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, October 31, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge- 100 weeks old today.

Happy Birthday to the Wednesday Hodgepodge. It's 100 weeks old today.  After a weekend of Sandy, it's nice to have something "Normal".

1. What creeps you out?

Spiders! Any size, any length of legs, any color. Really don't like them at all. I know God made them and they serve a purpose but really don't want to know.

2. What's your least favorite candy?

Black licorice!  Red is wonderful but black is not my favorite at all.

3. Are you a fan of scary movies?  What's the scariest movie you've ever seen?

No - I don't like to be scared so on Halloween I like movies like Casper the friendly Ghost
The scariest movie that I've ever seen is " The Shaggy Dog" The original one. I had a ring just like the one in the movie that I got in a box of Cracker Jacks and was sure I was going to turn into that dog.  I know, don't judge me but I will not watch the movie even now when it plays on cable.  

4. What part of life confuses you the most?
I am confused by "cruelty". I don't understand how we as people can be so mean to other people. I'm not talking about getting mad and saying something hurtful or even hitting when someone gets mad. The type I don't get is how can someone kidnap anyone and torture them to death, or rape someone, or beat them to death. I used to watch some of the cop shows when the evil character would do something so terrible and then I would hear the story was based on real facts, I shake my head and can't wrap my head around that type of behavior. I understand that evil lives in this world and yet, it still confuses me. It hurts me. It hurts my heart.

5. Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, poppy...what's your favorite seed?

Poppy seeds are my favorite as in lemon poppy seed muffins/bread. YUM

6. Imagine your life ten years from today...what's changed?
Wow, this was one of those exercises I had in school and always had a hard time with looking into the future.  I mean, only God knows my future and no matter what I want, He knows the plans He has for me and I need to be open for His plan.
 Here is what I hope to see: 
In 10 years our oldest grandson will be 18 and graduating from high school. I want to watch that one and all of our grandchildren graduate from high school andcollege. I want be at the weddings of all of them, but the question was about 10 years.  
I hope that Gerry and I are still together and I am finally retired and living the life that Hubby has now. 
I hope that we still live in the Northeast near our grandgirls and our friends and church family.

7.  What do you a) love the most and b) like the least about the Hodgepodge? 
Love that one day a week, I have questions all ready for me to answer and can then go around and see who else thinks like me. That is so cool to see that others have had my experiences or feel the same way as me. That makes me "normal" and I proudly tell Hubby that I am "Normal". 
Least like:  That at least one question is so thought provoking that I put more thought into that one question than I do for some of my entire blog post.  Some days thinking is just too hard!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I know that others are still out of power either because of rain or snow. I've seen the photos on the news, I've read the stories on FB. I can only imagine your suffering and pain as some have lost loved ones because of this storm. Still, I know that God is good and has not forgotten anyone.  My prayers are with you. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Well the truth is we never lost it, but it wasn't for Sandy's lack of trying. Our lights flickered and the TV went off and on again but in the long run, we kept our power.

We had started the pellet stove to bring the house temperature up in the house because if the power does go off, it takes a few minutes to get the generator going and everything plugged in so we wanted the house a bit warmer which August loved and Becke tolerated.

Gerry got the generator ready to start because the last thing he wanted to do was to start putting it together in hurricane wind and rain. This way all he had to do was go out there, pull the start cord and plug in everything we need to "rough it" in the country. 

Did you know that you can't get a generator wet!!!  When do you need the generator to work, well when it's raining, when it's snowing and other times when most likely the generator will get wet!  So Gerry created this tent cover for it and it worked really well until the winds hit close to hurricane strength and then one of the legs on the bottom broke so he was out at 9pm working on it.  

Today, if the stores are open, he will go get new parts and fix it.  Then, hopefully we will be ready this winter and loose power then.

The winds were pretty bad here and we took August out on a leash to "go" because I was pretty sure he would become a balloon and be lifted away.  He didn't want to go out but since I do not have an indoor tree for him, he had no choice. Becke went out, did whatever and came in as fast as she could. she is no fool!! They both gave up drinking because what goes in must come out and they didn't want to go out!!  Smart dogs.  This morning, they emptied the water dish so I feel pretty safe in saying it's over for us here.

Thank goodness for Face book because that is how we kept in touch with so many to make sure they were safe and to pray for many who were stuck at work and others trying to drive home in such a mess.  Love technology! 

There are still a lot of people out of power, and for many the roads to work are blocked and they can't get to work if work is even open! Our road seems to be open because I see a car here and there going down it. At least I hope it's open and those cars are not just neighbors turning around and going home!   It's a mess up here but compared to NY, NJ and MA we are golden.  

When the sun comes up and we can get out, we will take local photos and post them but we are fine.

My prayers are will all of those who are not fine, or even OK.  God be with you all.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Red Sky in Morning....

This is what we woke up to on Sunday morning. I guess if the old saying is true, then we better take warning.  The news reports tell us that Hurricane Sandy will be of some trouble to us by Monday afternoon.  For many south of us, they are getting the full brunt of the Hurracane but up here in NH we are going to get the wind and rain. Power outages are expected and schools were being called off Sunday night.
So for those in the direct path, my prayers are with you and may you all be safe.  I will be looking at your blogs to see if you still have power and if you are all safe.  I suspect that most of the blogs that I read will be about the storm and what it did and didn't do to their lives, their homes and their families.

We spent most of the time this past weekend getting ready. I don't know what "getting ready" for a storm means to you but for us is meant putting away anything outside that can become airborn. Taking photos of the house and yard, in case we need them for insureance claims later. Getting the generator ready, batterities, extra water, extra food, making sure the oil was ready for the lamps, got caught up on laundry, cleaned the house, took the flags down from outside and filled up the car with gas and got some cash out of the bank.

I also made sure that the dogs had all their food ready as well. Since I cook for them, their meals are in the freezer and we have some good quality kibble as well for them. Their evacuation kits are ready to leave if we have to.

I pray that Monday morning finds you all safe. I know that I will be watching tv a lot to see how Sandy is moving and where she makes landfall.  Be safe all and I will be looking forward to seeing my prayers answered and that you are all safe.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Getting Ready for Fall/Winter

Our stove was really cooking a few weeks ago.
How do you get ready for the fall and winter weather? If you live in the south, you may not do much at all. Our Daughter-In-Law lives in San Diego and she gets ready for the Fall/Winter season by putting out the different season placemats, moves the long sleve tee shirts from the back of the closet to the front and digs out the socks!  That is pretty much it!  How about you?

It was cleaned on Thursday and given a light coat of paint. Doesn't it look great!

Up here, it's a bit more involved and takes several weeks to finally really be ready and of course there is a checklist that is used.  

Do you have a checklist? How are you doing on it? Do tell? Some how,  I think our daughter-in-law's way sounds easier.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Last of the Double Digets

This is the last week of a Hodgepodge in the double digits, next week we will be in the Triple Digits!  Oh my.  So let's get this going. Click on the button to join the fun over at Joyce's blog or answer them here.

1. So, do you like beer?
No. I don't drink at all. My dad was an alcoholic and I saw first hand what an alcoholic can do to a family. I made a very conscious desision to not have it in my family.

2. What's your least favorite repetitive task?
photo from Google

Picking up after the dogs. It's just Yucky especially in the winter when it's frozen to the snow. However, it must be done-often. If only I could teach them this!!!

3. When was the last time you rode a bus? Where was it headed?
This was in San Diego, CA, when our youngest grandson was born. We went on this tram/bus thing all over the park. It was great fun sight seeing on this when we weren't hugging our grand sons of course. This grandson will be 5 years old this November.  Where does the time go???

4. What song from your childhood or from your own children's childhood could make a parent's nerves stand on end?
photo from Google

The Wheels On the Bus!  Really, it would drive me nuts to sing this with the kids.

5. The US Presidential election cycle is drawing to a close (can I get an AMEN??), and the third and final debate was held last night...what was the last thing you 'debated about'?
My last debate was with my husband and the fact that he has not had a hearing test EVER! And I think he needs one because I think he is hard of hearing and since he didn't hear the debate, he lost right?

6. Can a person make too much money? How much is too much?
A person can make anything they want as long as someone is willing to pay that price. This is a free country. I may not agree that baseball players are worthy of such large sums of money, but if the team is willing to pay it then I say "Go for it". I can live on a lot less so I don't know how much is too much after all we see people all the time spending money on what to me seems really stupid things. Does anyone else remember the toast with an image of Jesus in it and it sold for how much??? But again, as long as someone is willing to spend that amount, then go for it.  I may not agree, but I will never stop you from earning or spending your money.

7. Pop-soda-coke-something else...what's it called where you live?
Tonic and also soda. Both names up here mean the same thing.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I am SOOO enjoying the fall colors here during the day and the smell of a fire at night. I love curling up in a warm bed and drifting off to dream land. Life is good people-Life is good!

Now it's your turn. Answer the questions and let's learn about each other.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekend Review:

The Sorting Hat from our Harry Potter Party!

Holy Summer Heat Batman!! It got up to 74 degrees on Saturday up here!  People were back in shorts and flip flops. It was heavenly! I did something very important. I taught Dog 1st Aid/CPR to the grooming students where I work. It is something that I feel is very important, if you have a pet, things can go wrong and knowing what to do can save a life.  The students were very good and asked really good questions. It was a fun day. 

 After that, I began to rake our back yard and as you can see it really needs it!  The beautiful colors are all over the ground!  Both Becke and August had a good time hanging out with me and especially running in the leaves. August picks them up on his hair and brings them into the  house where of course they fall off and lay on the floor and the rugs.
Oh! And he is still bringing in those pesky TICKS that we are still pulling off of him.
And killing them.
What a silly boy he is.
Sunday, was not as nice out but I still managed to get some more raking in, after worship at church of course.  Then some light house keeping and watching Halloween movies while I knitted and of course the Sunday afternoon nap!!

I don't know how many good weather days we will get before the cold and "snow" shows up, but I plan on enjoying every day no matter the weather. 

How was your weekend?  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Making coffee go farther

One of the nice things about having these kinds of coffee makers is that everyone can have the coffee that they want.  Or the tea. Or the hot cocoa.  Anyhow, it seems to work for us.

Hubby got one of these shelve things to hold the coffee/tea/cocoa and I love it. It doesn't take up any more space than the coffeemaker and I don't have a lot of counter space so that is important to me. It also holds a lot.

See, it holds a total of 30 cups.  One of the bad things that I don't like about these coffee makers is the cost per cup. The coffee and tea is pretty strong and cost per cup can be as much as $.70 per cup. Hubby looks for sales and gets that cost down to $.50 per cup. Still, that is a lot for this Scottish lady.

 Our coffee maker has 3 options so this is what I do make it more cost efficient for us. I take the coffee of my choice and place it in the coffeemaker but instead of placing a coffee cup under it, I place this.

It's a large measuring cup and fits just right, then I press the largest cup possible  and brew that. Then I press the same cup size again and brew it again. And to make sure I get all the coffee possible out each K-cup I then press the smallest size last.  All the coffee is blended together, I add my cream and sweetener and  I get 2 full travel cups plus a little to have right away.  None of it is too strong, none of it is too weak, it's all "Just Right!"

I figure this way that $.70 per cup coffee is down to between $.23-$.24 each.

Now that makes my morning coffee worth it.

With the cost of everything going up - How do you save on everyday items? 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge-Vol 98!!

Can you believe that Joyce has been doing this for 98 weeks!  How amazing is that!  Thank you Joyce and come on people, join us in the fun.

1. Noah Webster was born this week back in 1758....besides the online version, do you own a dictionary?  Do you ever use the hardback copy or is your hunt for a definition strictly online these days? 
Yes, I do have a paper back dictionary but I never use it anymore. I either use the app on my phone or I will start to write it on Google and use the corrected word there. I also married a spell-check genius! 

2.  Should public schools ban Halloween celebrations?  What about other holiday celebrations currently under fire?  
NO! Schools should not ban Halloween celebrations. They are a fun time to be a kid but I do think that costumes should be regulated so that kids don't show up in either "Hooker" type outfits or way over the edge with blood and gore.
As for other holiday celebrations, I guess it depends on the holiday. I'm all for the ones dealing with all Americans but not the ones that only pick one segment of the people. And forget all the days off because of the holidays.  We don't need more holidays OFF from school because the kids are celebrating "Teacher's Union Day" or something silly like that!

3.  What's your favorite 'dog' movie?  
I like "Cats & Dogs". Cute film where no one gets really hurt. Some of the dog movies has some dog die or get really hurt and that just breaks my heart.  And they have a Chinese Crested in the cast.  

He's a Hairless and I have a Powder Puff, but still, he's a Chinese Crested.

4.  When were you last somewhere you'd describe as 'too quiet'?
I have no idea where that would have been. I enjoy the quiet and love listerning to how quiet how life can be.

5.  Are you a neat cook or a messy cook?  In other words do you clean as you go or make a big mess and then deal with it later? 
I am a clean cook. I clean up as I go and only leave a few things behind so that I can eat while it's all still hot. Then as soon as the meal is over, I am in the kitchen cleaning up the rest. I don't like to see a dirty kitchen at all

6.  Did you hear about Felix Baumgartner, the skydiver who broke the sound barrier via parachute?  Was your first thought  COOL! or was your first thought CRAZY!  Are you adventurous? 
Hear about it?? I was glued to my seat watching it live! How wonderful it was to watch. My first thought was WOO HOO!! Go Felix!  
I'm not THAT adventurous! I enjoy a rush where my feet are on the ground not 128,000 feet above it.

The small dot in the lower right photo was Felix free falling to earth. 

7.  What's not a word but should be? 
ginormous (adj): bigger than gigantic and bigger than enormous

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Well, I bet a lot of people will be talking about the weather. Up here in NH, it's Fall Foliage season and the motels/hotels/B&B's are all filling up with people who come to our state to see all the leaves.  The temps have been in the mid 50's - mid 60's and the air at night is full of the smell of wood stoves cooking away. It is all very beautiful and the income for so many businesses is a much needed boost to our economy.  I hope you all get some hot apple pie, or apple cyder or apple tarts - Hey Joyce, there's a hodgepodge question here: What is your favorite way to eat apples?  Pie/Cyder/Tarts/Fresh?  

Now, it's your turn. Answer the questions here, or go to Joyce's blog (click on the button above) and link to her blog. Have fun.

Monday, October 15, 2012

What a Weekend!!

I hope your weekend was full of love, laughter, family, and friends. Around here I got it all!
Saturday I started the day getting my flu shot. Have you had yours yet?  In fact I got the Pneumonia/Flu shot that is good for 5 years!  It was one shot only and the Dartmouth Hitchcock clinic in our area had a flu shot clinic. The line was very long-but it moved fast. There was a line for adults and about 15 people giving out the shots and then there was a child line. I was in and out in under 20 minutes.

Then later that day I had the privilege of getting together with some co-workers for a Harry Potter Party! One of the co-workers has never seen the movies so for the past 4 years, there has been a Harry Potter Party and one of the movies has been shown. They are played in order so this year it was the Goblet of Fire. That is one of my favorites and as luck would have it, I was able to attend.

Here is the group of us and of course when we get together, there is food. In this case Hogwarts food!  It was funny and great. One of the ladies made us all wands!  Can you see in the photo below with them all. And of course, what would a Harry Potter Party be without the Marauder's Map that the hostess got when she went to Hogwarts at Disney!  Oh my, it is gorgeous.

Later that night, my arm was hurting a bit and I figured it was a side effect of the shot. Since I was worn out, I went to bed early. I didn't sleep very well however, because every time I rolled onto that arm, the pain woke me up.
By morning, I was one yucky feeling lady. The flu shot did give me a mild case of the flu. I stayed home from church, bundled up under a quilt, with the pellet stove going, and the house at 78 degrees, resting.  I was very glad that both dogs were willing to just hang out and sleep most of the day.  Hubby got me things to drink, cold things to drink as my voice sounded really sore and my throat was feeling scratchy.
I did get to watch history being made. Did you see it? Were you watching it live?
I'm talking about Felix Baumgartner's Historic jump from the edge of space!
That little dot in the lower right is him free falling from over 128,000 feet (something like 24 miles)

Watching this brought back the feeling I would get watching the space ships take off from Cape Canaveral. They used to show it live, and all the tv channels would carry it and everything would stop so that people could watch it.  I remember being in school and the teachers would gather us in the rooms that had aTV in them and we would sit on the floor to watch the brave men who walked out of the hanger and into the space crafts. We all then held our breath while we counted down the final 10 seconds and then prayed as the ship took off.  Watching this record breaking sky dive brought back this feeling. How much training did this take? What creativity to even think of doing this.

The man who was part of his team was Joe Kettinger, now 85 years old. He had set the record in the past (1960) that Felix was to break today. Joe was the only person talking to Felix up in the capsule that he was in. For me, it was amazing to watch and I'm so glad I got to watch it on live TV.  

So, for Monday, I am working from home and taking my MucinexD and hoping this bug leaves me fast because I was told to get the flu shot and I did, and now I have a mild case of it. I guess that is better than having a full blown flu but man is this wearing me out.  Stay healthy my blogging friends and get your flu shot. Hubby got his and didn't get a reaction like I did so you all may be just fine getting it.  Talk to you all soon.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge:

Joyce did a great job once again coming up with the questions. All we have to do is come up with the answers. Come play along with us.

1. In what ways do you indulge yourself?

I am very good to my self. I love long bubble bath, complete with candle light and soft music. I have a Dunkin Donut's card that gets refilled often and I can grab a hot coffee and whatever else I want on a whim.
I am treated like a queen by my Hubby and have complete control of the thermostat which, if you knew me is a big deal because I like a warm house. I will turn it up to 80 without thinking about it!! That is pure indulgence.
photo from Google

2. Have you ever taken a cooking class? Any interest? What type of class would you most like to try?
A long time ago, my mother wanted to learn how to cook real Chinese Food but her eyesight was failing her. She paid for me to go the class and we practiced the homework together every weekend.  It was very fun and we enjoyed the homework.  It was really a good time between mother and daughter.  If I could take ANY type of class it would be maybe a quilting class or knitting class. If the question is about cooking class then bring on the baking class!

3. What does it mean to be a good citizen?
Good Citizenship is more than just paying the taxes, or voting. It's really wanting to be here. It's learning the language of the country you have chosen to live it. It's learning how to use the money of the place you have chosen to live in. It's working for a living and not depending on others to pay your way and to use the help that you do get in a truthful way. Being a citizen is not about what you can get, but what you can give to others. It's being so proud of what you have now that you want to share it, you are willing to fight to save it.

4. 'Tis the season of the political advert...do these ads influence your vote?
NO! In fact, I'm pretty sick and tired of them. They all seem to be spreading the truth very thinly and sometimes our-and-out lying to everyone.
Photo by Google

5. What's something you see today that makes you wish you were a kid again?
I remember being a kid, I don't think there is anything today that would make me want to go back. I'm young at heart and if I see something I want to do, I'll do it.

6. What's your least favorite cliche?
Oh My! If you knew me like I know me, you would know that I have Malapropism and cannot say a cliche to save myself.  Hubby proof reads my blogs a lot, especially if I know I have tried to use a cliche and most of the time can fix it, but after 40+ years of marriage, every once in a while even says "WHAT??"  So I guess I don't have a least favorite, since I will mix them up anyways.

7. What percentage of your Christmas shopping has been completed? How does that make you feel?
40% done.  I love that it is done early. Here in NH shopping in winter can just be hard and for some reason, I will end up with the shopping cart with the one wheel that does nothing but spin around and squeak so that I can't move forwarded correctly and will make a lot of noise in the process. And of course I will have to pull the cart to the car since it will not move in the slush that is deposited in the parking lot. I love that come winter, I can sit by the fire with my feet up and sip my tea watching the news and all those shoppers stuck in the snow.
Photo by Google
8. Insert your own random thought here.
Of all the questions on the list today, this one was the hardest. My random thought is that I'm out of random thoughts. I think I'll take a nap instead.

This was fun, how would you answer the questions?  Join in the fun.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pet Peeves - we all have them

We all have pet peeves right? Tell me that you have at least one please! Maybe it's the driver who never uses their directional signal and cuts you off. Or maybe it's the person who leaves the toilet seat up. There are a lot of them.  One of mine is kids who are not taught how to be around dogs.

I mentioned yesterday that August did really well meeting people and not barking. He is timid and gets startled easily. The problem is not that he startles easily, the problem is he doesn't recover from it.  He will continue to bark, long after the fact.  We have been working very hard on that, giving him lots of space between him and the world and moving slowly towards anything he is unsure of. We tell others that they can NOT pet him. His hair is soft and flowing and beautiful but it's not to be handled by anyone who just wants to feel it. It feels like hair, freshly washed hair!
We have walked into and out of many places because all August could take was a few minutes of the location.

Saturday, after Give-Away Day we were walking back to the car. I saw a little boy playing the parking lot with a friend and as he came up towards us he asked "Can I pat your dogs?" I was thrilled that this little boy knew to ask and since Becke was already walking up towards him I told him that Becke would love a quick visit. August started to back up and so I said that I would pick up the little one because he was done visiting. As I was bending over to pick him up the little boy got on his hands and knees and said "look what I can do" and imediatly moved into August's face and began barking like a dog - very loudly!  August backed up and barked right back at him and he laughed saying that he does this all the time to his Yorkie and his dog barks back too, how funny!  It was clear he wanted to be with August, not Becke.

I grabbed August off the ground and looked at the boy saying that I dont' know who ever told him that it was funny but it's not and how would he feel if someone who was a lot bigger than him got 2 inches from his face and began to yell at him.  I told the boy that it was a mean thing to do to any dog not just little ones. At that I  called Becke to me and walked away.  It all happened in a matter of seconds. But it did happen to one little dog who has a problem recovering from being startled and this little boy did startle my little dog. By time I got to the car the little boy was off playing with his friend.

August didn't bite him which I'm glad about, but that could have happened. Would this boys parents then find it still funny? Most likely not and August would be blamed.
I told August that the outburst he gave, didn't count towards his great day!! He still walked up to many people letting them pat him. He climbed up a few of their legs and wagged his tail like mad!

He is a little dog, he is trying to recover from being startled and let it shake off his back. He is working hard and doing a great job.  I see in him the ability to reach out to many. I see a bigger future for him.

So here is my Pet Peeve - Parents, don't let your kids yell at dogs, it's not nice.

OK I'm off my soap box now. Thank you for letting me vent.  What is your pet peeve?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekend Review: Yes the sun did come out!!

After almost a week of rain and temps in the low 60's and raw, it was nice to see the sun for the Church's big Give-A-Way Day on Saturday.
You can bet there was a lot of praying going for the sun to shine on us and it did! In fact the temps went up to high 70's. It was a great day.

Every Year for many years now, the members of the church gather stuff. We clean out our attics, garages, cellars and even ask other to donate to our Give-A-Way Day. It takes us a month to gather it all up and fill a huge trailer. Look at the huge TV that someone just wanted to give away!!

Then we set it all out, invite the neighboornood and give it all away!!  Many men show up with their trucks and offer to pile the big stuff into the trucks and deliver it to the homes of people who want it.

 People came and we handed out bright orange reusable shopping bags with information about our church and helped them find things. Some were looking for winter clothes for their family. Others were looking for toys - the bikes were taken first!

I was in the toy section and helped many finds toys for the little ones in their care.  Once the croud thinned out a bit, I went and got the "kids"  They visited, did their "Therapy" bit of letting others pet them and even August surprised us with how calm he became!  I do believe that he will one day make a really cool, albeit small, Therapy Dog.

Friday Night, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning were also part of a Gospel Meeting. "Your Place in His Story" was the theme. The speaker was Shawn Daggett, the son of the man who started Give-A-Way Day many years ago.  It was right to have Shawn here and it was a great weekend. The colder temps are back and there is rain in the forcast again this week, but WOW what a great weekend we had.