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 28, 2013

The Last Summer Hodgepodge

Wow this is the official end of summer so what better way to celebrate than with the newest Hodgepodge.
Join us to play.

1. Labor Day weekend (in the US of A) is approaching...what's something you've labored over this year? 
Cancer. It has occurpied every moment of every day for over a year now.  I've put a lot into getting well. It's a lot of work.

2. What is one word to describe your 'job' or career?
A "Calling". I love being a wife, homemaker, mom, grannie and dog owner. It's far more fun and more important than the day job that I love but is not my life. 

3. What was your worst or least favorite job ever? Why?
Many, many, many years ago, I worked at a fast food place in town. It was TERRIBLE.  We had spaghetti and burgers and lots of different foods and to watch how they were prepared was just sickening.  Taking orders from hungry people who are all ready drinking was even worst.  I was so glad that I was terrible at it and didn't last long. Never again.

4. How do you measure contentment?
Contentment is a state of mind when you finally understand that "stuff" does not define you. It doesn't make you better, taller, more popular, more healthy, less sick, younger, or prettier.  It's just stuff. Contentment is when you find out that you, all by yourself, warts and all, are all you need.  

5. Pickles-like or dislike? What is something you eat that requires a pickle? Dill, bread and butter, sweet gherkins...what's your favorite kind of pickle?
I like pickles, most of the time I eat sweet bread and butter but I do like sweet gherkins.

6. In your current house-town-state, what is it you like living close to?
Our daughter lives in the same state as us.  She lives about 50 minutes west of us and that is not that close. But since our son and his wife and their sons are on the other side of the country, she is very close and I love that.
What is close to us - Nothing really. I live in the country and love that!  Trees, a few ponds, wild life. When I'm home I'm away from so many things and I love that.  

7. What is one thing on your 'want-to-do' list before summer draws to an official close?
I would like to go to Acadia National Park before it gets too cold.  Hows this for a sunrise!
Surise at Acadia. Image from Google.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
We had our last Chemo Treatment yesterday. After 4 months of weekly chemo treatments I have 10 days off with no one to see and no blood to give. Today was bitter sweet. Starting in September  we start to test to see where I am and what happens next. That explains why most of my answers are cancer related doesn't it?  Sorry.  It has been a part of our lives for over a year now.  It will continue to be part of our lives for a time still to come.  This really stinks.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


One of the things I like about Wednesday, besides it being Hump Day, is that I don't have to come up with a blog post.  I have Chemo on Tuesday and so thinking is a bit hard.  Here, I just have to come up with the answers (we get the questions on Tuesday).  Thank you Joyce on so many levels.

1. What's your worst food memory?  How about one of your best?
When Hubby and I got married, I told him I could not cook.  He apparently didn't believe me. One of our first meals was cold Macaroni salad. I got the recipe out of one of the cook books that we got as a wedding gift.  I thought it would be easy.  It was---well until it came to the part that read something like "Cool in fridge". I'm a type "A" person and really needed a time frame.  For some reason, we didn't eat it that night, or the next and at some point I forgot in was in the fridge (it moved towards the back).  A week later, I found it and it had small green spots on it.  WOW! I thought that was some seasoning or something so I served it for dinner.  Hubby didn't eat it...... Who knew?  I did warn him that I couldn't cook.

Again, I was still a newlywed and it was our first Thanksgiving.  We had the turkey, we had the stuffing, it all came out of the oven on time and looked perfect ---then we realised that I stuffed the wrong end of the bird.  The food was still great and we had the best laugh at how far I had come in cooking (it was all edible) and the time together was priceless.

2. Do you appreciate people telling it like it is, or would you rather a speaker temper his/her words and maybe beat around the bush a little?  How about when you're the one communicating...which type are you?
This depends on the relationship of the person talking to me.  Do I really know them? Do they really know me?  Do they know about what they are talking about?  I've had many people tell me how I should treat my cancer, when in fact they never heard of my type of cancer and had no idea about the medicines I am taking.  I take advice well if it is from people who really care for me and are not just trying to show others how much they know.
When I'm giving advice, I follow the same rule. If I don't know the person, and have not been asked for my opinion. I shut up and listen.

3. What's your favorite place to hang out?


4. When do you most feel like you're a slave to time?
The calendar!  When I look at our calendar over the past 16 weeks it is full of doctor's appointments, blood tests, church appointments, meetings to attend, classes to teach.  It can get pretty overwhelming.  Not all doctor's appointments were for me either. Some where vet appointments for the fur-babies or follow up appointments for Hubby.  But still, my goodness!  There have been a lot of places we have had to be.  So I feel like a slave to the calendar.

5. What was the last concert you attended?  Who'd you go with? Was it any good?

WOW! I had to ask Hubby that one because I really couldn't remember.  We don't go to a lot of concerts, I really don't like the crowds of people bumping shoulder to shoulder and having to park so far away from the action.
A few years back we went to a Scottish Festival and they had a group "Atlantic Crossing". They are really good and I really enjoyed that concert.  Something about folk music with Scottish and Irish musical influences mixed in just makes my heart happy.

6. Reality TV...harmful or harmless?  What's your guilty pleasure when it comes to reality TV?
Don't like it - nothing about it is real.  I think it's far more harmful than harmless.  So I watch none of them. Now I did watch a few episodes of Duck Dynasty and I do like that some of the men are church Elders. I also like that they pray on TV and teach pretty good lessons, but I can't watch even them for long.

7. What's something you think is overrated?
"Roughing It" as in camping in a tent, sleeping on the ground, and using the "Outhouse".  If I'm going to go camping, give me a RV, with power to cook inside, sleep on a real bed, have a bathroom with a working shower.  Or better yet, a hotel with room service.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Had Chemo yesterday, I have one more to go!  YUP, the end of this round is in sight.  I'm so happy for all that the staff does at Norris Cotton Cancer Center. They are so kind, with a good sense of humor and they patiently answer all our questions. I hope I don't have to see them again anytime soon.  God knows the answer to that part so if He decides I need to see them again soon, I am glad that they are there for us.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Low Carb Living

Since starting Chemo I've fell off the Low Carb Wagon.  I ate what I felt like eating and enjoyed it very much. But it's time to get back into shape.  With each day I feel a bit stronger, the naps are a bit shorter and energy lasts a bit longer.  So I began my journey back to low carb living, with dessert because Cancer has taught me to enjoy everything!

I found the recipe for low carb cheese cake at www.genaw.com. It does have a different texture but as desserts go, it's good!  At only 2 net carbs a slice, I can dig in and enjoy it often.

It doesn't have a crust which is where most of the carbs are.  By changing out the flavor of Jello, I can have different flavors of cheese cake.  

No-Bake Jello Cheesecake
1 small box sugar free Jello, any flavor
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sour cream
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 Tablespoon Vanilla

In a small bowl, dissolve the Jello in the boiling water, stirring for 2-3 minutes.  Chill until no longer warm. In a medium mixing bowl mix the sour cream, cream cheese and vanilla slowly to avoid getting a curdled mess.  Add in the Jello and mix very well
Pour into a greased 10 inch glass pie plate and chill.  

It's a nice dessert and by changing out the flavor of jello you can have strawberry cheesecake, or Orange. I made this one with lemon jello so I enjoyed lemon cheesecake.

So I'm back on the low carb wagon and working towards getting back into shape. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Welcome to a New Week

Our girl, Becke, 13 1/2 years old and still smiling!
Good Morning to you all and I hope you are having a good week.  Our weekend was really nice!  We had a combined birthday party and farewell party for a friend's son who turned 23 years old and will move to Arizona this week.  We told him that the birthday party was for him and the farewell part of the party was for his parents.  So we sang "Happy Birthday" to him and "Celebrate" to the parents!  It was a good time of food, laughter, memories, and friendship.  I like those smaller parties where you can really talk to everyone  there and get caught up with their lives.

I also got to play in the yard a bit too. It's really getting over grown with weeds, dried out stalks and fall is in the air so we better get a start on cleaning up the yard. I had the energy and it felt so good to do something physical for once!

It's starting to feel a bit like fall up here.  Temps fall into the 40's during the night and we wake up to temps in the low 50's.  By mid day it gets up to the high 70's but it drops back down again every night. We will still have the occasional humid, hot, hazy day with temps back into the high 80's and maybe  into the low 90's (if we are lucky) but those days will be far and few now.  I've even seen a few leaves turning.  Not the whole tree, but a few leaves have begun to change into the bright fall color that so many others flock up here to see.  But I digress...
August, the almost 2 year watch dog.
August went outside with me and watched over the work.  He was in charge of helping to get the yard waste into the brown paper bags but he spent most of the time just playing in the dirt and watching me work.  I can't believe he will be 2 years old next week.  He is so much fun!  I really never thought I would love a small dog but he really has my heart strings.

We cleaned up the rock wall by the house, pulling out the weeds, and debree and general clean up. It felt good to get it looking neat.  Hubby and I went shopping and picked up a few more bags of rocks to dress up the front of the house.

Sunday, we drove 1 1/2 hours to a small town south west of us to worship with the church that meets there.  The congregation has about 35 members and they had 3 men who were qualified and had a desire to serve as Elders so they were going to be installed on Sunday.  For a small congregation they all really know how to belt out those songs. The singing was amazing!  The saints there were very welcoming and friendly and we felt loved there.  No matter where we go, we find saints to worship with.  We wanted to show our support for the new Elders and to rejoice with the church there. I'm so glad we did!

It was a great weekend.  We are suppose to have a few hot, humid days coming up and I for one will love it.  It will not be long before the blankets will be out and the windows will be closed.  Fall will be here before we know it.

Do you get a real change in the weather where you live? Is it something that you look forward to?  Of the 4 seasons, which is your favorite?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Thank you Joyce, once again you give us questions that make me think, make me smile and make me glad to be part of this Hodgepodge every week.

1. My daughter earned her Master's Degree this past weekend...what's something you've 'mastered' in recent weeks or months?
Not sure that I've "mastered" it, but time management is something that I'm really good at.  When you work full time and have Chemo every week, and add all the other stuff that gets done, I'm really good at time management.

2. What song most reminds you of your childhood?

The theme of the soap opera "Dark Shadows" I would run home from school in order to catch that show. I loved it so much and the movie with Johnnie Depp just didn't do it justice. 

3. What do you think about single gender groups and/or events? Should everygroup/event be open to both genders?  If not, what sort of exceptions do you think are appropriate? 
I don't think that EVERY group/event should be single gender groups but I do like  a ladies bible class taught by ladies.  I see the benefit to it.  I don't go to it often right now because the other Bible class choice is really good but having that option is a good thing.  

4. What's your favorite spice? Your favorite dish containing your favorite spice?
The spice I use the most is Italian spice. I will use it on eggs,  burgers and salads.

5.  I saw this question on Marla's facebook page and asked if I could steal borrow it for the Hodgepodge...thanks Marla!  

Chevron patterns are everywhere!  Do you like it or think its just a little too much? Do you own anything 'chevron'? 
I don't have any thing "chevron" and think it's a bit of over kill right now. Guess because I don't like all that much.  It's fine for a purse and wallet combo, or even a blouse but I see it everywhere!! Too busy for me to see on walls.

6.  What's something you disliked as a child, but can fully appreciate now?

NAPS! I LOVE naps now, not so much as a kid.

7. What can irritate you very quickly?
People who yell at their children or pets in public! And those who talk to me about others with harsh words, I'm sure they will talk to others about me in the same tone. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Had chemo yesterday - just 2 more to go and I have a full week off with nothing to do before we start again on the next stage of this walk.  YEAH! 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday's Weather Makes Me Think of Dogs

I think that someone is washing their small dog someplace in the south today because we are getting hit with more rain!

 Good thing Hubby got the lawn mowed yesterday while I slept most of the day.  Not feeling all that great yesterday meant that I didn't go far from the couch and stayed in my pj's most of the day.

But I did pull it together to be able to teach my dog classes last night and graduate a great group of dog owners and the dogs who share their lives. Do you have a dog? Do you train him/her?  Do you understand the connection between those little beings in your life and you?  These dogs,  come into our lives and take hold of our hearts, they wrap their tails around us and hold our secrets. We sing to them, talk to them, cuddle them.  We tell them about our day. We tell them about our family members who drive us to move forward, and those who drive us crazy.  We laugh at all the silly things they do and cry when they get old or sick because we fully understand what may be happening. The bond we have with them here on earth is never long enough and we talk about them long after they are gone from this earth.  They live in our hearts and minds for the rest of our lives.

So last night we celebrated our dogs in class.  We bragged about how far they have come in the 8 weeks since class started. We showed off ribbons that the dogs have won since starting class.  We played games that 8 weeks ago, the dogs couldn't do because either the concentration wasn't there, the skill wasn't there or the confidence wasn't there.   We showed off some old tricks and began to tackle new ones.  We took pictures of each others dogs and laughed and cheered as each dog tackled the "tunnel".

It was a night of joy and growth and laughter and love.  It was about challenges faced and challenges won.  It was about growth. It was all about facing, head on, bumps in the road and overcoming those bumps. In the wake of all that fun, we got dog kisses, tails wagging and one rousing game of dog tag!   The dogs loved it! The owners loved it!  It was a great last class with this bunch of students. All the things that this cancer patient needed as well.

Then we came home to the love of our own two lives.  Both waiting to go to bed but since we weren't  here, they didn't. They waiting until we walked into the house. Then they ran outside to go potty one more time, then they ran even faster down the hall and onto the beds. They were tired and wanted to sleep. Becke curled up on her big bed on the floor and August curled up in my arm pit on the bed.  As we fell asleep, we prayed for a friends daughter who may be making the difficult choice to help her dog - only 5 about years old - cross over the "Rainbow Bridge" and away from her this morning.  So all this rain made me think of dogs this morning.  The funny, the cute, the challenging, the loving, and the eventual and inevitable sad good bye.

Have you hugged your dog today?  Go, stop reading blogs right now, and go hug your heart on 4 legs.
See you Monday.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

2013 Is Half Done!? Say it Aient so --- Hodgepodge

Well, if it's Wednesday it's Hodgepodge day and I look forward to Joyce's questions every week, don't you?  So play along.

1. The first week of August is National Simplify Your Life Week...what's one thing you could do this week to qualify as a participant?
For me the answer is to go to God first to ask if something I want to do or want to have is within His plan for me.  That would save me a lot of worry and time chasing rabbits.

2. It's also National Peach Month...peach pie, peach cobbler, or please pour me aBellini?  What's your peach pleasure?
Cobbler, warm please. With ice cream of course. Thank you.
Photo by Google

3. Eleanor Roosevelt once wrote, "Do one thing every day that scares you." Agree or disagree...explain.
I agree that doing something that scares  us is good for us.  It feels like we conquered something, and of course we have.  Doing something every day that scares me? Not so much.  I live a stressful life and adding something that scares me to the list, not going to happen. After all I'm trying to simplify my life....

4. What's your favorite household chore?  Yes-you have to name one.
Making the bed. I love to look at a freshly made bed and then climbing into it.  I just love to walk into the room and seeing our bed.  It makes me happy.

5. Fodors recently listed (what they've dubbed) the ten most beautiful sunset spots in America. Click here to read more and see the pretty pictures, but this is their list:

Butterfly Beach in Santa Monica CA, Mount Haleakala in Maui HI, Old Fort Marcy Park in Santa Fe NM, Laguna Beach CA, Hopi Point in Grand Canyon AZ, Four Seasons in Miami FL, Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica CA, Gay Head in Martha's Vineyard MA, Ensign Peak in Salt Lake City UT, and Mallory Square in Key West Florida.

Have you seen the sun set from any of these spots?  If you could choose to watch the sun set this weekend from one spot on the Fodors List, which would you choose?  Where was the prettiest sunset you've ever seen?
I've never seen the sun set from any of these places but if I were to choose one it would be Mount Haleakala because, it's in Maui, HI!  
The prettiest sunset I've ever seen was when we lived in Albuquerque NM.  We lived right next to the desert and when the sun set, the desert sand became the color of gold!  It always reminded me of the "Streets of Gold" talked about in the Bible.  So beautiful!

6. What's your favorite or most used app?  If you don't use apps how about your favorite or most visited website?
Most used apps? Holy Bible, Facebook,  and of course Pinterest!

7. We've recently passed the halfway mark for 2013...write a seven word sentence that sums up your year thus far. 
No one fights Cancer alone, Thank God!
 8.  Insert your own random thought here.
The weather here got down right cold for a few days.  I mean it's down in the 40's at night and only up to 60's and low 70's in the day.  We even put a heavy blanket on the bed.  It's suppose to heat up a bit and most likely we will have  more rain!!! I'm so done with the rain and I know who to blame....I have a blond friend who keeps washing her dog and every time she does, it rains!!  She (and I know you are reading this and you know I mean you) really needs to live with a dirty dog a bit longer.