Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Peaceful Still Waters


Less than two months of intense medical care and we had to say goodbye after five years. A peaceful passing closed the final chapter of a fully lived life of 86 years.  Yes, a handsome man who acted and looked younger than his years and was in excellent health most of his life. It was special to be "The Love Of His Life" even with the rough edges of life's demons that came to haunt us so often. Look at that beautiful smile, he was so happy when he could be with me!


Rest In Peace

3/22/1928-----12/30/2014

I am a different person and perhaps better for having known you at this time in my life. Thank You!




PEACE AND LOVE.

Mary

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Holidays 2014



Wishing Each and Every One of you Happy Holidays and A New Year Filled with Lots of Excellent
 Days.



Some of my favorite Holiday Ornaments.
    

Mary


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

One Potatoe Two Potatoe Three - - -

Since my time is very flexible at this time I thought this would be a good time to try a new recipe and prepare a side dish of Buffet Mashed Potatoes that can be made ahead of time, refrigerated or frozen and then baked just prior to serving time.

I am also going to use a ricer that I have had for a long time but never used. Can you imagine that? An unused kitchen toy!

Scoop the baked potatoes out of the skins.


The ricer worked very nice and is suppose to make the potatoes smoother. The only thing I will mention is that my hands are not as strong as they were in the past and it takes quite a bit of pressure to push the potatoes through the ricer.



Sour cream is blended together with the potatoes until smooth.




Then add some finely diced onion, 3 eggs, 3 tablespoons flour, kosher salt and (white) pepper into the potatoes-cream cheese mixture until smooth.

At this point the potatoes can be placed in a casserole or two or three. And, either refrigerate or freeze until you are ready to use.

Looks pretty good to me! Nice and creamy with all that cream cheese. This will be the first time for me to use cream cheese in my mashed potatoes.


Before you bake in a 325 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes place some pieces of butter on top.



This is a little picture of the author's (Polly Clingerman) baked Buffet Mashed Potatoes. I am optimistic that the flavor will be as good as the comments claim.


I'll let you know how they turn out -  after the holidays.

            

Have a Happy Day.
   
Mary


Monday, December 22, 2014

Do You Like Celery

Boy Oh Boy! Do I have a recipe for you!
I have made this several times and always receive lots of positive comments. I think the recipe has been around for a long time. It 
is something a little different. The water chestnuts give it a nice crunchy texture.


Celery casserole with toasted almonds and water chestnuts


4 cups sliced celery, (sliced 1-inch)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup diced pimiento, drained
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted*
2 tablespoons melted butter

Cook celery in salted water until just tender but still a little crisp, about 8 minutes. Drain and combine in a bowl with water chestnuts, soup, and pimiento. Pour into a greased 1-quart casserole dish. Combine bread crumbs, almonds, and melted butter; sprinkle over the casserole. Bake at 350° for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
Serves 4 to 6.
*To toast nuts, spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in a 350° oven, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes. Or, toast in an ungreased skillet over medium heat, stirring, until golden brown and aromatic.

I hope you try it and that you  like it.
Happy Cooking.

Mary

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Too Many

Are you eating too many Christmas cookies?


Yep, I thought so!

Have a Beautiful Sunday. I am on my way to church. All I have to do is walk across the street and down the road just a little. I am blessed!

Mary


Saturday, December 20, 2014

German Pancakes

So easy to make and so good to eat.




Just a little sinful indulgence! And, especially good on a rainy Saturday morning.




Hope your day and evening are Fabulous.

Mary


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

.

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


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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