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, January 28, 2015


With all the snow coming down, Joyce came up with great questions, now for our answers.

1. When did someone last suggest you 'chill out'? Or, when did you last tell someone (or want to tell someone) to 'chill out'? Or, when did you last tell yourself to 'chill out'?
I can't remember the last time I told someone to chill out or the last time someone told me to chill out.  But when I get upset, I tell myself to chill out a lot.  I take a deep breath, count to 100 (or more) and try to chill out before I make a final decision or say something I shouldn't.  Most of the time it works, but once in a while, I should have kept counting....

2. What most recently caused your heart to melt? 
I love holding my Hubby's hand while we watch TV.  We do it a lot.  I love that but what really makes my heart melt is while we are sleeping, we reach for each other.  We are just old romantics at heart.

3.  "An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered." G.K. Chesterton  

Your thoughts? When did you last experience either an adventure or an inconvenience? How did you see it at first, as an adventure or an inconvenience?  Does it feel the same in hindsight?

A few weeks ago the car broke down in traffic, I was alone.  It was an inconvenience for sure.  It was so cold and I didn't have heat in the car.  A nice police officer allowed me to sit in his cruiser while I was waiting for Hubby to get to me and then we waited for AAA.  It was an inconvenience for sure.

On the other hand, we sometimes just drive around looking at the beautiful countryside we live in.   We get lost on purpose and drive around, talking and laughing.  To me that is an adventure.  I love that.

4.  A Wendy's Frosty, root beer in a frosty mug, or a frosted chocolate cupcake...of these three, which one is your favorite 'frosty' treat?
Root Beer in a frosty mug on a hot summer day. Hands down. But since it's so cold out, I'm going with the chocolate cupcake.

5. Would you say your life so far this year has been more like a circus or a symphony? Explain why.
More of a symphony so far for sure.  Our lives are filled with joy and laughter and love and grand children.  Family, friends and I love ever minute of it.

6. Since it's a 'snow day' here, what's your favorite song containing the word 'white'?
The first one I though of was White Christmas.

7. If you had to leave the city you currently live in, what would you find the hardest to leave behind?
I love living in the country with neighbors just far away to make it so nice. I would miss the country life.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Well the state shut down. We all stayed in and waited for the snowmagedon.  And guess what?  It really didn't happen.  Yes we got lots of snow, and it blew around a lot, and it was cold.  But it was not what the snow storm of 1978 was and that was the storm this was compared to.  We didn't loose power and we are all OK.  August went out once and fell into the snow.  Since he is 10 inches tall, we knew we had at least 10 inches of show.  He jumped up and into the house in one leap and looked at me with sad scared eyes.  Me, I laughed so hard my side hurt.  

There is another snow event scheduled for the end of the week, We must be playing catch up for all the snow we didn't get in November and December.  That's OK, we're ready. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

An Anniversary of Sorts

This weekend, the 24th and 25th of Janbuary is the one year anniversary of my Stem Cell Harvesting.  It's been an odd year full of blessings and love.

We were sure that we were harvesting stem cells and getting them back in the fall of 2014.  However, the Fall of 2014 has come and gone and my stem cells are still in a freezer.

I look back and see all we have been through.  The  massive chemo that cost me my hair for the first time.  The growth hormone shots to force my body to make many more white cells and force them into my blood stream.  The port that needed to be sewed into my neck because my veins were not big or strong enough to handle the machine that would suck the stem cells out of me.  The harvesting itself which was harder than I hoped it would be and was as hard as I was told it could be.

I look back at how hard it was to gain my strenght again, to get back to work.  How hard it was to play with my grand girls or even sit at a birthday party and not cry.

It's been a year of up and downs, of illness and health.  Of good days and bad.  Of weeks of sleeping and days of energy.

It has been a year of watching my husband do it all, from cooking and cleaning to shopping and laundry.  Driving me everywhere and holding my hand while I slept.

A year of both dogs sleeping on me, near me, checking on me throughout the night.

A year of co workers helping out, doing my job, taking over at times and wishing me luck all the time.

A year of back and forth to doctors for things not really connected to cancer but still somehow connected.

A year of friends taking me out to dinner, lunch, and breakfast to talk, laugh, ask questions and just enjoy each others company.  A year of gifts, calls, emails, cards, funny stories and prayers.  Lots of prayers.

A year of leaning on God to do what I couldn't and to meet my needs.

It's been quite the year!  I have hair now, I have energy now, I have things to do and places to go. I have a job to keep up with and friends to laugh with.
I have a husband I can cook for, and clean up after and even take care when he gets sick.
And someplace up north are my stem cells, frozen. They can stay there for 30 more years.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Joyce had a good time coming up with these questions by the look of them.  She has a funny sense of humor.  Join the fun.

1. American Idol is back for a 14th season. Are you watching? Have you ever watched? If you were to audition for the show (or were made to audition), what song would you sing?
I'm not sure I ever watched American Idol from start to finish, ever, in the 14 years they have been on.  I know that I've watched as they got to the final 4 or close to the end.  I'm not a huge fan of the show.  There was a time when the contestants were not very good and were still put on TV to show just how bad they were and for the judges to tell them that they were not very good and I didn't like that.  
If I was were ever forced to audition for the show, I would most likely sing something from Whitney Houston.  I loved her voice and her songs. 

2.  Mark Twain is quoted as saying, "If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first." 

So when did you last have to 'eat a frog'? Or two? How'd that work out? 
So I'm guessing  this means to do something that you don't like to do and do it first thing in the morning.  That I do agree with.  Get it over with as fast as you can.  The last time I ate a frog?  Last Saturday, the house really needed cleaning.  I got up and got right at it instead of sleeping in.

3. If you were going on safari, what is the number one animal you'd want to see?

Giraffe. I would love to see one up close.  

4. January 21st is National Granola Bar Day. I know. Do you like granola bars? Chewy or crunchy? Your favorite flavor? How about regular granola? Let's exhaust this topic in honor of the holiday okay?
I don't eat granola bars too often but I do like the chewy ones and ones with raisins and dried fruit.  I do like regular granola on yogurt and cereal.

5. If only_Life was as simple now and it was when I was a kid.  

6. You can add one item to your bedroom. What will it be? Keep it family friendly please.

A Fireplace.  I would like a fireplace in our bedroom. It doesn't have to be big, but just having one would be so nice. 

7. What is one thing you've enjoyed about winter thus far? If it's not winter in your corner of the globe, what season is it, and what is something you've enjoyed about whatever season it happens to be?
Lack of snow!  I can handle the rain, the cold and even the icy roads but oh how I hate a ton of snow.  We have about maybe 3 inches of the stuff that has frozen to the ground by now.  I like not having a lot of snow!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
It's been just about a year ago that I had my stem cells harvested and frozen for future use.  At that time, we were thinking we were getting them back in the fall of 2014.  Well the fall has come and gone and stem cells are still in the freezer.  I hope they stay there for 30 years.  I hope I continue to do so well, that I don't need them back.  No one fights Cancer alone.  I have Hubby who takes over and runs the house and everything that goes along with it when I can't.  I work for a Company that allows me to do whatever I need to do to allow me to continue to earn a pay check. I have friends who keep me laughing and keep me sane and on top of it all I have a God who has given me all of the others who keep me going.  I feel blessed.  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Favorite Soup

Do you have a favorite soup?  I don't have a favorite. I just like soup on the days when it's cold, freezing rain, lot's of snow, or otherwise just way too nasty to go out.   This week, it was turkey soup.

Soup is just of of those meals that whatever is in the freezer, fridge or even in a can in the cubboard, it all goes into the crockpot and it all blends perfectly into one yummy soup. It must be the crockpot, right?  It works magic!  I like that.

We still had turkey in the freezer from Thanksgiving.  So in the crockpot it went.  To that I added some veggies that were in our freezer, corn, green beans and onions.  To that I added celery, carots, and spices.  Some chicken broth rounds out the soup recipe.  It cooks all day and fills the house with yummy aromas.  Now we had some wonderful Cranberry-Orange-Walnut-Bread that was made for us by a friend and so as the rain came down, and froze to the ground, we had a nice bowl of turkey soup and bread and stayed warm and dry.

What are you making this week?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Freezing Rain Weekend!

So how was your weekend?  Here in the upper right hand corner of the Nation it was very cold but very nice on Saturday because at least the sun was out.  It was too cold to enjoy the outside but it was nice to see the sun streaming in the windows.

Sunday it was freezing rain.  The Patriot's played in the freezing rain and that is the kind of game where those of us at home watching the game are very glad that we are not AT the game in the freezing rain but rather we are home with hot cocoa and a fire going.  WAY TO GO PATS!!

Since I'm not a football fan (can I say that and still live in the North East?) I decided to craft.

I've been really admiring the place settings I've seen on Pinterest lately and really wanting napkins.  Not the paper ones that we buy for the holidays or birthdays but real cotton, cloth napkins.  But Oh My! the prices I saw on Amazon made my Scottish  blood boil over.  So into the fabric bins I went.

I think that a really good size napkin is at least 16 x 16 inches so all I needed was material that was at least that size.  I started cutting  my material and matching it up.  I cut the material 17 x 17 inches.  I figure as long as I'm making one why not back it with a matching fabric and then have have 2.

If you're using new material, make sure to wash, dry and iron it before you cut it up but I was using what I had on hand.  So it was already washed, dried and ironed.

With right sides together, sew all the way around the material, leaving  an opening in order to turn the material right side out.  

Clip corners, cut close to the edges and turn.  

 Then you can top stitch to give it a nice finished look.  Use either a matching or contrasting thread.  Once it's all sewed, fold into thirds and fold in half and you have a great napkin.

August decided to hold down the ones that were done.  He's good like that!

In all I got 8 two sided napkins which really means I have 16 napkins.  Make them to match your kitchen, match the season or holiday.  Use the material you love.  I made some Frozen ones for the grand girls.  They are never too young to learn about napkins. If you don't have material large enough for napkins, how about using Fat Quarters?  Since they come already matched up, according to color schemes, it would be easy to get several napkins out of them.  Think I have a reason to go to the fabric store now.

Did you craft this weekend, what did you do?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

How to store grooming supplies

There are lots of things a person can use to store your grooming supplies.  Some use a drawer in the bathroom, others use a basket to hold the supplies, while still others have an entire room dedicated to grooming their dogs.

Me, I have one of these to hold my supplies.

Each draw holds supplies for both dogs.  The top carries what is needed every day while the bottom holds what I use every other week.

The top has the combs and rakes and mat splitter and scissors that are needed for either dog.  The red Zoom Groom and the Blue Rake are for Beckke.  Most of the other stuff is for August.

The dryer is perfect for both dogs.  I can either place it  in its holder and aim it at August who is on the table which allows me to  blow dry him and brush him at the same time or I can hold it over Becke and blow her dry while she stands on the floor. 

This attaches to the table in the kitchen and helps hold August in place while I work on him.  It stores behind the cabinet, out of sight until I need it.  

What do you hold your grooming supplies in?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Joyce likes to keep us all thinking with some hard questions,  This week is no exception.  Come think with us. 

1. What's your best piece of advice for a newly married couple? I'm asking for a friend.
Don't have any conversations with the opposite sex, that your spouse shouldn't hear.  There is nothing Innocent about flirting with a co worker, friend, or anyone.  The only person you flirt with is your spouse.

2. Before we're too far into the new year I wanted to post a question Teresa submitted during the December giveaway. Teresa blogs over at Being Refined As Silver, so everyone go say hi.

Teresa asks, "What were you doing on December 31st, 1999?"and "Did you or your family make preparations for Y2K?"
We didn't do anything different at all.  We knew that life would go on, the sun would shine, the powers that be would figure it all out.  We were not online a lot and didn't have any fear. We believe in God and we knew we were fine.
3. According to Global Language Monitor, the most used word of 2014 isn't a word. It's the heart emoji. Huh? How can something that's not a word be the most used word, but I digress. What do you think was your most used word in 2014?
See, a hard question!  I use lots of words so just picking one is hard, but I guess it would be "Sick."  I was sick a lot in 2014.

4. Speaking of words, it's that time again. Time for Lake Superior University to present a list of words they'd like to see banished (for over-use, mis-use, and general uselessness) in 2015. You can read more about the decision making process here, but this year's top vote getters are-

bae (before anyone else), polar vortex, hack, skill set, swag, foodie, curate/curated, friend-raising, enhanced interrogation, cra-cra (as in crazy), takeaway, and -nation (a suffering sports suffix).

Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Is there a word not on the list you'd like to add?
All of them sounds pretty terrible and would like to see them all go.  cra-cra is my choice for really, really needs to go.  Come on people, how hard is it to say CRAZY.  It doesn't need to be shortened.
I can't think of anything to add.  I guess I talk to people who don't use a lot a words that drive me nuts.

5.  January is National Hot Tea month? Are you a fan? Do you like flavored teas? How do you take your tea? Have a favorite cup or teapot? How many cups of tea do you consume in a given day? 
I do like tea.  I have a few favorites. Earl Gray, Scottish Breakfast tea, PG tips are among my favorites.  I drink hot tea black but like sugar and lemon in ice tea.  I don't drink tea every day so I don't have a number of cups per day that I drink.

6. Whatever happened to________________________________?
Respect, Caring for others, Please and Thank you.

7. What is one book on your must-read list this winter? 
I don't have a must read list for winter.  Sorry.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 
I love my grand girls!  They are so much fun to be around.  To watch them play or do a craft with me makes me feel so happy.  There is something about a small child telling me a story and not understanding hardly any of the words and yet the story is fascinating!  Being a Grannie is the best job EVER!

So now it's your turn.  Your answers are?????

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Jammies/Rompers - Whatever you want to call them.

When it only 13 degrees and your little dog goes outside to "go" it's nice to have an extra layer on.  For August, who is very styling, that means he wears one of his rompers.  Sunday he wore his "Frozen - Olaf" romper.  Who says boys can't be up on all the newest fashion.  He sure liked to be warm.  

The pellet stove is going to keep the house warm, but sometimes a little extra is always good.

Are all of you staying warm this winter.  What tips do you for you and your pets to stay warm.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Baby It's Cold Outside!!

Like most of us in the Northeast, it's cold, down right bloody cold!  Temps are in the single numbers with wind chills well below zero. This morning (Sunday) it's 5 degrees.  5!  Luckily there is no wind chill at the moment.  Yippee!!

That makes it too cold for snow to land and pile up so there is not much on the ground and nothing to shovel but boy is it cold!

Still, the dogs need to be cared for.  August needs a bath at least every other week so this weekend, he got one from me.  I didn't go to into the office on Friday so his regular groomer didn't get a chance to get to him. But she is so generous with her time, she showed me how to shave him and since I have the shampoo here at home, he got a full bath.  He was not happy!

In good weather, he can run around outside to zoom dry, but not when it's -7 with a wind chill of -24. So he runs around the house trying to zoom dry.  Then he hides.  Funny thing is, he hides on top of me between 2 blankets.  Silly boy.

But once he's all dried and brushed out, he looks so handsome.  Don't you agree?

My tools for every day are these.  A slicker brush, letter opener (that woks perfectly as a mat splitter), Greyhound comb and Detangle spray.  Since August has a soft coat, and it's hair not fur, I never comb him with dry hair.  A light spray is all I need to keep his hair in place.

For those of you with pets who need grooming, what are your "go to tools?"

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Year, New Me

Have you heard of the Seven Challenge?  Have you taken it? How are you doing?

For those who may not know the challenge is to do one of the workouts for 7 minutes just once a day.  In all there are several different challenges.  The app is free and it comes with one challenge.  Every other month another challenge opens up for free or you can buy them for $1.99.

So the idea is to move just 7 minutes every day.  If you do more, great!  If you do a lot more, fantastic! But for now, just move 7 minutes.  I'm doing the 7 minute stretch and some days I will do it twice, but the goal is to do as many as you can can. So Far I've done it every day for a week!  Go ME!

What are you doing to move more this new year?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New Year, New Me.

New Year, new Me.  Time to get rid of all those pounds I gained over all those sick weeks when all I did was sleep, eat, cough and craft.  Time to get back on track.  Like so many of you right?  Here is one of go to breakfast's that fill me up.

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Muffins

I love these easy to make muffins that are packed with wonderful goodness! They fill me up and help me to stay trim. I also love how easy they are.  I have a small 6 cup muffin tin that fits perfectly in my toaster oven so I make 6 at a time for Hubby and me.

Here is what you do

6 eggs
2 slices bacon
Heavy Cream
Cheese of your choice ( I like cheddar cheese sliced thin)

Spray the muffin tin with spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook the bacon anyway you want to and drain on a paper towel, and then break it up into small pieces.
Scramble the eggs in a bowl with the heavy cream and a little bit of water.
Pour the egg mixture into the muffin tin and place your cheese of choice into the mixture. Evenly place the bacon bits into the mixture as well.

Bake for 12-17 minutes (again I used a toaster oven so if you use the big oven, watch them). It's done when a tooth pick comes out clean.

Let cool a few minutes and for the eggs to settle and then take them out and place them on a plate.

Each muffin has 1 carb. But more importantly, it's So good!

What are you doing in the new year?

Monday, January 5, 2015

What to do when you're home sick.

Well, Craft of course.

When I wasn't coughing up both lungs and all 10 toes, I was crafting.  After all it was Christmas time.

I made some body pillows for the grand girls.  You've seen them I'm sure on Pinterest.  Basically you take 5 pillowcases and sew them together, stuff them with pillows and you have a body pillow.  Since I couldn't find 10 "Frozen" pillowcases, I made the pillow cases for both grand girls, then Hubby went shopping for 10 pillows to stuff them with.  Here is what the finished product looked liked.

It touched my heart that both girls used them to sleep on the floor for a few nights and loved them.

The other thing I did was create a better way to hold on to August's rompers.
What's a romper?  It's play clothes for a small dog to wear either as jammies or to play outside in the winter and stay warm.

August goes to day care every day with me and while I work (with Becke in my office as my office buddy) he plays.  If the weather is really terrible the small dogs will play inside with the door to the outside open  so that they can go outside to "go".  So the inside room is just as cold as the outside.  If it's not too terrible, the small dogs play outside even in the winter.  Either way, August is cold so he has play clothes to wear out there.

I've bought a few outfits but made most of them.  There is a child consignment shop in the big city and I get either 6 month or 9 month size outfits and adjust them to fit his "boy parts". T-shirts are often onezeeze with the snaps cut off and then hemmed.  Easy!  His one pants and tops are often just that, a top and pants sewed together, then the middle is cut out for his "boy parts".  It really is easy.

As for storage, I found this doll clothes rack and hung his clothes on it.  It was $6.99.  The hangers, were either hangers from baby outfits I bought for a gift and kept the hanger or one of these hangers from the Dry Cleaners.  Pull off the cardboard, bend to fit the new smaller outfit and hang your dogs clothes.
From this 
To this
2 pieces sewed together
All hung up and ready to find what I want.

Did you do any crafting this season?  What did you do?  How did it work out?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Where the heck have I been??

I have been away for a long time and I'm sorry for those who kept checking this blog and at the same time, I'm so grateful that you did.  Where have I been? Here at home.

Really sick
Really, really tired.

I came down with a cold that wore me out and then the cold turned into pneumonia.  I was on home quarantine and could not leave the house and no one could come to visit me.  Living with Cancer is a whole new lifestyle that I am not use to yet.

See, I'm in remission but I still have Cancer and I have to be extra careful when I get sick.  I can't handle others who are ill or even have germs on their clothing.  No one wants me in the hospital and so I am grounded at home.  It stinks.

Hubby ends up doing all the cooking, cleaning, washing, dog care, dog clean up, shopping, everything!!! The worst part was it was at Christmas time.   Good thing I do most of the Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving, and this year, I sent everything out to the "west coasters" right from Amazon and my wonderful Daughter In Law (DIL) wrapped all the gifts for me to put under the tree.  The gifts for the east coasters were wrapped by us before I got really sick.  But still, the house needed to be decorated, and food needed to be prepared.  We ended up not sending very many Christmas cards at all and didn't make 1 Christmas cookie.  Hubby bought Christmas cookies for the first time in 42 years.  That made me sad.

I started this year, having my Stem Cells Harvested and loosing all my hair.  I ended the year with a full head of new hair and pneumonia.  Sick at both ends with lots of bumps in the road in the middle.  I sure hope 2015 is a better year.

May your 2015 be filled with joy, laughter, and especially HEALTH.

HAPPY NEW YEAR  See you Monday.