment.

That said. My battery is again dead! After, the new battery was installed I did a little driving locally and then I did not drive the car for a few days.

Time to put my "thinking cap on". For some reason there is some kind of a drain on the battery causing it to die. Recalling events prior to the battery replacement, I remember stopping at an auto mechanic on the rainy Friday afternoon, after being jump started by AAA. Unable to assist me at the time, he kindly asked a few questions and then decided to remove a fuse that provides current to the radio. I was able to quickly complete my overdue errands by leaving the engine running and locking my doors. Yes, I have a second set of keys! Maybe, not such a good idea, but you do what you gotta do, right.

Well, I imagine the mechanic assumed that I would be returning to him for the car to be serviced at a later date but in the near future. At that time the fuse would most likely be replaced. Not the case. I took it to a different mechanic for the battery replacement within walking distance of my house with nary a thought of the fuse removal days prior. The new battery was installed and I went on my merry way.

Studying the car manual and also going onto the Internet was in order which lead me to replace the fuse, yes I put it in the correct way and place.

Oh dear, I think that comment came from being questioned about almost everything I did in the past four years. Sorry, just a little FYI. Really, I am healing but it takes time.

The following morning I called AAA again for a jump start. Now, all is well and I was able to drive several miles for an out-of-town errand without any difficulty with turning the engine off and starting it again. I believe we have success! Do I get a gold star?

Do you realize how much time, more aggravation and money I saved by thinking it through and taking care of it myself? I am a proud little chick!


Don't misunderstand me, I would much prefer to not be bothered with looking after my car but life is what it is. And, I have always been a survivor. I may fall down but I always manage to eventually get up again and get goin'!

Mary
 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Lunch For One And Then Oh! No!

The sun is shining brightly but it is periodically quite windy. But, looks like a good day to do a little outside work specifically leaf and tree debris blowing of the patio, side walks and driveway. I spent a couple hours of work and then decided to go in the house for some lunch. I put together a simple but yummy hot soup and sandwich. Is there anything better than Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwich on a cool windy day? So far - so good. Than I decided to eat in the front room and watch a little TV while I enjoyed my little lunch.
 

  
T H E N - Oh! No!   Ker plunk - There goes the full mug of orange-red tomato soup all over the recently steam-cleaned (done by me) carpet. That's a lot of soup right in the middle of the room. Swear words at a time like this rarely help, so I seldom bother.
 
I know my room accent color is red/orange but this is not what I have in mind! 
 
But, look, look, my little helper quickly comes to the scene to render help. Such an efficient little machine. She even nudged her nose under a couple tea towels I quickly threw to the floor to absorb some of "my nice hot soup".
 
Just a little help is all I would accept from Lily for thoughts of her well being were on my mind. That's a lot of tomato and probably mixed in with some chemicals from past cleanings. Protective mother, probably. 
 
Have you ever seen little orange doggy footprints on a kitchen floor? I have.
 
 
The last couple days have not scored very high on my happiness and contentment score card. Due to undesirable actions by an individual from my past. But, I think this carpet accident kind of put me back on track. Really, I just laughed. Yes, I could be a little crazy - but just a little!
 
Now, look at it this way.
 
If I didn't have soup in the cupboard - I wouldn't have spilled (ker plunked) it.
 
If I didn't have a carpet - I wouldn't have spilled on it.
 
If I didn't have a house to live in (homeless) - there would not be anything to swear about in regards to this accident or clumsiness.
 
Really now. It is pretty great to have soup in the cupboard! ! !
 
LATER.  As the sun set, I got busy working on this new project (carpet-yuck) that took my mind off of "my life". There is nothing quite like hard work to set you straight, right?  Me and my machine worked and worked.
 
Tomato is certainly one of the less desirable stains to work on. .  After many different cleaning solutions including some home remedy mixes I hope I will be content with the result when I see it after it has dried, perhaps in the morning. 
 
 
Then it was time to rest. Thankful for an opened wine bottle of a lovely Sauvignon Blanc from a local winery, tasting room only a block away. Just enough left in the bottle for a nice full glass.
 
It's a lot better than swearing! 
 
Mary
 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Is There A Resemblance

As I was preparing for my February 18, 2014 post, I noticed my profile picture in the left column as it was visually close to the photo of my mother in her wedding photo. And, I said to myself  Oh my goodness, that is me. Do people ever tell you that you look like your mother?
 
 
I think this was somewhat shocking because I seldom see a photo of my mother. If she was still living I imagine I would hear that type of comment more often.                     

 
I find it interesting that recently when a friend saw a photo of me and my daughter that was taken this past September, the comment was something to the effect, "You can sure tell she is your daughter". So, what do you think?
 
 
Recently, we have been reuniting following a ten year estrangement.  It is slow but it is wonderful to be able to pick up the phone to call her. This undesired change in our relationship started ten years ago following some major life changes in her life. I love her dearly! She has been and is a fabulous daughter who is warm, caring, outgoing, self assured, intelligent, very focused and a high achiever. So often small issues and/or misunderstandings can feel and/or become huge. It is so unfortunate for all involved. She is very happily married and we enjoyed a great Thanksgiving this past year in my home. I have to remind myself that my children did not have healthy family role models in the family as they were growing up, somewhat similar to my life.  
 
 
Is that a look of admiration - or what? 
 
I love all of my family so very much. We are small in number but so important to me. God willing my son will join us in heart, soul and presence in the future. I'm not so young anymore (but still cluck-clucking) and as we know life can change in the blink of an eyelash.
 
Mary

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Technology - Unavoidable


I feel like I have so much learning to do. But, it takes patience and time. Some of the electronics that I need to spend one on one personal time with are my camera, laptop, desktop PC, note pad and new phone.

I know all of these electronics can do so much more than what I have learned. It seems as though I learn on an as-to-know basis which means it takes much longer to do some activities than is necessary. I don't know, maybe this is the manner which most people learn. At least, when it comes to our continual changing electronics.

It can be very frustrating for me when I know a certain electronic can do functions that I can't seem to perform. I know that my round-about way of accomplishing some tasks is way too time consuming.

What am I going to do about my dilemma? Try and try some more - and some more to get more disciplined and start to seriously study these necessary "gems" that are becoming mainstream living.

Yes, I am fortunate to possess these "gems", especially since I am one of "those people who don't want to be left behind in the dust" as the world continues without me.

I guess part of my attitude comes from past experience when I had a neighbor who was several years older than myself.  ATM's were starting to be available and she never learned how to use them because she did not want to. So, she continued to go to the bank for all of her transactions. She lived many more years with this attitude about our continuing technological advances. She was such a fascinating, fun, intelligent and stubborn lady. She was a wonderful neighbor and friend and I miss her greatly.

Another reason for my attitude may be that I have had to take care of myself most of my life as a single person without someone else "to do it for me", not even family.

Maybe this post could be called  "A Little More About Me" that you didn't need to know. But then, isn't that what most blogging is all about?

Mary
 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Family Traditions

Family traditions have been near nonexistent in my family for many reasons which I see no reason to ponder at this time. However, this past year I have been able to do something that has brought great joy to me and my Granddaughter and husband to be.
 
One of the few things that I received following my mother's passing in 1990 was her wedding rings which included her original set which she wore on her wedding day in 1928 and an additional ring with a larger center diamond which was given to her by my father on their 25th wedding anniversary.
 
 
These are not super large diamonds like many that we see today but they are quite lovely nonetheless.
 
 
 
Well, when I learned that my Granddaughter and boyfriend were hoping to marry, I talked with her boyfriend about my thoughts regarding the rings and that I would like to offer them to him to give to her in any manner he so desired. Meaning that he/they could have them reset and do what would please them. He was thrilled with the idea. But, did not want to change anything about them.

Oh, I guess it is time to say that the first time I met him, it was Instant Like! And, a nice bonus is that neither of them have previous marriages or children. Which is nice in my opinion, since it can be challenging enough to have a happy marriage without additional issues.  He is 28 and she is 21 which is great given their individual life  experiences and personalities.  He has a four year college degree and she has finished her first two years and is returning in August to finish.

So, anyway, on the day of their son's birth, I took the rings with me. And, it worked out just perfect when upon our arrival he took us for a quick coffee while she was in labor. He was so pleased when he saw the rings.

And, he asked my Granddaughter post haste to marry him! But, he wanted it to be special so he took her to San Francisco within the week for the special event. He proposed to her on the beach of San Francisco Bay. She was surprised and loved the story about the history of the rings. She is wearing the anniversary ring and perhaps in the future they will redesign a ring with the diamonds from the original matching rings. I like that idea!

 
Of course, Baby Carter was there to witness the event. He was so tiny, he looks like a doll.

 
The happy family. All of us are very blessed.

Mary
 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Lazy Day



But, it is a Holiday!  Have a Great day.

Mary
 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

In Praise Of Friendship

Happy Sunday. It's a BEAUTIFUL SUNSHINE FILLED morning! And, we had rain-showers during the night. We are blessed! 
 
 
Friends are such a God given gift. I have been overwhelmed with the astoundingly beautiful friendships that have shown me such love, joy and kindness during the recent past weeks.  I think I have had more hugs and words of passion (not compassion but real passion) and admiration for what I decided to do for my well being I in the past few weeks. I have received so much love in this short period of time.

My health continues to improve and I am usually able to be patient with myself as I strive to regain my health and work at getting my home returned to a nicely organized haven. Wow, what havoc the past four years have caused in my indoor and outdoor maintenance as well as my personal maintenance. It is difficult enough as the years add up (Remember I'm no longer a Spring Chicken) to stay caught up at home with all the many tasks that need tending to. It seems as though there always is a Honey Do (that's me) list of house repairs and more. More accurately, it is a Me Do list, and always has been.

GOOD NEWS.      The mechanic fixed my car. Expensive, but doable.

                          I repaired my computer. Still need professional
                               tune-up.

                          I bought a cell phone.

                          I repaired both of my Roll-Away screen doors
                               that were broken when someone walked
                               through them.  (Guess who?  Not me.)

                           I replaced my refrigerator water filter that is under
                               the house.

                           Oh, and my home phone is working again. Don't
                               ask me how or why. Perhaps, it was an angel!


Life is good and will even get better.



Mary
 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Weather Is A Changin'

- - - - - - - - At least for the weekend.
 
 - - - - - - - - AS LONG AS IT IS IN MODERATION
 
It looks like we will be getting some more - much needed - rain. Let's hope that it is as much as the last weather system. Perhaps, even more would be nice. But, NOT to much at one time. It's a fine line between enough and too much, that could cause a lot of flooding, especially since we had a lot of summer forest fires this past year.

Of BIG INTEREST, President Obama visited California Central Valley yesterday (near where my Granddaughter lives) to discuss with the farmers/ranchers and political leaders of this area (including Boxer and Feinstein) the issues regarding the worst draught in California for fifty years. Needless, to say our agricultural areas in California are being seriously impacted with the drought.

Subsequently, the rest of the country will feel the negative impact in many financial ways. And, we all know that financial impact is only the top of the pyramid with many secondary, tertiary and more ramifications. Hopefully, the federal government will be of some assistance.

Let's hope that Mother Nature and God will hear our plea. I kind of think that God can work faster than the Government! In about a week, our community is holding a Drumming-Prayer Program at a near-by Recreational Lake area to pray "for just enough rain to end the drought".

Please join us in Happy Rain Dance and Pray for RAIN.

Mary
 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Knitting Right Along

I am so happy to be able to go back to my group of wonderful friends of "Knitters and Hookers" to make Prayer Shawls and other warm goodies to  help soothe the heart when life seems to take an undesirable turn.


It has been months since I have been able to join in with this wonderful group and have not been able to contribute anything lately. However, during this past week I was able to quickly knit (straight knitting - nothing fancy) this scarf. Perhaps, it will bring a little joy to someone who will enjoy a little caring love.


The group was very interested in the color and softness of the yarn.
 
 
The yarn was in my stash and is called  Soft Yarn by Red Heart. The color is Embers.

You can almost feel how yummy soft it will feel around the neck.
It's cozy and warm, too.
 
Random acts of kindness are so enjoyable. Try it - you will like it!

 
Mary
 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Revisiting Monday's Soup Making

 Well, the Potato Soup "left a lot to be desired". Perhaps, the frozen hash brown potatoes weren't as fresh as they could have been even though they were recently purchased. Perhaps, some of my displeasure was the consistency of the soup even though I cooked it longer than called for. It didn't seem creamy enough. I spent some time "doctoring it up" but didn't find any magic potion (seasonings) to improve it much! However, I eventually added a can of cream of potato soup which kind of defeated my effort to make a water based instead of milk based soup. However, that improved it enough to make it eatable. I really am not in a position to throw out food if at all possible.

There are so many yummy soup recipes around blog land and in my many cookbooks. I will be making potato soup again. Probably one with a milk base even though they usually have a higher calorie count. Oh well, sometimes it is worth it.

I am beginning to think that sometimes it may be easier to just make things on the stove top with our standard recipes, especially in my situation as a retired person. This is a wonderful time of the year with the cold weather to have "the soup kettle on".


Now, on to the other soup from Monday's post.

Hearty Mexican Chicken Soup.



Photo from Kraft
 

WOW, that was good. And, you can find the recipe here at
Hearty Mexican Chicken Soup.

Stay warm and eat more soup. It's good for you. OK?


Mary

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Stress - But I Am Cool

What a way to start a day!


The car won't start. Maybe, the alternator?

The phone isn't working. I do not have a cell phone. Too much $$$. Must work on that.

Computer is infected with "National Security Agency Virus" which has locked me out. I am sure my tenaciousness will fix that. Then, must get a professional "tune up".

My Granddaughter is on her way for a visit. Three hour drive, with my eight month old Great-Grandson (now, THAT IS GOOD) but no phone contact available. 
 
As you can see. There is only one direction the day could go. AND IT DID.

After, all was said and done. IT WAS A FABULOUS DAY! Loved ones arrived safely.

My "Little Luv Bug" was born in June this past year. AND, I was there and saw him minutes after he came to us. His mama did a wonderful job and was blessed with a beautiful baby and birth process.
.

This is the next morning after the birth, getting ready to go home. I can hardly believe that I am a Great-Grandma. Not, bad,considering that I have only ONE Grandchild. And, she is a winner. And, baby's daddy is a bright star in all of our lives.


They are a very happy and busy little family. The first two weeks were filled with so much activity. Baby Carter was present for daddy's marriage proposal to mommy in San Francisco, camping trip to the lake over July 4th holiday and 49er game in the City. 


It was such a nice surprise to see this picture this morning that was taken by my Granddaughter yesterday. Need I say more. I am one Very Blessed Lady. Isn't Lily cute as she quietly looks on?

That's it for now.  I am going to do another "Happy Dance"! Will you join me?

Mary

I just can't help myself. I want to leave you with one more picture.

 
The first day home welcomed by the remainder of the family!



.

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 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