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, June 30, 2011

The Beauty Around Me

My camera is a small Cannon Power Shot SD200. Not fancy but it fits in my purse and does the job. I took it for a walk around my yard the other day and here is what I saw through both my bifocals and the camera lens. 

Bird feeder also tucked into the plants

Hostas filling in a shady spot

Vines climbing the arch

Leaves kissed with just fallen rain

 Pink Babies Breath reaching for the sky

I'm so glad I walked around looking at the beauty around me. I see the beauty that God has placed here for me. Stop and look for the beauty that is waiting for you to discover. What do you see?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge:

Joyce had the questions early today - guess she didn't sleep much. Thank you Joyce.

1. What makes you stand to your feet and cheer?
Summer! Heat! Watching the underdog win. A new birth in Baptism . Last Sunday I had the chance to watch our granddaughters and I while I was playing with the oldest one outside, we were looking for sticks. When I found one, she would jump up and down yelling "Yeah Grannie, you got one." She was so happy for me that it made me cheer too. Kids will do that you know. Grand kids are truly the best!

2. What's your favorite patriotic song?

Besides the National Anthem, it would have to be "God Bless America". My eyes fill with tears when I hear it.

3. Do you believe that opposites attract? If you have a significant other are you opposites?
Yes and Yes. Hubby is a left handed, night owl, type B personality while I am a right handed, morning rooster, type A personality. We can't share an office because of it, but we are so perfect for each other. My weaknesses are his strengths, and his weaknesses are my strengths. We fit together perfectly.

4. You're going to get a behind the scenes look someplace...where would you like that someplace to be?
I would like to have a behind the scene look at Joyce's world, I would love to know where she comes up with the questions she that shares with all of us to answer.

5. How far would you have to travel to ride a carousel (merry-go-round)?
I think the local mall still has one so it would be about a 15 minute drive to the mall. Joyce where do you come up with some of these questions?

6. When was the last time you saw fireworks? What was the occasion? Do you enjoy fireworks?

WOW, we hear them a lot because it's not illegal to have them in this state so they go off for every graduation, every wedding reception, anytime some one wants to go the store and get them then set them off in their yard, we hear them. But the last ones we went to go see must have been last 4th of July. Yes, I like them. I'm like a kid who  screams "Oooh, Ahhh"

7. Of all the 'beauty products' you own, what item do you consider to be the most overpriced?
At my age, its the wrinkle cream, concealer and filler! Oh my!  I mean really, I'm only expecting a miracle here folks but the cost just goes up with every new wrinkle that I find.  If anyone has one of those products that really works, I would like to know about it.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
My random thought is that I do not have anymore random thoughts. I'm tired. I just got off the stationary bike and the abb machine  between that and walking and step aerobics I've completed 9.13 miles just today and I'm pooped. Oh!! There is my random thought- Who knew?!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Recipe of the Week:Orange Marmalade Muffins

The other week, just before Father's Day I was looking to make something different for breakfast. I get tired of bacon and eggs, sausage and eggs, ham and eggs, cheese and meat omelets, and steak and eggs, pancakes and ham - I know - I eat these a lot and still lost 35 pounds and my cholesterol came down! Any how, I digress.

Looking to see what I had on hand I decided to try putting together something different and here is what made.

Looks good doesn't it? 

 Here is what I used:
1 cup Almond meal
1 cup Flax seed meal
4 eggs
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 Stick of Butter (real butter) melted
1/3 cup1/2  & 1/2  (next time I'm using heavy cream, I was out at the moment)
1/3 cup Sugar free syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla flavoring
Sugar Free Orange Marmalade

Mix everything but the orange marmalade - it will be thick so don't worry.

Spray the inside of your muffin pan and drop by table spoons into the muffin pan. Top each one with a bit of the orange marmalade and push it down just a little bit.

Cook in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for at least 20 minutes and then begin to check them. Take out when a knife comes out clean, let cool and enjoy. 

I got 12 of these and Hubby really liked them. Now for those of you who are thinking they are light and fluffy, they are not. They are denser and you will not be hungry for a long time.

Oh, the carb count. Each muffin has 1.5 carbs. So I had 3 of these. Hubby had 2 of these with some cold cereal.  I didn't have room for anything else. Do you live low carb? I would love to have some of your recipes, so do share.  

Next time I'm trying it with Sugar Free Strawberry Jam!!!!!! YUM!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Weekend Review: And the 2400 Mile Challenge

Shanae Button

My personal challenge is really moving along, we may be into summer but up here in NH as Hubby says  "Summer is Optional" It's been in the 50's, damp (as in it rained for 4 days) and down right raw. While I was shopping on Saturday I couldn't help but notice that most people were in light jackets, or sweat shirts. There was only 1 guy in shorts and flip flops and goose bumps - serves him right. Oh he was about 15 years old so a teenager (you know - no brain engaged)!  With all that going on outside, I was inside riding the stationary bike, doing step aerobics and dancing off inches and managed to complete 73 miles! That's right 73 miles between the bike, stepping, painting projects and just plain walking. So my year so far is up to 1400 miles. I love the look of that! Have you seen the movie Knight and Day? Well if you haven't, you should (if you like action movies and I do) One of the things that is really great is the sound tract, down load it, put on your headset and go for a walk, you will walk a whole lot faster than ever. That is really one great sound tract! Or get on the treadmill with it on. 

Hubby complete the garden fence by putting on the new gate that will keep unwanted critters out.

We can get in there to work on the garden but keep the little critters out-and that does include Becke who loves the smell of the tomato plants. Don't know what she is thinking by trying to eat the flowers on the plant but that is not what I want her doing. I love how easily it swings open and closes. He did a great job putting that fencing up. Thank you love!!

Speaking of our garden, it's coming along nicely. Most things are up but none are ready to eat. At least we have not had to weed or water much at all this year. I thought one night we might have to cover it because it was going to be cold but I forgot to and they survived.  

Our peas are starting to climb up and reach for the sun! I'm looking forwarded to enjoying these soon. 

Since Becke can't get to her tomato plant any longer she has decided to splash around in her pool instead. This is by far a better choice! Yup - mama approves, splash away.

The cabinet for the kitchen is just about done. I decided I wanted a better topper for it so hubby has the wood and will work on that. He put the handles on and I quickly put the "Good Dishes" inside.

There is a story behind those "Good Dishes" which I'll tell you about one day.  

How was your weekend? What did you do?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Project in the works

Don't you love having projects? I know I do and I am rarely bored. I have winter projects that I do when I'm trapped toasty by the fire, inside and the wind is howling, the snow is piling up and temps are in the negative numbers. During those times I do a lot of sewing, knitting, closet cleaning (I do have to tie a line on me in case I get lost in there and can't find my way out).

 But in the good weather, I'm pruning, planting, weeding (a whole lot of weeding!) painting and refinishing. That is what is happing this week. Remember the kitchen do over?

Well, it's still a work in progress and will be done when time, and money come together,  but I have been working on revamping the cabinets to use for other things.

Three of them are on the floor for toy storage: awaiting wheels, door pulls and a top still, but in the meantime, they do the job they are intended for.

The fourth one is almost finished - most of it is painted, stained, frosted, and ready for it's new job.  It's still waiting for a top and the front doors, but it is in it's new place.

This cabinet had glass doors on both side and I didn't want to build a new backing for it, so I finished the doors and frosted the glass and put them on. It matches my "Meme's" side board really well and looks old as well. It will house the "Good Dishes" when I finish with it.  

How about you? Any projects in the works? Share will you.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge: The First SUMMER Edition

Joyce gave out the questions so here are my answers for this 1st edition of the Summer Hodgepodge.

1. Summer's here-whoohoo! What's your favorite sight, sound, AND smell associated with summer?
I love it all, the heat, the humidity, the glorious sunshine! Bring on the 100 degrees, and the 89% humidity!  Show me the beach sand sticking out between my toes and the ice cream for dinner. I like the sounds of radios playing from convertibles and fireworks. BBq's sizzling and kids splashing in kiddy pools and running in sprinklers. Light colored clothes and having bare arms while I sit outside in my chair watching the garden grow. I don't think there is anything I don't like about summer - except it's ending. :-(

2. Fireflies or lightning bugs...what are they called in your neck of the woods?
They are called both in our neck of the woods.

3. What is something from the past week that reminded you of your childhood?
School finally ended around here for some people and since there were a lot of snow days to make up - some other  school are still in session until this week!  Now all the parents are trying to figure out what to do with there children until it starts up again - which is AFTER Labor day!

4. Define 'the good life'.
WOW! It's a lot of things. It's doing what you love to do, it's being with people you love and sharing your life with them. It's them sharing their lives with you. It's not worrying about the bills because you are ready for them. You are living within your means and being responsible.  It's living on this side of the ground and knowing you are loved by a God who gave his son for you. It's having coffee waiting for you EVERY morning and a kiss to go with it. It's a wet nose kiss from a dog who loves you. It's friends who care about you and can laugh with you and not at you.

5. Tell us what we'd see if you took a snapshot of your desk/work space?
You see my desk and work space! I'm a little bit Type A  remember.

6. Peaches or watermelon...yes, you have to choose.
Watermelon all the way! Add a little whipped cream on that please?

7. Ever been skinny dippin'? Is that too much for the Wednesday Hodgepodge? Rest assured we won't need details...unless of course you feel you must but remember, this is a family friendly blog so keep it G rated.
Does being 18 months count?  If not then NO I have kept my clothes on when swimming in public, you're welcome all. I am glad to have spared you all that terrible picture trapped in your brain for the rest of  your life! I am doing my part to keep you all pure.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

 What is wrong with this picture?

Summer temps have arrived here in the North East, we have 2 - AC units that go in the windows but they have not been installed yet so we are cooling off the hubby and dog with fans - I've told Hubby that he can put the AC units in at any time but I think he is waiting for me to take the quilt off the bed. Men! So logical!   

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Recipe of the Week: "Frozen Hot Chocolate"

WELCOME TO SUMMER! Yup - it's summer today so have something Summer today. Maybe you put on your flip flops, or how about some pink nail polish? Maybe a cookout or a summer salad? How about a big glass of lemonade or other summer drink?  Speaking of summer drinks.....

We have some Starbucks around here but we have Dunkin Donuts EVERYWHERE. You can find one within about 10 minutes driving in any direction you travel and their ads are on every few minutes and frankly, I like their prices and their drinks better than the other brand.  Well lately they have a commercial for Frozen Hot Chocolate - sounds like an oxymoron doesn't it.  Well, I looked up the nutritional information for their drink and here is what I found - a small has 95 Carbs and  430 Calories. Now I don't count calories and I don't drink a small so I looked up a large. Are you ready? 860 Calories and 190 Carbs!!! OUCH! When I'm hot and want something cold like this to drink, I would get the large (after all I get the large ice tea).

Needles to say, I have never bought one of these and instead decided to create my own low carb version. Ready to join me?  Here is what you need:

1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
3 Tablespoons Un-sweetened cocoa
1/3 cup Heavy Cream
2-3 teaspoons Sugar Free Syrup ( I used there chocolate flavor)
Whipped Cream
6 Ice cubes.

Put it all (except the whipped cream)  in a blender and set it on high and let it all mix including the ice cubes. Poor into a tall glass and top with whipped cream. I got 2 of these glasses full and still had a little left in the bottom of the blender.  

OK so here is the carb count for all of this - ready? 2 - that's right, 2 carbs for 2 tall glasses of "Frozen Hot Chocolate". Since I've never had the Dunkin Donuts version, I really don't know how the taste compares but looking at their ingredients, I don't want to try it either. I really liked this and if you change up the sugar free syrup you can change out the drink.

Use Vanilla syrup and have a Frozen Vanilla Hot Chocolate
Use Caramel syrup and have a Frozen Caramel Hot Chocolate
Use Raspberry syrup and have a Frozen Raspberry Hot Chocolate

You get the idea right? Any how it costs less, all the ingredients I found at my local stores. Easy to make, no lines, no waiting and no tipping -unless you like to tip of course.  

Oh the extra left at the bottom of the blender?  I added coffee to it and got a Frozen Dunkaccino; something Dunkin' Donuts doesn't even offer but their small hot Dunkachino has 35 carbs and my frozen large has less than 1!!!!  
If you want to look up the nutritional value for yourself, here is the link to Dunkin Donuts

Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekend Review: And the 2400 Mile Challenge

Shanae Button

Shanae from Triumph and Tears is still on doctor's orders to not exercise so she is following doctor's orders and taking it easy. The rest of the Challenge crew is hard at work - reaching towards their personal goals.  I too, have been working hard at my challenge and managed to log in 74.22 for a grand total of 1327.66.  Not Bad at all and I am getting stronger. I know that because I spent part of Sunday pruning branches that last year I could not do!  How did you do this week on your personal Challenge?

Other than that, we spent most of the weekend either doing things around here (garden, shopping laundry - you know --stuff). Then there was Father's Day! Hubby enjoyed his gifts and cards but we are going out to eat today because he worked a very long overnight shift and needed to sleep so he did that part of Sunday. Then it was off to church. So tonight we are going out to eat his Father's Day's Dinner. How was your weekend? 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Father's Day

I know I'm early and Father's Day is Not today but since I will be celebrating with the BEST DAD in the world on Sunday. I wanted to have this up and running today. 

Wishing my Husband a Very Happy Father's Day! He is a wonderful Dad who spent many hours playing with our 2 children. He helped them with their homework, and science projects. He broke up fights and explained the facts of life to our son (albeit red faced the whole time) 

He worked hard to support our family, working 2 jobs while working full time and going to college all at the same time.  

He stayed in the hospital with one child while I was home with the other (both sick). He supported what ever they wanted to do (well mostly, after all at some point they wanted to do stupid stuff)

He was tough when he needed to be and a marshmallow the rest of the time. He laughs at Knock-Knock jokes even though he has heard them ALL, really he has.

He has loved me and supported me and makes me feel special, safe, important, and worthy.

He is special and I pray I get to keep him for a very long time.  He is a very special Blessing From God to me and I know it.

Thank You God for my Hubby.
Happy Father's Day Love.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Flip Flops Here I Come!


There is a fun flip flop swap happening over at Running Away? I'll help you pack.  I don't know about you but I love my flip flops. I have a pair that has a little bit of a heel so my back and arch are supported, So much better than the very flat flip flops. I have a few but when I heard about this swap, I wanted to jump on board. You sign up and give your size and best colors as well as your email and then you get a name and contact info to send the flips flops to.  There is a spending cap of $15.00 and that is good.  Want to join in? Head on over and sign up.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hodgepodge Wednesday: End of Spring Time.

Joyce has been very busy with life (we all have that happen at times right?) And yet, she has come up with this weeks questions for us all to have fun with. Thank you Joyce.

1. What is one thing on your bucket list? If you don't have a bucket list let's pretend you do.
I really want to travel more, in the USA but also want to see Nigrura Falls from the Canadian side. I've seen the American Side.

2. What makes a good dad?
Laughter! My husband has the best sense of humor and so he see funny in EVERYTHING. Our kids have this gift and believe me it's a gift. But other things are needed as well. Things like play time with the kids, helping them with homework, taking them to a ball game, time spent with the children. Showing love to the wife and mother shows children what it is to be part of a family and to show love to the wife and mother of children allows those children to know what to expect in there own marriages.

3. Are you afraid of insects? Which ones?
Up where we live, there are no poisonous insects so they can't kill me unless you count the heart attack they give me when I see them. I guess spiders are my biggest fear. I have woken up my husband to kill a spider in the shower so that I can get ready for work. Oh Yes I Have. I am a scaredy cat when it comes to spiders.

4. We're barbecuing...what's on the grill at your house?
Chicken, steaks and veggies. I'm a simple girl.

5. Do you believe that playing is more important than winning?
Yes. I'm a little of both. I love to play but if I don't win sometimes, I will quit and walk away. I don't mind a challenge but if it's too hard, it's not fun.

6. Do you tan? Use self tanners? Visit tanning salons? See your dermatologist at least once a year?
I only tan if I go to the store and bye "Tan-In-A-Can". You know the stuff you spray on and pray it doesn't turn orange or peel off. I have gone to a tanning salon but it was for the heat and heeling power of that heat against my arthritis and yes it works. I have not seen a dermatologist in years!!! When I have my physical if I have a concern I show her and she decides if I need to see one or not. So far, it's been NOT. I do sit in the sun, but it never really takes.

7. Five years ago I would never imagine that today I would_______________.
I saw this question on Marla's face book page and I thought it was perfect for the Hodgepodge. Everyone go say hi to Marla...she has an E-book launching this week.
Have grandchildren here in NH. I was not sure our daughter would ever have children, so it was a great surprise to find out that she was going to give us a grand baby. Now she has given us 2! I am on cloud nine!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Spring has been a bit of a downer here, we have had a few nice days and a few really nice and hot days but most of it has been damp, very cool and gray. I wonder if Summer will be better, it starts in 5 DAYS. I wonder if I can fit into the swim suite?  No photo on that one people...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mary Mary Quite Contrary. How Does Your Garden Grow?

Well I don't know how Mary's garden is doing, but ours is doing quite well!
Our seedlings are up and reaching for the sky

Radishes are up and growing, carrots hopefully will grow in soon

I hope to enjoy these soon, I love sliced cucumbers don't you?

Peas are just breaking the ground.

A green pepper flower, can the pepper be far behind?
How is your garden growing? I've heard some of you are already eating the fruit of your labor!!!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Weekend Review: A Reward and A Challenge

Friday night Hubby took me to The Lobster Boat so that I could get my 1200 mile reward - a Lobster Dinner. I had planned to rewarded myself with a lobster dinner if I made it to 1200 miles on the 400 Mile Challenge. I didn't think we were going to do this soon because of Hubby's work schedule but he took me here. Ice Tea with extra lemon and an appetizer to share started off our meal. 

This was the medium! The waitress, Mary, told us the large comes with a warning! I believe her!

I mean look at the size of these!  I only had a few and they were really good, we took home what we didn't eat.

My meal - Lazy Man's Dinner. I don't like to fight with my food so the whole bib, and nut cracker thing is not for me. A side salad completed the meal.
Hubby had the chicken tenders - he's allergic to fish!
After dinner we headed out for dessert, at a soft serve place not far from the Lobster Boat. 
A small Peanut Butter Soft Serve was what Hubby and I had.
Becke had a Kiddie cone in a dish, it came with a dog cookie which she gobbled down while I was trying to get the camera focused!

I was asked to show off the new body now that 35 pounds are gone and the belt I wear really does hold up the pants so here it is. I don't do this much, I'm pretty camera shy! But I told Anu that I would so here it is for her. She can shut up now. Love ya!!!

I know my shoulders are up to my ears!! Told you I was camera shy. Still, since I'm in my late 50's, not bad at all....

Shanae Button
So what's next? Well, up till now, I have moving forwarded in increments of 400 miles and that has felt comfortable, I am jumping out of the comfort zone and will shoot for 2400 miles by December 31 2011. That is really a reach for me as summer with it's  breathing issues are lurking as summer gets closer. In fact Summer starts in a mere 7 days! With my allergic reaction I didn't do as much as last week, but I still managed to do a total of 66.44 and a grand total to date of 1253.27.  I only rode the stationary bike once this week, my leg just hurt too much. So a lot more weights, and yard work and a painting project that is really working my arms!   Do you have a personal challenge? Don't give up, take a break if you need it (or if your doctor tell you to) and then continue. Don't just stop, get back to it. You will be stronger, wiser, better and feel prouder for it.