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Friday, December 19, 2014

Feeling Emotional Overload



This afternoon is a memorial event for my girl friend who passed away in late October from Cancer.


Puppy kisses are great medicine. 

I will not be posting very often in the coming weeks. I am on a day-at-a-time schedule and can't think into the future. So many areas of my life are in turmoil, emotional charged and disappointing. I need to do a Happy Dance!

Have a Precious Day.

Mary


Monday, December 15, 2014

Happy Happy Happy

This  Zygocactus (Schlumbergera truncata) is bringing me joy and happiness with the start of opening it's flowers!


Interestingly, Zygocactus, frequently called CHRISTMAS CACTUS originated from the branches of trees in South American jungles. Worldwide hybridization has made available the multiple colors of light and dark pink, salmon, fuchsia, white, red and yellow blooms. It blooms naturally once a year around Christmas.

Today, we are having a very overcast day which is making picture taking a challenge.

With all the recent difficult events in my life I am working on staying in the moment and feeling gratitude for all my blessings.


And, this little sweetheart is certainly helping me to Get My Happy On!

I hope your day is a Happy Day.

Mary


Friday, December 12, 2014

Apple Pie

Being of a certain age - gives pictures like this special meaning to me. There was a brief period - ten years - of my life when I was blessed to be able to fully and completely enjoy the joys of creating a warm and loving home for my family of four. It was a joyous time! I feel so fortunate that I have been given that experience that I can reflect on with a smile. I treasure the many things that I learned and continue to enjoy every day.

That said, let's make an Apple Pie!


The grocery store had some lovely Honey Crisp Apples that had just been brought in. Living in the mountains can mean that you don't always have the freshest fruits and veggies. 

Please enjoy with me this picture of all these pretty apples!


These are my beautiful apples!


Stay tuned - next time you see them - they will be in a homemade Apple Pie!

Take a Minute to Slow Down - - - and Breathe.

Mary

     *Sad Update on Medical Condition of friend. Diagnosed with late stage Multiple Myeloma (bone marrow cancer). Unable to receive recommended blood transfusions because his blood is too abnormal to type and cross match which is required prior to each transfusion. Will receive five consecutive days of chemotherapy treatment next week. His son is attending to his needs.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Little Things Can Make Me Very Happy

I am so thrilled to see all those beautiful buds on my Christmas Cactus.


This little cactus was bought last year at Christmas time and I have nurtured it to the best of my ability. Unfortunately, my house does not get very much indoor light from the windows. So, I have kept this cactus wherever it can capture some lovely daylight.  What a thrill when I saw the first bud starting to pop and form. 


Photo taken Wednesday 11/28/14


Photo taken Wednesday 12/10/14

And, Oh My, look at it now! I am so happy that it has continued to thrive. It won't be long and the beautiful flowers will be bringing me delicate beauty and joy. Oh, how I love nature's wonder!

My holiday preparations are coming along slowly but that is quite OK with me. Whatever, I choose to do I am putting full effort in enjoying the process and not a goal. Since I do not have big plans that take big preparations I am blessed with the luxury of pure enjoyment and reflections of the season. 

Wishing each of you a Happy Day.

Mary

Monday, December 08, 2014

Love My Kitchen

Since I was not home for Thanksgiving I decided to make some turkey for myself. This is a recipe from one of you wonderful bloggers.  It is called Crock Pot Turkey. The recipe used a whole turkey breast, however, I was not able to find one at the store. So, I chose to use two thighs and three drum sticks. All dark meat, but that is OK. You simple use some chopped carrots, celery and onion as a little nest for the turkey pieces to sit on. Sprinkle the top of turkey with one package onion soup mix, two tablespoons melted butter and some herbs. I used some crushed dried rosemary. But, there are several different herbs that would work well. And, add a little chicken broth. 


I set the crock pot on high for one hour and then low for five to six hours.


I will have enough for some turkey sandwiches and a casserole or two for the freezer. And, if you strain the liquid you can make a nice gravy.

Now, in my opinion, I would not make this again with legs and thighs. I think it is best to use a whole turkey breast especially if you plan to serve the turkey with some side dishes.

The house sure smelled good with the aroma of the turkey cooking!

Tomorrow I may bake some cookies. Right now, that sounds like fun to me. I am thinking Spritz Cookies.

Take Good Care.

Mary

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Beautiful Advent Church - Service


It was such a lovely peaceful feeling as I entered my Church this morning after walking in the cool morning air and enjoying the beautiful blue sky. Isn't our little country church nice? This is a recent photo. There is a very rich history of this little church that was started in the late eighteen hundreds. Maybe another day I will have a few stories of interest of the early days of the founding of this church at the time of the California Gold Rush.


But, today I want to simply tell you how I was uplifted by the Word of God and the blessings I received from so many friends and wonderful people. The word Fellowship comes to mind. What a beautiful feeling.

I don't always get to church even though it only takes me a few minutes to walk there. If I sit on the right side of the church I can see the tall trees that surround my home through the church windows. Now that is close! I always enjoy walking to church unless on the rare occasion that we have snow.

My day has been filled with peace and delight in being able to rake some leaves in the garden and pathways as well as grocery shopping. I enjoy my home so very much and look forward to the festive days to come. I am grateful!

Peace To All.

Mary

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Looking Forward

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I am looking forward to the future with optimism. God works in mysterious ways. And, I believe the current events will make it possible for me to finally close a chapter of my life and move on to a more meaningful and happy life.

Tomorrow, I am hoping to give some attention to my house and some Holiday decorations. I would love to put up my favorite Christmas tree but it may be a little more than I can handle. I may have to settle for a tree (that I already have) that is prelit with the lights.

This afternoon I was able to put my large Christmas wreath (that I made many years ago) up over the garage door. It is so nice to drive into the drive way and be welcomed by such a cheerful sight!


I would also like to do a little Christmas cookie baking in the next few days. I always enjoy doing that. And, it is fun to share them with others who can use a little cheer!

Wishing you a Festive Weekend.

Mary

Friday, December 05, 2014

Feeling Droopy

Not quite like this - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 


But, more like this - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 


Kinda like one ear down droopy.

Needless to say, I have been on a never stopping circus carousel for weeks.  It's probably more accurate to say almost five years. And, today is a good day to ponder who I am and where I am going. 

The last twenty four hours have been extremely difficult in regards to the excellent medical appointments, the wonderful care at the Retirement Village and the obnoctous abusive behaviour toward others by my friend. His son has been here for which I am grateful. 

This is a good time to put into practice something that I read yesterday.

      "Never miss a good opportunity to shut up!"

So, please sit and visit with me about joyful things and share a cup of Pumpkin Pie Spice coffee. I'll pour another cup. This coffee additive is a little extra treat for me during this challenging time! Extra pampering of myself these days is very nice.


No definitive diagnosis until Tuesday.  

I truly wish you an Excellent Day filled with Kindness and Love. 

                                                   Another coffee?  There is plenty!

Mary  


Wednesday, December 03, 2014

And Four To Go


The local news station was interviewing an 80-year-old lady because she had just gotten married for the fourth time. The interviewer asked her questions about her life, about what it felt like to be marrying again at 80, and then about her new husband's occupation. "He's a funeral director," she answered.

"Interesting," the newsman thought...

He then asked her if she wouldn't mind telling him a little about her first three husbands and what they did for a living. She paused for a few moments, needing time to reflect on all those years. After a short time, a smile came to her face and she answered proudly, explaining that she had first married a banker when she was in her 20's, then a circus ringmaster when in her 40's, and a preacher when in her 60's, and now - in her 80's - a funeral director.

The interviewer looked at her, quite astonished, and asked why she had married four men with such diverse careers.

(Wait for it)
 She smiled and explained, 

"I married one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go."

A good laugh is good for the body and soul! Please laugh with me even if divorce has never come close to your reality. That is a special blessing.

Mary

Monday, December 01, 2014

Home Sweet Home



I am so happy and grateful to be home in my warm and cozy little house with my doggie, Lily.


Returned last evening following three hours driving mostly in rain and sometimes very heavy rain which made it difficult to read the freeway signs. Lily was a very good little traveler even though she requires medication three times a day. She is such a little sweetheart! Well, I guess I have told you that before, right!


I returned home extremely exhausted physically and emotionally. This morning my low back is very painful when I walk. But, everything will be better day by day.

I am thankful that my friend is settling in at the Retirement Village.


This was December 1, 2014 when the Retirement Village had a Monday Night Football Dinner and Raffle. Also, the Calaveras Community Band Played Christmas Music. For as ill as he is he still looks wonderful to me!

He is getting regular nutritious meals along with entertainment and socialization. He is still having difficulty sleeping. On Thursday, he will have his next medical appointment with his GP. And, on the following Tuesday, he will have the follow-up with the Hematologist. I am certainly hoping that the reports are better than what it appears at the present time.

I must never forget the importance of Gratitude.

I truly hope all of you had a Wonderful Thanksgiving.

Mary

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A New Day

I welcome a day to "catch my breath". A little sleep can do wonders for an old - I mean young - lady.


It's a comfort to know that my friend is settled in nicely at Foothill Village. The quality of his voice on the phone sounds so much better. And, his attitude is good. I love these Blessings.

Thanksgiving plans have changed over and over and over again. Really. Now the plan is that my friend will have Thanksgiving dinner at the Village. His son and wife will come this evening and have dinner with him tomorrow and take care of other matters.

I will be celebrating the holiday with my daughter and husband in San Jose which is a three hours drive for me. Because it is only family, my daughter has suggested that we celebrate with dinner on Friday so that I can get a little refreshed before traveling. And, that is wonderful for me. It is amazing what "24 hours" can do for a person! So, today I am doing very little but living quietly in Prayerful Thanksgiving for all my blessings, specifically for the God given strength I have received in this years journey which has been filled with many challenges.



Wishing all of you a Wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.

Mary

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Where Should I Start

The last few days are days that I would NOT like to repeat. Several medical appointments with my friend have been almost daily. He has been seen by the Gastroenterologist, Cardiologist, his G.P. and Hematologist. He is dealing with some very serious issues. He is very weak, not sleeping, no appetite, very low blood pressure and shortness of breath. He  is anemic and is suffering from a shortage of all types of blood cells, red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Blood test for hemoglobin should be in normal range around 13.  He was in the hospital Novenber 1st for 4 days at which time his blood count was 7. He was given two blood transfusions and the count came up to 8.1. Yesterday his blood count was 6.6. At 6PM he got a call from the GP and he referred him to the Hospital Emergency Room (45 minute drive) for more blood transfusions. We got to the hospital at 7PM. They were very busy with a lot of patients waiting. He was taken in immediately because of his serious condition. The transfusion wasn't started until sometime after 11PM. It takes a long time to prep the blood. And then they decided to give a second transfusion. The hospital care has been great! By the time we got back it was 4AM, yes 4AM this morning!.

They would have admitted him to the hospital but an appointment was scheduled for today with the Hematologist and if he was an inpatient the appointment would have to be rescheduled. So, today we were back at the hospital again for the appointment by noon. The fact that they do not have a diagnosis makes it next to impossible to have a treatment plan. A bone biopsy (which is quite painful) was recommended and I encouraged him (told him) to have it today (before he could think much about it) and he did. My nursing background has been extremely helpful for which I am thankful.

By this afternoon, his son arrived (3 hour drive) and my friend was admitted to the nearby Retirement Center where he can receive nursing care and not be at home alone, even though that is where he has wanted to be. His son and I have been working on the arrangements so it would only take a phone call and they were ready for him to be admitted in 2 hours. His son is staying in town. It is GOOD.

Along with all of this, for the past week my phone has been in and out of service. I finally borrowed a cell phone because I do not have one - to much money in this area with few cell towers. I was on the phone with Comcast yesterday and again for a half hour at 4:30AM this morning. The problem seems to be with the under house telephone line. There is more about this very annoying problem. But that is it for now.

She just lost Peoria!



And then, my printer jammed with paper tonight and it was a major repair job for me to figure out. But, I did it!



I hope you are All Doing Well.

It's time for me to get some sleep.

Mary


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Family Excitement

Carter, my precious Great-Grandson is going to have a little sister, come April 2015. I can't begin to tell you how excited I feel. I am so happy for my Granddaughter and her family. It was just a few weeks ago that she told me that she thinks she is going to have a girl this time. And, she was right! The family (both sides) is filled with boys/men and she was really hoping for a girl in spite of the fact that the odds were really against her.  They are so happy.


During her first pregnancy she was very small until the end of the nine months and then she "popped". This time she started "to show" early on.


This is Big Brother as a Lumberjack at Halloween - 16 months old. They grow so fast, don't they? What a cutie pie!

I hope to be able to visit them shortly after Thanksgiving. 


Have a Great Day.

Mary


Friday, November 21, 2014

Shell We Do It



You Lead - I'll Follow. 

No, let's Just Get Wild!

We Have Been Getting A Little RAIN For The Past Few Days. Not a Lot, But It All Helps! Let's Happy Dance!

Mary


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tasteful Results

Yes, the soup was very good especially after a busy day which ended with the medical appointment for my friend. His cardiac medication dosages were adjusted because his blood pressure is quite low. In addition, he has not been able to sleep very much for the past couple weeks. So, the doctor prescribed medication to help him to relax. Let's hope it will help.


Yes, yesterday was a very busy day for me. But, I did get a lot of jobs at home taken care of. I was quite tired when we got home from the medical appointment. But, it was very nice to have hot homemade soup already prepared. I really like the added crunchy texture that the addition of corn gave to the soup. And, the topping of fried bacon crumbles is "a good thing"! This soup is a "winner". The grilled cheese sandwiches "almost got away from me" however, they weren't quite as dark as the photo shows. The shredded sharp cheddar cheese was nicely melted.

If you are a cook, are you feeling like cooking more, now that the weather is changing and getting colder?

Stay Warm, especially if you are challenged by excessive SNOW.

Mary


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What's Happening In The Kitchen

Chickie says that she thinks she is safe and not going into the pot! What a relief. But then, you never know?



The weather says to me "Make Soup". So that is what I did. This Tomato and Bean Soup is a very nice hearty soup that you could easily add all kind of vegetables. Kind of like cleaning out the refrigerator or pantry. Those shelf life "use before" dates can easily sneak up on you if you purchase additional supply when it is on sale. Of course, that probably is not an issue if you are cooking regularly and for a family.


Chickie is singing her happiness that she did not end up in the pot.






Maybe, this will be dinner along with Grilled Chesse Sandwiches. We have a late in the day medical appointment for my friend and maybe this would interest him and be convenient. His appetite wavers so we will see. I like to keep homemade soup in the freezer especially during the winter months. There is enough to freeze some extra servings.

By the way, my friends that received the Pistachio Coffee Cakes were surprised and very appreciative.  I like to sign my cards with "Just Because". It's nice to surprise people with a little happiness. Perhaps, that is part of my Nursing background, and my spirit!

Hug Someone Today.

Mary


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Charm Of Country Living

It is a simple way of living and one that is close to the beauty of nature. 

Following another medical appointment for my friend we drove up the mountain to about 4000 feet elevation and looked around for a place to get something to eat. Since it was a Monday, some places were closed. And, to start with there aren't many places to eat. 


Then I remembered Bristol's which has been in Arnold as long as I can remember and as long as I have lived in the foothills which is 21 years.  Wow, where does the time go?


We were pleased with our food and the service. They seem to get mixed reviews on social media.


Before long and there will be a cozy fire in the fireplace.


There is a strong cowboy atmosphere with lots of memorabilia to peruse.


I have always enjoyed being out and about and it was enjoyable to be out on a beautiful sunny fall day. Day by day the fall colors change and the leaves are falling and there's a little chill in the air. A weather system reportedly is on it's way and we may get some rain in a day or two. California sure needs rain!

Have a Good Day.

Mary

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday Morning Or Mary In The Morning

When I started to write this post name  -  Mary In the Morning came to mind. Click here for lyrics.  The contemporary song was written in 1967 by American songwriter and record producer Michael Rashkow and singer Jonny Cymbal and was sung by many artists including Al Martino, Glen Campbell and Elvis Presley.  Just a little music from my era - long ago! Now you have your trivia for today!

I have heard the song many times.  ;-}

Anywayyyyyyyyyyyyyy -


Mary


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Diversional Therapy

Boy, oh, boy. Do I ever need some diversional therapy and I do not mean retail therapy. But, some place is my home that helps soothe the soul. And, that place is my kitchen. What better activity than to bake some goodies to take to some of my friends. The reason! Just Because!

There are so many wonderful sounding and good looking recipes on the blogs just waiting for me to try them. Nothing much more than sharing gives me comfort.

Very seldom do I make anything that is Pistachio, not because I don't have a fondness for it but I just don't think about it as a "go to recipe". So, today I'm changing that.


I decided to make three coffee cakes instead of one large pan. I like these six inch round pans and use them quite often. They are especially nice when your desire is to share. Good size!


Coming along nicely.


And, there we are "out of the oven" with a little green from the pistachio cake batter showing through the walnut cinnamon topping.


After they cool the fun begins. Getting them out of the pan without destroying the topping will be a little challenge because I want to gift them as a whole coffee cake.
















I did it! And, without too much difficulty.


 Just the way I was hoping with a nice contrast of color.


If you were here we would have some afternoon tea and Pistachio Coffee Cake together. The door is always open.

Take Care.

Mary


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Pretty In Pink

Pink has always been a color that I like especially in my bedroom. I am hoping to do some rearranging in my bedroom before too long. I have quite a few favorites that are already in my room but I want to "change it about".

This is a hat that I decorated way back in the early 90's. In the past I enjoyed doing a lot of different crafty things. Actually, I made several different styles of spring hats for my guests when I served an Afternoon Tea. I don't have the photos handy to share with you of all the ladies sitting around with their tea cups and pretty hats. It was a lot of fun. And, the tea sandwiches and deserts were fun to prepare and tasted Oh so good!

I have always liked hummingbirds and in the past many friends gifted me with hummingbird themed items. I had quite a collection. 

This is a sweet little hummingbird music box given to me by a co-worker years ago.


Isn't SHE stunning? She makes a lovely wall accent piece. A little Foo-Foo, ya think?


And, I use this as a ring and jewelry holder.


I just had to take the time to put together a post that brings me a little joy and prettiness and reminders of lovely days gone by.

Life has been so hectic lately. Perhaps, a little update is in order.

Lily, my precious doggie is doing OK. Her medical situation seems to be stabilized with her medications.

My friend is quite sick. The blood work is still abnormal and he is just coasting along with many medical appointments with specialists such as Cardiologists, Gastroenterologists, Hematologists and Oncologists. I think you get the picture. His son is directing his activities as much as can be done.

And Me. I will be on my way to San Francisco on Friday for a medical consultation with a specialist that I have been waiting to see for a very long time. One thing about living in the mountains is that we have to travel quite a distance for speciality medical care. I will be staying with my daughter in the San Jose area for one night to make the trip a little easier for me. And, my doggie will be going with me!

I probably will not be blogging again until next week.

Ya All, Take Care.

Mary

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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