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, December 28, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Happy New Year!!

Click on the button above and join the fun. Thank you Joyce and these were hard (either that or I'm brane dead)

1. Share something you loved about your Christmas Day.
It was an easy going day. Just enough activity to stay busy, but not so much that we were over tired by the end of the day. We got to spend time with our granddaughters who are just so sweet. What a great job our daughter and her hubby are doing with them. And we got to Skype with our son, his wife and grandsons - Both our son and his wife are doing a great job with the boys.

2. You get to put five items in a time capsule to be opened in 100 years, what items would you choose and why?
Our Bible - it will still be true in 100 years
Our family photos - small photos so I can pack a lot of them
Small Christmas Tree - so that I will be ready in 100 years to celebrate Christmas all over again
My I-Pad because it has the contacts in it and my calendar of events.
Chap Stick - I use a lot of it!

3. What do you like on a cracker?
Cheese, I'm a simple girl

4. Do you make resolutions at the start of a new year? How'd that work out for you this past year?
Yes, I do make resolutions. Last year I resolved to walk a total of 400 miles in one year. I did a little over 2400 miles instead.

5. What's a song or song lyric you'll associate with 2011?
I really cant think of any song. Sorry.

6. How will you ring in the new year?
We will get some Chinese food, watch some old movies and then go to bed before 2012 shows up, sounds exciting doesn't it? We are big time party people here!!!

7. What is something you look forward to in 2012?
Getting even more healthy so that I can get off some of my meds!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
August was dressed as a jester for Christmas and he was sure cute. He enjoyed his gifts but had the most fun with the wrapping paper.  
Becke enjoyed her horse trachea the best.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Cookies: Low Carb Style

I like having some Christmas cookies around for the weekend.  I made Italian nut rolls and Chocolate Drop Cookies.  I made them lower carb by changing out some of the traditional ingredients. This way we can eat the sweets without it impacting either our carb count or sugar count.  Do you make the traditional cookies and suffer the consequence or eat less or do you change the recipe to meet your needs. 

Chocolate Drop Cookies

What I love about these is that they are no bake, just mix and drop onto wax paper. The traditional recipe is here with the low carb version in Parenthesis

1 stick of butter
2 cups sugar          (1 cup Splenda)
3 tablespoons unsweetened coco
1/2 cup milk           (1/2 cup chocolate Almond Milk)
3 cups oatmeal
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter   (1/2 cup almond butter)

Mix butter, sugar (Splenda) , coco, and milk on the stove and cook until it begins to boil.  Add the peanut butter (almond butter) and let it dissolve. Boil mixture for 2 minutes and then add in the oatmeal and vanilla. Mix well.  Drop by teaspoon onto wax paper and let cool. 

Carb count is per cookie is 4 each.

Italian Nut Ball
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup soft butter
2 egg yolks -keep the whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond
2 cups  all purpose flour (*flour substitute below)
2 egg whites beaten
1 1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup  sugar free jelly (strawberry and orange marmalade)

*Flour Substitute
1 cup Soy powder
2 cups protein powder
2 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons Splenda
Mix all in a food processor and mix into a powder use in place of flour.

In a large bowl mix the first six ingredients well. Blend in flour and nuts well. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on greased cookie sheet and flatten. Brush with the egg whites and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.  When taken out of the oven make a depression in cookie with your finger and fill with jelly while still warm. Cool before storing. 

Carb count for these are .83 per cookie.

So do you change the recipes to meet your needs? Share how you do that will you?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Past- As in this Past Weekend!

I hope you all had a great Christmas and enjoyed being with your loved ones, had lots to eat and had a few great gifts. I hope that you had lots of laughter, some great music and through it all you remembered the true reason for the season. That Christmas was about Jesus Christ.

We started out getting the dogs a groom.  Becke is always clean, she doesn't like to get dirty and stays clean for a long time so she doesn't get a bath too often. In fact, her "before" photos look like her "after" photo. She just feels better, softer, with a lot less fur!
 August on the other hand is just beginning his "adolescent uglies". His body is changing, growing. He is up to 10 inches tall and his back side is taller than his front side.   
August's hair gets matted, the hair on his back gets all straggly and curly and his eyes have tear stains.  In fact he is funny looking, and considering most people think he is funny looking to begin with, he really needed the groom.
Angela takes really good care of him and once she is done, he looks like this.
His hair lays flat, his ears are all cleaned up and so is his face.
The hair on his back lays flat as well. He looks amazing and so people will say, "Wow, What kind of dog is the little one?"  It will be back to funny looking in a about 2 weeks and Angela will work with him again. I love what a great job she does!  

So, that is how we started out Christmas weekend.  More tomorrow. How did you start your Christmas weekend and where did it go from there?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The First Full Day of Winter

Welcome to Winter in NH!  This morning I work up to a house that was nice and toasty and turned off the pellet stove that Hubby had started last night. Took my shower and got ready for work, then turned on my handy,dandy clock app to see this!  
Don't see it -----look again.

At 6:41 this morning it was already 48 degrees!  Yes, thank you Lord for a warm winter's day. I know it will not last, but for today this girl doesn't have to wear 4 layers of clothes and wrap a scarf around my face to breath. Today I do not have to wear boots, extra gloves or hold a cup of tea just for the warmth of it. 

Thank you Lord for a warm winter's day.  My thoughts and prayers are with those of you in the Planes that had received 24 + inches of snow and who are trapped in there homes without power or at airports trying to get out for the Christmas Holiday.  May God bless you and may the power come back on and the airports open.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge: It's Christmas Time

Thank you Joyce for the questions again. You are truly amazing.

1. Are you cooking Christmas dinner? How many will be round your table this year? What are we having?
We will be spending some time at our Daughter's home and I have no idea what we are having there.  We may just have finger food there. Back home we will have either Ham or Turkey  - can you believe it's not decided yet?  That is how laid back we are being this time.

2. What is one must-have Christmas cookie in your house?
Italian Nut Ball have chopped nuts and jelly and they are just so good!  I will be making those this weekend.

3. Santa likes a glass of milk with his cookies. Do you? What kind of milk is on tap at your house-skim? almond? soy? full fat (Gasp!)
I don't like milk. I didn't grow up with it. I was not able to digest it as it always made me sick so I just didn't drink it. Now I don't like it unless its store bought Egg Nog. I do drink Almond milk in hot coco or home made egg nog but I don't drink  it with cookies and don't have cereal with it.

4. Time magazine recently named their 'Person of the Year' for 2011. This is the person the editors believe had the greatest impact, for better or worse, in the past year. This year they chose 'The Protester'. Your thoughts? Who would you name Person of the Year for 2011?
I was very disappointed in the choice of "Person of the Year". The protesters were just big babies looking for a free ride. I would have chosen the men and woman who had been fighting in Iraq for our freedoms. They have the greatest impact in our lives.

5. December 21st is National Flashlight Day... when was the last time you needed a flashlight and did you know right where to find one?
We use our flashlight nightly since we had a coyote in the area. Yes we know where it is!!

6. candy canes...yum or yuck?
Little ones yes, big ones no! I like to melt the little ones in tea. That is a great way to end a full meal.

7. What Christmas carol lyric means the most to you?
That changes from year to year but this year I find my self singing Mary Did You Know, and wonder how her life would have been different if she truly understood who that little baby really was. Do we ever know what the lives of our children will be and how they will impact the world?  I don't think so. And I know that Christmas is about Jesus, not Mary. And yet, I still wonder how much she understood about her little boy.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
As you can see, I have not blogged this week so far. It has just been a normal week and I have not been very busy, but yet I feel that I need the down time.  When I am home from work, I  want to watch a Christmas movie, or cuddle with our two dogs. Blogging just doesn't seem to be on my mind.

Have a Merry Christmas Everyone. And Yes please wish me a Merry Christmas  as well. No Happy Holidays here!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Grannie to the Rescue

Being a Grannie is so much fun. It's our reward for letting our kids live! Remember  those teen years?  You simply say "Good Morning" to your child and get in return a long story about why it's NOT a good morning at all for everyone.  Those mood swings were terrible and we let them live.  They live because God made them so cute as babies and we remember those days. We let them live because we know it will get better and that there is a reward coming. The reward is grand children!  We have 2 of the best grand daughters live close to us and we get to see the girls almost every week. It's wonderful!!! But I digress.....so where was I going with this?  Oh Yes, I remember now.

Last week I got a message that the youngest didn't have a Christmas Stocking to hang up and could I help. Can I help? You bet.

I went to work. First I had to remember what the colors of the Christmas stocking that I made for the oldest grand daughter so we took off to there house to take a few pictures. Any excuse to see the girls you know.
This is the stocking that I made for the oldest grand daughter a few years ago.  I wanted to make sure that I picked very different fabrics for the youngest ones.

While we were there, we played with the girls and Pepere and the oldest grand daughter played with Lego robots.  What fun to hear her talk like a robot.  She didn't know we were coming and surprised her when we walked in the door. It was great to see her jump up and down and scream in joy at us coming in.  When we left, she cried a little which touched my heart. But we were on a mission.  Off to the store to get what I needed and then to find the time.

August has discovered that if he jumps on my foot while I'm sewing, I will yell and the machine goes faster. So sewing time is limited to when a) he is sleeping and b) when Hubby can keep him buy.  One day after work, he fell asleep and I grab all my supplies and put this together in a few hours.

So Grannie has come to the rescue and now both grand daughters have very different Christmas Stockings.  I am so glad that I have this talent and can make them both happy as well as my own daughter.

YUP! I am Super Grannie!! And I LOVE it.  Have a great weekend all, Lord willing, I'll see you Monday.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Christmas and Faith and Memories

By now you should all know how this works. Play along and answer these questions as well.

1. Do you put Christmas decorations in every room of your house? If not every room, what rooms do you decorate?
Yes we have small trees in every room of the house. In fact we didn't put up a large tree this year because of a small dog but the house still looks festive because of the small trees everywhere.

2. If you could visit one of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) which one would you choose and why?
I have never had a desire to go to any of these countries. I prefer to go south to Christmas Island which is about 1/2 inch away from the equator.  I like warm, sunny, with a slight breeze.

3. What does the word faith mean to you?
It means believing in something you can not see but still know that it is real. Believing in God takes faith because I've never seen him face to face. But I know he is real, I see the sun, the stars, the creation He made and I see Him working in my life.  Angels don't need faith, they see God's face.

4. You can go back to your childhood for one day...what day and age would you choose?
Does Senior prom count? I was not a child, I was 18 years old, going to the senior prom with a boy who put a diamond on my left hand and captured my heart.

5. When did you last have 'punch'? If it's not too much trouble share your favorite punch recipe.
It's been a very long time but I like the punch that has ginger ale and sherbet in it. I don't know the name of it.

6. Do you fill stockings at your house? Are stockings opened before or after the bigger gifts?
Yes we fill stockings here. Some times we open them before and other years after.  

7. What takes your breath away?
Hearing a new born baby cry, seeing a rainbow after a storm, watching grand children grow, watching my daughter holding her daughter, and after a long hard day, being held by the man I love.
This is our youngest grand daughter back in February, she is 10 months old now and walking.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
It's now just a 11 days till Christmas and there is no snow on the ground. In fact, it's been getting up to the high 40's around here. The dogs wear light coats going into work in the morning and I carry them home at night. Some nights we don't even light the pellet stove.  I like it here with the cool air, and no snow to drive through or walk through or have to shop through. I think I would like a green Christmas. It can snow next year - maybe.

Ok all, now it's your turn, click on the button above and leave your answers or leave them here. Enjoy.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Weekend Review: 13 Days Until Christmas.

   Well, it's 13 days till Christmas, are you panicked yet? I hope not. Is your shopping done yet? I hope you have a least a big dent in it.  How about the baking? Done yet and all in the freezer? Now don't panic, you still have time to get it all done.  
   Part of the Holiday Joy this time of year are all the parties. There is the office party, the spouse's office party, the Church party, the neighborhood party. If you have children, there is the class party, the after school party, the after school activity party and the family party.  WOW can you add more to that list? I bet some of you can. And that is only Christmas, let's not talk about the New Year's Parties! That is a lot of parties and a lot of food.  No wonder so many people gain the Holiday 10 and why so many start the new Diet January 2nd.  Not to worry, there are some things you can do to help your self from feeling all the guilt of the Holiday 10.

1. Start every event with a prayer.  Having a little talk with God and knowing He is looking out for you is a good way to remember why we are celebrating Christmas.

2. Ask if you can bring something and then bring something that you can eat. Are you on a low fat lifestyle, then bring fruit or a  low fat dessert. Are you living a low carb lifestyle, then bring cheese and sliced turkey breast.  Are you a diabetic, dig out that diabetic cook book and makes something wonderful out of it. By bringing something you can eat, you are not as tempted to eat a lot of the other things you see on the table. 

3. Eat something before you leave for the party. You will not be as hungry.

4. Drink a large glass of water. You will feel fuller and feeling fuller is better for you.

5. If the food is all lined up in the dinning room, hang out in the kitchen. Why be in there getting tempted?

6. The reason for the get together is to enjoy each other's company. People make the party, don't let the food make the party.

7. Have something in your hands like a cup of coffee. It's hard to put it down in order to pick up those treats that are all over the place.

8. Walk around the food table and look at it all (no calories or fat or sugar in looking) then decide what is the best thing for you and put those things on your plate (a small plate). There will be no room for the other tempting things.

9. Parties are suppose to be fun, see that Chocolate Lava Cake that is calling you....have a small piece. Smile, it's  Christmas time and you are making good choices.

10. Go for a walk, ride the bike, jump on the abs swing,  learn yoga, dance to the Wii. MOVE, it will help you burn off those extra calories, carbs, sugar and it will remind you that you are living a life style choice and not a diet. 

Before you know it, the parties are all over and you got to enjoy the season, enjoy the people, enjoy the food and enjoy life. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Battle of the Holiday 10!

Yesterday it was 63 degrees and this morning it was 34!  Boy am I grateful that Hubby got the pellet stove going last night because the house was nice and toasty this morning. It got me in the mood to bake this morning. Do you gain the Holiday 10 every year? I use to but since I went low carb, I have options that allow me to enjoy sweets without gaining the Holiday 10.  Although it means I have to cook them - nothing from the local Dunkin Donuts (Rats).

Banana and Coconut muffins
2 cups Carbquick
2 eggs
3 Tablespoons Splenda
2 Tablespoons oil
2 Tablespoons butter softened
1 mashed banana (or banana flavoring)
1 1/2 teaspoon coconut flavoring

Mix all very well and put into a buttered muffin pan (regular size or better yet a mini muffin pan)  Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 13 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

Total carbs is 2.5 each for the regular or mini muffin
I don't count fat or calories so I didn't figure that out.

So how are doing with your holiday baking and your holiday eating? I'm going to put together some tips on how to survive the Holidays and not feel guilty or deprived for next week.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge: So glad to have these questions.

Thank you Joyce for this weeks questions, I was blank about what to blog about.  

1. Will you be hosting any house guests between now and the end of December? Does that thought make you happy or crazy? Do you do anything special for your guests to make them feel at home? How long should a house guest stay?
No we are  not having house guest this year and that is OK. I love having people over so it makes me very happy. I love to have a basket of all sort of goodies that they may have forgotten like hand lotion, shampoo, tooth paste and so on. I think after 2 weeks they should go.

2. Walter Elias Disney was born this week (December 5) back in 1905 ...what's your all time favorite Disney movie? Here's a list in case you're struggling...and yes, you have to pick one.
Cinderella. I always wanted a fair God Mother to show up and make everything wonderful and make me beautiful.  She never showed up but I'm still looking.

3. What was the last thing you purchased that you realized was a mistake after the fact?
I can not think of anything but since Joyce came up with the question, I bet she did this, and she will have a great story about it!

4. What percentage of your Christmas shopping is done online?
I've been getting my shopping done over several weeks so I've not done much on line at all.

5. Amaryllis-snowdrop-poinsettia...your favorite winter blossom?
Snowdrops are sure pretty. I want to plant some of these. I had to look them up and so I don't have any but these are unique. They are my new favorite.

6. What is one thing on your personal Christmas wish list? I think we all want peace on earth so let's make this answer an actual item.
First off, let me say that I have my gift. His name is August and I am very happy with that. I will be taking pictures of him and caring for him and I am happy.  He is an "actual item". Now Joyce said I had to pick something and since I can not say peach on earth how about this for my iPad. A Flexible keypad for my iPad.

7. If you could only use one word today what would it be?
Tired.  We have a 3 month old puppy who most of the time has to go potty at 3 am and the although he goes back to sleep, I can not.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Poor little guy sure does look funny wet
But he sure is fluffy after!  I like the after.