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.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Problem with Wifi Part Deux

Well, when we last met the furniture got moved for a better layout, and some of the clutter was dealt with so it was time to make things match a bit more. My tool of choice for that is SPRAY PAINT. I got a couple of cans of black, laid out the drop cloth and went at it. First up were these white plastic storage container - now black, they look a lot nicer. Then the unmatched file cabinets got some paint too.

The room is coming along nicely, but it's not done yet!
I'll keep you posted and show you the finished project.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Problem with Wifi

Because the house has WiFi (thank you hubby) I tend to work in other rooms such as the living room or kitchen these days. I go into the office to sync the iPod Touch and the iPad but I then go sit someplace else so my office ended up looking like this. Ouch! I walked into the office to find something and I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the clutter! This is not how I want to live or show my home and so a plan went into action.

First up was moving the furniture to it's new location for more space and to make this room function better. Moving furniture is free and hubby was willing to help with the electronics. I think he was afraid that I would do it without him and then have to go ask him for his help because I broke something-this was safer by far.

Moving the desk under the window allows me to look out at the changing leaves but more importantly the heat register is against that wall so it will come out right onto my cold toes. See, I'm no dummy!

The dresser holds a lot of office supplies like envelopes, ink cartridges and the such as well as craft supplies like colored pens/pencils and such. Some day it will match but for now, it works so it stays. It did get cleaned off and moved to a better spot however.

The large basket in back holds wrapping paper and the chest holds guest room sheets and blankets. Plus I like wicker! If you work in a office, then you want to have things in there that you like.

Taking out the closet door and hanging a curtain saves floor space, behind it is the vacuum, and a few other non-office pieces. They all needed storage so there they are-there! Did I tell you we have a small house! Storage space is limited around here!

The furniture doesn't match YET, it may be different styles but a can or two of spray paint will help bring the room together. For now I plan to go over every shelf, every drawer and ever storage container and toss what I either don't use anymore or is no longer working. All of that is free and the best use of my time right now. I'll keep you posted on the progress of the office space.

Do you have a room that needs to be revamped? How do you progress keeping a budget in mind?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Veggie, Pork Bake

We have had a financially tight month. Read hubbies blog here if you want to know what October hit us with. Anywhoo, I wanted to make good low carb meals using just what we had on hand. In the past these meals would be called "Stomach Pump Special" or "Moms Mystery Meal" by our children. But I would not let that stop me from experimenting with their health and they have both survived very well thank you. I've gotten better over time - this I call "Veggie-Pork Bake" I know- I'm so good at creating titles aren't I?

1 lb ground pork

1/2 green pepper chopped

1/2 chopped onion

1/2 cauliflower diced

1 can mushrooms

4 eggs

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 heaping tablespoons diced tomatoes with green chilies

4 slices mozzarella cheese cut into cubes

Seasonings included

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Italian seasoning

Sea salt


Crushed red peppers

Dill seeds

Cook the ground pork, peppers, mushrooms, cauliflower and the onion till meat is brown and all liquid is evaporated. Add the spices to your taste to this meat mixture. Grease a 7x12 shallow baking dish. Mix the eggs, cream and tomatoes with chili in a separate bowl. Place the meat mixture into the baking dish, place the mozzarella cheese on top of the meat mixture, pour the egg mixture on top and top that with thick slices of onions. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Makes 6 servings at 4 carbs each.

It was really good! I think next time I'll add more of the tomatoes with chilli and perhaps use Colby Jack cheese but I will be making this again. I love it when I have everything on hand and help keep the food budget down. So when you have to cook what you have on hand and make a meal out of it, do you make a casserole or soup? Which is your favorite?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Week End Review: Saying Goodbye is Never Easy

Saying Goodbye is Never Easy.

This past week hubby and I said goodbye to two wonderful women. Both had been ill for many years and both had husbands who stayed with them through their ordeals. These are the examples we need more of - men who take their marriage vows seriously.

Mary Francis was in her 70's when she died. She had suffered for many years with her body failing yet her mind stayed sharp. She sent out cards to people even after her handwriting was so bad that it was impossible to read. You knew she was thinking of you and that mattered more than anything. She raised 3 wonderful children who all had her Irish red hair and personality. She was the wonderful kind of bossy and you always laughed when you were with her.

Doreen was only 46 when she died and had been ill for more than 15 years with Lupus. She once said that she would gladly bear all the illness in return for her children having none of them. She smiled all the time and instead of whining about her circumstances she would ask about you and your family. She had 3 children as well and was so proud of each and every one. She was a teen in one of my hubbies Sunday Bible Classes when we both started to admire her her grace, her love and her trust. She never blamed God for what was happening to her, she just drew closer to Him.

Both women married men of integrity, honor, and moral soundness. These men meant the vows they took. For Better and Worst meant just that. Over their marriages they had lean times and wealth and as for health, they both suffered through years of failing health yet the husbands stayed, cared for, cooked for, cleaned up for,and never complained for their love kept them going and they were glad to be of service to the loves of there lives.

As hard as it is for these men right now, they both talk about how proud they were to have such nobel woman in their lives. They felt privileged to have such women to love. What examples of Godly men these two are.

Both woman are now receiving their rewards. Although they are missed here- their bodies are finally whole and when I think of them both, I find myself smiling.

I thank God that I could be a small part of their lives.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Quick Tip Friday: Problem solved!

Problem: Since it's just hubby and I for most meals here it can take up to a full week before the dishwasher is full. Because it takes us so long to fill the dish washer we pre rinse everything that goes into it. Problem then becomes that we can't always tell if the dishes are clean waiting to be put away or dirty waiting to be cleaned. I wanted to solve this problem without spending any money. Here is what I did.

These sport calendars come in the mail every year and since this was a calendar for 2009 I felt safe using it. Best part is that they have the magnet backing already on them.

My kitchen walls are dark yellow and I have lots of dark red accents so I used yellow construction paper and red letters that I already had. The rope was left over from the duvet cover project. Add some hot glue, some sunflowers I cut out from a stash I had and problem solved. If you use rope make sure you hot glue the ends so it will not ravel.

The entire thing took 15 minutes to cut, glue and assemble - quick. And now we know the status of the dishwasher and it didn't cost one single cent! How do you tell the clean from the dirty?

Love someone this weekend and I'll see you Monday, Lord willing.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Random Dozen

2nd Cup of Coffee is once again hosting her Random Dozen. This time she had help from Mocha with Linda in coming up with the questions so head on over to their blogs as well to see what there answers were. Here are the questions and my answers. How about listing your answers.

1. Do you prefer to read the book or see the movie?

Watch the movie AT HOME. I really don't like going to the movies. It's loud, the seats are not comfortable, the food is awful, the company is often not the best and it's cold in there. At home I can have on my pj's, eat what I like, it's warm, and the company is the best. Plus, when the boring part of the movie comes, I can get up and move around.

2. What is your favorite holiday and why?

Christmas! I love to decorate and get the cards ready to go out. I wear Christmas sweaters all month and can in fact wear a different sweater every day from Thanksgiving all the way to Christmas and never wear the same sweater twice. I love the sounds of Christmas, the smells and cheer.

3. Which do you like better - the mountains or the beach?

Mountains all the way. Leave me there (by a lake) and I will tell you that my part of heaven will look like that.

4. If money were no consideration, what vehicle would you drive?

Cars have never been a big deal to me. They are useful for getting from point A to point B but they are not a status symbol so I would stay with car I have now. KIA Sportage maybe a newer model.

5. What is your favorite cold-weather beverage?

Hot Coco with whipped cream on top. Our daughter makes her own recipe and I love it!

6. How do you communicate most often with your friends: phone, email, text, face-to-face, or Facebook?

Boy I really enjoy Facebook and email/text. I can see what they are doing and they can see what I'm doing at our own leisure and it will not interfere with dinner, or plans.

7. How do you receive your mail? Mailbox on the porch, at the end of the driveway, down the street, or post office box?

We have a mailbox at the end of the driveway.

8. Of the four basic personality types - sanguine, phlegmatic, melancholic, and choleric - which is your strongest? Which is your least evident? (See definitions below.)

My strongest I think would be Melancholic. Sanguine is my weakest.

9. What do you miss the most about being 20?

I had small children and we were traveling in the Air Force. It was a time of children's parties, moving around this great country, eating all the local food, having lots of energy and I was a full time wife, mom and homemaker which is who I am at my core. I love being in my 20's.

10. How long from the time you get up, does it take you to get ready to walk out the door in the morning?

I lay out my clothes the night before so in the morning I can hit the shower, get dressed, pack my lunch for work and have my coffee in my hand in just over an hour. I allow myself a few hours however so that I can do some house work and cook breakfast for Hubby. I'm not as fast by time I get home so I really do try to get a lot done in the morning.

11. Who handles the car maintenance and pays the bills in your family?

Hubby takes care of all of that, he even takes my car and fills it with gas for me. Love him.

12. For those in the US, how many states have you visited? For those outside the US, how many provinces/other countries have you visited?

We visited: NM, TX, CA, OK, AR, LU, MI, AL, GE, TN, KT, WV, MY, NJ, NY, CT, RI, VT, ME, NH, MA. Countries: England, Canada.

Personality type definitions courtesy Wikipedia:


The Sanguine temperament personality is fairly extroverted. People of a sanguine temperament tend to enjoy social gatherings, making new friends and tend to be quite loud. They are usually quite creative and often daydream. However, some alone time is crucial for those of this temperament. Sanguine can also mean very sensitive, compassionate and thoughtful. Sanguine personalities generally struggle with following tasks all the way through, are chronically late, and tend to be forgetful and sometimes a little sarcastic. Often, when pursuing a new hobby, interest is lost quickly when it ceases to be engaging or fun. They are very much people persons. They are talkative and not shy. For some people, these are the ones you want to be friends with and usually they become life long friends.


A person who is choleric is a doer. They have a lot of ambition, energy, and passion, and try to instill it in others. They can dominate people of other temperaments, especially phlegmatic types. Many great charismatic military and political figures were choleric. They like to be leaders and in charge of everything.


A person who is a thoughtful ponderer has a melancholic disposition. Often very considerate and get rather worried when they could not be on time for events, melancholics can be highly creative in activities such as poetry and art - and can become occupied with the tragedy and cruelty in the world. A melancholic is also often a perfectionist. They are often self-reliant and independent; one negative part of being a melancholic is sometimes they can get so involved in what they are doing they forget to think of others.


Phlegmatics tend to be self-content and kind. They can be very accepting and affectionate. They may be very receptive and shy and often prefer stability to uncertainty and change. They are very consistent, relaxed, rational, curious, and observant, making them good administrators and diplomats.

Ok it's your turn. Tell me about you.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Low Carb Cajun Stuffed Peppers

My "Little Sister" gave me this gift - how cute is it??

As the weather continues to cool off I've been looking at my recipes and doing my best to make them low carb. Stuffed Peppers is always good so here is my low carb version.

Here is what you need:
1 pound Hamburger
1 small onion diced
1/2 can tomato paste
1 cup water
1 tablespoon Cajun mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces Colby Jack cheese - shredded
Garlic Powder to taste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
4 Peppers

Cook the hamburger, onion and garlic powder, drain off fat then add the tomato paste, water, mustard and Worcestershire sauce and simmer for a bit until its as think as you like it. Add 1/2 of the cheese. In the mean time, cut peppers in half and par boil them for 3 minutes, then remove and place on baking sheet. Fill each half of pepper with the hamburger mixture and top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Enjoy.

Here is mine all packed up for lunch the next day. There was a little more "stuffing" than pepper so I added it to my lunch plate. Total carbs is 3 per 1/2 pepper. Like that! How do you make stuffed peppers?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weekend Review: Pet Fest

How was your weekend? What did you do?

I had the chance to be part of the All Dogs Gym Pet Festival. The Festival is a celebration of pets. A person can find dogs, cats, horses, ferrets and even snakes and turtles at this place. I am President of Luckdragon's Angels Pet Therapy Group and I was blessed to be sponsored this year by an anonymous donor who paid our admission fee to the event. Thank you so very much who ever you are. That was so wonderful of you! I also had generous gifts that were made by our members to sell and all the money went to the Luckdragon's Angels. This has become a yearly ritual but it is a long two days. We were there both Saturday and Sunday.

In addition to manning the booth and talking about what we do, Becke got to show off both as an example of a good therapy dog and as a dancing dog with the Canine Capers of NH. We danced to "I Just Want to Dance with You" by George Straight. Hubby took a video but I haven't figured out how to post it. As soon as we figure that out, I'll post it.

After 2 days on duty we are both tired. It was a great weekend. Tell me what you did?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Quick Tip Friday

Becke the wonder dog travels with us almost daily and having her in the back of the car means that dog hair is everywhere! So we put a twin size sheet on the back seat but how do you keep it in place? Today's quick tip is how to hold that sheet in place.

Twin size sheets can be bought at any department without having to get the entire set and they are perfect for covering the back seat. Lift the head rest and bring the sheet right up to the head rest.. Attach this sheet holder (also purchased at department stores in the linens department - 4 come in a pack) and push the head rest back into position.

It looks great and holds the sheet in place while she sits and moves back there. See, quick and easy. Have a great weekend and Lord willing I'll see you all Monday.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Texting - It's Everywhere

Do you text? Do you text often? I must admit that I am fascinated by it. I see younger people standing in line and their thumbs are moving at lightning speed. I don't like all texting however. I am upset to see them texting while driving, at the movies, during a meeting, while in a class, in church! They carry on full conversations in a matter of seconds. My text conversations are slow and perhaps painful to read because I don't speak text. I write words, even full sentences which I know is not correct so in an effort to learn how to do it correctly I looked up the the text lingo.......

Oh My! The full list is here but here is just a small sample of what I found.

10Q = Thank you

143=I love you

2moro = tomorrow

2nite = tonight

AAK= Asleep at Keyboard

ADBB=All Done Bye Bye

BON= Believe it or not

CYL= See you later

FYA= For your Amusement

HIOOC= Help I'm out of coffee (like this one!)

Here where we live there is not a law just against texting while driving, it is instead called "Negligent Driving" and it covers anything you are doing that results in an accident or motor vehicle law violation. So putting on eye makeup, eating your bowl of cereal or texting are all covered under this law. Do you have such laws in your state?

Do they offer a course in this language? If God gives us all another thousands years, will any one understand this "Discovered Language". Does this effect how our children and grand children write in school? You out there with kids - what do you think? Oh should I type WDYT=What do you think? Well CYL.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Still Going Through the Fall Check List

How is your Fall list going? Do you even have a Fall List? I have a D-I-L who lives in the south west. Her preparation for Fall consist of moving the long sleeves from the back of the closet to the front and maybe to take out the sweatshirts! She puts out some Fall decorations and makes some pumpkin cookies. Other than that, everything stays the same. Not true here!

I take Fall and especially Winter seriously here! For me that brings to mind the following this verse

Proverbs 31:21-22

"When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. [22] She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple."

So here is one of the things on my check list that I'm still working on:

"Fill Kerosene lamps and replace wicks if needed"

Because we have pets and little ones, most of the lamps on up on the wall so they can't be tipped over, also having them up high also allows the light they give off to travel farther around the room. We place them where they make the most sense like in the stairs so moving up and down is easy. In the bathroom for obvious reasons and halls and bedrooms. We buy the big bottle (or two, or three) of lamp oil, and extra wicks to make sure we have it ready. Clean both the glass and base as well the reflector so that you get the best light when you need it. This is also the perfect time to check the lamps to see if it's time to toss and buy new. Also change the wick now if it's short. Make sure you have matches or lighters too so that you can light them at a moments notice. Hang them or place them where you will use them and you can check it off the Proverbs list. Here is our full list that I'm still working on so stay tune for more Fall Check List.

Get fall/winter clothes out of attic- Done

Put spring/summer into attic- Done

Get out blankets, throws, quilts for bed/house-Done

Fill kerosene lamps and replace wicks if needed - Done

Take out Front Screen replace with glass door - Done

Put away outside hoses and close water to outside

Take down all outside garden fencing-Done

Put away summer yard statues - Done

Put away outside furniture - Done

Final mowing

Start raking the leaves

Find rakes and moved them to the front to use-Done

Order winter oil - Done

Order winter pellets - Done

Get furnace fireplace pellet stove all cleaned

Stock up on gas line anti-freeze

Make sure car scrappers are in car

Pack evacuation kit for Becke -Done

Dig out winter boots, gloves, scarfs, shovels-Done

Get sand for walkway

That's quite the list isn't it! What's on your list?

So how is your Fall/Winter list going? What do you do to get ready for the cold weather? You know hard working women like company....

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Recipe of the Week:Low Carb Cream of Pumpkin Soup

It's been cold enough to finally put the heat on! I've been holding cups of hot tea and coffee just to keep my hands warm so I really love having a hot bowl of soup. I decided to make Pumpkin soup since stores are now carrying canned Pumpkin again, so I've been stocking up. So here is the recipe:

Cream of Pumpkin Soup
1 - 14 oz can pumpkin
1- small onion diced
1- can fat free Chicken Broth (or 1 cup water and chicken bouillon)
1- cup heavy cream
Salt, pepper, and cinnamon to taste
Sour cream
Put everything in the crock pot except the Sour Cream and cook on low for 6 hours. Top each bowl with a tablespoon of Sour Cream.
This was really good and with only 3 Carbs per cup! Hubby had grilled cheese sandwiches with his and I had ham and cheese roll ups with my soup. I love having dinner cook all day while I play with our granddaughter. Do you have a soup that you love? Want to share the recipe with me? My Bifocals are on.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I Heard You!

Last Friday I had a quick fix tip that got a bit of a response that some of my readers didn't think seasoning the cast iron pan was easy. The tip was cooking with cast iron gave you iron in your diet. Seasoning a cast iron pan is a separate tip. Seasoning the cast iron pan is time consuming but is easy. So today I thought I would show you just how easy it is to season a cast iron pan. Cast iron pans will last a lifetime or two, or three as long as they are cared for and yes it's easy. This is my Soup/Stew Pot and it needs to be re-seasoned.

If you have a new pan or one that you have let go to rust you have to "season" it. This is also sometimes called "curing". So get the pan out and follow along.

1. Put the pan in the sink and with steel wool or a stiff brush, add hot water & scrub the pan inside and out to remove the "new coating" that new pans come with or the rust that is there. Don't use soap!

2. Completely dry the pan with a soft cloth. The grease needs to get into the pores so make sure the pan is very dry. You can also put the pan on the stove burner on low to dry it.

3. Now coat the pan - inside, outside, top and bottom with a solid grease -crisco or bacon fat works best for this. You don't need much so be careful not to slather it on. If you have a cover, coat that too. I recommend solid grease here. Save the spray stuff for later. Here I had some bacon fat that was still a liquid so I used that.

4. 4. Pre heat the oven to 300 degrees and put tin foil on the rack. Place the cast iron pan upside-down on tin foil and bake for 15 minutes. If you have a cover put that in too, right side up.

5. Grab your pot holders (THE PAN & COVER WILL BE HOT) and take the pan out of the oven and using paper towel wipe the inside and outside. Do the same with the cover. After wiping them, put them back in the oven upside down again, but this time for an hour. Go vacuum, quilt, sew, balance your checkbook, read or whatever. Yes, your paper towel will be rust colored - it's OK.

6. For best results repeat steps #3, #4, and #5 again, either right away, or tomorrow or another day but definitely before you use it.

7. Done!

Now every time you use the pan, follow this

1. Once the food is out of the pan (duh) run hot water in the pan and using a brush scrub the pan. You don't even need soap-the water and pan are hot so wear gloves.

2. Put the pan back on the burner to dry. The burner should be "off" if you have an electric stove and on very - very low if you have a gas stove. If you have a gas stove, watch the pan and as soon as the pan is dry, turn off the burner.

3. Add a drop of cooking oil to the pan (or use the spray stuff here) using a paper towel spread it around very lightly. Done! Really it took longer for me to type these last three steps than it does to perform them.

It may be time consuming but it's definitely easy and once done, you will not have to re-season the pan for a very long time-assuming you take care of it.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Quick Tip Friday

Are you suffering from low iron? The easiest way to help build your iron level is to cook in cast iron pans. Every time you cook in it, some of the iron is released into your food and then into you. No pills needed. Cast iron is easy to "season", easy to clean and easy to find. How quick is that!!

Have a great weekend - See you Monday.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What encourages you? What motivates you? When you start a diet, don't you love it when someone says " Hey looking good!" Or "Looks like you need to go shopping that dress is too big!"

What about starting a new job and you hear "Well done today, your learning this job fast!" We all like to be motivated and encouraged to continue on or to keep at it.

Sometimes we seek it out. I've been known to call my cousin "Cuz" I call her and ask "What are you cooking for dinner?" in the hope that it will encourage me to cook something similar (sometimes it does just that, too, so thanks Cuz). I have even stooped so low as to invite people over for dinner knowing it will motivate me to clean my house. Yes I will use my friends like that! Makes you want to be invited over doesn't it.

When I started this blog I knew I was writing for myself mainly and that some people may look at it. I have a side bar that shows me when people look at the blog and even if they don't leave a comment, they took the time to stop by. That encourages me. Some people know me, and talk to me at Church, or at work. All of that encourages me. Hubby reads the blog and tells me he likes it. That encourages me.

But those are worldly things. The things that take up our day. What about spiritual things? When your day is dreary, your load is heavy, your night is long, do you have someone to call like my "Cuz"? Do you have someone to invite into your life to pray with or cry with? I hope you do. How about a bible verse? Do you have a favorite? My favorite is Romans 8:28.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

It doesn't matter what the "thing" is, fill in the blank- "And we know that in "my job as a homemaker" God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

Or maybe this: And we know that in all "Lack of money", God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Or even this: And we know that in "The fact that I don't have a job and been unemployed for a year" God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Now that's encouragement we can all use! How about you? What is your favorite verse and how do you find encouragement or motivation?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

This Weeks Recipe - Low Carb Cauliflower Sausage Soup

Well it feels like Fall has finally showed up here. After several days in the high 70's and even low 80's we have had a few days of rain and the temperatures are much more seasonal. Time after work is filled with laundry, house work, visiting with loved ones and of course dinner. Time to get that crock pot "domestic servant" out and get it working. One thing I love about the crock pot and especially soup is that you can put whatever you want in it. So go ahead and add in those left over veggies that your kids didn't want to eat, and add in that tiny piece of meat left from lunch. When it comes to soup -It's All Good. Here is a new recipe that I made just last week.
Cauliflower Sausage Soup
Ingredients: Sausage, Cauliflower, Cheese Spread (Like Velveeta), Chicken bullion, Diced tomatoes with green chilies, onion power, dried celery, and Italian seasoning.
I was making this for just the 2 of us so I used our small 4 quart crock pot. I used 1-1/2 cup of cauliflower, 4 sausage links, 2 inch thick slice of the Velveeta, and one can of tomatoes with green chilies. Cut the sausage (while frozen) into bite size pieces and the cauliflower as small you want (or need if you are trying to sneak it past your kids). Put it into the crock pot and cover with the can of tomatoes with green chilies. Dice the Velveeta into chunks and add to pot. Cover with just enough water to cover everything and toss in a bullion cube. Add your spices. I had set the crock pot to "Keep Warm" but if you are using a larger crock pot, use low. Go to work and come home to a great dinner. Hubby had soup crackers with his, but a nice crusty bread would be lovely too.
Do you have a favorite crock pot recipe? How about sharing....