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.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Birthday to a Special Son

Our son at 2 1/2 weeks old weight 8 lbs 5 1/2 oz

The Date: 12/30/72
The place: Albuquerque NM
The time: 8:15pm
The event: Labor!

It was a hard pregnancy with lots of little things having gone wrong and yet every time I heard the heart beat I knew I had to do whatever it would take to hold on to this baby. Hubby had to come get me and fly with me to our new home rather than getting our home all ready and picking me up at the airport. The doctor would only allow me out of the house for a few hours a week and the due date was soon. We were new to New Mexico and I desperately wanted to  get out of the house. I was bored and lonely so when we were invited to go to a drive-in movie the doctor said OK. The movie: a Peter Sellers comedy called "Where Does It Hurt?  It was a satire about how corrupt hospital administrators are and it was before the whole Monty Python type of movie became popular so this film was not well received but I remember it clearly because when the movie began that evening of  December 30th I went into labor. I knew where it hurt! We were in someone else's car so we stayed to see the movie. The whole time the other guy kept saying "Don't have the baby here, I just cleaned my car!" we would laugh and that would take my mind off what was happening to me. Once we got home we went to the hospital and I began the wait game. Back in those days, you went as long as it took to have the baby. Hubby would disappear for a bit and come back smelling of chocolate! Woman know that smell and since I couldn't eat he would go out in the hall! How dare he! We waited, and waited and waited. At one point oxygen was given to me because the baby was in distress! The baby! You can bet momma was in distress as well. Hubby was told that we may not both make it and who should they save. 24 hours later 12/31/72 8:15pm our son was born. I was weak but OK. He was good sized after all and although there would be years of frightening moments he was alive.   It would be 4 years before we would have him home longer than the hospital would have him. At his first birthday he only weighted 17 pounds 13 ounces. It took an entire year for him to double his weight. How big was your child on their first birthday? 

 He has grown up to be a strong, Christian man who still plays like a kid, loves his wife and children and works hards to provide for them.

He is much taller than me now and a lot bigger than the 21 inches, 8 lbs 5 1/2 ounces he started out as, but he will forever be my son - my little man.

Our Son at 7 months! weight 13 lbs 11 oz.

Walking at 1 year old and a weight of 17 pounds, 13 ounces

Happy birthday my little man.   I love you so much and I am so proud of you.
Oh and thank you for the tax deduction that year, it was great! We spent it, probably on you.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Years Resolutions

I was wondering what new years tradition you have. Do you get together with friends and play games, or do you join others for "First Night" events in your home town? It has never been a party night for us. Either Hubby is working and I am home alone, or we fall sleep long before the ball drop, - yes we are big time late owls who party with the best of them-but we set the alarm and wake up to watch the ball drop. Do watch it? Do you make new years resolutions? I've made many over the years, read a certain number of books, loose weight, and give up chocolate (why did I make that one!!!)  I hate it when I make a resolution and then break it two weeks into the new year. I feel like a failure. So last year I resolved to make no resolutions. I kept that one so picture me doing a happy dance here.  

This year I would like to try my hand at a new years resolution.  I think I will resolve to the following:
 Smile more - laugh more - hug more - tell people I love them more - write more - and trust more.
Watch TV less - get angry less - and complain less.  How about you, any resolutions?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Every day there are choices to make. What time to get up, what to wear, which coffee to have, how early to leave the house, what to buy at the store. Yup lots and lots of choices! Some we don't mind making and it really doesn't matter if we make some choices (do I have the vanilla coffee or the caramel coffee?) While others may make a huge difference (which path do I take to battle this cancer).  Language is a choice as well. 

Yesterday afternoon I noticed that someone hit my car and broke my front bumper. Worst part, they didn't leave a note! Yes it is sad.

Thinking back over the last few days it must have happened sometimes Monday night while Hubby and I were out after the blizzard getting supplies. The roads were pretty bad and the parking lots were pretty messy - accidents do happen, but to not leave a note!  After showing Hubby and thinking back to when/where it might have happened, the next step is to take pictures, call the insurance and let them take pictures as well , then get it fixed. No yelling, screaming or swearing about a car. I like my car, but I Love my family. 

This is what I first saw

The view from the front

The close up! :-(

I view our cars as one of our Domestic Servant that needs to be cared for but unlike a hurt family member, I will not lose sleep, I will not plan revenge, I will not drive to the stores we visited on Monday night and demand to watch there parking lot recordings. I will not swear over it nor will I cry.  I will remind myself that I am a blessed woman who has a car that still works. I have a warm house on a cold night. I have a God who loves me.  I have insurance to fix the car and will call them in the morning.  In the meantime, I have something to blog about: CHOICES. We all make them, how do you make yours?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Pecan Cookies

Well the Christmas Season is officially over but hopefully the Season of Christmas stays in your heart all year long.  I pray you are recovering well from the all the food that was floating around everywhere, and you don't have any Christmas Food Remorse.   I managed to not only NOT gain any weight over this time of free flowing food, but actually lost 1 pound more! And it was done by having low carb sweets ready to eat while others ate the high carb, high fat, variety.  Here is one of my favorite cookies that end up having 0 Carbs - you saw that right 0! So I could eat several and not have to count any of them!

Pecan Cookies
3/4 cups chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups whole grain pastry flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
5 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon safflower or light olive oil (I used olive oil)
2 teaspoon vanilla extra

Mix the pecans, flour, cornstarch and salt and process until well combined.  In a separate bowl mix 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, butter, oil, vanilla and mix until creamy. Add the dry ingredients and combine till well mixed.  Now you have a choice.
1. Drop by teaspoon onto greased cookie sheet, press down a bit or
1. Make small balls and place on cookie sheet and leave a small balls

I pressed down a bit to form flat cookies.  Bake for 12 minutes at 350 and place on wax paper to cool. While still warm sprinkle the rest of the confectioners' sugar over the cookies.  Let cool and enjoy.
Because the pecan are high in fiber the total carb count comes to 0.

Batter will be stiff

Got to use my new mixer!!!

0 Carbs for the ENTIRE PLATE! But don't eat the entire plate -  these are high in fiber.

So with nice sweet treats floating around here, I was able to enjoy the season, even had a small eclair and    a few other small non carb treats and still lost 1 pound!!
How did you do over the past week?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Weekend Review: White Boxing Day

Our Christmas was just perfect and relaxing. After opening our gifts here we had a great large breakfast and relaxed until the afternoon. Then we went over our daughters and had more gifts to deliver to our granddaughter and played with her and her toys.  Then we came home and again relaxed. It was wonderful and stress free!

And the final outfit for the season.

Well, if you count 2 inches of snow on the ground a white Christmas, then we did have a white Christmas but we really got a White Boxing day and today we are in a blizzard. Power is going out around  us because of the high wind - our power lines are above the ground so heavy snow, strong winds all can take the power out.  But Hubby has the generator ready to go in case we do go black.  Temps are below 0 with the wind chill and the entire state just south of us is shut down! Where we are the state is not shut down, but out little town is. They closed down yesterday.
Here are some photos of what we are dealing with now.

Really large snow flakes and it is coming down hard and fast

This is still early morning, I wonder what it will be like when done!

Poor Becke has a hard time getting down these steps, better get them shoveled!

The view in our front yard, it sure is pretty to look at (with coffee in my hands)

The one plant let in the yard that is covered. 

Stay safe everyone. I'll be working on those back steps!  

Friday, December 24, 2010

Quick Tip Friday: What to do with Christmas Cards

The cards from this year hanging as you walk in. Thank you all!

Outfit # 29, I've been Nice - how about you?

Today is Christmas Eve, and you may be running around trying to get the last bit of shopping done. Or maybe you are still baking those special cookies. The house is beautiful, the tree may be filled with all the gifts ready to hand out.  So with all you may still have to do, I am thrilled that you stopped by for a quick visit. Impressed really.  As you look at all the cards, or email you got this year, do you have plans with what to do with them after Christmas? Well since I'm Scottish I keep them and reuse them next year. 

I cut the cards in two and toss out the part where they signed there names. Now if the card has a really nice verse on it, I may keep it to use the verse for further use. I will hold onto the picture cover part of the card for a year. So these pictures are from cards we got last year.  Here some options that I do with those cards.

1. It becomes a gift tag for a large gift.  Keep the size as is and just punch a hole in it and write then name of the new recipient of the gift. Attach to the new gift. 

2. If you need a small gift tag, cut part of the card, glue it to card stock and punch a hole then attach it to a gift. Sometimes the back of the card has a small photo that is perfect for this. That is what I did here.

Use scrapbook scissors to cut out the part of the card you like.

Glue it on top of matching card stock, punch a hole it it and use yarn to attache it to the smaller gift.   No more buying gift tags, no more tossing out great cards to the land fill, no more writing on the gift with a Sharpie and you get to see all the cards all over again!

3. Using craft sticks, create a frame  and take some of the cards to place on the back, rub the top with glue stick and let your little ones shake some glitter on top and hang your child's work of art.  

Thank you for stopping by on such a busy day. I so appreciate it! Have a blessed day today and Tomorrow. Laugh, Love, and now Stop reading blogs and go hug someone! While you're at it, thank the Lord for someone to love.  Lord willing, I'll see you Monday.  


Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Other Box From Monday

I told you on Monday that I got 2 boxes over the weekend and that one of them was from the West Coasters but I didn't tell you what the other box was.  Back in November I won a gift give away that was held by MomAdvise    It was for this Bissell Sweep and Steam. I was so excited to get it. I don't win things often and if this thing really works like it says it does, then I will be doing the happy dance around here (good things neighbors can't look in my windows - we are too far apart)

I comes almost completely assembled all that is needed is to add the handle (1 screw) and place the sweeper bottom onto the center tube (1 screw) easy peasy. I was excited to get it and to get it going. After putting it together and reading the 10 page manual I added water and turned it on.  The entire thing is very light and the long cord made it easy to move around the kitchen.  But when I pulled the level for steam, it made this clicking noise!  OH NO I thought, it's broken.... I didn't see anything in the manual about this noise so I called the 1-800 number listed in the manual and Mary, service representative  asked me to turn it on and let her hear the sound. I did that she told me that the sound was normal and I needed to hold the steam release button for about a solid minute to let the pump pull the water down for the first time.  So she stayed on the phone with me because I was sure that something was wrong.  Just as she said the sound stopped and steam started coming out. Thank you Mary!  She was so helpful.  The steamer sweeper is very quiet, light and easy to use. Well once the initial clicking noise has past that is.  The floor dries fast, not immediately, but within a minute or two -  and hubby was able to sleep right through it.  Thank you Amy for a great give away. If you have never been over to MomAdvice you should go. She has great tips on managing a family on a budget, great recipes and wonderful gift giveaways.  Go over there and see for yourself.

I know that with a dog and a grand daughter, cleaning the floors with steam is just better for us. Plus snow has arrived at our house so now there are wet muddy paws, and boot prints to clean up after!  Can you see me smiling?  I had priced them in stores and figured I just needed to save up and hope for sale.  Now that money can go to something else.  Don't you love when that happens?

OutFit # 28 only 2 more to go!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday Hodgepodge:

Joyce has done it again! If you want to play hit the Wednesday Hodgepodge button and join in on the fun.

1. Share your Christmas Eve traditions.
Since Hubby is a police officer we work around his work schedule. This year, he has both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off which is so very nice.  So Christmas Eve we are having a quiet dinner (haven't decided yet, maybe a roast) remember Christmas' gone by, watch Christmas specials and enjoy the company of each other.  

2. What was the best book you read in 2010? (we're not going to include The Bible here)
I enjoyed The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch very much. He had a lot of lessons to teach and I loved how he lived his life in the here and now.

3. Do you have pets and if so do you allow them on the furniture?
We have Becke the wonder dog and yes as you can see she is allowed on the furniture.

We also have fish, they are not allowed on the furniture at all!

4. What event from 2010 are you most thankful for?
I got to start watching my wonderful grand daughter on Sundays while her parents work schedule overlap for a few hours. She is all mine during that time and she is a love. I am so proud at what good parents our daughter and son-in-law are. 

5. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before.
Back in late summer Hubby and I took a trip to Niagara Falls, the USA side. It was a great trip and one of the things on my Bucket List. It is now crossed off.

6. Brussel sprouts...friend or foe?
Friend. I like them steamed with butter.  Don't remember eating them when I was younger, but I do like them. 

7. Who would you nominate for man/woman of the year?
Hubby of course, he is my hero. He loves me and cares for me and takes care of me and I can not image my live without him.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I feel blessed. That's my thought - that I'm blessed.

Now it's your turn. Join in on the fun and let learn about each other. 

#27 - My daughter made this for me when she was a teen. I will keep it no matter how big it is!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Another little Christmas & Low carb Chocolates

With all the sweets that are around these days, it's hard not to break down and eat some. And there is nothing wrong with that. Sweets are a blessing from God as well.  And I love Chocolate! We all love Chocolates right?  Well I do know one person that does not like chocolate at all. He is not allergic to it, just doesn't like it. Strange man. Anyhow, I dug through my cookbooks for a low carb cookie and found a few.

OK before the recipe, a quick story.  I pulled out the ingredients I needed to make these and began to hunt down my hand mixer.  I looked in the cabinet, in the other cabinet, in a few more cabinets and then began to panic as to where it was!  Since I don't bake in the summer I put it away safe right?  But where...I couldn't find it at all and then remembered that it really wasn't working very well the last time I used it. It was 30 something years old after all.  In fact the speeds no longer worked at all and in order to get it to work, I had to get it ready and as soon as I plugged it in, the beaters would start up. So out it went. I figured I would look for a replacement at the thrift stores or yard sales and then....life got in the way and I never did it.  Enter my Superhero!!!

Hubby to the rescue, he got on the computer, found one I liked, got in the car, drove to the store (and it was lightly snowing making the roads slick) on the 20th of December and went into the store with all the other last minute Christmas shoppers and got me a new mixer. Not just any mixer mind you he got me a  KitchenAide Mixer!!!  I felt bad that we were replacing an domestic servant at this time of year, and I know the cost of KitchenAide Mixers but Hubby told me that it was on sale and it was my Christmas Present. So I got an early Christmas present. I put that new Domestic Servant right to work and here is the result.

Here is a great low carb chocolate treat that you will want to try even if you are not living a low carb lifestyle. It has more of a cake texture than a cookie texture but still it's really good. It comes from the Atkins Cookbook

Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

4 large egg whites
1 cup granular sugar substitute (using 1/2 cup of Splenda and 1/2 cup of store brand works the best for me)
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 teaspoon chocolate extract
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes, chopped

Heat oven to 325 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed beat egg whites until soft peaks form. With mixer still on slowly add sugar substitute and continue to beat until still. Stir in coconut and chocolate extracts.
Mix cocoa with coconut flakes. Stir into egg mixture. Drop batter onto prepared baking sheets in slightly rounded teaspoons. Bake 12-15 minutes until set.

Net Carbs are 2.5 for 3 macaroons. Now if you make them using a tablespoon, then they are 2.5 per macaroon.

Hubby liked them as well and it's nice to have cookies floating around the house at this time of year.

Winter Outfit # 26

Monday, December 20, 2010

Week End Review: The Early Christmas

I pray you all had a great weekend. Maybe finished your shopping, or finished the wrapping. No matter what you did, I'm glad you stopped by today, after all this is the week of Christmas!

Hubby came home on Saturday morning with a medium hot Caramel Latte for me. OH what  a treat that is because that is not low carb! But since I've not gained anything so far this holiday season, I drank it with glee!!! Thank you for such a sweet treat!  After, we ran the usual errors together - you know stop at this store to pick up that, go there to grab one on of those - nothing special all by itself but we did it together and so that made it special. After all its having some one to share your life with, and also to witness your life that makes life and this season special.

Saturday's Outfit #23

Late Saturday afternoon 2 boxes arrived at our door. One from the West Coasters who sent there gifts to us for under the tree.  Have I told you that I have the best Daughter In Law (DIL).  She sent a card and 3 gifts labeled "To Open Early"  OK you have to know that I have been know to open gifts for me, look at the gift, re-wrap it and then act surprised. I am a great actress when it comes to gifts.  Some family members have resorted to wrapping gifts with clear package tape over all the seams so I can't get it open easily.  I will not mention names here but they are so in trouble!!! Any how I showed Hubby the note and tore into the gifts.  A Christmas tree made from the hand prints of my grandsons, 2 new ornaments for the tree with there cute faces on them and a gold frame (or at least gold paint) of the 2 cutest grandsons in a big Christmas Box!! Plus school photos of them. My heart is full of love and joy for the gifts she sent. Thank you love, that will hold me over till Christmas when we open the others.

I'll tell you about the other box later this week.

Sunday I had our grand daughter over to play with me after morning Worship.  She is so fun and we did a craft that this time I took pictures of.  I glued the sticks together and added the photos on the back then rubbed the top with glue stick and let her shake the glitter all over them.  She likes to "shake - shake - shake" as she says.  Such fun to do a craft with a 21 month old.

After she left we headed off for small group where we continued to study the book of Luke. I really do love our small group. We talk, sing, study, comment and really get to know each better.
Sunday's Outfit #24
So what did you this weekend? I hope you found time to enjoy this week and not just ran around trying to get all things done.

Monday's Outfit #25

Friday, December 17, 2010

Quick Tip Friday: Chalk Board

Outfit # 22 and still counting. 8 more to go. One of my favorite spots in the house!

I did this project a few weeks ago but just got around to posting about it.  I have seen lots of chalk boards in kitchens and thought how cool they all were. I figured one day I would get around to making one and finally I did.

I started with this very old and much used pizza pan that had seen it's better days. After I scrubbed it really well to get the old grease and rust off of it I put it into a box in our garage, because it was too cold to do this project outside. And I mean cold, that week was the first week we had temps in the teens!!!!

Spray paint comes in either the "paint on type" or the "spray on type" in either Black or Green. I chose the Black spray on type.  I found mine at a craft store but I think you can also get it at a hardware store. Make sure the box is nice and deep if you are in an area where you can not do this outside. The spray is very fine and will go everywhere!
I started with 2 back to back coats.

Wait 24 hours and then I added another another 2 coats spraying in the opposite direction from what I had done the day before and waited 24 hours more before I took it out of the box.

Before you use it, "season it" by rubbing all over it with chalk then erase it - and that is all there is to it.
The first message was of course about coffee!

Hanging on the wall when you walk in.  I like my bright  kitchen!

Because I used a Pizza pan it's magnetite - here is a note to our Grandchildren!

Have a great weekend, be thankful for your life, smile at someone and Lord willing, I'll be here Monday. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Spirit - What is it?

Every year I hear how someone is taking longer and longer to "get into the Christmas Spirit". And every year I am surprised about that statement because I feel the Christmas Spirit  most every day.  So what is it, - this Christmas Spirit.  Is it something we have only in December? Is it something we "catch" like a cold? Is it something we give to each other or find on our own by listening to Christmas Music or watching a movie?  I've been thinking about this a while and I'm not sure that I can find the correct words to match my feelings, but I'm going to try to put my thoughts into words. I thank you for staying with me while I do this. Yesterday's Hodgepodge asked about Christmas Spirit as well so this post was timed perfectly don't you think?

I believe that what people really object to is how commercialised this season seems to get. Just watch any TV ad and you will see commercials for TV, electronics, cars, games, expensive clothes and jewelry all being offered to make your loved ones feel loved. And the one tag line that I have heard over and over "No one wishes for a Smaller Holiday Gift" that drives some friends up the wall!  Get the bigger car, the newest gadget, the best vacation and you will make your loved ones love you back.  That doesn't work - ever!

Think about what makes you feel loved. It's not the new, bigger, brighter, expensive stuff, is it?  Here is what it is for me: It's waking up to the spouse that has been faithful to you for many years. It's all the coffee pots he has made for me, or the fact that the house here is always in the mid's 70's so that I can feel warm in my own home. It's hearing my children and grand children laugh or give me a hug or thank for making something simple when they are sick, like toast, or soup. It's feeling safe and secure in my own home. It's having someone to laugh with, cry with, dance with, someone who will tell you when you are acting up and pat you on the back when you do good.  It's laughing so hard, you cry. It's crying so hard, you laugh.  It's the people around me. It's knowing that something I did made someone else happy. That is what makes me feel loved. How about you?

Growing up, the Christmas season was not always a happy day at my childhood home but I do have some nice memories. I remember my aunt gathering up the toys from the older children, washing them, sewing a new dress for the dolls and a new blanket for her too from her stash of material and wrapping them for the younger children.  I got one of those dolls once and loved her for a long time. It meant something special that my "new" doll had a new dress and a blanket to wrap up made especially for me. I remember my Grannie falling asleep on the couch one year and my sister and I took her "pug" down to see how long her hair really was and when she woke up we all laughed so hard we cried. Then she stood up so we could see that her hair went  down to her butt and we laughed again.  She wasn't mad that we took her hair down, she enjoyed our curiosity. I remember hearing carolers singing in the street down town. I remember my cousins and I running outside playing on Christmas day while our parents cooked, or watched TV or sat around talking until it was time to eat.  I remember the first really new doll I ever got - Chatty Cathy. Most of our gifts were clothes because we needed clothes.

I remember hearing the Story of Jesus birth but not just in December but year round. I use to look at a picture book we had about it and wonder if angels still sing on Jesus' birthday and if they ever sang "Happy Birthday" to Him. See these are things that create the Christmas Spirit in me. Not the TV adds for hot cocoa, but the cup of cocoa made for us by someone who loves us.

Christmas became very special once Hubby and I got married. We created our own holiday and laughed and ate and played music and shared our meals and felt safe and warm and loved.

See, to me the term "Christmas Spirit" is backwards. People talk about Christmas Spirit as if it shows up on the door step like the mail on a certain day and if it's not there then they don't have it. It's not dictated by how much money you have, or how many people are showing at your home. It's is not limited by your decorations or how many Christmas songs you listen to. To me it's not the Christmas Spirit - It's the Spirit of Christmas - something we get to keep year round by remembering who's birth we are truly celebrating and why we needed Him to be born in the first place. It's something we get to keep January - January, every year if we allow it to stay in our hearts. It's about the greatest Love in the world and He was born for us to accept His gift. That has no limits.

Now I fully understand that I am blessed. I have a husband who loves me and cares for me, many don't. I have a warm home to live in, many don't. I have gas for my car to get me to work, many don't. I have warm food to eat, every day, many don't. But at one time, I didn't have some of these things either, yet I still sang Happy Birthday to Jesus on Christmas and wondered if the Angels sang that to Him as well.

Where do you get your Christmas Spirit? Or better put, how do you keep your Spirit of Christmas?

Outfit #21 and we still have no snow up in the right hand corner of the USA! That's why I wore this, snow on the shirt at least.