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, July 28, 2011

Garden Update

These are coming in nice. Looking forwarded to eating some of these this weekend

To all my blogging/gardening friends, what is your best way to put up your harvest for the winter?

Tomatoes are still growing but they are not red yet, still we have lots of greens ones.

Our tomatoes are really tall.

Not many green peppers yet but a few.

Carrots growing but I haven't pulled them up yet so I don't know what is under ground.

So what is your best way to store up food for winter from your garden?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge: July is National Ice Cream Month???

Thank you Joyce for this weeks questions, my brain was fried and you gave me food for thought.

1. July is National Ice Cream month...your favorite flavor? Soft served, hand dipped, or frozen yogurt...which do you prefer? And technically yogurt is not ice cream but its hot outside so I'll let that slide for today.
OK I like them ALL!  How's that for an answer. I would also add to the list above,  Frozen Tofu, Frozen Coconut Ice Cream and Ice cream sandwiches.  I'm easy, just give me all of them - that is how I gained so much weight so I have to be careful.

2. When you travel do you tend to pack too much or too little?
I Am Woman, Watch Me Pack!  Does that answer the question?

3. What's your favorite cleaning product?

 Vinegar. I use it all over the house till the house smells like a pickle, but the smell fades fast and the cleaning last a lot longer.
My second favorite is Comet.

4. Which is the greater tragedy-an innocent person imprisoned or a guilty person set free? Explain.
OK so here it is, right smack in the middle of fun stuff Joyce has to put one really hard question that makes my head and heart hurt!
They are both wrong but a guilty person set free will do it again - to someone else - soon. That is the tragedy in my eyes.

5. What's the longest trip you've taken by car?
We drove from Albuquerque New Mexico to Manchester New Hampshire with a toddler and a cat. Some 2278 miles! Luckily the cat liked to travel! That could be a blog post some day.

6. Tennis-golf-canoeing-biking...pick one.
Canoeing. Let me out on a lake on a beautiful day with the man of my dreams and I will believe I am in Heaven. Of course I do not plan to give up even one drop of sweat canoeing, I'm the passenger.

7. What sound drives you crazy?
I really dislike hate speech especially with a lots of cuss words!  Why do people feel the need to swear? Really? With all the words in our language, some people pick the most foul words and then say them at the top of their lungs to the people they claim to love!!!??? Really upset me.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
My hubby and I are undergoing some changes in our life (more about it next week) but at moments we are excited, then scared. Funny how life goes that way some times. Happy, scared, excited, worried, curious, and relived all within a few minutes.  Life is unique isn't it.

Join the fun and answer the questions. You will be glad you did.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Prayer, Appeal, Petition, Supplication: Whatever you call it -It's Important.

There are many times in my life that circumstances around me have caused me to fall to my knees in prayer. I have mentioned many times that our children were ill a lot when they were younger. Not the usual colic or cold, they were both born with heart conditions and back then, that was not as easy to deal with as it is now. Hubby and I spent many hours in prayer on behalf of our children. We also had some wonderful friends (prayer warriors) who prayed for us and with us.

When life gets to us, when we feel heavy with worry, pain, anxiety, fear or guilt, we can often find ourselves praying more than when we feel happy, encouraged, joyful and excited. If only I could bring my joys before God as often as I bring my woes. Perhaps that is one more reason we have problems, to remind us we need God.

Matthew 21:22:" If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." So does that mean if we believe we will win the lottery, and we pray about it, it will happen?  No, it means that we have faith in God, so we believe that He has only the best in store for us and will care for us, so our prayers reflect that belief. Because we have that faith, we will not be asking for the winning lottery ticket, but will ask for daily bread. That prayer will be answered.

Hubby and I have a wonderful and dear man who is very ill and on our hearts. He is our friend, our brother, and one of our church Elders. He has been battling an illness for some 2 1/2 years and many of us have been praying for him and his family from the beginning. It is starting to look like, from the worlds view, that his fight will be over. We are saddened by this of course and yet we know that God is good and we continue to follow God's word. Romans 12:12: "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." We all continue to bring our friend before our Father, knowing that He knows best if our friend will stay here with his family, or if he graduates to the glory of Heaven and sees the face of our Father, and hears "Well done, good and faithful servant."

If you are a praying person, I solicit your prayers on the behalf of our friend and for his family. Thank you. His name is Duane!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Weekend Review: Personal challenge

I downloaded this Sunday afternoon and it's for forecast for Today. We are in the upper right hand corner so we are suppose to be in the 70's and 80's. Looks like the middle part of the country is still very hot, so I sure hope you all are staying safe and cool. Staying cool must be your personal challenge! Be safe out there. How are you staying cool?

Since it was very hot up here I took it easy and didn't push myself too much in my 2400 mile challenge.  I only rode the bike once all week and did most of my workouts early in the morning. In all I still managed to log in 66.75 miles.
walking - 14.6 miles
stationary bike - 4.15 miles
weights - 5 miles
Ab exercise - 16 miles
Step/Zumba - 27 miles

My YTD today - 1671.39, leaving 729 to go by the end of year. Do you think I will make it?  
We ate a lot of  salads which I love but we did go out for soft serve ice cream a few times. No, it is not low carb, but oh boy were they good!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Staying Cool when it Hazy, Hot and Humid

This was the weather map when I woke up this morning. It was 82 degrees at 4:30 AM! Yup, I can see that other parts of the country were a lot hotter than us and the local weather man said that we begin to cool off starting tomorrow so we are blessed that it is not as bad as other parts of the country where it will stay hazy hot and humid longer.  We do have the AC unit in the bedroom window so it's cooler there!  Good thing too because hubby sleep days!

So like many, the goal is to stay safe and smart.  If you have breathing issues (and I do) take all of your medicine, slow down your activities -as in exercise in the early morning and maybe change what you do. I've changed some yogurt for the stationary bike riding, dress in light colored clothes and eat smaller meals more often throughout the day. I really like the heat but even I am not completely nuts, ( a little perhaps but not completely) when it comes to this kind of heat, I'm doing everything that I just mentioned. I have 4 meds that keep me breathing and I am using all of them.

 Here is a cool way to enjoy your morning coffee.

I make coffee ice cubes out of left over coffee. I hate pouring coffee over ice cubes and then ending up with coffee colored water once the cubes melts. This way, there is coffee all the way through. The Protein powder helps me to feel fuller, all I added was 1 scoop (1 Carb). Carb Free sweetener, light cream and 2 cups of coffee complete the ingredients.  I used 4 coffee ice cubes for this drink.

Our blender has an Ice Crushing button so add I added everything to the blender and pulsed the ice crusher button a few times and then hit the blend button.

I started with 2 cups of coffee and with the coffee ice cubes and other ingredients I have 3 - 10 oz tall glasses of blended ice coffee!

Because it adds no extra carb, I top my drink with whipped cream. So for all 3 tall glasses I have a total of 1.5 carbs (NOT FOR EACH GLASS - FOR ALL 3 GLASSES-the entire blender full)

What do you like to drink to stay cool and start your day with?
Have a good weekend everyone, stay cool the best way you can and Lord Willing, I'll see you all Monday.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge:

Once again, thank you Joyce for the questions.
1. July 20th marks the anniversary of the first time man stood on the moon. Flash forward 42 years to July 8, 2011 which marked the start of the final Space Shuttle mission. Should we continue to explore space? Should nations devote more or fewer of their resources to exploring space? Would you want to go into space if the opportunity arose?

I would love to see the space missions continue and to reach out farther and see what is out there. I understand that it is cost money, but still, I would love to see what else is out there.  Although I am afraid of flying, I think I would like to go into space if I could.  It must be beautiful out there!

2. What are three things in your freezer?

Bacon, Low Carb Ice Cream from Breyers, and Port Chops.

3. If you could see any band/artist perform live tonite who would it be? It has to be someone living...no Beatles, Elvis, etc.

I would like to see Celtic Thunder, I love those voices and the stories they tell in song. Plus men in Kilts - Be still my Scottish Heart!

4. Ice-cubed or crushed? Or are you one of those people who don't like ice?
Ice coffee needs ice but a Smoothie needs crushed so I like both! I can like both! I don't have to pick one.

5. The owner of a small restaurant outside of Pittsburgh recently announced he was banning children under six, saying they regularly disrupted other customer's meals. You can read the story in more detail here but isn't this a perfect topic to discuss in our Wednesday Hodgepodge? Have at it friends...what are your thoughts?

I have gone to restaurants and had to put up with a small child that really needed to go to bed and yet, here was this poor child sitting in a chair being fed french fries by it's parents who looked over stressed.  I have seen children talking to the person behind them and the parents say nothing.  It cost money to go out to eat and if the child can not behave then they should go home!  I want to enjoy my meal, not be bother by both parents who don't care, or can't control the child and the child who can not behave. I hope this trend continues but I have the feeling that there will be a law suite over age discrimination.

6. What was your first car? How did it come to be yours?

I had to ask my husband because we were married when I got my license and it started out his car.  He told me is was a Plymouth Fury 111.

7. If I had a nickle for every time I _________________ I'd be rich.

Cleaned up after someone has cleaned up! I mean really, they say they will do the dishes but the stove is covered in spills and grease, the counter top has splatters on it and there is gunk in the sink!  So I would be rich cleaning up after the cleaning up. Hubby is pretty good about cleaning up now so I don't make the money that I could have when the kids were home but still.......

8. Insert your own random thought here.
The heat wave that has hit most of the country is coming our way so the AC will go into the windows. Be safe every one, dress light, drink lots of water and stay away from a lot of sugar snacks.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Recipe of the Week:Grilled Salad

I love summer salads don't you? Top them with grilled chicken, or steak, add some fresh strawberries and cheese and that is a complete meal in a dish.
So a few weeks ago when Hubby was ready to grill MEAT - ANIMAL FLESH as he calls it, I started looking for veggies to add to the grill. I found in my fridge some Romaine Lettuce and this is what we made.
                                                                        Grilled Salad

Slice the Lettuce in 1/2 the long way and spread some Dipping Oil all over it. I used Italian.
Add some salt and pepper to it. Let it sit for bit for the oil to work through

Grill one side for a few minutes. Watch it carefully so it doesn't burn.

Turn it over and do the other side.

Top it any way you want, we added just simple Cheddar cheese to ours.

Grilled salad was so good, we have had it a few more times.  Try it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weekend Review: Harry Potter and Grand Children.

We started our weekend standing in line waiting for the start of the last Harry Potter Film. It was wonderful! Children holding their books, all dressed up in house colors and robes with wands in hand and me in my house scarf and just as excited!  The theater was packed and we were near the front so we were able to get seats that allowed Hubby to stretch out his legs. Those in the back of the line were not so lucky.  The movie did not disappoint, just in case you were wondering if it was worth the cost of tickets. As always, the book is better but they did a great job of taking the book and bringing it alive.  Now if only the movie theater could make the 3D glasses less ugly, that would be great!

I mean, how big can they make them! And they don't fold either so you can't put them in your purse (as if you would want to).

Saturday, I began cleaning and re-organizing the kitchen cabinets.  I didn't take the before picture of the first one I did because I forgot until I was putting it back together that I didn't take a before shot. So here is the after of the first cabinet I did.

I went "shopping in the other cabinets" and found I had 3 Italian Seasonings, 3 cans of mixed vegetables, and 2 bags of nuts, and many more items that I don't need to buy for a long time! I was able to fill the cabinet above with items from the other ones that I emptied out and re-organized. 
Before, the baking cabinet was filled with extra items that I didn't know I had and it was hard to find anything.

After, it's easy to find what I'm looking for and I combined many of the spices into one container.

This was just packed and a mess to find anything! I really hated to get in there to find stuff and it was because of this cabinet, that all got cleaned out.

Now, I can find what I want and considering how much I took out and placed in the other cabinets - I have lots more room for future shopping (or canned items).

Sunday we had Church and then off to watch the grand daughters who are just pure joy! What fun we had playing with play dough, playing  tag and hide and seek. They are so cute and so much fun.  The baby didn't cry much at all this time! Getting better every time!  Love them to pieces. While I was with the girls, Hubby got to Skype with our Daughter In Law (DIL) and youngest grand son! So a win for both of us. 

Oh and I did the math on my Personal Challenge.  70.64 miles this week for a YTD total of 1604.64!

How was your weekend!  

Friday, July 15, 2011

I'm So Ready!!!

We didn't make the midnight showing but today is the day. In IMac 3 D!  

Thank you to all the cast and all involved in making  JK Rowling's books a reality for many.

And yes, that includes me. In my house colors ready to go.

Happy Friday Everyone, Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Good Christmas Dishes

One special cabinet was held over from the Kitchen Make over to create a special place for the Good Dishes. When I was little, we had Christmas Dinner at our house. It was one of the few times that I remember my parents cooking together. My dad was in charge of the turnkey and stuffing and my mother was in charge of the veggies and potatoes. My sister and I was in charge of staying clean and keeping the house that way to.  The house was small and so there were tables set up every where. The kitchen had of course the kitchen table but tucked in a corner was a coffee table where the real littlest one sat so when they spilled stuff (and they would) the moms were right there to clean it up.
The living room had card tables where the rest of the cousins sat. We had the melamine dinner plates that didn't match, the jelly jar glass to drink from, the left over silverware and paper napkins, lots of paper napkins! Moms would fix the food for the littlest ones and we older cousins would fix our own, but we always walked past the adult table with all the good dishes and I longed to be old enough to get on that table to eat from the good dishes.

The table matched. The dishes, the silverware, the glasses, the cloth napkins, the tea cups, even the dessert plates for the pie all matched. It was glorious to see!  I remember watching my older cousin who had just graduated to the big table walk with her plate up to the counter where the food was, holding the dish with both hands, praying NOT to drop it and having no idea how she would ever let go of one side of the plate to use the serving fork to get any food off the counter and onto her plate. Really, you could hear her mother, my aunts telling her - "Now don't drop those good dishes!" The pressure she must have been under!  The first timers to the adult table were allowed to have white milk in the tea cup while others had tea or coffee in it. Kids at the kids table had chocolate milk in the jelly glass so white milk was proof that you were grown up. Each year I watched at those dishes came down from the top of the cabinet and were all washed by hand and dried with a fresh dishcloth. My mouth would water, not because the food was great but because someone was going to eat off those beautiful Good Christmas Dishes.
As each cousin got married and had Christmas dinner someplace else, a new cousin was chosen to move up to the adult table. One by one, my older cousins both male and female would join the big adult table and hold the plate with 2 hands and have that look of pure fear on there face. There is something wonderful about pure joy and pure fear that meet on a persons face. I was so excited to know that my turn was coming.
The year came when it was surely my turn to join the adult table, my turn to hold the precious Christmas Good dishes. My turn to eat off of them and drink white milk in the cup. No more mismatched dishes, no more jelly jar to drink from, no more paper napkins.
My mother announced that year that they were no longer cooking a big meal, after all the family had gotten smaller with so many cousins now married and so this year they would have cold cuts and cheese trays. Make your sandwiches and spend more time enjoying each others company, not so much time cooking and cleaning. The worst part, no Good Christmas Dishes! We would all use paper plates on a Frisbee! Drink from Styrofoam cups and use paper napkins!


But it's my turn to eat on the Christmas Dishes!!

Many Christmas' came and went and I never did eat on them. Then one day, many years ago, my mother died. I took down those Good Christmas Dishes, packed them up and took them to my home. I washed them all by hand and dried them with a clean dish cloth and put them away in the cabinet.

The Good Christmas Dishes don't have a Christmas tree pattern on them. No snow men either. Not even any snow! No the Good Christmas Dishes have a cross stitch flower pattern on them. So in the middle of winter, when there is 12 feet of snow on the ground, the wind is howling and everyone is wearing layers to keep warm, there is a reminder that summer is coming.

Under the snow.
Waiting for us all.

And I eat off those Good Christmas Dishes whenever I want to now, not just at Christmas. In fact, I'm making my self some hot cocoa. In Summer, to have in the Good Christmas Tea cup.

Good things happen to those who wait.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Summer Fun.

Thank you Joyce for this weeks questions. You can join the fun by clicking on the button.

1. How has your hometown changed since you were a kid? What has changed most about the neighborhood you grew up in?
My hometown got bigger! More people, and a lot more stores.  The street where I grew up  only had about a dozens homes, now the street if full of houses and the ball field across the street has gotten smaller, but it does still look like the "burbs". I grew up in the 50's and there were lots of shoe factories, there was lots of work. They are all gone, the factories and the jobs. That is sad.

2. What song makes you laugh?
This is just funny because I have a cousin who went through this and her husband ended up being her brother!  I had a good laugh over this!!!

3. Are you a fan of Harry Potter? Read the books? Seen any/all of the movies? Will you be standing in line somewhere close to midnight later this week? For those of you playing along today who live outside the US or UK is Harry Potter a phenomenon in your part of the world?
Oh YES! I have all the books and all the movies. I've been watching them all week to catch up and get ready for the end. Since Hubby works 3rd shift, we will not be a midnight viewer as it were but come Saturday, we will be in line waiting for it and I will have my house colors on -Ravenclaw btw.

4. If the truth hurts, will you tell a lie? Are we better off as a society in a world that allows no form of deception whatsoever?
Wow - I never want to lie and try to tell the truth always. I think the way we tell the truth can often take the sting away from any pain that may be caused by the truth. Sometimes I can be tactful and sometimes not so much.

5. What is your favorite 'sauteed in garlic and butter' food? Or garlic and olive oil if that makes you feel better.
Any veggie. I love veggies sauteed in garlic and butter.That is one thing that made living a low carb lifestyle hard. More meat, less veggies!

6. Attending any reunions this summer/year? High school? family? Other? Do these events stir up excitement or dread?
No I'm not attending any of those activities this summer, but they do stir up excitement when I get together with friends that I've not seen in a while.

7. Lilac, hydrangea, peony...pick one.
                                                                Hydrangea, they last longer up here.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
This was the saddest little light house that I saw on our vacation. It's really small and it's automated so no need for a person. It just sits in the water and for some reason, it looks so small and lonely. It really should have another one to keep it company.  I think all light houses should be large and have lots of room in them and someone lives inside!

Thanks Joyce for fun questions this week.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Couponing Again

For Years I was faithful to couponing, then I got busy with life and with the price of gas going up it was harder to get around so staying at one store was just easier. A lot easier. I was lazy.

But it cost more.

A lot more.

Life has a way of coming full circle and with this economy, and changes here at home, it's important to rethink using coupons again.

I had a coupon book and it did work, but it needed to be tweaked so this weekend I did just that.

The Bible verse says; "She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar." Proverbs 31:14

Inside there are pockets for each store I will visit and will hold both flyers and receipts.

Large clear pockets holds the coupons. Putting them back to back means I have coupons on both sides

I labeled each category rather than labeling the aisles since our stores like to move the food around often.

I added these foldable scissors to cut coupons as I found them.

They open up to small but practical pair and then close back up when not in use. 
I've been on line getting some coupons and using them. Last week I saved $15.79 in products. I know not a lot...baby steps here ladies, it's been a long time.

How do you organize your coupons? Do you have a plastic box to put them in? A binder like me, or something different? How many stores do you go to during the week? Do you hit them all at once or on different days of the week?

I'm also following and learning from Lorie over at  The Midlife Housewife. She is very talented so if you ever wanted to learn more about saving money,  heard on over to her blog for a lesson or two. And share your insights here. Please....Thank you.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Weekend Review: Summertime and the Living is Easy.

This was our room on our Anniversary Get Away. I always bring a  Becke Blanket so she knows which bed is hers!

Up here in the right hand corner of the USA we had the most perfect weather this past weekend. 80's, dry, a light breeze, and lots of sun.It sure has been easy living up here this past week. I was able to get shopping done and then some yard work weeding the front garden and the veggie garden as well.  Took Becke for a nice easy walk and worked on my coupon binder.

Sunday evening Hubby and I got to share a meal with his brother and wife, who lives only minutes away, but somehow getting together is not easy! So when we do get together, it's a special treat for me.  So we all went out to a local restaurant and had lots of laughs, good food and great company!

Oh and watched all 7 Harry Potters Movies
Because some were on TV
And what wasn't on TV we own
Do you know that the last Harry Potter movie is this Friday?  I have my shirt and scarf and I'm ready to go to see the movie. Are you going to go see it this weekend or are you going to wait a bit for the crowds to die down. Or maybe you have never seen any of them.

I also continued to work towards my 2400 mile goal and did manage to log in a total of 73.33 miles for my new total of 1534.1
The break down was:
Walking 17.97 miles
Stationary bike 16.36
Free weights 10 miles
Yard work/painting 11 miles
Step aerobics/Zumba 18 miles
Now that is the breakdown for the whole week. I do some before work and some after work.
I feel great and although I've not lost any more weight, I am smaller and feel a lot better. And most importantly, I can eat more - I like to eat.....
How about you? What is your personal goal and how are you doing to reach it? 

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Dangers of Low Blood Sugar

On our anniversary vacation, we went north west up to upstate New York along Lake Champlain and decided to just drive around. At one point, about 3:30 pm it occurred to us that our stomachs were empty and we had not eaten since about 7 am. We stopped and asked where a person could get hot dogs or hamburgers around here. We were told that there were no food places where we were but if we wanted to drive north a bit we would come to Carl's & Clair's World Famous Texas Red Hots. It would be near the water and the staff will come out to you and have trays that attach to your car with your order. Well, that sounded nice so off we went to find it. We drove and drove and finally did find it. People were sitting in their cars and a few were sitting at tables.

We got out to stretch our legs and walk Becke. Well, you can sit at the tables, you can smoke and toss your butts on the ground. You can leave food all over the place but you cannot walk the dog! Dogs are not allowed at Carl's & Clair's World Famous Texas Red Hots.

Low blood sugar won out -  Hubby went in to get us some food and I walked Becke in the parking lot next door. Then put her back in the car and waited. Hubby returned with drinks and to tell me the food was coming. It took awhile.

Let me tell you about Carl's & Clair's World Famous Texas Red Hots.  
It can't be famous for it's food - the hot dogs were boiled! 
It can't be famous for it's customer service, they are rude and don't even smile.
It can't be famous for it cleanness - remember cigarettes butts on the ground - yes; food on the ground - yes; dogs on the ground - NO.

Well it turns out that Texas Red Hots is a hot dog brand and that is what they are famous for.   We ate, because you remember that my low blood sugar was making me, well....let's just say, fun to be around.  I inhaled the hot dogs which were not very good but still considered food (I think) then we continued to sight see and drove about 5 more minutes. 

Then we saw them.  Burger King -  Subways - Dunkin Donuts -  Pizza Hut -  And some Chinese take out place!

Just our luck!

We did find a really nice boat harbor and we walked around stretching, watching the boats, enjoying the day but had to laugh about our choice to stop and try something local - sometimes it's not worth it! But it can be fun! Hubby took the following photos at the harbor.

Becke enjoyed a place to cool off

She likes to splash around

What a beautiful day it turned out to be.