Welcome to Life Through Bifocals

Life is not always clear and easy to figure out. So grab a cup of coffee and your bifocals and let's see what we can see.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Yes, it's that time again.

Thank you Joyce for another set of wonderful questions. Play along all!!!

1. Do you send Christmas cards? If so about how many will you send this year? How do you display the cards you receive? Or don't you? (gasp!)
Yes I send cards. I put some of the cards in with the gifts but some I mail. Maybe 20 in all. We do display the cards, Most of the time we hang them over the doorways.

2. When do kids become adults?
When they are old enough to make those tough choices. I have seen some 30 year old "Kids" and other 18 year old "Adults".

3. Does your 'beauty regimen' change with the seasons?
Yes, in the winter I use more moisturizer because it's so dry here in NH and at my age I need all the moisturizer I can get.

4. What's something you like to eat that might cause another person to turn up their nose?
I really like Ice Cream sodas made with Low Carb Ice Cream and  Moxie!

5. Gloves or mittens?
Gloves most of the time. Boy that was an easy question, thanks Joyce.

6. What's the longest queue you've ever been in? Was it worth it? Queue=line but doesn't queue sound nicer?
All of the queues that involved Harry Potter movies. I really enjoyed all of them and yes all the queues were worth it. Yes, queue does sound nicer.

7. Besides Christmas, what is one thing you are looking forward to in the month of December?
As much as I complain about winters in NH, I do always think that a white Christmas is best so I am looking forward to snow - much closer to the holiday - like the day before - and then to be done with it.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Can I nap here? It looks like a really comfy place to lay down and sleep.
August taking a nap at puppy day care. He is 3 months old today. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Weekend Review: The End of November

Can you believe that November is almost over? Where did it go?  It was Halloween just a few days ago!!!  I hope you had a great Thanksgiving with loved ones. We had brunch with our daughter, son-in-law and the best grand daughters in the world. It was nice to see her take over that brunch. All we did was bring a fruit salad and show up on time (sort of). We brought the dogs and the grand daughters  played with them, took them for a walk and just had the most relaxing time.  Then it was home for a nap and then we cooked a small turkey breast and all the fixings for dinner (yes including stuffing and cranberry sauce). It was a great day and we had fun. Friday, as so many people went out for Black Friday, I stayed home and decorated the house. Well sort of decorated the house. We decided that since most of the floor looks like this....

...puppy toys scattered all over the floor. And since we have a 11 week old in the house trying to eat the furniture, and my left shoe all the time, we decided that we would not put up the big Christmas tree but instead just the little Christmas trees and anything that could be UP instead of all the snowmen that rest on the floors around here.

These are some of the Santa's behind the couch that he has not discovered yet so I feel they are safe.

A little Christmas cheer on the side board
And the microwave table got some Christmas cheer as well.
A bigger "small" tree on top of the table is still surrounded by the fall decorations that are coming down.  

We did go out on Saturday to shop but by then the madness was over. I just don't understand the madness around Black Friday. Really, people using pepper spray to get them farther up the line? Men getting shot after they  leave a store for whatever they bought?  Others getting stabbed?  That is not the Christmas Spirit at all people.  I heard of one store that was not set to open early but for some reason, people thought it was, so they got in line and when the store didn't open, the crowd broke in and looted the store. The meaning of Christmas is lost on some people I fear. I'm glad I stayed home.

Sunday, we enjoyed a great worship service followed by Hallmark Christmas movies, a nap, more decorating, chasing puppies, and a super small group worship in the evening. I feel like I am really ready for the coming week.  Are you ready?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Thanksgiving Time

Thank you Joyce for this weeks Thanksgiving Questions. 

1. Let's start with something controversial...dressing or stuffing? What's it called at your house and what's included in your recipe...cornbread? oysters? sausage? chestnuts?

We have stuffing. It's a meat type that Hubby grew up with and he makes it. Lots of it! Because I beg him to make lots of it! And I'm not above bribery or blackmail to get him to make his stuffing!  It has hamburger,  ground pork, potatoes, lots of onions, bread and seasonings and yes, it's not low carb but I am thankful for it because it is delish!!!!!

2. Who do you sometimes compare yourself to?

I  don't compare myself to other people per se, but to other people's talents.  "If only I could cook like Sharon. If only I could speak like Glenna. If only I could sing like Erica."  I have to stop myself and remind myself that I have talents too, and I am responsible to use them. Whatever they may be.

3. When were you last inside an airport?

WOW since I don't fly often and I also don't go pick up/drop off often, it has to be 2 years ago when Hubby got a chance to go visit the west coast kids and I picked him up at the airport.  WOW that was a long time ago.

4. What is one side dish that absolutely must be included in a turkey dinner?

Cranberry sauce made from scratch, which is not hard at all and is certainly not that can blob. Sorry for those who love the sauce in a can.

5. What Christmas song do you dread hearing?

The barking dogs barking out "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"  Don't get me wrong, I love dogs but not the singing ones.

6. If someone approaches you and asks for money do you give it to them? Do you drop money 'in a tin cup' that belongs to a person on the street? Do you have a specific charity you support during the holiday season and/or year round?

I don't get approached by strangers for money. I make sure that I do not look that inviting.  I have lived with a police officer way too long to allow someone I don't know to get that close to me.  Sorry folks.  We do support our church and the efforts there to reach out to the community.  We do give to Ganderbrook Christian Camp, which is a camp in Maine that many of the Churches of Christ in New England have access to. We also contribute to military veterans groups such as the DAV, Wounded Warriors Project, etc.

7. Share a favorite Thanksgiving memory. If you live in a country that doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving share a favorite memory associated with food.

Our First Thanksgiving as Husband and Wife. We were stationed in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I was very pregnant and we had just arrived at our new base. We didn't have time to get to the store to buy anything and I was on bed rest because the pregnancy was high risk.  The base gave us everything we needed and Hubby did all the cooking while I laid on the couch.  It was a wonderful time for us two before we became us three.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving every one.  I pray you all have someone's hand to hold and a cheek to kiss. I pray you have something to be thankful for and have something to look forward to.  I wish you  warmth, joy, and comfort in those times when your lives take a turn for the worst. Most of all I pray you all know God, thank Him for His son and become partakers in the free gift of salvation He offers.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Product Review: Pet Gear Car Carrier

Becke is teaching her little Brother August to stay safe in the hall just outside the kitchen, when I'm cooking.  What a good big sister.  Safety is important.

That is why I bought this car carrier for August.
Pet Gear Car Carrier holds pets up to 15 pounds

It has a top opening so you can pet your pet safety and even give them food and water.

Inside the door is a small dish to hold the treats and water

It comes with a waterproof mat all ready attached.

I added a soft warm mat over that, but you have to.

The base is held in place by the adult seat belt and the red button on the front releases the carrier so you can bring it inside if you need to (like at the vets where there are lots of big sick dogs) It also levels the carrier - no more folded towels under one end of the crate!

It all comes in one big box and it all goes together very easily.

I got mine on eBay but it was coming right from the company. Wayfair is a local company to us, housed in Boston MA. The price was $37.99 and that included shipping. I ordered it on a Saturday evening and had it on Tuesday Morning.  Now the baby is safe in the car. There website is www.wayfair.com. If you have a small pet and that pet goes with you in the car, how do you travel with them? 

This is an honest  review of the Pet Gear Car Carrier. I was neither asked to review this product nor was I paid in any way. I simply bought what I thought was a great product and wanted to share my opinion.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekend Review: Puppy is the Pirority

This was a weekend of just getting around the duties associated with having a puppy. Luckily he is great in his crate in the car and sleeps in there. But the routine right now is wake up early and out he goes. Then back to bed for hopefully 2 more hours of sleep. Then up again, out again. Feed breakfast wait 10 minutes and out again. Then it's nap time but if you think I can then start laundry or sew, you would be wrong because most of the time he sleeps on me! He curls up on my foot and sleeps, or climbs on my lap and sleeps. I know that this time is short, he will start being awake for longer time periods and so I sit while he sleeps. I type, I talk on the phone or serf Facebook/web, until he wakes up, then he goes out. Then we are off shopping for food. Then putting food away but first, you know it we go back out. Then it's time to eat again and we repeat going outside. So even though there is lot to do around here, puppy comes first.  Those of you with puppies can relate, I'm sure.  Those of you with babies can relate, I'm sure. Those of you with neither, can sleep in!

Becke enjoys the quiet time when August is sleeping because when he's awake, he's chasing toys, running with toys, stealing things that are NOT toys, eating, chasing her tail and then getting dizzy and falling into something. Becke can get away from all of that but she never seems to go far. She stays pretty close to watch the puppy.  She is such a good big sister.

I did get most of the back yard raked which is good and since the yard is fenced in, it was just a matter of  letting August run around chasing the leaves as I raked them.  The front yard will have to wait for now. Hopefully it will get done before we get snow!

I got to watch the grand girls and it was there first time for them to see the puppy. Becke was glad that the oldest grand daughter has someone else to chase which gives her a break! But August was overwhelmed by the grand daughters. Luckily we have a play pen for him and so he ran inside and wouldn't come out. I zipped it up and kept him safe from the girls.  He was glad to be safe and curled up and took a nap.

Just in case you can't see him, he's the little spot in the front of the play pen.  He really did a great time with the girls! I know that he will find his "safe spot" as he gets older and will be able to go there to get away but right now, he wants to see what is happening and so this way   he is safe. 

A close up of him sleeping safe and away from a 2 1/2 and a 9 month old who just wanted to hug him over and over.  

Hubby was away at a men's Christian seminar and he was in northern Maine where it was just plain cold. This seminar had been rescheduled from a few months back when it would have been beautiful but is was cold for him this time. Because he is a smart man who knows how to plan, he was well prepared for the rustic rooms without heat.  He packed our little camping space heater and willingly shared the heat with anyone. I'm sure glad to have him back. Now it's time to get ready for Thanksgiving.  What was your weekend like and what are your Thanksgiving plans?

Friday, November 18, 2011


Don't you like first? The first date, the first kiss, the first steps, the first baby.  This has been a week of First for our little August Rush.   Let me show you what he did this week so far.

First Day of Puppy Day Care - since it was pretty cold in the morning he wore his new coat.

Playing with some of the staff in day care

First Meet and Greet with his new vet. Dr. Eileen Peterson
YUP, all his parts are there and working just fine. His weight was up to 4lbs.12 oz!

And one of the vet techs as well had to hold him!

First Meet and Greet with his new groomer, Angela
Not a lot of grooming was done but a  lot of hugs and kisses as he cuddled with her a lot!!

First time in his new Car Seat (the crate can now stay in the bedroom- it was going back and forth from the car to the house)

I love this thing!  He is completely safe and it's held in place by the seat belt like a child's car seat. It has a base that is held to the car just like a child's car seat and the top snaps in (and out if you want to carry your dog into the vets or wherever)

At the end of the day, all he wanted to do was cuddle up next to his sister, butt to butt and do this.
Not a bad life after all, that is until Becke started to run in her sleep!

Have a great weekend everyone, take some time to cuddle up against someone. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge: This One Was Hard!!!

Can you believe that Joyce has been coming up with questions for a full year now? That is amazing to me - thank you Joyce for the questions.

1. What song reminds you of a specific time in your life and what is it about that song that makes you remember?
I cannot think of anything right now so I will have to wait to see what others say and see if it sparks anything.

2. What's something you've given up on?
Every getting the house to stay clean for more than 3 days. There is an elf or something that messes up the house as soon as I go to sleep. I wake up and there are cups and silverware in the sink, socks on the floor, recycling lined up waiting to go out, and dog toys scattered.

3. What's something you'll never give up on?
I don't swear. I don't like to hear bad language and I don't use it. I don't think God likes how His name is used a lot of the time and I want to please God, make Him smile, have Him glad He made me.  So I will never give up on speaking without swearing.

4. If you had to cook something from scratch in the next hour what would it be?
Spaghetti Sauce. It seems to be my go to meal if I am putting something together fast. With "No Sugar" added tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, I can keep the carb count down as well.

5. Have you started Christmas shopping? Decorating? Listening to Christmas music?
Yes I have started Christmas shopping and some of the gifts have already been sent out since we have kids on the west coast.  I have not decorated yet - that happens after thanksgiving. Yes we have a radio station that is already playing just Christmas music and I love it. Oh and I changed my background to a Christmas theme. Not sure how long I'll keep it before I change it again. Still looking through the samples trying to find one with the real meaning of Christmas on it.

6. What do you know about your parent's wedding?
My parents were in their mid 40's when they married. They had dated for about a year. The dress was borrowed and I have the wedding picture, they looked happy. They were married in June.

7. I can't believe I _____________!.
"Started my day at 3:30am BOTH Monday and Tuesday because the puppy was up and we all know if puppy is up, puppy needs to go out." It was 2 long days!I thought the early morning stuff was over with!  How silly of me.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
WOW this week's questions were really hard for me to answer! I must be sleep deprived. But it's worth it because I get to look at this every day.
2 great dogs becoming 2 great friends!

OK so now it's your turn.... How would you answers the Hodgepodge questions.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Becke, The Wonder Dog

As I said yesterday, Becke is still getting use to August and this is how she prefers seeing him some times.  For a while he could not figure out how to get up on the bed and that was fine with Becke.  Once we got home we set up a few dog beds for him one of which is in my home office. However, this is how he prefers to take his naps.
Yup! Becke moved over to make room for her little brother and it was so cute we had to get a picture. Those of you with dogs, know that you walk around with a camera to capture all those moments for a while.  It's just so cute!

Oh, and thanks to friends Diane and Angie, the couch is no longer an issue.
He can go up!

And he can go down!

Puppies are just so much fun!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Weekend Review: Vacation!

Sorry all, I didn't get around to all of your blogs to read and comment. I hope you will forgive me but we were not home. We went on vacation and didn't want anyone to know that. I had decided what my reward would be and it involved a vacation - over 700 miles, south, one way, to get warm and to get my reward for having completed 2400 miles.  Some of you said I should go south to warm up so we did. We went to North Carolina where we picked up a 9 week old Powder Puff Chinese Crested, August Rush.

I have a friend, Anu, who comments here often. She and I use to work together and we became dear friends. Then she and her husband moved south to get away from the winters up here and to be close to family down south. She had sent me an email asking my opinion on something and in the email she talked about a dog class she was taking and this one woman who had the most adorable little hairless Chinese Crested.  Well, since I really like these little dogs, Anu introduced me to the breeder and helped us get August.   Here are just a few of the pictures and one video we took. Both the hairless and powder puffs are born in the same litter. In this litter, there were 4 puffs and 2 hairless. 
In all we took 2 days to drive down there. We spent 2 days visiting and hanging out and 2 days driving back the 700+ miles. We were pretty tired but I HAVE to tell you that this little guy slept most of the way!  We would put him in the crate and after a few minutes he was out - and stayed out for 2-3 1/2 hours before waking up. So we stopped, gassed up, got something to eat, walked and played with the dogs and then put him back in the crate where he would go back to sleep!  What a blessing to travel with 2 great dogs.  Becke is still getting use to him, but more on that tomorrow.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge: November!

Ok so by now you all know the drill. Here are the questions and my answers, what would your answers be?

1. Of all the tools and gadgets you own which do you most enjoy using?
My iPad. I carry it around with me all the time and use it almost every day. It was and continues to be a great gift. Thank you Hubby and Steve Jobs.

2. When (if ever) is impatience a virtue?
I think in a life or death situation, impatience is a virtue as long as as you loose your patience without using bad language or causing more problems.  Here is an example:  A loved one is in Hospice, they need meds to relieve their pain. The nurse is not moving as quickly as you think, it's OK to speak up and help the helpless.

3. What temperature do you keep your thermostat set to in winter? Do you have another way to heat your house besides a furnace of some type?
We have oil heated forced hot water and the thermostat is set to go up and down all day depending on when we are home. If we are not home, it's set to 68 degrees. If we are home, it's set to 75 degrees.  It was one condition of mine when we moved from the warm south to the frozen tundra - I wanted to stay warm.  We also have a pellet stove that helps to keep the house that warm. If the pellet stove is going, the oil heat may not kick on at all!

4. Do/did you have a close relationship with any of your grandparents?
I never knew my grand fathers. One had passed away long before I was born and the other had passed when I was a baby.  I did know my grandmothers who have long ago joined their husbands but I was closest to my paternal grandmother. A short woman who was 4' 9" and full of life. She annoyed the heck out of my mother, a trait that I found most appealing.

5. When did you last have a family portrait taken?
A formal portrait was taken some 20 years ago. We had a family photo taken 7 or 8 years ago.  It's been way too long.

6. What does the word patriotism mean to you?
Love of country and the willingness to care for it. Saying thank you to those who serve our country and protect her.  Caring for her by living in a way to show my pride in the USA.

7. Do you like to play cards and if so, what's your favorite card game?
No I do not play cards so that question is really easy.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I have decided on my reward for reaching 2400 miles in the 400 mile challenge!  Photos and story will be coming on Monday - it's too long for a Hodgepodge.

Ok so visit others, add your own answers and just have fun. That's the point with these Hodgepodge's

Monday, November 7, 2011


Snow in October is not unusual but this much of the wet white stuff sure is. The trees still have leaves on them so when the added weight of snow was placed on top, it was too much for the poor things. They snapped. And with them came down the cable, internet, heat...everything electric including some cell phone towers making service spotty in some places.
We worked together to get the generator up and running and plugging things into it. We talked about how warm the pellet stove was keeping the house. 
We talked about things that has happened to us before and we slept a lot. We lit the kerosene lamps at dusk and blew them out at dawn. We ate well because we could still cook. We drove around to charge our cell phones and collect water to flush (we have a well and couldn't hook up the well to the generator). We had our evacuation supplies and were ready for the hours to pass. And they passed slowly. It was nice to see people checking in with each other. The roads were clear, just no one had power. The traffic lights were out, the small hardware stores were closed either because the store had no power or the people who own it had no power and several roads were closed and so they couldn't get to the store, and several gas stations were closed as well, making it hard to get gas for the generators.
Here are some more pictures of what we had to deal with.
Our Well Cover
Trees in the back yard
I'm glad it's over and that most of the snow is gone! But for those 95 hours, it was pretty hard- good thing Hubby and I enjoy each other's company.