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.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekend Review -

"What're you up to mom and does it include a cookie?"
It was just so nice this weekend.  The sun was out, the temps were in the 60's, I had energy, and the "To Do" list needed to be attacked.

The only thing that could have made it better would have been to have Hubby home with me but he was out of town on a Lectureship, so it was just me and the dogs and we went to work.

Remember last weekend we had a few teens stay with us while they were attending the youth rally?  Well, we did pick up after them but we didn't clean up. So I did that.  I also moved furniture around and opened up the room a bit.  I took one small table we had down there and moved it to the back deck to use as a  table next to the grill.

Then I began cleaning the kitchen and changing a few things there as well.  Saturday, I finished changing a few things.
Kitchen before
Kitchen after
I love the color dark red and love having it around me.  Since I had some red paint still around and it IS possible to paint the counter tops I did so.  

Another view before
Another view after
Then I went to the back yard and put up August's agility equipment.  He enjoys most of the obstacles (he has had 2 bad experiences on the see-saw so he avoids it now. I have a small one that he is getting use to again. Poor baby.

Agility equipment runs behind the grand girls  play station
The see saw at it's lowest, we have other legs to make it taller once  he gets use to it.
When Gerry got home and saw all I did, he was surprised and helped me with the arbor that fell down last fall.  It fell during a wind storm, then it froze to the ground, then it got snowed on, then it got snowed on a LOT MORE. Finally it appeared but it was showing signs of wear so Hubby tightened up the screws and we cleaned it up and repainted it black.  Once it dries we will get it back in the ground so that the flowers can climb it again this summer.

It was a great and busy weekend and boy did I need the naps that I took.  How was your weekend?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April Shower of a Hodgepodge.

I'm so thankful for Joyce and her questions. There is always at least one that makes me think.....
1. April showers bring May flowers...what have you been showered with this month?
I have been showered with lots of love and attention. Hubby has been helping me with yard work, cleaning up after dinner, shopping and helping care for 4 teens that we had over the weekend who were part of  a Youth Rally weekend.  It has been wonderful.

2. What is the nature of compassion?  Is it learned or innate?  Can compassion belearned?  If you're a parent is this something you've purposely sought to instill in your children, and if so how?
See, I told you there is always one question that makes me think. I believe compassion is learned most of the time.  Sister's share especially when mom's and dad's share or encourage them to and then praise them for it.  Rewarded behavior gets repeated.  So if compassion is rewarded, then compassion will be repeated.

3. Do you prefer to watch romantic comedy or romantic drama...or are you rolling your eyes saying bring on the action flicks?
I really enjoy a good romantic comedy. I have a husband who makes me laugh every day so I love watching romantic movies that do the same thing.
One of my favorites

4.  It's April which means baseball season is officially upon us here in the US of A. Humphrey Bogart is quoted as saying "A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz." Agree or Disagree?
Well, I'm not a true sports fan but I've gone to a local professional minor league game and it was fun.  I like hot dogs so I'd say yes, I agree. I like the atmosphere at the ball game and all the fun that takes place so yeah, bring on the hot dog as well. Plus I don't have to dress up to eat!

Photo from Google
5. What's something in your community or city that needs fixing or improving?
I think our schools need fixing. Not the buildings, but what they teach. Seems to me that they spend way too much time on tolerance and diversity,  politically correct speech, sex ed for 2nd graders, and what the parents pack for lunch and not enough time on reading, writing, math, history & science.  We are raising a generation of people who can only follow orders and are not able to think for themselves.

6. Share a song you enjoy that mentions flowers or a specific flower in its title.
I'm Looking Over A Four-Leaf Clover 

7. April 22nd is Earth Day...do you believe there's life on other planets?  That wasn't the question you were expecting was it?
I'm not sure I believe in life on other planets, but I do believe in God and since He created life once, why not create life twice, or hundreds of times? Why limit Him to just once?

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Last weekend Hubby helped me get the family room ready for our company.  Hubby would dust, his tool of choice - the vacuum cleaner!  Men are so funny...especially mine!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Weekend Review

Some of our flowers are popping up out of the ground which is a great and so many people put some plants in the ground. Up here in NH us "old Timers" know that until we hit Memorial Day it's better to keep those plants in pots so that they can go out in the sun and come in every night.  We are expecting temps in the teens so those same people who put plants in the ground are now doing their best to cover them with mulch, hay, plastic, whatever they got.  We just got rid of the snow!  Still too early for plants in the ground. Do you have your plants in the garden yet?  

This past weekend our church had a Youth Rally.  Teens from all over New England and their chaperone's come up Friday evening thru Sunday at noon. They have a series of lectures, service projects, games, songs and yes, some down time.  They sleep in members homes and Hubby and I were one of these homes.  We ended up with 4 boys staying with us.  The host homes are responsible for breakfast and, if they want, they can have snacks on hand as well.  Well, boys like to eat so they we had lots to snack on and drink and they did their best to clean us out.

One of the boys was SO not a morning person that is was very funny. He would show up in the morning and just stand there. One of the chaperone's would say "Good Morning" and he would just stand there. We would say "Would you like something to eat?" He would nod but not move.  You could tell that he really wanted to go back to bed.  He was so cute.

Becke was perfect with them, the same boy was not a fan of dogs and would avoid both of them. Becke would lay on the floor and just look towards him. By the end of the weekend, he was petting her. She is the perfect therapy dog, never demanding, just waiting.  

August, was barked a bit at first, but did really well once we told them to simply ignore him.  August did go up to them, sniff their shoes, back up and come to me. I gave him a treat.  By the end of the weekend, even the boy that was not a fan was able to look at him, and the others were able to pet him. 
Saturday morning they had to be back at the church building for 8:30 for a full day of activities. The boys got back to our house sometime around 9:30pm and stayed up watching movies and talking. You can be sure Sunday morning they were all tired.  

Once the kids went back to the building, we were on our own.  It was warm enough to go outside and try to find our front yard. 

We managed to find the front yard.  We are still looking for the 2 sides but at least the front and back are done.  Both dogs hung out with us out there.  It was a good day. Hubby is not a fan of yard work, but he loves me so he was out there working with me getting a lot done!  The black flies are not out yet, but the ticks are!  Checking everyone for ticks once we all get in takes a while, especially August with all that hair!

The rest of the weekend included Sunday morning worship (saying good by to the young men who stayed with us - and seeing our "Non-morning" boy wide awake), catching up on some of the TV shows that we ended up missing because of...whatever, and small group.  

I was one tired lady after what turned out to be one busy weekend so a nap was much needed and received.

This week, we are due for some rain. Not all week, just at times and not the kind that comes down in buckets, but a nice slow warm rain that will turn our front yard from brown to green.  Temps will be in the high 40's and low 50's during the day. 

I hope you had a great weekend and if you have any garden photos, please share. I hope we get a garden in the ground, last summer we missed it.  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A TAXING Wednesday Hodgepodge

Joyce came up with some really great questions, why not play along with us and thank you Joyce.

1. April 15th is the deadline for Americans to file their state and federal income tax returns.  What's a job you do on a regular basis that could be described as 'taxing'? 
Well at the moment, outside spring clean up seem a lot taxing.  The ground is still frozen and although the snow is finally gone, it's just hard to rake it and I guess we quit the fall clean up early because the front yard is just one HUGE mess.

2. I'm participating in the April A-Z blog challenge, and the Hodgepodge happens to fall on Day O this week. In keeping with that theme...olives, onions, oysters, okra...of the foods mentioned, what's your favorite O food?

Photo from Google

I love olives and eat them a lot.  Did you know that they can help fight cancers?  

3.  What is something memorable you experienced as a child that your own children (or future children/nieces/nephews) will not get to experience? 
Riding a bike late at night without helmet, pads or anything. These days, kids ride bikes with all sort of padding on and head lights as well. Once it gets dark all the kids come in. I loved riding my bike with the wind in my hair, something my grandchildren will not know.
Photo by Google
My bike looked very much like this.

4. Term limits for our elected officials...your thoughts? 
YES! Get them in, get them out, have them live by the rules they pass.  No life time job, no life time retirement.

5. On April 18th, 1775, Paul Revere made his famous 'midnight ride'...when did you last make a midnight ride?  Perhaps the fate of a nation wasn't hanging in the balance, but tell us where you were headed anyway.
I wish I could stay awake till midnight! Those days are long gone so I really don't remember at all. Sorry all.

6.  What would freak you out more...a mouse running across your floor or a big fat hairy spider? 
How about a big fat hairy spider chasing a mouse.  Ewwwwww

7. I love it when people ask me________________________?
How many years have you been married?  You can't be a grandmother, you're too young, how many grand kids do you have?  How long have you been a Christian?

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
Today is Hubby's Birthday.  He is my rock, my friend, my husband. He asked me to marry him 3 times before I said yes.  He stayed with me even though my mother tried to poison him. You can read that story here. He has stayed with me through over 40 years of kids, family, sickness and moves.  He keeps his sense of humor no matter what and I wish him the best Birthday he has ever had.  Won't you go on over to his Blog and Wish him a Happy Birthday?  I love you Babe!

Well these are my answers, what are yours? Click the above button and join in or answer here.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Weekend Review filled with JOY

The weekend didn't start off filled with joy, but is sure did end that way.  I love when God takes me from feeling down to up on top of a mountain in just a few days.  It makes my heart light.

Friday we were told to expect 2-4 inches of snow. I was sure not happy about that. Instead we got an inch of ice and sleet. That turned out to be far worse!  There were cars off the road and a lot of spin outs.  We took our time getting home after work and I was very glad to be home safe.

Saturday it all starting to defrost and melt. I went out with the dogs to work on raking around the snow piles.  The ground is still frozen but there is about a 1/4 inch of soft ground so the leaves are coming up and it's getting easier to rake.

All of the snow in the front and both sides are gone, this is all I have for snow at the moment so of course we have to start taking out the summer things.

We started to take out the grand kids toys

And also started to take out August's agility toys
Best of all, we had some flowers pop open to greet us!

Sunday, was the best day EVER.  Our normal preacher is away on vacation and he asked Hubby to give the sermon.  Hubby agreed and prayed and studied and wrote his sermon and rewrote his sermon and on Sunday morning, he got up and delivered his sermon.  I am so proud of him! He was nervous and the room was full but he did it. He gave a sermon that was logical, spiritual, and scripturally sound. Well Done!

God took me from sadness over sleet and ice to gladness getting to watch my husband preach the word of God to our congregation. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge Time

Joyce is back on the Hodgepodge trail after taking last week off, let's see what she has come up with after a week off.

1. Share one fun thing you did last week, while the Hodgepodge was on 'spring break'.
Last week we got to go out to eat at a place called The Copper Door. It's a great place for food and we so enjoyed the meal.  Great food, great service, great decor = fun time.

2.  April 10th is National Sibling Day...do you have siblings, and if so are you close? Share a favorite story featuring one or all of your siblings. If you don't have siblings, did you ever wish you did?
I have one sister who is older than me. We are not close at all. She would get "stuck" taking care of me and I would be "stuck" having to go places with her because I was too young to be home alone.  
We lived across the street from a ball field and would often go there to play. The neighborhood would play kick ball there and we had fun running, playing and getting dirty all day. She would make sure that I was on her team.

3. Is it important to you to 'buy American'? Why or why not? How much of an effort do you make to 'buy American'? If you're not American, insert your own country in the blank. 
If I can buy American items at a good price then I would prefer to do so. However, my wallet is the deciding factor and some American items are just too expensive so I go with price.  I would add "Sorry" but really I'm not sorry for caring for my family based on cost.  

 4. Besides The Bible, what book has impacted your spirituality in some way?

Photo from Google

It's an old book, but I've been a Christian for a long time. This book helped me understand why there is evil in the world. That was an important  lesson to learn. It taught me that there really is a Heaven and a Hell.

5. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes.  Do you find rainy days calming or depressing?  When were you last caught in a rainstorm? What's blooming in your neck of the woods today?
I really love sleeping to the sound of rain on the roof. Too bad it just rains at night around here. I don't mind rainy days as long as there are not several days of it in a row. Then it does becomes depressing.
What is blooming around here?
Chicken and Hens and Dafodills

6. What's your favorite yellow food?
Bananas, yellow peppers, yellow cake, and ice cream are all yellow foods that I love.

7. April is National Poetry Month...what's a poem that holds special meaning for you, and why is it special?
I can't think of anything. Poetry is not my favorite thing to read.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Around here there is some sort of "bug" going around. Every few days we see on Facebook so-and-so is sick. At work, someone is home sick because they have the "bug." Some are sick for 3 weeks!! Well, it finally caught up with me and I have lost my voice and my thorat is sore.  Hubby is feeling a bit under the weather as well but he still has a voice.  Between the two of us there  is not a lot of talking going on and I'm glad that our dogs know hand signals.  Hot tea with lemon is our new best friend.  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

How to Get Your Kids To Eat Their Veggies!

Or The Mother-In-Law Story

We have all heard those "Mother-In-Law" stories, right?  A bunch of people get together and in no time you will hear someone say "My Mother-In-Law is so bad...."
Well so far we have been able to top the other stories that we have heard.

Let me set the stage for you.
The year:  1976
The place:  New Hampshire, my mother's house
The event:  Between base moves.  Husband is in the U.S. Air Force and we are moving from England to Louisiana.
The cast: Hubby, me, two children (ages 5 months and almost 5 years.)....And My Mother.

We were spending a few weeks between bases as we were just coming back from England where we had been for a few years. Our daughter was born over there and no one had seen her yet so instead of going straight to the new base, we decided to head over to New Hampshire for a few weeks to show off our little girl and our big boy.  My mother had offered for us to stay with her and it was the more centrally located home of anyone else's so we took her up on her kindness.

We had become Christians and were really trying to live the words Romans 12:18 "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." So since she offered we decided it was worth staying with her, after all it was only for a week.

We had visited with my in-laws (who were a gift from God himself to me!) and my sister and her kids (she had 3 by then) and some friends as well.

One night we were finishing up dinner and my mother made some Indian Pudding for dessert. Indian Pudding is a concoction made from cornmeal, molasses, milk, butter, maple syrup, eggs, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. It's considered a true New England tradition.

Baby daughter was just 5 months while our son was almost 5 years old.

The baby was too young for it so she got whatever I had for her.  Our son was offered a popcycle instead, and I don't like Indian Pudding, never have.  Hubby was still trying to make peace with this woman so he ate some.  I asked him if he liked it and if he did I would make him some.  He told me that it was fine if I never made it as it was not very good.  It was late so we went to bed.

Sometime in the middle of the night, he was really sick. Throwing up and looking just terrible. I decided we had to go to the hospital and called 911.  We were taken to the local VA hospital where they began to run all sorts of tests on him.  At one point the doctor came to see me and asked where we had eaten dinner thinking we had gone out to some restaurant.  I told him we had eaten at my mothers house and started to tell him what we all ate.  Then I remembered the Indian Pudding and the fact that she didn't eat any. She loved this stuff and would make it often while I was growing up but this night she didn't eat any, saying she was too full.

The doctor told me he had found rat poison in hubby's stomach.  My heart sank, not only was my husband suffering from food poisoning but because of the late hour, I had left the two kids sleeping at my mothers house.  I quickly called my father-in-law and begged him to get over to my mother's house and pick up the kids and then get to the hospital. Without asking questions, they got dressed and got our kids and stuff for them and got to the hospital. I was blessed with the best In-Laws I ever could have wanted.

Hubby would be OK but he had been poisoned.  I went to my in-laws home after that and when I returned to my mothers house to collect the things that were left behind, I asked her about it. 

Her response was:
"You will be better off as a widow."

We could have pressed charges but hubby didn't want to do that. Remember, we are now Christians and we live by a different set of values.  Plus we are moving to Louisiana and may never see her again. 
He tried to convince himself that her eye sight was failing and that the box of cornmeal and the box of rat poison look similar so it was an honest mistake, right?  Only if she had eaten some of it would I ever believe that plus there is her statement to me.   

Now we did leave the Air Force in 1980 and return to NH because we had other family up here.  We did go to her home for meals - funny things about her meals - the family only ate what I ate since she wouldn't try to kill me.  This is a great way to get your kids to eat their veggies!!! See how I got the title of the blog into this story.....  

Move forward some 16 years. My mother was dying of lung cancer and could no longer care for herself.  She had to live with someone. My hubby said that we had the most room and were closer to her doctor's so she should live with us. I reminded him she is the same woman who poisoned him with Indian Pudding.  Without batting an eye he says,
"Well, she isn't cooking!"
You just gotta love a guy like that! I know, I do!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring in the Snow

This is a large part of our front yard. We still have a lot of snow in our yard with some frozen ground splattered here and there.  On one side of the house, it still is way more snow than ground as we have a lot of woods on that side of the house.

So we rake the frozen ground around the piles of snow. Ever rake frozen gound? Let me tell you it's not easy.. and it looks really silly to be raking the gound between snow piles

Saturday I really wanted to work on the yard and Hubby was willing to help me. However the weather was not very conducive to spring clean up, so I wore 3 layers (shirt, sweatshirt, flannel coat) ear muffs, two layers of gloves (winter gloves with garden gloves over that) and out I went! Hubby wore a long sleeved tee shirt, no gloves, coat, sweatshirt or anything else, and out he went!
YUP, we found that the section of yard right up against the house was the most thawed out so we worked there. Plus, the sun was shinning on us which help add to the delusion that it was warmer than it really was.  In fact we were frozen and that was the inspiration to work faster and "get it done".

After cleaning out the leaves and winter weeds we covered the area between the house and the walkway with a combination of pea gravel and stones. Hubby carried the bags of rocks over and I spread them out covering the plants that have already come up.  The front yard hose will go next to the window, where you see the hose cover.  Since it is still well below freezing at night, we don't want to take out the hoses or turn on the outside water just yet. 

We went shopping and took off a few layers because we would be in the car and then inside the store however, the store was cold and we were frozen by time we got out of there.  Back inside the car we headed over to Dunkin Donuts for HOT coffee and then back to work. There are a lot of Dunkin Donuts shops around here and I think Hubby knows where every one is located.  A talent that I love!!!

Hubby hopes to get out the chainsaw and take down some trees in the front, perhaps that will bring in more sunshine and help melt the snow and warm up the ground.  I'm hoping that it's warmer and that I don't have to blog about our trip to the emergency room! 

Sunday we had a great morning worhip service. Later, I did some laundry, and then the much needed nap (oh why did I give my parents such a hard time over naps when I was little!) and then we finished off the weekend with a great small group meeting.  

I hope that you too had a nice weekend and that it was warm enough to enjoy being out there.  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Blog Blitz

Have you heard about Blog Blitz? No?  Well you can go here to learn more, but here is how it works.
You sign up and make sure that they have your email.
Then every so often, you will get an email with a date and a blog address to visit.  The idea is to go to the blog and leave a comment of encouragement on the date given to you. We can all use some encouragement can't we?

Can you imagine being the recipient of over 100 comments?  That would just be so great don't you think.  The last time I looked there were some 170 of us on the list so at some point 169 of those on the list get an email directing us to go visit someone on the list.

It's a great way to meet new bloggers that perhaps you would never have found. I wonder if they are from other countries, or other cultures that I am not familiar with. Image all the things I could learn from them. Image being on the receiving end of over 100 people showing up to my little blog about life in the upper right hand corner of the USA with Hubby and 2 dogs?

So click on over,  join in, and wait to see where you will either be directed to go visit, or one day open your own blog to find so many have come to you.

Wont that be fun? So go- NOW!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Rakes and Snow and Mud Season

Birthday flowers from Hubby
How was your Easter?  We had a great time at worship service and it was so nice to see so many people come to celebrate the resurection of Jesus Christ! Did you go to worship? I hope you did.

Both dogs dressed up for the day and they both looked perfect with matching bandanas and ears for August - not an easy task for August who at 19 months is still either running like crazy, playing or recharging his batteries with a short nap!

Sleeping on our bed.
Our granddaughters came over for a bit of an Easter egg hunt followed by playing both inside and outside, in the mud...

The temperatures finally made it into the 50's for the first time in I can't remember when, and to make it even better, the sun was shining.  It was just too good to stay inside!

So, even though there is more snow than ground, I went out with the rake and began the spring cleanup. Both dogs were with me walking around on the ground and both had their noses to the ground so I think something is living under there!
I raked and looked at all the work that is needed and still was thankful that we were having a good amout of melting.  The combination of a slightly softer ground and melting snow gives NH another season -
No matter how hard one tries, there are muddy footprints everywhere! Most are shaped like the 2 dogs that live here. They don't wipe their feet when they come in.
Still, it's so nice to have the front door open allowing the glass storm door to heat up and transfer that heat into the house.

I have so many plans for the yard, if only I had both the time and money to do it all but I bet that is all of us. It's way too early to plant our gardens outside. Up here we can still have a killing frost up until Memorial Day---So unles you have a green house or some other way to keep the plants warm, we just get the seeds or the pots ready.  I'm cleaning my tools and looking to see what needs to be fixed, sharpened and replaced.  Oh and washing my garden gloves.
How about you....been outside working?... I mean playing in the dirt?