Welcome to Life Through Bifocals

Life is not always clear and easy to figure out. So grab a cup of coffee and your bifocals and let's see what we can see.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Oh How We Learn!

1. Do you think the world became a more dangerous place on September 11, 2001 or did we just become more aware of the danger? How has your own life changed as a result of that day?
I do not think the world became a more dangerous place since 9/11/01 but that terror came home to the USA. We lived in a bubble up till then. Thinking that the terror that we heard about on the news "Happens someplace else, not here." We had our eyes opened to the fact that EVIL lives everywhere. How has my life changed? I am more aware of the evil and look for it now.

2. Did you think your parents were too strict when you were growing up? How about in hindsight?
Hindsight is 20/20. One can see clearly when you look back. My parents were not too strict at all. My mother was not ready, nor did she want to be a mother, however, she was born at a time when if you were married, you had children.  She would have loved being married without children. My Dad wanted a house full of kids! They were not a good match and did what they could, or needed to do to live together but they did no more than was needed.  As a result we children were often left to our own devices. That was not a good thing!!  It's OK, I understand more now then I did back then and I turned out OK (Thanks to God).

3. Share one random but candid fact about yourself.
I love the heat of summer and the colors of Fall!  Does that make me complicated?

4. Would your nearest and dearest describe you as simple or far too complicated?
Simple, I am what you see. I don't change from work, to home, to church. I am a simple girl with simple likes.

5. What is your favorite stadium or carnival food?
Since I'm a simple girl, I like the snow cones and the fat onion rings.

6. Tornado, hurricane, earthquake...how many of these natural disasters have you experienced? Which event do you think would be the scariest?
Tornado - Yes ------ Hurricane Yes ------Earthquake - No ------ Blizzard - OH YES several times over!
Blizzards are the scariest for me because it's too cold to go outside and you can freeze in your own home. It's too hard to get to any shelter's because the roads are out. With the others, you can get out of the house and walk the streets. Not so with Blizzards.

7. Labor Day weekend is approaching so a work related question seems appropriate. Growing up, did your parents assign you regular chores? Were you paid for doing those chores? If you're a parent do you assign chores to your own children? Why or why not?
Growing up we did have chores and we did get a small allowance for doing them. If we wanted more money, we had extra chores that we could do. We did the same thing with our kids. Small allowance for regular chores and extra money for big jobs or extra chores.

That last question was inspired by a post Mindee wrote on Monday. Everyone go say hi to Mindee-she blogs at Our Front Door and she's funny.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
We had company for dinner last night. That is something we haven't done as a couple in years and it was a true blessing!  We ate late and I'm paying for it today with an upset tommy!  It was well worth it

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Getting ready for Fall

During the Storm that was Irene, I often got on Face Book to see how others were doing and to check on  there pets as some of my friends have dogs that panic during storms.  As you can see from the picture above, Becke was beside herself with worry!  She really doesn't care about much and is so easy going that I find it hard to hear about friends dogs hiding in the bath tub, or under the bed!  My heart goes out to them every time I read the stories of the poor babies hiding and so afraid.
Well, TV was only about the storm, we were safe and so I decided it was time to get out some of the Fall decorations.  After all, all the outside decorations were put away so it seemed just natural to get a jump start on Fall. Plus when I wake up it's in the low 50's and I need to grab a sweater so I'm feeling like it is Fall already. I know we still have 3 weeks of Summer left and man-on-man do I hope we get all 3 weeks of warm weather! I sure don't want to rush the seasons at all!!!

I love bird houses and I have several with a Fall theme so I scattered them around the house, including here in the bath room.

One of the new toy chest's also got a bit of fall color and it's OK if our Grand daughter plays with it.

And of course Becke's feeding center needed some decorations as well. She didn't even notice! She just cared that the food dish had food in it! Go figure!!!     

Are you taking out your fall decorations and putting them around the house?  Even though it's still SUMMER!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Weekend Review:Irene

Here is a picture of Hubby after coming in from the rain!  He had gone outside to push on the windows from the outside because I could not get them closed. They are the kind that crank open.   The wind was strong up here but God was good to us and we are all fine!  Irene was a Tropical Storm by time she hit us. 
The wind and rain did however put the state in Emergency Status so the elders of our church canceled all services and told us all to stay home and stay safe.  We did just that!  Some of our friends lost power and while some got it back fast others didn't.  The entire State of NH had about 100,000 people in the dark, but again we were fine. I thank you all for all your prayers and well wishes. It was nice to know that so many were praying for us. 
Trees very close to the back deck
The biggest issue was Becke, the wonder dog, who didn't think it was very nice to have to go out to "do her business."  She saw the rain coming down and she backed up, unfortunately for her, I was behind her and shoved her out saying "You're a Lab, you like water!" She did not believe me and ran under the deck to do - you know what, then back up the stairs and into the house. She was even willing to give up drinking all together if it meant she could avoid a trip outside in this rain.

We spent most of Saturday getting ready. And by "WE" I mean Hubby. This was the first hurricane in our entire 39 years + marriage that we went through together. All of the past rain storms, hurricanes, blizzards, ice storms, wind storms, tornado's and all other weather related issues, he worked! At one time our house was just over the town line and so he would come home to check on us but then had to go back. He was not a police officer in the town we lived in and that made it hard. He was always there at work, keeping the peace and reacting to alarms while I was home with the children and then home alone once the children were gone to live their own lives. So this was the first one we went through together.
He was fabulous!! He spent a few days taking in all the outside furniture, the statues, flags, trash bins, anything that would or could become airborne. He cut down limbs that may become tangled in the power lines, made sure the chain saw and generator were gassed up and working. He got the car gassed up, cell phones charged, extra water ready, extra food ready. He even designed, and built a cover for the generator so if and when it was needed to be put into use, we could have it safely outside in the rain, covered. Because you know that generators are not suppose to get wet, right?  I find that fact very interesting don't you? The generator is ready to take over but if it's raining, you cannot use it because it cannot get wet! When not in use, the generator cover comes apart and fits inside our garage flat up against a wall.

The frame itself over the generator.

And with the cover. The entire thing fits over a pallet and is connected to it.
 He turned down the temps on the fridge and freezer to keep food cold longer if we lost power during the night. It was so nice for me to only have Becke and her emergency evacuation box to get ready. In years past, I did it all.  Then I waited it out. This time, I went to bed and slept so soundly because Hubby was home!  This was so nice.

So as the winds roared, and the rain pounded the deck (and occasionally Becke) Hubby and I took out our fall decorations and put away the summer decorations. After all, the yard was done all ready so the house might as well get ready too.  Now I have more time in the fall that I don't have to use to decorate!

On my personal challenge, I'm up to 1982 miles! Getting closer every week only 418 miles to go! I find it hard to believe that I am almost done a challenge of 2400 miles -a challenge that began with an initial goal of just 400 miles!
How are you doing and if you were in Irene's path, how did you make out?

Friday, August 26, 2011


Looks like we are in for some major rain!  I hope you are ready. Be safe this weekend those of us on the east coast.

I'm always amazed by the panic that sets in when the weather gets bad. The stores run out of batteries, peanut butter and bread. I don't mean to say don't be ready, you should have a least 3 days of food and water for each member of your home including pets. Have a battery radio, have your cells all charged and generators ready to use if you have them. Don't forget candles or oil lamps ready to use and some games or a few good books to read.

However does anyone really need 12 jars of peanut butter and jelly!  By all means remember that if you need to leave because you are in the path of Irene, so do your pets. Take them with you!

So be safe all and Lord willing I'll see you all Monday.  I hope we all have funny stories about what we did during Irene.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What's a girl to do when she loses her voice?

Monday I had a sore throat while at work. In fact I left early because it hurt to talk and my head hurt.  I went home, canceled my after work appointment, put on my pj's and curled up on the couch for all the sympathy I could collect.
                 I don't get sick a lot...
                                ...But when I do, I want to be taken care of...
                                                   ... Just saying!

I woke up Tuesday and although my throat felt better and my head felt better, when I opened my mouth to talk, nothing came out. Well, that's not quite true, something did come out but it was so deep, so scratchy and so terrible sounding even the dog ran away from me and hid. She thought that either I was possessed by Kathleen Turner or I had a voice of someone who had spent the last 90 years smoking like a chimney. Either way, she wanted no part of me.  After all, only a few days ago she was sick herself.  Her voice didn't change and I didn't get sick all over the living room rug so I'm thinking here that I am the better patient.

I called my boss and let her know that I was keeping my voice home -such as it was. She was glad to hear that- well not really glad to hear my voice but glad she didn't have to listen to it all day at work. It can grate on people, I'm told, to be forced to listen to me for very long.  I stayed home and drank hot tea with lemon and cold protein shakes to sooth my throat. They were very tasty and very helpful for soothing my throat but the voice was determined to not return.

Hubby got on Face Book and loudly proclaimed to all of FaceBookdum  that I was not talking to him and he was not in trouble this time. In fact I think he said something about his conscience being clear and rejoicing over the quiet in the homestead. Allrightythen.

But I am not to be trifled with! I found the "Speak It" App and with just a few taps of the keyboard I was once again telling him that I wanted to watch a movie and could not figure out which remote did what! And this time with a sexy British accent! Don't you hate it when you need 3 remotes to watch one movie? Who invented that sort of torture? Some man I bet because a woman would just pop the DVD into the back of the TV and hit play! So where was I? Oh right, my voice...

No more does he hear Kathleen Turner or smokers voice, now he hears this British voice called Lucy gently telling him to please find me ice cream to cool off my throat or I will read him a story about aliens landing in the fire place and I will change the voice on the app to Klaus, a German male!

So I wonder how this app will work next time I talk on the phone or when I teach my class!  I think this could be fun......

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Questions with Answers and Answers with Matching Questions

Thank you Joyce for this weeks questions, they are a true hodgepodge of questions!
1. What is something that bothers you if it's not done perfectly? 
When Hubby and I go out to eat anyplace and there is a sugar holder, you know, a little basket, bowl or other container that holds those little packets of sugar or sweeteners. I want all the packets in there to face the same direction. I will pull out all the packets and put all the pink ones, all the yellow ones and all the blue ones together and have them face the same direction. I know, nuts! 
2. Do you think a 6th sense exists? Explain. 
I think we all have a gut feeling about something and don't follow it. I think sometimes we have a feeling about something that will happen and so when that something does happen, we are not really surprised. Or we have a good gut feeling about what is a safe thing to do.  We need to learn how to listen to that feeling and act according to it. I think pets have something as well. They are a good judge of character and can often tell if the parents are sick or need something extra. Those of us with pets have seen them work their magic haven't we? So I don't know if that is a true 6th sense or not but I think we are able to do more than we think we can.
3. Do you say your goodbyes slowly, quickly, or not at all? 
I tend to say goodbyes with "Till we meet again" so I guess it's not at all.
4. On a scale of 1-10, with ten being hot hot hot, what level of spice do you like in your food? What's your favorite 'spicy' dish? 
I don't like a lot of hot stuff so I would have to say maybe a 3 and it would be chili soup.

5. What is one of your all time favorite commercial jingles? 
This one:
6. Plane, train, boat or auto...your preferred method of travel? 
Auto, I like to look out at the beautiful land we live in. I like taking our dog with us and I like ground. 
7. What is something you take for granted? 
Well, since I'm taking it for granted, I don't notice it and so I don't know what I'm taking for granted. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I'm planing to take out our fall decorations and get them put up this weekend. I know, it's still Summer but boy does it feel like fall up here. When I woke up yesterday, it was 50 degrees!  Holy Cow, Put on the blanket!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

30 Days and Counting

Did you look at the upper left corner of the blog? It says there are only 30 days until the start of fall. Now that doesn't mean that in 30 days the temps go down and air is cooler and crisper, it doesn't mean it's time to put a fire in the fireplace and make hot cocoa. But it may???????

We live in the upper right hand corner of the USA and so we have all four seasons! I know some of you who live in other parts of the country only get 2 seasons, cooler and warmer. And some of you only get one season - NICE. However we get all 4. The bad thing is we do not get equal amounts of all 4! Winters up here start early and end late while summer starts late and ends early. Spring sometimes doesn't show up much at all and Fall is only a few weeks long before winter starts.

So, for us, fall may just start in 4 weeks. What are you looking forwarded to come fall? The pumpkin soup? Digging out your sweaters or putting the quilts on the bed? I like the fall colors, the dark reds, burnt orange, the rusted yellows and the smells of a fireplace.  But for now, I will enjoy the flip flops on my bare toes, short sleeve shirts, cold salads with grilled chicken right off the barbecue and a whole lot of green! I wish Summer were longer....a lot longer!!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekend Review: The end of August!

Welcome to the last full week of August! Can you believe that we are in the dog days of Summer? Wow the time goes by fast the older I get!  I hope you all are having a great week and that your weekend was fabulous! 

Friday was the funeral for our friend Duane. It was bittersweet as we know he is in Heaven and has received his reward and yet we miss him. We miss his smile and his laugh. It was nice to hear some of the funny stories from his co-workers. That is a part of him we didn't get to see, him at work. His wife gave a beautiful tribute to her Husband. What an example she was standing there talking about her love. When she got up, there was not a dry eye in the building.  How she managed to stand there without falling apart still amazes me. She did cry a little, but composed herself and went on. What a strong, remarkable Christian woman she is!

Saturday the plans were to do a painting project. A big project but Becke, the wonder dog had other plans and got sick all over the living room! And by all over the living room, I mean a total of 8 spots of really huge...well you know! So the entire carpet had to be cleaned. That took a while so instead I painted our small island. Thanks to Tammy from Country Girl at Home I found the same paint and glaze that she used on her large loft project and painted the island instead. I took everything out to the back deck including a fan and went to work.  Here are the photos:

During with the fan going and Becke looking on safe inside.

Back in the kitchen.

 What do you think? I like the Darker red and it goes with the rugs and floor as well. Thank you Tammy for sharing your ideas with all of us.

Sunday was quiet, watch the dog for any further problems, which happily there were none. So she started on boiled hamburger and rice,  watch the grand girls and go to church. 

My personal challenge is plugging along and I am up to a total of 1930 miles with only 470 to go.  So how was your weekend? Do you have plans for this last full week of August.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Seeing God Face to Face

Today is the funeral of our friends Duane Coss. The sky will be bright and warm as the family has this final tribute to their husband and father.  I pray that each of my readers, go and hug a loved one today. Today, while it's still today, tell them how much you love them. Kiss your child, call your parents, and tell your spouse you would marry them all over again and why!
Duane is on the other side, seeing God face to face and rejoicing in His glory. He has fought the fight, run the race and received the crown. We will miss him greatly and look forwarded to the day when "We all get together". Enjoy your weekend everyone.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

One is a Lonely Number

We have one red tomato, just one.
We have a group of green tomatoes.
We have some tomatoes with just a hint of red. 
(Of course you have to blow up the picture to see the red.)
But ALL the rest are just green.

Lots of green!

Nothing But Green!

I know we planted late but really!!
Still, cutting up the one tomato was fun and hubby said  it tasted really good.
Not much of a harvest yet but your welcome to share it with us.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Welcome to my life

1. Using what's in your fridge right now what sort of meal would you be able to make for guests who are knocking at the front door this very minute?
It will depend on the weather, if it's cold out (remember I live in the upper right hand corner of the USA and we have had some cold mornings and cool/chilly evenings) I have all the "fixings" for beef stew. If it's nice out, the grill is ready for steaks, chicken, garden veggies. The freezer has ice cream and the fridge has strawberries.

2. What is something about yourself that you hope will change but that probably never will? 
I worry. I would love to walk around in this life so full of confidence that I worry about nothing, but the truth is, I worry. I worry about things I have no control over and I guess it is what keeps me on my knees praying to God who has control. So I don't think it will change, but I wish it would. 

3. What's something about yourself that you hope will never change? 
I don't swear at all. Even though I hear it all the time!! I have not picked up that nasty habit and hope that I never do. It sounds so cheap I think.

4. Do you usually send serious or funny greeting cards? Why? 
Yes, I pick the card to match the person who it is going to. So if the person really has a great sense of humor, I go with the funny card. If they need the serious card, then that is what I send them.

5. Bird watching, shell gathering, or star gazing- your choice for whiling away the hours? 
Star gazing all the way-from deep in the woods!

6. Do you double or triple check things? If so, what?
 Oh yes!  The doors before I leave the house, the garage door as I drive away and to make sure the coffee pot is off (even though it turns off automatically) .

7. What's your favorite place for people watching? 
Where ever I am is a good place for people watching. I don't have to go someplace special to watch people. I can watch them in the doctor's office, the food store, or the gas station.  People are everywhere!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I love having my retired hubby home!  It's so nice to wake up and he's home. It's even nicer to come home from work and he's home.  He has even taken me in to work so we can spend time together.
My very own Super Hero

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It Can't Be Soup Time All Ready!! Tell Me It's Not!!

Thank you all for your kind words about our friend who left this live for a live in Heaven.  He will be missed here and we look forwarded to seeing him again.  

Monday, it never got out of the 60's and it rained! Not the gentle summer rain where you fall asleep listening to it fall on the roof, no it was the kind that overflows the drains and pounds the cars and roads making it hard to see when you drive. The only good thing was it helped to clean the air of the wicked, wicked ragweed that is killing my eyes and giving me a never ending  headache! I hate allergy season! Oh right, I was talking soup...
So I decided to make soup. Hamburger  Soup! I know it sounds odd but it is really good. Here is the start of what you need. You see you can add any veggie you have which is why this soup is so easy and cheap to make.
1 pound hamburger
1 small onion
2 cups beef broth
2 cups of veggies (whatever you have on hand, I used left over squash, brussell sprouts, cucumber)
Rosemary spice
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cheese (I used Parmesan)

Cook hamburger and onion in a separate pan.  In a large pot put the beef broth, veggies on medium heat to cook. When the hamburger and onion are cooked add it to the pot with the beef broth mixture. Cook for at least an hour or transfer to a crock pot to cook all day.  Top with whatever cheese you have and enjoy. Hubby also added oyster crackers.

Crackers for Hubby

Cheese on mine

As much as I really enjoyed our soup, I do not want to put the grill away yet and I want to continue to wear  flip flops so I hope the sun comes out soon and warms up my toes!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Weekend Review - A Gentle Goodby

A while back I asked you to pray for a friend who was losing his battle with Cancer. I thank you all for those prayers as we all felt the comforting hand of God as He wrapped His arms around our friend.  A 2- 1/2 year battle with cancer ended with his Graduation to Glory on Sunday Morning. While we were in church worshiping the Lord in Spirit, he got to worship the Lord face to face. As we looked up at the sky, we saw the underside of gray clouds while he saw the top side of the beautiful quilt of love that covered our little city.  I know he heard "Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant. Welcome Home." He has a new body without faults and is sitting with our Father and all those who have gone on before him. I wonder what the conversation is between him and Moses!

His wife stayed by his side the entire time showing him and us that the vows they took so many years before, in 1981, still meant something. Her strong example to all of us showed us how a Christian wife stays strong in the face of death.  I've heard it said more than once, that we don't know how to die; that there are no handbooks for that. I disagree, we have the Lord's example on the cross and we have the example of Darby and Duane Coss.  As they faced death, they stayed strong, even smiling at stories. She took care of his needs and stayed with him until the end.

We will miss his humor, his love to us all and his hugs. We know he is in a better place but we hurt for his wife, adult daughters and grandson. They now have to find a way to live life without this strong, Godly man in their lives.  We know we will meet again. We know that he is smiling. We know that God is good. We know that we hurt right now and we know that it's OK to hurt.

Thank you all for your kindness and your prayers.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Recipe of the week: Blueberry Muffins

With all the great blueberries out there are you making great things with them? Blueberry bread, or maybe blueberry pancakes. I made blueberries muffins the other day to go with our coffee - the best Hubby coffee in the world, mind you.

Portion control is key when you are watching your weight so I use a standard muffin tin and in the summer I also use my toaster oven. The pan holds 6 muffins so you would think that it takes a bit longer to cook but it doesn't. The toaster oven heats up fast and so in about 30 minutes, I have the muffins all done.

To keep them low carb, I use Carbquick as the base and did use the recipe on the box for this batch but you can bet I will change things up next time. I have to order the Carbquick on line because no one up here sells it but there are many stores in the south that sell it (or so it claims that on line when I Googled Carbquick stores). Can you get it where you live?

Blueberry Muffins
2 cups Carbquick
2/3 cup 1/2 & 1/2 (or cream)
1/3 cup Splenda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 Tablespoon Oil
1 egg
a little bit of water if needed to blend

Mix all then gently fold in 1/2 cup Blueberries. Fill muffin pan 2/3 full and bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes.  Let cool for a bit before removing from pan.  Enjoy.

What Blueberry recipe do you love?  How about making some for your family this weekend!  Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Take Your Camera For A Walk Day

I was walking around my house the other night with my camera in hand and thought I would share with you some of my favorite things.

This hangs on our back deck.
This hangs over the stove.
This is over the kitchen counter top and near the toaster.
This is right next to the front door.
And this is on one of the kitchen walls
I guess I really like sunflowers and the darker colors  that I see in all of these things.
And this is hanging on our deck. It says "Friends like flowers give pleasures just by being there."  I consider you all friends because you bring joy to my blog by just being here. Thank you all for stopping by and a double thank you for those that leave comments. 
So take your camera for a walk and show me what you have hanging around.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge: What If.....

1. If you could work for any one government agency which would you choose and why? (if you're in the US here's a helpful list)
No list needed thank you. I would work for Area 51!  Of course it's not on any list, it doesn't really exist but we all know it's a real agency and so I want to be part of it. 

2. How difficult is it for you to forgive someone who refuses to apologize?
Depends on what they did and if it was the first time they did it or the 100th time they did it. I know that God wants me to forgive every time, but the human in me would have a hard time to trust them.

3. What is your favorite meatless supper?
Stir fried veggies over pasta! In fact it was Tuesday's supper.  

4. Wednesday August 10th is National Lazy Day...will you be celebrating? If so, tell us how so we can be lazy too.
I have a really hard time doing NOTHING! I can't sit still very long and it's the reason I get in so many miles towards my personal challenge.  So for me to do nothing, I would have to be tired up, gaged, and perhaps drugged.

5. As a child did you have any special back to school traditions and if so, what were they? If you're a parent did you carry on those traditions with your own children?
A a child we would get some new crayons, pens, 3 ring binder with paper and dividers and maybe a new lunch box. My older sister got new clothes (I got her hand me downs) and we got new shoes.  Since our children were opposite sex the youngest did NOT get the oldest clothes.They both got new clothes, shoes, bags, and the schools would have a list of supplies they needed for each class so we got all of that.  Dinner was always something different and a favorite with some kind of dessert.

6. Write a summer tongue twister.
Joyce Juggles Jam Jugs.  My tribute to Joyce the creator of the Wednesday Hodgepodge.

7. Would you be interested in observing a surgery or do you turn away when the nurse brings out the needle?
Many years ago there was a deaf woman having a c-section and needed an interpreter. I was that person and I was seated by her head.  At one point, she said to me "Go look, can you see the baby" so I got up and looked. It was pretty cool and the doctor moved the skin back a bit more so I could get a good look. I didn't pass out!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
We (and by we I mean Hubby) just installed a ceiling fan in the kitchen. Some of my friends laughed because fans and me don't seem to go together since I like it hot. But I also love moving air (even hot air) around. Thank you hubby for taking one thing off the "Honey Do List".